HITHERTO the increase of the regenerate has been considered in its relation to the Father alone. We are now to consider that increase which has reference to the Father and Son conjointly.

This consists in our union and fellowship with the Father through Christ the Son, and our glorification after the image of Christ

Of this union and fellowship mention is made John. xiv. 20. "at that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." v. 23. "if a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." xvii. 21-23. "that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us... and the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one." 1 Cor. vi. 17. "he that is joined to the Lord, is one spirit." 1 John. ii. 23. "whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son, hath <54> the Father also." iii. 24. "he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him: and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." i. 3, 6, 7. "truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ: if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another." iv. 13, 15, 16. "hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit: whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God: and we have known and believed the love that God hath to us: God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."

The fellowship arising from this union consists in a participation, through the Spirit, of the various gifts and merits of Christ. John vi. 56. "he that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." Rom. viii. 9. "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his." v. 32. "how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" 1 Cor. i. 9. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." Eph. iii. 17. "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." Rev. iii. 20. "if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me." 2 Cor. xiii. 14. "the communion of the Holy Ghost."

From this our fellowship with Christ arises the mutual fellowship of the members of Christ's body among themselves, called in the Apostles Creed The <55> Communion of Saints. Rom. xii. 4, 5. "for as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13. "as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ: for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." v. 27. "ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."

Lastly, from this union and fellowship of the regenerate with the Father and Christ, and of the members of Christ's body among themselves, results the mystical body called The Invisible Church, whereof Christ is the head. 1 Thess. i. 1. "unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ." See also 2 Thess. i. 1. John. xi. 52. "not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." 2 Cor. vi. 16. "ye are the temple of the living God." Gal. iv. 26. "Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." Eph. i. 22, 23. "he gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." iv. 13, 15, 16. "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; that we may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every <56> joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." v. 23. "Christ is the head of the church, and he is the Saviour of the body." Col. i. 18, 19. "he is the head of the body, the church." ii. 19. "not holding the head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God." i. 24. "for his body's sake, which is the church." Heb. iii. 6. "Christ as a son over his own house, whose house are we." xii. 22, 23. "ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect."

Seeing then that the body of Christ is mystically one, it follows that the fellowship of his members must also be mystical, and not confined to place or time, inasmuch as it is composed of individuals of widely separated countries, and of all ages from the foundation of the world. Rom. ii. 29. "he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Eph. ii. 19-22. "now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded to <57> gether for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Col. ii. 5. "though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ."

The love of Christ towards his invisible and spot less Church is described by the appropriate figure of conjugal love.[1] Rev. xix. 7. "the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready."

Christ is also called the Shepherd, by reason of his protecting and teaching the church. John x. 14. "I am the good shepherd." v.16. "there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." Heb. xiii. 20. "now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant —." 1 Pet. v. 4. when the chief shepherd shall appear —."



OF that increase which has reference to the Father and Son conjointly, the remaining part is Glorification.

Glorification is either imperfect or perfect.

Imperfect glorification is that state wherein, being justified and adopted by God the Father, we are filled with a consciousness of present grace and excellency, as well as with an expectation of future glory, insomuch that our blessedness is in a manner already begun. John xvii. 22. "the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them."

St. Paul traces this glorification by progressive steps, from its original source in the prescience of God himself: Rom. viii. 29, 30. "whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son moreover... whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified." xv. 7. "receive ye one another, as <59> Christ also received us to the glory of God." Eph. i. 3. "blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." iii. 17-19. "that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." 1 Thess. ii. 12. "that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." 2 Thess. ii. 14. "whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Pet. v. 10. "who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus." 2 Pet. i. 3, "that hath called us to glory and virtue."

Our blessedness is in a manner already begun. Matt. v. 3, &c. "blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of heaven."

Both regeneration and increase are accompanied by confirmation, or preservation in the faith, which is also the work of God. 1 Cor. i. 8. "who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Cor. i. 21, 22. "now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." Eph. iii. 16. "that he would grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man." 1 Pet. v. 10. "the God of all grace, who hath called us... make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." Jude. 24. "unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and <60> to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."

These three, regeneration, increase, and preservation in the faith, considered as proximate causes on the part of God, and their effects, as faith, love, &c. considered as proximate causes on the part of man, or as acting in man, produce assurance of salvation and the final perseverance of the saints.

On the part of God, however, the primary or more remote cause is his predestination or election of believers. Rom. viii. 30. "whom he did predestinate," &c. as quoted above, xi. 29. "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." Heb. vi. 17, 18. "wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation," &c. 2 Pet. i. 4. "whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature."

Hence assurance of salvation is a certain degree or gradation of faith, whereby a man has a firm persuasion and conviction, founded on the testimony of the Spirit, that if he believe and continue in faith and love, having been justified and adopted, and partly glorified by union and fellowship with Christ and the Father, he will at length most certainly attain to everlasting life and the consummation of glory.

Has a firm persuasion; or, to speak more properly, ought, and is entitled to have a firm persuasion. 2 Pet. i. 10. "wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure," that is <61> the fruit of your calling and election, eternal life; for the calling itself cannot be made more sure, inasmuch as it is already past: but this is of no avail, unless we give diligence to make both sure. It follows, that, as far as this depends upon ourselves, it must be in our own power to make it sure.

If he believe. John iii. 16. "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." See also vi. 47. Rom. v. 2. "by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." 2 Cor. xiii. 5. "examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves: know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" But "Christ dwells in our hearts by faith." Eph. iii. 17. Hence we are enjoined to prove our faith, lest we should be reprobates; not our election, which cannot be sure without faith.

Continue in faith and love. Heb. vi. 18-20. "that we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." x. 22, 23. "let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water: let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering." 2 Pet. i. 9-11. "he that lacketh these things, is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins: wherefore the rather, brethren, &c... for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and <62> Saviour Jesus Christ." 1 John iii. 14. "we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." iv. 18. "there is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear." Rev. ii. 17. "to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." Here each is represented as receiving the stone, or pledge of election, after he has individually obtained the victory.

Having been justified. Rom. v. 9, 10. "much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him: for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." We are only justified, however, through faith.

Adopted. Rom. viii. 15, 16. "ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

On the testimony of the Spirit. Rom. viii. 16. "the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." Eph. i. 13, 14. "in whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." iv. 30. "grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." 1 Thess. v. 19. "quench not the Spirit." Certainly, if we grieve the Holy <63> Spirit, if we quench that by which we were sealed, we must at the same time quench the assurance of our salvation.

This assurance of salvation produces a joy unspeakable. John. xv. 10, 11. "ye shall abide in my love... these things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." Rom. xiv. 17. "the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." 1 Pet. i. 8, 9. "in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."

The final perseverance of the saints is the gift of God who preserves them, whereby they who are foreknown, elect and born again, and sealed by the Holy Spirit, persevere to the end in the faith and grace of God, and never entirely fall away through any power or malice of the devil or the world, so long as nothing is wanting on their own parts, and they continue to the utmost in the maintenance of faith and love.

The gift of God's preserving power. Psal. xxvi. 1. "I have trusted in Jehovah, therefore I shall not slide." Luke. xxii. 32. "I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not." John. vi. 37. "all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out." Rom. v. 5. "hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Jude. 1. "preserved in Jesus Christ."

Foreknown. 2 Tim. ii. 19. "the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his; and, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."


Born again. John viii. 35. "the servant abideth not in the house for ever; but the Son abideth ever."

Through any power or malice of the devil or the world. Matt. xxiv. 24. "insomuch that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." John x. 28, 29. "neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand: my Father which gave them me is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." xvii. 15. "that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." Rom. viii. 35, 38, 39. "who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? for I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

So long as nothing is wanting on their own parts. In adding this limitation, I was influenced by what I had observed to be the uniform tenor of Scripture. Psal. cxxv. 1, 2. "they that trust in Jehovah shall be as mount Sion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever." 2 Chron. xv. 2. "Jehovah is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you." Jer. xxxii. 40. "I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." In promising to put his fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from him, God merely engages to perform what is requisite on his part, namely, to bestow such a supply <65> of grace as should be sufficient, if properly employed, to retain them in his way. At the same time he enters into a covenant with them. Now a covenant implies certain conditions to be performed, not by one, but by both the parties. "They shall not depart from me;" that is, from my external worship, as the whole of the context shows, from the thirty-seventh verse to the end of the chapter, compared with the twentieth and twenty-first verses of the following; "if ye can break my covenant of the day..... then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant..... and with the Levites." Lastly, it appears that these very persons, in whose hearts he promised to put his fear that they should not depart from him, did actually so depart; for the same promise is made to their children, xxxii. 39. The event therefore proved, that although God had according to compact put his fear into their hearts to the very end that they should not depart, they nevertheless departed through their own fault and depravity. Moreover, the words are addressed to, and include, the whole nation; but the whole nation was not elect; it follows therefore that the passage cannot refer to the elect exclusively, as is contended. Ezek. xi. 19-21. "I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh... that they may walk in my statutes;... but as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads." Matt. vii. 24, 25. "whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man that built his house upon the rock." John iv. 14. "whosoever drinketh of <66> the water that I shall give him... it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." vi. 51. "if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever." 1 Cor. x. 12. "let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." Philipp. ii. 12. "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." 1 John ii. 17. "he that doeth the will of God, abideth for ever." v. 28. "abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."

Continue to the utmost in the maintenance of faith and love. This clause is subjoined for the same reason as the former. John xv. 2. "every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away." v. 6. "if a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." v. 10. "if ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." Rom. xi. 20. "because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith." v. 22. "behold therefore the goodness and severity of God; on them which fell, severity; but towards thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." Thus the gifts of God are said to be without repentance, v. 29. inasmuch as he did not repent of his promise to Abraham and his seed, although the greater part of them had revolted; but it does not follow that he did not change his purpose towards those, who had first changed theirs towards him. 2 Cor. i. 24. "by faith ye stand." Eph. iii. 17, "being rooted and grounded in love." 1 Pet. i. 5. "who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salva <67> tion." 2 Pet. i. 5-10. "beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue..... for if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful..... for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." That a real believer, however, may fall irrecoverably, the same apostle shows, chap. ii. 18. "they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error;" if indeed this be the right reading, and not, as others contend, escaped a little:[2] not to mention, that it appears doubtful whether the knowledge of the Lord should be understood here of a saving faith, and not of an historical only: and whether their escapefrom the pollutions of the world implies a truly regenerate and Christian purity of life, and not a mere outward and philosophical morality: so that from this passage nothing certain can be inferred. The text in Ezekiel xviii. 26, is clearer; "when a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness..... he shall die." The righteousness here intended must necessarily be true righteousness, being that from which whosoever turns shall die. But, it is replied, the event is conditional, if he turneth away; which, on our hypothesis, will never happen. I answer, first, that the Hebrew does not express any condition, and, secondly, that if it were so, an absurd and impractica <68> ble condition is inconsistent with the character of God. Two suppositions, both of them equally possi ble, are here made; v. 21. "if the wicked will turn from all his sins;" v. 26. "when a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness;" hence v. 25. "is not the way of the Lord equal?" The same mode of reasoning occurs again xxxiii. 12, 13, &c. Paul was a true believer, and yet he says, 1 Cor. ix. 27. "I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." The apostle to the Hebrews, vi. 4-6. seems also to speak of the possible final apostasy of the real believer, if the concluding clause of the passage be attentively considered: "if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance;" for the state described in the fourth and fifth verses, and from which they are represented as having fallen, can scarcely have been other than a regenerate state. Christ therefore prayed to the Father that the faith of Peter might not fail, Luke. xxii. 32. For it was possible for his faith to fail through his own fault, without any failure in the ordinary gifts of God's grace; wherefore Christ prayed, not that the grace of God, but that the faith of Peter, might not fail; which was to be dreaded at that time, unless he were strengthened by an extraordinary effusion of the grace of God at the request of Christ, 1 Tim. i. 19. "holding faith and a good conscience, which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck." It cannot be doubted that the faith and good conscience which some had put away, as well as the faith concerning which some had made shipwreck, was genuine.


Accordingly, not the elect, but those who continue to the end, are said to obtain salvation. Matt. xxiv. 12, 13. "the love of many shall wax cold; but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." See also x. 22. Heb. iii. 6. "whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope even to the end." v. 14. "we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." 1 John ii. 24. "if that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son." Rev. ii. 10. "be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." iii. 11. "hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." John viii. 31. "if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." From this last passage, however, our opponents draw the in verse inference, "if ye be my disciples indeed, ye will continue;" in other words, your continuance will be a proof of your being really my disciples; in support of which they quote 1 John ii. 19. "if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be made manifest that they were not all of us." I reply, that these texts do not contradict each other, inasmuch as the apostle is not here laying down a rule applicable to believers in general, formally deduced from necessary causes; but merely giving his judgment concerning certain antichrists, which judgment, according to a common practice, he had formed from the event. He does not say, therefore, "if they had been of us, it was impossible but that they should have continued with us," nor does he mention the causes of this impossibility; but he merely says, "they would have continued." <70> His argument is as follows; since it is very rare that a true disciple does not continue in the faith, it is natural to suppose that they would have continued in it, if they had been true disciples. But "they went out from us." Why? Not to show that true believers could never depart from the faith, but that all who walked with the apostles were not true believers, inasmuch as true believers very rarely acted as they had done. In the same way it might be said of an individual, "if he had been a real friend, he would never have been unfaithful;" not because it is impossible that a real friend should ever be unfaithful, but because the case very seldom happens.[3] That the apostle could not have intended to lay down a rule of universal application, will be shown by inverting the hypothesis; "if they had continued, they would no doubt have been of us;" whereas many hypocrites continue in outward communion with the church even till their death, and never go out from it. As therefore those who continue are not known to be real believers simply from their continuing, so neither are those who do not continue proved thereby never to have been real believers; this only is certain, that when they went out from the church, they were not then real believers. For neither does Christ, with whom John undoubtedly agreed, argue thus, "ye are my disciples indeed, if ye continue in my word," but thus; if ye continue indeed (for this latter word must be taken with both members of the sentence) <71> then will ye be indeed my disciples;" therefore, "if ye do not continue, ye will not be my disciples."

It is said, however, in the same epistle, chap. iii. 9. "whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God;" from which they argue as follows; if he cannot sin, much less can he depart from the faith. We are not at liberty, however, thus to separate a particular verse from its context, without carefully comparing its meaning with other verses of the same chapter and epistle, as well as with texts bearing on the same subject in other parts of Scripture; lest the apostle should be made to contradict either himself, or the other sacred writers. He is declaring, in the verse above quoted, the strength of that internal aid with which God has provided us against sin; having previously explained what is required on our own part, v. 3. "every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure." He recurs again to the same point, v. 10. "in this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." iv. 16. "God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him." v. 18. "whosoever is born of God, sinneth not, but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself —." Whosoever, therefore, is born of God, cannot sin, and therefore cannot depart from the faith, provided that he at the same time purify himself to the utmost of his power, that he do righteousness, that he love his brother, that he remain himself in love, in order that God and his seed may also remain in him; that finally he keep himself. Further, in what sense is it <72> said, "he cannot sin," when the apostle has already declared chap. i. 8. "if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us?" Doubtless we ought to understand by this phrase that he does not easily fall into sin, not voluntarily and intentionally, not wilfully and presumptuously, but with reluctance and remorse; and that he does not persist in the habit of sinning; for which reasons, and above all for Christ's sake, sin is not imputed to him. If then so much caution be necessary in explaining the word sin, we ought to proceed with no less care in the interpretation of the remaining part of the verse; and not to take advantage of the simplicity of style peculiar to this apostle, for the purpose of establishing a doctrine in itself absurd. For "not to be able," as the Remonstrant divines have rightly observed,[4] does not always signify absolute impossibility, either in common language or in Scripture. Thus we often say that a particular thing cannot be done, meaning that it cannot be done with convenience, honour, or facility, or with a safe conscience, or consistently with modesty, or credit, or dignity, or good faith.[5] In this sense it is said, Luke xi. 7. "I can <73> not rise and give thee," although the speaker shortly afterwards rises. So also Acts. iv. 20. "we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." Matt. xii. 34. "how can ye, being evil, speak good things?" whereas it is easy even for hypocrites to "speak good things." In like manner, when it is said in the present passage "he cannot sin," the meaning is, that he cannot easily fall into sin, and therefore cannot easily depart from the faith. The same divines have displayed equal sagacity and research in their explanation of the reason assigned by the apostle, "for his seed remaineth in him;" where they show that "to remain in him" means the same as "to be in him." So John xiv. 7. "he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Thus also in the fourteenth verse of the very chapter under consideration; "he that loveth not his brother abideth in death;" that is, so long as he does not love his brother; for in any other sense it would be impossible for a man to escape death who had ever been guilty of not loving his brother. "Whosoever" therefore "is born of God cannot sin, because his seed remaineth" or "is in him;" it is in him as long as he does not himself quench it, for even the Spirit can be quenched; it remains in him, moreover, as long as he himself remains in love.

Those, however, who do not persevere in the faith, are in ordinary cases to be accounted unregenerate and devoid of genuine belief; seeing that God who keeps us is faithful, and that he has given believers so many pledges of salvation, namely, election, regenera <74> tion, justification, adoption, union and fellowship with him conjointly with Christ and the Spirit, who is the earnest and seal of the covenant; seeing also that the work of glorification is in them already begun. Prov. xxiv. 16. "a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again, but the wicked shall fall into mischief." Matt. xxv. 3. "they that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them." Luke. viii. 13. "these have no root." 2 Pet. ii. 22. "the dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." 1 John ii. 19. "they went out from us."

Or perhaps they are to be considered as apostates from the faith, in that sense of faith in which it is the object, not the cause of belief. 1 Tim. iv. 1. "the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." Gal. v. 4. "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." However this may be, it is our duty to intreat God with constant prayer, in the words of the apostle, 2 Thess. i. 11. "that our God would count us worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power."

Thus far of the beginnings of glorification. As its perfection is not attainable in the present life, this part of the subject will be reserved for the concluding chapter of the present book.



THE nature and process of renovation, so far as it is developed in this life, have been considered. We are now to trace its manifestation and exhibition in the covenant of grace.

The covenant of grace itself, on the part of God, is first declared Gen. iii. 15. "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel;" compared with Rom. xvi. 20. "the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." 1 John iii. 8. "for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." On the part of man its existence may be considered as implied from the earliest period at which it is recorded that mankind worshipped God.

The manifestation of the covenant of grace consists in its exhibition and its ratification. Both existed under the law, and both continue under the gospel.

Even under the law the existence of a Redeemer and the necessity of redemption are perceptible, though obscurely and indistinctly. Heb. ix. 8, &c. "the way into the holiest of all was not yet made <76> manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing; which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances (or righteousness of the flesh), imposed on them until the time of reformation." Under the gospel both the Redeemer and the truth of his redemption are more explicitly understood. John i. 17. "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

The law of God is either written or unwritten.

The unwritten law is no other than that law of nature given originally to Adam,[6] and of which a certain remnant, or imperfect illumination, still dwells in the hearts of all mankind; which, in the regenerate, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, is daily tending towards a renewal of its primitive brightness. Rom. i. 19. "God hath showed it unto them." v. 32. "who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." ii. 14, 15. "the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves; which show the work of the law written in their hearts."

Hence the law is often used for heavenly doctrine in the abstract, or the will of God, as declared under both covenants. Jer. xxxi. 33. "I will put my law in their inward parts." John x. 34. "is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" though the passage <77> alluded to is found in the Psalms, not in the law properly so called.

The manifestation of this gratuitous covenant under the law was partly anterior to, and partly coincident with, Moses.

Even before Moses the law was already in part delivered, although not in a written form. Gen. iv. 3, 4. "Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah." v. 26. "then began men to call upon the name of Jehovah." vii. 1, 2. "thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation; of every clean beast," &c. viii. 20, 21, &c. "Noah builded an altar unto Jehovah." 2 Pet. ii. 5. "Noah, a preacher of righteousness." The same is said of the other patriarchs before Moses. Gen. xii. 4, 5. xiii. 18. xxv. 22. xxviii. 18. Ceremonial purification is likewise mentioned, xxxv. 2. "be clean and change your garments," Compare v. 14. Exod. xvii. 5.

A certain manifestation or shadowing forth of the covenant was exhibited under Moses, first, in the redemption from bondage by the liberation from Egypt under the guidance of Moses; secondly, in the brazen serpent, John iii. 14-16.

The symbols of expiation and redemption, both before and under Moses, were the sacrifices and the priests, Melchizedec and Aaron with his posterity.[7] Heb. viii 5. " who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things."

The Mosaic law was a written code consisting of many precepts, intended for the Israelites alone, with <78> a promise of life to such as should keep them, and a curse on such as should be disobedient; to the end that they, being led thereby to an acknowledgment of the depravity of mankind, and consequently of their own, might have recourse to the righteousness of the promised Saviour; and that they, and in process of time all other nations, might be led under the Gospel from the weak and servile rudiments of this elementary institution[8] to the full strength of the new creature, and a manly liberty worthy the sons of God. Heb. ix. 8, &c. as above.

Intended for the Israelites alone. Exod. xix, 5, 6. "if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." Deut. iv. 45. "these are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which Moses spake unto the children of Israel, after they came forth out of Egypt." 1 Kings viii. 21. "I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of Jehovah, which he made with our fathers when he brought them out of the land of Egypt." Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20. "he showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel: he hath not dealt so with any <79> nation, and as for his judgments, they have not known them." This wall of partition between the Gentiles and Israelites was at length broken down by the death of Christ, Eph. ii. 14 "until which time the Gentiles were aliens from the whole of the covenant, v. 12. "being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel." Acts xiv. 16, 17. "who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways: nevertheless he left not himself without witness," &c. xvii. 27, 28, 30. "that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us... the times of this ignorance God winked at."

With a promise of life; namely, temporal life, as is obvious from the whole of the twenty-sixth chapter of Leviticus. Lev. xviii. 5. "ye shall keep my statutes, which if a man do, he shall live in them." Deut. vi. 25. "it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before Jehovah our God, as he hath commanded us." Gal. iii. 12. "the law is not of faith; but the man that doeth them shall live in them." Though the law, however, does not promise eternal life, this latter seems to be implied in the language of the prophets. Zech. iii. 7. "I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by". Luke x. 25-28. See also below, on the resurrection.

A curse on such as should be disobedient. Deut. xxvii. 26. "cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them." Gal. iii. 10. "as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the law to do them."


Acknowledging the depravity. Rom. iii. 20. "by the law is the knowledge of sin." iv. 15. "the law worketh wrath." v. 20. "moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." vii. 5. "when we were in the flesh, the motions of sin which were by the law did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." v. 7-9. "I had not known sin, but by the law-: but sin taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence." v. 12, 13. "wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good: was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid: but sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." Gal. iii. 19. "wherefore then serveth the law? it was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." Hence to those who are not yet regenerate, the law of nature has the same obligatory force, and is intended to serve the same purposes, as the law of Moses to the Israelites." Rom. iii. 19. "we know that whatsoever things the law saith, it saith to them that were under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God," compared with i. 19. "that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath showed it them."

The righteousness of the promised Saviour. Hence Christ's invitation, Matt. xi. 28. "come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;" that is, from the curse of the law. Hence also the conflict in the mind of Paul while under the <81> curse of the law, and the thanks which he renders to God for the atonement of Christ; Rom. vii. 24, 25. "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" x. 4. "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Gal. iii. 11. "that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident, for the just shall live by faith." v. 13. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law." v. 21. "if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law." v. 22. "but the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe;" concluded, that is, declared all guilty of sin. v. 24. "wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." 2 Cor. iii. 6. "the letter killeth," that is, the letter of the law (elsewhere called the elements) killeth, in other words, does not promise eternal life. Col. ii. 14. "blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us." Thus the imperfection of the law was manifested in the person of Moses himself; for Moses, who was a type of the law, could not bring the children of Israel into the land of Canaan, that is, into eternal rest; but an entrance was given to them under Joshua, or Jesus[9]. Hence Peter testifies that <82> eternal salvation was through Christ alone under the law, equally as under the gospel, although he was not then revealed: Acts xv. 10, 11. "why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? but we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." Heb. xiii. 8. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever." For although, under the law, as many as were able to keep all the commandments were justified, the promise extended only to happiness in this life: Deut. vi. 24, 25. "Jehovah commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear Jehovah our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive," &c...... "and it shall be our righteousness if we observe to do all these commandments." But what neither the law itself nor the observers of the law could attain, faith in God through Christ has attained, and that even to eternal life.



THEGospel is the new dispensation of the covenant of grace, far more excellent and perfect than the law, announced first obscurely by Moses and the prophets, afterwards in the clearest terms by Christ himself, and his apostles and evangelists,[10] written since by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers[11] , and ordained to continue even to the end of the world, containing a promise of eternal life to all in all nations who shall believe in Christ when revealed to them, and a threat of eternal death to such as shall not believe.

The new dispensation. Jer. xxxi. 31-33, compared with Heb. viii. 8, 9. "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with <84> their fathers. It is called "the new testament." Matt. xxvi. 28. Mark. xiv. 24. Luke xxii. 20. 1 Cor. xi. 25. 2 Cor. iii. 6. But the word διαθήκη, in the Hebrew ברית, is generally used by the inspired writers for συνθήκη covenant, and is rendered in Latin by the word pactum, 2 Cor. iii. 14. Gal. iv. 24. veteris pacti[12] The Gospel is only once called testament in a proper sense, for a particular reason which is there subjoined. Heb. ix. 15, 16, &c. "for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance; for where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator."

More excellent and perfect than the law. Matt. xiii. 17. "many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them, and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them." 2 Cor. iii. 11, &c. "if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech; and not as Moses" —. Heb. vii. 18-20,22 "the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by the which we draw nigh unto God: and inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest; for those priests were made without an oath, but this with an oath... by so much was Jesus made a surety of a better covenant." viii. 6, &c. "by how much more also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which <85> was established upon better promises, &c... I will put my laws into their mind." James i. 25. "whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." 1 Pet. i. 10, &c. "of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you... with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." The Gospel is also called "the ministry" and "word of reconciliation," 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. "whereas on the contrary the law worketh wrath." Rom. iv. 15.

By Moses and the prophets. John v. 39. "they are they which testify of me." v. 46. "had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me;" namely Gen. iii. 15. xxii. 18. xlix. 10. Deut. xviii. 15. Luke xxiv. 27. "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." Acts xvii. 11. "searching the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." xxvi. 22, 23. "saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come." Rom. iii. 21. "being witnessed by the law and the prophets." 1 Pet. i. 10. "who prophesied of the grace which should come unto you."

Written in the hearts of believers. Isai. lix. 21. "as for me, this is my covenant with them, saith Jehovah; My Spirit which is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith Jehovah, from henceforth and for ever." Jer. xxxi. 31-33. "behold <86> the days come... but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith Jehovah," (a declaration particularly worthy of attention, as it specifies in what respect the new covenant is more excellent than the old) "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts" —, compared with Heb. viii. 10, &c. "this is the covenant... I will put my laws into their mind... and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." Joel ii. 28. "it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh..... and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit." To these may be added, from the chapter of Jeremiah quoted above, v. 34. "they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them." Joel ii. 28. "your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Compare Acts. ii. 16-18. For although all real believers have not the gift of prophecy, the Holy Spirit is to them an equivalent and substitute for prophecy, dreams, and visions. 2 Cor. iii. 3. "ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." v. 6. "ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." James i. 21. "receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls."

By the Holy Spirit, the gift of God, and peculiar to the gospel. John vii. 39. "the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified." <87> xiv. 26. "the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things." See also Luke xii. 12. Acts i. 8. "ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." See also ii. 1, &c. v. 38. "repent," &c......"and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Rom. v. 5. "by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." 1 Cor. ii. 13. "in words which the Holy Ghost teacheth." 2 Cor. xiii. 14. "the communion of the Holy Ghost." 1 Thess. iv. 8. "who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit." See also Rom. viii. 9. 1 Cor. xii. 3. 1 Pet. i. 12. 1 John iv. 13.

Ordained to continue even to the end of the world. 2 Cor. iii. 11. "much more that which remaineth is glorious." Eph. iv. 13. "till we all come... unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."

A promise of eternal life. Mark. xvi. 15, 16. "go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel... he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Rom. i. 16. "the power of God unto salvation."

To all who shall believe. John iii. 15, 16. "whosoever believeth in him," &c. Rom. i. 16, 17. "to every one that believeth." 1 John ii. 25. "this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life." See other passages to the same effect above, in the chapter on faith and its objects. Under the name of believers the penitent are comprehended, inasmuch as in the original annunciation of the gospel repentance and faith are jointly proposed as conditions of salvation. Matt. iii. 1, &c. iv. 17. Mark i. 15. Luke xxiv. 47. Acts ii. 39-41. x. 35. "he that feareth him and <88> worketh righteousness, is accepted of him." xix. 3, 4. xx. 21. and elsewhere.

A threat of eternal death to such as shall not believe. Matt. x, 14, 15. "whosoever shall not receive you nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that city, shake off the dust of your feet: verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom-." xxi. 37, &c. "he sent unto them his son..... but when the husbandmen saw the son, they said.... let us kill him.... they say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men." Mark. xvi. 16. "he that believeth not shall be damned." John iii. 19. "this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light." Acts iii. 23. "every soul which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people." 2 Thess. i. 8, 9. "taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel." Heb. x. 26, "if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment." By unbelievers, however, those only can be meant to whom Christ has been announced in the gospel; for "how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?" Rom. x. 14.

In all nations. Matt. xxiv. 14. "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come." Mark xvi. 15. "to every creature." John x. 16. "other sheep I have, which are not of this fold." Acts x. 34. 35. "of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him. <89> and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him." Rom. x. 18. "their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world." This was predicted, Isai. ii. 2, &c. "it shall come to pass in the last days," &c. See also Mic. iv. 1. Isai. xix. 18, &c, "in that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan," &c. xxv. 6, &c. "unto all people." xlii. 4, &c. "the isles shall wait for his law." xlv. 22, 23. "look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth." lv. 4, 5. "a witness to the people," &c. lvi. 3, &c. "neither let the son of the stranger... speak, saying, Jehovah hath utterly separated me from his people." lxvi. 21. "I will also take of them for priests and Levites, saith Jehovah." Jer. iii. 17. "all the nations shall be gathered unto it." xxv. 8, &c. "because ye have not heard my words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north-". Hagg. ii. 7. "the desire of all nations shall come." Zech. viii. 20. "there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities."

On the introduction of the gospel, or new covenant through faith in Christ, the whole of the preceding covenant, in other words the entire Mosaic law, was abolished. Jer. xxxi. 31-33. as above. Luke xvi. 16. "the law and the prophets were until John." Acts xv. 10. "now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" Rom. iii. 21. "now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested." vi. 14. "ye are not under the law, but under grace." vii. 4. "ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to him that is raised from the dead, <90> that we should bring forth fruit unto God". v. 6. "now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." In the beginning of the same chapter the apostle illustrates our emancipation from the law by the instance of a wife who is loosed from her husband that is dead. v. 7. "I had not known sin but by the law" (that is, the whole law, for the expression is unlimited) "for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." It is in the decalogue that the injunction here specified is contained; we are therefore absolved from subjection to the decalogue as fully as to the rest of the law.[13] viii. 15. "ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear." xiv. 20. "all things indeed are pure," compared with Tit. i. 15. "unto the pure all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, but even their mind and conscience is defiled." 1 Cor. vi. 12. "all things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." x. 23. "all things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." 2 Cor. iii. 3. "not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." v. 6-8. "ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the <91> letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life: but if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious... how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?" v. 11 . "if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." v. 15. "the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished." v. 17. "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Gal. iii. 19. "wherefore then serveth the law? it was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come, to whom the promise was made." v. 25. "after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." iv. 1. &c. "the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant... until the time appointed of the father: even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world; but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Compare also v. 21, addressed to those who desired to be under the law; and v. 24, of Hagar and Sarah, "these are the two covenants: the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar... but Jerusalem which is above," v. 26. "is free:" hence v. 30. "cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." v. 18. "if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Eph. ii. 14, 15. "who hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of <92> commandments contained in ordinances." Now not only the ceremonial code, but the whole positive law of Moses, was a law of commandments and contained in ordinances; nor was it the ceremonial law which formed the sole ground of distinction between the Jews and Gentiles, as Zanchius on this passage contends, but the whole law; seeing that the Gentiles, v. 12, "were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise," which promise was made to the works of the whole law, not to those of the ceremonial alone; nor was it to these latter only, that the enmity between God and us was owing, v. 16. So Coloss. ii. 14-17. "blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us... he took it out of the way," &c. Heb. vii. 12, 15,16. "the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also in the law... there ariseth another priest, who is made not after the law of a carnal commandment." v. 18. "there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before," (that is, of the commandment of works) "for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof." viii. 13. "in that he saith, a new covenant, he hath made the first old; now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away." xii. 18, &c. "ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more but ye are come unto mount Sion... and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant."


It is generally replied, that all these passages are to be understood only of the abolition of the ceremonial law. This is refuted, first, by the definition of the law itself, as given in the preceding chapter, in which are specified all the various reasons for its enactment: if therefore, of the causes which led to the enactment of the law considered as a whole, every one is revoked or obsolete, it follows that the whole law itself must be annulled also. The principal reasons then which are given for the enactment of the law are as follows; that it might call forth and develope our natural depravity;[14] that by this means it might work wrath; that it might impress us with a slavish fear through consciousness of divine enmity, and of the hand-writing of accusation that was against us; that it might be a schoolmaster to bring us to the righteousness of Christ; and others of a similar description. Now the texts quoted above prove clearly, both that all these causes are now abrogated, and that they have not the least connexion with the ceremonial law.

First then, the law is abolished principally on the ground of its being a law of works; that it might give place to the law of grace. Rom. iii. 27. "by what law? of works? nay, but by the law of faith." xi. 6. "if by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace." Now the law of works was not solely the ceremonial law, but the whole law.

Secondly, iv. 15. "the law worketh wrath; for where no law is, there is no transgression." It is not however a part, but the whole of the law that work <94> eth wrath; inasmuch as the transgression is of the whole, and not of a part only. Seeing then that the law worketh wrath, but the gospel grace, and that wrath is incompatible with grace, it is obvious that the law cannot co-exist with the gospel.

Thirdly, the law of which it was written, "the man that doeth them shall live in them," Gal. iii. 12. Lev. xviii. 5. and, "cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them," Deut. xxvii. 26. Gal. iii. 10. was the whole law. From "the curse of" this "law Christ hath redeemed us," v. 13. inasmuch as we were unable to fulfil it ourselves. Now to fulfil the ceremonial law could not have been a matter of difficulty; it must therefore have been the entire Mosaic law from which Christ delivered us. Again, as it was against those who did not fulfil the whole law that the curse was denounced, it follows that Christ could not have redeemed us from that curse, unless he had abrogated the whole law; if therefore he abrogated the whole, no part of it can be now binding upon us.

Fourthly, we are taught, 2 Cor. iii. 7. that the law "written and engraven in stones" was "the ministration of death," and therefore "was done away." Now the law engraven in stones was not the ceremonial law, but the decalogue.

Fifthly, that which was, as just stated, a law of sin and death, (of sin, because it is a provocative to sin; of death, because it produces death, and is in opposition to the law of the spirit of life,) is certainly not the ceremonial law alone, but the whole law. But the law to which the above description applies, is abolished; Rom. viii. 2. "the law of the spirit of life <95> in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

Sixthly, it was undoubtedly not by the ceremonial law alone that "the motions of sin which were by the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death," Rom. vii. 5. But of the law which thus operated it is said that we "are become dead thereto," v. 4. and "that being dead wherein we were held," v. 6. "we are delivered from it," as a wife is free "from the law of her husband who is dead," v. 3. We are therefore "delivered," v. 6. not from the ceremonial law alone, but from the whole law of Moses.

Seventhly, all believers, inasmuch as they are justified by God through faith, are undoubtedly to be accounted righteous; but Paul expressly asserts that "the law is not made for a righteous man," 1 Tim. i. 9. Gal. v. 22, 23. If however any law were to be made for the righteous, it must needs be a law which should justify. Now the ceremonial law alone was so far from justifying, that even the entire Mosaic law had not power to effect this, as has been already shown in treating of justification: Gal. iii. 11, &c. therefore it must be the whole law, and not the ceremonial part alone, which is abrogated by reason of its inability in this respect.

To these considerations we may add, that that law which not only cannot justify, but is the source of trouble and subversion to believers; which even tempts God if we endeavour to perform its requisitions; which has no promise attached to it, or, to speak more properly, which takes away and frustrates all promises, whether of inheritance, or adoption, or grace, or of the Spirit itself; nay, which even sub <96> jects us to a curse; must necessarily have been abolished. If then it can be shown that the above effects result, not from the ceremonial law alone, but from the whole law, that is to say, the law of works in a comprehensive sense, it will follow that the whole law is abolished; and that they do so result, I shall proceed to show from the clearest passages of Scripture. With regard to the first point, Acts xv. 24. "we have heard that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law." v. 10. "why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples?" Certain of the Pharisees which believed, said that "it was needful for them to keep the whole law," v. 5. when therefore Peter in opposition to this doctrine contends, that the yoke of the law ought to be removed from the necks of the disciples, it is clear that he must mean the whole law. Secondly, that the law which had not the promise was not the ceremonial law only, but the whole law, is clear from the consideration, that it would be sufficient if one part had the promise, although the other were without it; whereas the law which is so often the subject of discussion with Paul has no promise attached to either of its branches. Rom. iv. 13, 16. "the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." Gal. iii. 18. "if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise;" and therefore not by the law, or any part of it; whence Paul shows that either the whole law, or the promise itself, must of necessity be abolished, Rom. iv. 14. <97> "if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of none effect." Compare also Gal. iii. 18. as above. By the abolition of the promise, the inheritance and adoption are abolished; fear and bondage, which are incompatible with adoption, are brought back, Rom. viii. 15. Gal. iv. 1, &c. v. 21, 24, 26, 30. as above; union and fellowship with Christ are dissolved, Gal. v. 4. "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law," whence follows the loss of glorification; nay, grace itself is abolished, unless the abolition of the law be an entire abolition: Gal. v. 4. "whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace," where by the word "law," is intended the entire code, as appears not only from the preceding verse, "he is a debtor to do the whole law," but from other considerations; finally, the Spirit itself is excluded; Gal. v. 18. "if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law;" therefore, vice versa, if ye be under the law, ye are not led of the Spirit. We are consequently left under the curse: Gal. iii. 10. "as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them;" therefore "all things which are written in the law," and not the things of the ceremonial law alone, render us obnoxious to the curse. Christ therefore, when he "redeemed us from the curse," v. 13. redeemed us also from the causes of the curse, namely, the works of the law, or, which is the same, from the whole law of works; which, as has been shown above, is not the ceremonial part alone. Even supposing, however, that no such con <98> sequences followed, there could be but little inducement to observe the conditions of a law which has not the promise; it would be even ridiculous to attempt to observe that which is of no avail unless it be fulfilled in every part, and which nevertheless it is impossible for man so to fulfil; especially as it has been superseded by the more excellent law of faith, which God in Christ has given us both will and power to fulfil.[15]

It appears therefore as well from the evidence of Scripture, as from the arguments above adduced, that the whole of the Mosaic law is abolished by the gospel. It is to be observed, however, that the sum and essence of the law is not hereby abrogated; its purpose being attained in that love of God and our neighbour, which is born of the Spirit through faith. It was with justice therefore that Christ asserted the permanence of the law, Matt. v. 17. "think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Rom. iii. 31. "do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." viii. 4. "that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."


The common objection to this doctrine is anticipated by Paul himself, who expressly teaches that by this abrogation of the law, sin, if not taken away, is at least weakened rather than increased in power: Rom. vi. 14, 15. "sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace: what then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid." Therefore, as was said above, the end for which the law was instituted, namely, the love of God and our neighbour, is by no means to be considered as abolished: it is the tablet of the law, so to speak, that is alone changed, its injunctions being now written by the Spirit in the hearts of believers; with this difference, that in certain precepts the Spirit appears to be at variance with the letter, namely, wherever by departing from the letter we can more effectually consult the love of God and our neighbour. Thus Christ departed from the letter of the law, Mark. ii. 27. "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath," if we compare his words with the fourth commandment. Paul did the same in declaring that a marriage with an unbeliever was not to be dissolved, contrary to the express injunction of the law; 1 Cor. vii. 12. "to the rest speak I, not the Lord." In the interpretation of these two commandments, of the sabbath and marriage, a regard to the law of love is declared to be better than a compliance with the whole written law; a rule which applies equally to every other instance. Matt. xxii. 37-40. "on these two commandments (namely, the love of God and our neighbour) hang all the law and the prophets." Now neither of these is propounded in express terms among the ten commandments, <100> the former occurring for the first time Deut. vi. 5. the latter, Lev. xix. 18. and yet these two precepts are represented as comprehending emphatically, not only the ten commandments, but the whole law and the prophets. Matt. vii. 12. "all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets." Rom. xiii. 8, 10. "he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law; love is the fulfilling of the law." Gal. v. 14. "all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." 1 Tim. i. 5. "the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned." If this is the end of the Mosaic commandment, much more is it the end of the evangelic. James. ii. 8. "if ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, thou shalt do well." Hence all rational interpreters have explained the precepts of Christ, in his sermon on the mount, not according to the letter, but in the spirit of the law of love. So also that of Paul, 1 Cor. xi. 4. "every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head;" a text which will come under consideration in Book II. chap. iv. on the outward deportment befitting prayer. Hence it is said, Rom. iv. 15. "where no law is, there is no transgression;" that is, no transgression in disregarding the letter of the law, provided that under the direction of the Spirit the end of the institution be attained in the love of God and our neighbour.

On the united authority of so many passages of Scripture, I conceived that I had satisfactorily established the truth in question against the whole body of <101> theologians, who, so far as my knowledge then extended, concurred in denying the abrogation of the entire Mosaic law. I have since however discovered, that Zanchius, in his commentary on the second chapter of Ephesians, declares himself of the same opinion[16], remarking, very justly, that "no inconsiderable part of divinity depends on the right explanation of this question; and that it is impossible to comprehend the Scriptures properly, especially those parts which relate to justification and good works," (he might have added, the whole of the New Testament) "unless the subject of the abrogation of the law be thoroughly understood." He proves his point with sufficient accuracy, but neglects to follow up his conclusions; losing himself in a multitude of minute exceptions, and apparently fluctuating between the two opinions, so as to leave the reader, if not extremely attentive, in a state of uncertainty. I have also observed that Cameron somewhere expresses the same opinion respecting the abolition of the whole law.[17]

It is asserted, however, by divines in general, who still maintain the tenet of the converted Pharisees, that it is needful for those who are under the gospel <102> to observe the law (a doctrine which in the infancy of the church was productive of much mischief) that the law may be highly useful, in various ways, even to us who are Christians; inasmuch as we are thereby led to a truer conviction of sin, and consequently to a more thankful acceptance of grace, as well as to a more perfect knowledge of the will of God. With regard to the first point, I reply, that I am not speaking of sinners, who stand in need of a preliminary impulse to come to Christ, but of such as are already believers, and consequently in the most intimate union with Christ; as to the second, the will of God is best learnt from the gospel itself under the promised guidance of the Spirit of truth, and from the divine law written in the hearts of believers. Besides, if the law be the means of leading us to a conviction of sin and an acceptance of the grace of Christ, this is effected by a knowledge of the law itself, not by the performance of its works; inasmuch as through the works of the law, instead of drawing nearer to Christ, we depart farther from him; as Scripture is perpetually inculcating.

In the next place a distinction is made; and Polanus in particular observes, that "when it is said that we are not under the law, it is not meant that we are not under an obligation to obey it, but that we are exempt from the curse and restraint of the law, as well as from the provocation to sin which results from it."[18] If this be the case, what advantage do believers reap from the gospel? since even under the <103> law they at least were exempted from the curse and provocation to sin: and since to be free from the restraint of the law can mean nothing but that for which I contend, an entire exemption from the obligation of the law. For as long as the law exists, it constrains, because it is a law of bondage; constraint and bondage being as inseparable from the dispensation of the law, as liberty, from the dispensation of the gospel; of which shortly.

Polanus contends, on Gal. iv. 4, 5. "to redeem them that were under the law," that "when Christians are said to be redeemed from subjection to the law, and to be no longer under the law, this is not to be taken in an absolute sense, as if they owed no more obedience to it. What then do the words imply? They signify, that Christians are no longer under the necessity of perfectly fulfilling the law of God in this life, inasmuch as Christ has fulfilled it for them." That this is contrary to the truth, is too obvious not to be acknowledged. So far from a less degree of perfection being exacted from Christians, it is expected of them that they should be more perfect than those who were under the law; as the whole tenor of Christ's precepts evinces. The only difference is, that Moses imposed the letter, or external law, even on those who were not willing to receive it; whereas Christ writes the inward law of God by his Spirit on the hearts of believers,[19] and <104> leads them as willing followers. Under the law, those who trusted in God were justified by faith indeed, but not without the works of the law; Rom. iv. 12. "the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our Father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised." The gospel, on the contrary, justifies by faith without the works of the law. Wherefore, we being freed from the works of the law, no longer follow the letter, but the spirit; doing the works of faith, not of the law. Neither is it said to us, whatever is not of the law is sin, but, whatever is not of faith is sin; faith consequently, and not the law, is our rule. It follows, therefore, that as faith cannot be made matter of compulsion, so neither can the works of faith.[20] See more on this subject in the fifteenth chapter, on Christ's kingly office, and on the inward spiritual law by which he governs the church. Compare also Book II. chap. i. where the form of good works is considered.

From the abrogation, through the gospel, of the law of servitude, results Christian liberty; though liberty, strictly speaking, is the peculiar fruit of adoption, and consequently was not unknown during the time of the law, as observed in the twenty-third chapter. In <105> asmuch, however, as it was not possible for our liberty either to be perfected or made fully manifest till the coming of Christ our deliverer, liberty must be considered as belonging in an especial manner to the gospel, and as consorting therewith:[21] first, because truth is principally known by the gospel,[22] John i. 17. "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ," and truth has an essential connexion with liberty; viii. 31, 32. "if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." v. 36. "if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Secondly, because the peculiar gift of the gospel is the Spirit; but "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Cor. iii. 17.

Christian liberty is that whereby we are loosed as it were by enfranchisement, through Christ our deliverer, from the bondage of sin, and consequently from the rule of the law and of man; to the intent that being made sons instead of servants, and perfect men instead of children, we may serve God in love through the guidance of the Spirit of truth. Gal. v.1. "stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free; and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Rom. viii. 2. "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." v. 15. "ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have <106> received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Gal. iv. 7. "wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son." Heb. ii. 15. "that he might deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." 1 Cor. vii. 23. "ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men." James i. 25. "whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein." ii. 12. "so speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty."

That we may serve God. Matt. xi. 29, 30. "take my yoke upon you... for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light," compared with 1 John. v. 3-5. "this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous." Rom. vi. 18. "being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." v. 22. "now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness." vii. 6. "now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." xii. 1, 2. "present your bodies... a reasonable service; and be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." James i. 25. "whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." 1 Pet. ii. 16. "as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God." Hence we are freed from the yoke of human judgments, much more of civil decrees and <107> penalties in religious matters. Rom. xiv. 4. "who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth." v. 8. "whether we live or die, we are the Lord's". Matt. vii. 1. "judge not, that ye be not judged." Rom. xiv. 10. "why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ." If we are forbidden to judge (or condemn) our brethren respecting matters of religion or conscience in common discourse, how much more in a court of law, which has confessedly no jurisdiction here; since Paul refers all such matters to the judgment-seat of Christ, not of man? James ii. 12. "so speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty;" namely, by God, not by fallible men in things appertaining to religion; wherein if he will judge us according to the law of liberty, why should man prejudge us according to the law of bondage?

By the guidance of the Spirit of truth in love. Rom. xiv. throughout the whole of the chapter; and chap. xv. 1-15. In these chapters Paul lays down two especial cautions to be observed; first, that what ever we do in pursuance of this our liberty, we should do it in full assurance of faith, nothing doubting that it is permitted us.[23] v.5. "let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." v. 23. "whatever is not of faith, is sin." Secondly, that we should give no just cause of offence to a weak brother, v. 20, 21. "for <108> meat destroy not the work of God: all things indeed are pare, but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 1 Cor. viii. 13. "if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend;" which resolution, however, must be considered as an effect of the extraordinary love which the apostle bore his brethren, rather than a religious obligation binding on every believer to abstain from flesh for ever, in case a weak brother should think vegetable food alone lawful. ix. 19-22. "though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more; unto the Jews I became as a Jew..... to them that are under the law, as under the law..... to them that are without law, as without law; being not with out law to God, but under the law to Christ..... to the weak became I as weak..... I am made all things to all men." x. 23. "all things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient." Gal. v. 13. "for, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh; but by love serve one another." 2 Pet. ii. 19. "while they promise themselves liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption." 1 Cor. viii. 9. "take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling-block to them that are weak."

This appears to have been the sole motive for the command given to the churches, Acts xv. 28, 29. "to abstain from blood, and from things strangled;" namely, lest the Jews who were not yet sufficiently established in the faith should take offence. For that the abstinence from blood was purely ceremonial, is evident from the reason assigned Lev. xvii. 11. "the <109> life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls." Thus the eating of fat was forbidden by the law, vii. 23, &c. yet no one infers from hence that the use of fat is unlawful, this prohibition applying only to the sacrificial times: Acts. x. 13, &c.

No regard, however, is to be paid to the scruples of the malicious or obstinate. Gal. ii. 4, 5. "and that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage; to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you." 1 Cor. xiv. 38. "if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant." Christ was not deterred by the fear of giving offence to the Pharisees, from defending the practice of his disciples in eating bread with unwashen hands, Matt. xv. 2, 3. and plucking the ears of corn, which it was considered unlawful to do on the sabbath-day, Luke vi. 1, &c. Nor would he have suffered a woman of condition to anoint his feet with precious ointment, and to wipe them with her hair, still less would he have vindicated and praised the action, John. xii. 3, &c. neither would he have availed himself of the good offices and kindness of the women who ministered unto him, whithersoever he went, if it were necessary on all occasions to satisfy the unreasonable scruples of malicious or envious persons. Nay, we must withstand the opinions of the brethren themselves, if they are influenced by motives unworthy of the gospel. Gal. ii. 11, &c. &c. "when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." Nor ought the weak believer <110> to judge rashly of the liberty of a Christian brother whose faith is stronger than his own, but rather to give himself up to be instructed with the more willingness. Rom. xiv. 13. "let us not therefore judge one another any more."

Neither this reason, therefore, nor a pretended consideration for the weaker brethren, afford a sufficient warrant for those edicts of the magistrate which constrain believers, or deprive them in any respect of their religious liberty.[24] For so the apostle argues 1 Cor. ix. 19. "though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all; I was not made so by others, but became so of my own accord;[25] "free from all men," and consequently from the magistrate in these matters at least. When the magistrate takes away this liberty, he takes away the gospel itself; he deprives the good and the bad indiscriminately of their privilege of free judgment, contrary to the spirit of the well known precept, Matt. xiii. 29, 30. "lest while ye gather up the tares ye root up also the wheat with them: let both grow together until the harvest."[26]



THE manifestation of the covenant of grace, under the law and the gospel respectively, has been considered; we are now to speak of the sealing of that covenant, or rather of its representation under certain outward signs.

This representation, like the covenant itself and its manifestation, is common both to the law and the gospel: under the former it consisted in Circumcision and the Passover; under the latter it consists in Baptism and the Supper of the Lord. These ceremonies, particularly the two latter, are generally known by the name of Sacraments.

A Sacrament is a visible sign ordained by God, whereby he sets his seal on believers in token of his saving grace, or of the satisfaction of Christ; and whereby we on our part testify our faith and obedience to God with a sincere heart and a grateful remembrance.

Respecting circumcision, compare Gen. xvii. 10, &c. "this is my covenant which ye shall keep between me <113> and you, and thy seed after thee; every man child among you shall be circumcised; and ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant between me and you." Rom. iv, 11, 12. "he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith which he had yet being uncircumcised; that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed unto them also; and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised" Deut. x. 16. "circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked." xxx. 6. "Jehovah thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love Jehovah thy God —." Jer. iv. 4. "circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart." Sometimes, by a similar figure, it signifies sanctification even under the gospel. Col. ii. 11, "in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ."

Subsequently, however, to the giving of the law circumcision seems to have typified the covenant of works. Rom. iv. 12. "the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only." ii. 25. "for circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law; but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision." Gal. v. 3. "I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." Hence it is said to have been given by Moses, John. vii. 22, 23.


Respecting the passover, compare Exod. xli. 3, &. "in the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house," &c. v. 13. "the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are, and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt." v. 15. "seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses."

The passover typified the sacrifice of Christ, and the efficacy of the sprinkling of his blood for the salvation of such as celebrated the feast with purity of heart. John i. 29. "John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," xix. 36. "these things were done that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken." 1 Cor. v. 7. "purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened: for even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."

Under the gospel, the first of the sacraments commonly so called is baptism, wherein the bodies of believers who engage themselves to pureness of life are immersed in running water,[27] to signify their re- <115> generation by the Holy Spirit, and their union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection.

Of believers. Matt. xxviii. 19. "teach all nations, baptizing them —." Mark. xvi. 15, 16. "preach the gospel..... he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved." Acts viii. 36, 37. "what doth hinder me to be baptized?..... if them believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." Eph. v. 26. "that he might cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." 1 Pet. iii. 21. "the like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Hence it follows that infants are not to be baptized, inasmuch as they are incompetent to receive instruction, or to believe, or to enter into a covenant, or to promise or answer for themselves, or even to hear the word. For how can infants, who understand not the word, be purified thereby; any more than adults can receive edification by hearing an unknown language? For it is not that outward baptism, which purifies only the filth of the flesh, that saves us, but "the answer of a good conscience," as Peter testifies; of which infants are incapable.[28] Besides, baptism is not merely a covenant, containing a certain stipula <116> tion on one side, with a corresponding engagement on the other, which in the case of an infant is impossible; but it is also a vow, and as such can neither be pronounced by infants, nor required of them. See Book II. Chap. iv. under the head of vows.

It is remarkable to what futile arguments those divines have recourse, who maintain the contrary opinion. They allege, Matt. xix. 14. "suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."[29] It appears however that they were not brought to him for the purpose of being baptized; v. 13. "then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them and pray;" neither did Christ baptize them, but only put his hands on them, v. 15. Mark. x. 16. "he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them." Seeing then that they were neither brought to Christ to be baptized, nor, when received, were actually baptized by him, it is impossible to admit the sophistical inference, that they were properly qualified for baptism; or, which is still more difficult to conceive, that not little children merely, but infants, are so qualified. For if competent to be baptized, they are competent on the same grounds to be partakers of the Lord's Supper. Let the church therefore receive infants which come unto her, after the example of Christ, with imposition of hands and benediction, but not with baptism. Again, they're mind us, that "of such is the kingdom of heaven." Is this to be understood of all without distinction, or only of such as shall subsequently believe? How per <117> fectly soever God may know them that are his, the church does not know them; what they are in the sight of God is one thing, and what they are by church privilege is another. It must mean, therefore, of such in respect of simplicity and innocence; whereas neither simplicity nor innocence, although they may be predicated of little children, can properly be attributed to infants, who have not as yet the faculty of reason: neither does it follow, that because any one is an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, he is therefore admissible to every religious sacrament; or that, because he is included in the covenant, he has therefore the right of participating in such signs and seals of that covenant as demand the exercise of mature faith and reason. For the thing signified in the Supper of the Lord appertains no less to infants than the thing signified in baptism; and yet infants are not admitted to the former rite, although they were admitted to the passover, which held the same place in the former dispensation as the Lord's Supper in the present. Hence, by the way, we may perceive how weak it is to reason as follows: baptism has succeeded to circumcision; but infants were circumcised, therefore infants are to be baptized: seeing that it is equally certain that the Lord's Supper has succeeded to the passover, notwithstanding which, infants, who were admitted to the latter rite, are not admitted to the former.

They argue, again, that as it is said "we were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea," 1 Cor. x. 2. "infants must be included in the general expression." I answer, that "all did eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual <118> drink," iii. 4. yet that infants are not on this ground admitted to partake of the Lord's Supper.

They lay much stress likewise on Gen. xvii. 7. "I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee... in their generations." No one, however, will seriously affirm that this is to be understood of infants, and not of the adult posterity of Abraham in their generations, that is, successively. Otherwise, we must suppose that God intended to give the land also to infants, v. 8. and that infants are commanded to keep the covenant, v. 9. Again, Acts. 11. 39. "the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Your children, that is, as they understand it, your infants: in other words, God calls those who cannot understand, and addresses those who cannot hear; an interpretation which can only have proceeded from the infancy of reasoning. Had these commentators but read two verses farther, they would have found it expressly stated, "they that gladly received his word were baptized;" whence it appears that understanding and will were necessary qualifications for baptism, neither of which are possessed by infants. So also Acts viii. 37. "if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest be baptized; whereas infants, so far from believing with all their heart, are incapable of even the slightest degree of faith. With regard, however, to the text on which they insist so much, "the promise is unto you and to your children," if they had attended sufficiently to Paul's interpretation of this passage, Rom. ix. 7, 8. they would have understood that the promise was not to all seed indiscriminately, seeing that it was not <119> even to the "seed of Abraham" according to the "flesh" but only to the "children of God," that is, to believers, who alone under the gospel "are the children of the promise," and are "counted for the seed." But none can be considered by the church as believers, till they have professed their belief. To those therefore to whom it does not appear that the promise was ever made, the church cannot with propriety give the seal of the promise in baptism.

Again, they allege, the analogy between baptism and circumcision, which latter was performed on infants.[30] Coloss. ii. 11. "in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; buried with him in baptism" —. In the first place, there is no other analogy between being "circumcised" and "being buried with him in baptism," than that which exists among all sacraments by which the same thing is signified, the mode of signification being different. But, secondly, why is it necessary that things which are analogous should coincide in all points? Of circumcision, for instance, women were not partakers; in baptism they are equally included with men, whether as being a more perfect sign, or a symbol of more perfect things. For circumcision, although "a seal of the righteousness of faith," Rom. iv. 11, 12. was such only to Abraham, who being uncircumcised had already believed, and to others who should believe in like manner; not to his posterity, who in after times were circumcised before they were of an age to exercise faith, and who, con <120> sequently, could not believe in the uncircumcision. To them it was a seal in the flesh, indistinctly and obscurely given, of that grace which was at some distant period to be revealed; whereas baptism is a seal of grace already revealed, of the remission of sins, of sanctification; finally, a sign of our death and resurrection with Christ. Circumcision was given under the law and the sacrifices, and bound the individual to the observance of the whole law, (Gal. v. 3.) which was a service of bondage, and a schoolmaster to bring its followers to Christ; through baptism, on the other hand, we are initiated into the gospel, which is a reasonable, manly, and in the highest sense free service. For under the law men were not merely born, but grew up infants in a spiritual sense;[31] under the gospel, in baptism, we are born men. Hence baptism requires, as from adults, the previous conditions of knowledge and faith; whereas in circumcision all conditions are omitted, as unnecessary in the case of servants, and impracticable in that of infants. Lastly, circumcision was performed not by the priests and Levites, but by the master of a family, Gen. xvii. by the mother, Exod. iv. 26. or by any other person, a surgical operator for instance; whereas baptism, according to our opponents themselves, can only be administered by a teacher of the gospel; and even those who hold a wider opinion on the subject, allow that it can only be performed by a believer, and by one who is neither a new convert, nor unlearned in the faith. To what purpose is this, unless that the person to be baptized may be previously instructed in <121> the doctrines of the gospel? which in the case of an infant is impossible. There is therefore no necessary analogy between circumcision and baptism; and it is our duty not to build our belief on vague parallels, but to attend exclusively to the institution of the sacrament itself, and regard its authority as paramount, according to the frequent admonition of our opponents themselves.

They contend, however, that circumcision was "the seal of the righteousness of faith," Rom. iv. 11, 12. notwithstanding which infants were circumcised, who were incapable of belief.[32] I answer, as above, that it was indeed the seal of the righteousness of faith, but only to Abraham, and to such as after his example believed being yet uncircumcised; in the case of infants it was a thing of entirely different import, namely, an outward and merely national consecration to the external service of God, and, by implication, to the Mosaic form of worship, which was in due time to be ordained.

Lastly, it is urged that the apostles baptized whole families, and consequently infants among the rest.[33] The weakness of this argument is clearly shown by Acts viii. 12. "when they believed... they were baptized, both men and women," infants not being included, xvi. 31-34. "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house: and they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house: and he took them... and was baptized, he and all his, straightway... and he rejoiced, believing in God with all his house." Here the ex <122> pression all his house obviously comprehends only those who believed in his house, not infants; therefore those alone unto whom they spake the word of the Lord, and who believed, were baptized. The same is evident from chap. xi. 17. "forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us who believe —." xviii. 8. "Crispus... believed on the Lord with all his house: and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized." Even the baptism of John, which was but the prelude to that of Christ, is called "the baptism of repentance," Mark i. 4. and those who came to it "were baptized, confessing their sins," Matt. iii. 6. whereas infants are incapable either of repentance or confession. If then infants were not meet for the baptism of John, how can they be meet for the baptism of Christ, which requires knowledge, repentance, and faith, before it can be received?

Immersion. It is in vain alleged by those who, on the authority of Mark vii. 4. Luke xi. 38.[34] have introduced the practice of affusion in baptism instead of immersion, that to dip and to sprinkle mean the same thing; since in washing we do not sprinkle the hands, but immerse them.

To signify their regeneration. John iii. 5. "except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God;" that is, if the omission proceed from neglect. Acts xxii. 16. "why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." 1 Cor. vi. 11. "but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are <123> justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." Eph. v. 26. "that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." Tit. iii. 5. "by the washing of regeneration."

Union with Christ in his death, &c. 1 Cor. xii. 13. "by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." Gal. iii. 27. "as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Rom. vi. 3. "know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death." Coloss. ii. 12. "buried with him in baptism." Hence it appears that baptism was intended to represent figuratively the painful life of Christ, his death and burial, in which he was immersed, as it were, for a season: Mark x. 38. "can ye be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" Compare also Luke xii. 50. Respecting the administration of baptism, see Chap. xxix. on the visible church, and Chap. xxxi. on particular churches.

The baptism of John was essentially the same as the baptism of Christ; but it differed in the form of words used in its administration, and in the comparative remoteness of its efficacy. If it had not been really the same, it would follow that we had not undergone the same baptism as Christ, that our baptism had not been sanctified by the person of Christ, that Christ had not fulfilled all righteousness, Matt. iii. 15. finally, that the apostles would have needed to be rebaptized, which we do not read to have been the case. In some respects, however, there was a difference: for although both baptisms were from God, <124> Luke iii. 2, 3. vii. 29, 30. and both required repentance and faith, Acts xix. 4, 5. these requisites were less clearly propounded in the one case than in the other, and the faith required in the former instance was an imperfect faith, founded on a partial manifestation of Christ; in the latter, it was faith in a fully revealed Saviour. The baptism of Christ was also administered with a more solemn form of words, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, (although it is nowhere said that this form was ever expressly used by the apostles) and attended, as above observed, with a more immediate efficacy; inasmuch as the baptism of John was with water only, Matt. iii. 11. John i. 33. Acts i. 5. xix. 2. except in the single instance of Christ, the design of which exception was not to prove the virtue of John's baptism, but to bear testimony to the Son of God. Hence the apostles did not receive the Holy Ghost till a much later period, Acts i. 5. and the Ephesians, who had been baptized with the baptism of John, "had not so much as heard whether there was any Holy Ghost," xix. 1, 2. whereas the baptism of Christ, which was with water and the Spirit, conferred the gifts of the Spirit from the very beginning.

It is usually replied, that in the places where the baptism of John is said to be with water only, it is not intended to oppose the baptism of John to baptism with water and the Spirit, but to distinguish between the part which Christ acts in baptism, and that of the mere minister of the rite. If however this were true, the same distinction would be made with respect to other ministers of baptism, the apostles for instance; which is not the case: on the contrary , it is abun <125> dantly evident that the apostles baptized both with water and the Holy Spirit.

Considering, therefore, that the baptism of John either did not confer the gifts of the Spirit at all, or not immediately, it would appear to have been rather a kind of initiatory measure, or purification preparatory to receiving the doctrine of the gospel, in conformity with the ancient Hebrew custom that all proselytes should be baptized, than an absolute sealing of the covenant; for this latter is the province of the Spirit alone; 1 Cor. xii. 13.

Hence it appears that the baptism of Christ, although not indispensable, might without impropriety be super-added to the baptism of John. Acts xix. 5. "when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus;" those, namely, who had been already baptized by John, v. 3. "I have said, not indispensable, inasmuch as the apostles and many others appear to have rested in the baptism of John; according to which analogy, I should be inclined to conclude, that those persons who have been baptized while yet infants, and perhaps in other respects irregularly, have no need of second baptism, when arrived at maturity: indeed, I should be disposed to consider baptism itself as necessary for proselytes alone, and not for those born in the church, had not the apostle taught that baptism is not merely an initiatory rite, but a figurative representation of our death, burial and resurrection with Christ.

Previously to the promulgation of the Mosaic law, Noah's ark was the type of baptism: 1 Pet. iii. 20, 21. "while the ark was a preparing, &c...... the like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us —." <126> Under the law it was typified by the cloud. 1 Cor. x. 2. "all our fathers were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea."

The Lord's Supper is a solemnity in which the death of Christ is commemorated by the breaking of bread and pouring out of wine, both of which elements are tasted by each individual communicant, and the benefits of his death thereby sealed to believers. Matt. xxvi. 26-29. "as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is my body; and he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it: for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins... I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day," &c... See also Mark xiv. 22-25. Luke xxii. 19,20. "he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me: likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." John vi. 33. "the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world." v. 35. "I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." v. 50, 51. "this is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die: I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever: and the bread that I give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." v. 53-58. "he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in <127> him: as the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." v. 63. "it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." It is true that this chapter of John does not relate exclusively to the Lord's Supper, but to the participation in general, through faith, of any of the benefits of Christ's incarnation: for what is called so repeatedly, v. 50, &c. "eating the flesh of Christ" and "drinking his blood," is described in v. 35. "as coming to Christ" and "believing in him;" in the same manner as the phrase in chap. iv. 10, 14. "that living water, of which whoso ever drinketh he shall never thirst," cannot be referred in a primary sense either to baptism, or to the Lord's Supper, but must be considered as an expression purely metaphorical. Nevertheless the words of Christ to his disciples in this chapter throw a strong light, by anticipation, on the nature of the sacrament which was to be so shortly afterwards instituted, (for "the passover was nigh," v. 4.) They teach us, by an obvious inference, that flesh, or the mere bodily food received, has no more spiritual efficacy in the sacrament than it had in the miracle of the loaves there recorded; and that the flesh which he verily and indeed gives is not that which can be eaten with the teeth, and by any one indiscriminately, but the food of faith alone; a heavenly and spiritual bread, "which came down from heaven," not earthly, (as it must be, if we suppose that what he gave on that occasion, was his literal flesh born of the Virgin) but heavenly in a higher sense than manna itself, and of which "he that eateth shall live for ever," <128> v. 58. Were it, as the Papists hold, his literal flesh, and eaten by all in the Mass, the consequence would be that the very worst of the communicants (to say nothing of the mice and worms by which the eucharist is occasionally devoured) would through the virtue of this heavenly bread attain eternal life. That living bread therefore which Christ calls his flesh, and that blood which is drink indeed, can be nothing but the doctrine of Christ's having become man in order to shed his blood for us; a doctrine which who soever receives by faith, shall as surely attain eternal life, as the partaking of meats and drinks supports our brief term of bodily existence: nay, more surely; for thus, as above quoted, "Christ dwells in us, and we in him;" whereas the food which is received into the body does not dwell there, being carried off partly by natural transpiration,[35] and partly in other ways, as soon as the process of digestion is completed.

This solemnity is called by Paul 'the Lord's Supper,' 1 Cor. xi. 20. and its original institution by Christ, together with an explanation of the rite, is given v. 23-30. 'I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me: after the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do <129> ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me: for as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." It is also incidentally explained x. 16, 17, 21 "the cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? for we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread."

Under the law, the Lord's Supper was typified by the manna, and the water flowing from the rock. 1 Cor. x. 3, 4. "our fathers did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ." If they under a carnal covenant partook spiritually of the body of Christ, surely we do not partake of it carnally under a spiritual covenant.

I have quoted the above passages at length, inasmuch as in them is comprised the whole Scripture doctrine relative to the Lord's Supper. Whosoever interprets these with true Christian simplicity of heart according to their plain and obvious meaning, will be at a loss to account for the numberless absurd speculations on this subject, by which the peace of the church has been destroyed, and which have well nigh converted the Supper of the Lord into a banquet of cannibals.

Consubstantiation,[36] and above all the papistical doctrine of transubstantiation (or rather anthropoph <130> agy, for it deserves no better name) are irreconcileable, not only with reason and common sense, and the habits of mankind, but with the testimony of Scripture, with the nature and end of a sacrament, with the analogy of baptism, with the ordinary forms of language, with the human nature of Christ, and finally with the state of glory in which he is to remain till the day of judgment.

In speaking of sacraments, as of most other subjects between whose parts an analogy exists, a figure is frequently employed, by which whatever illustrates or signifies any particular thing is used to denote, not what it is in itself, but what it illustrates or signifies. In sacraments, on account of the peculiarly close relation between the sign and the thing signified, this kind of identification is not uncommon; an inattention to which peculiarity has been, and continues to be, a source of error to numbers. Thus circumcision is called a covenant, Gen. xvii. 10. and "a token of the covenant," v. 11. Again, a lamb is called "the passover," Exod. xii. 11. which text is defended against the exceptions of objectors by the similar passages, Luke xxii. 7. "the passover must be killed." v.8. "prepare us the passover." v. 11. "where I shall eat the passover." v. 13. "they made ready the passover." A similar expression occurs 2 Sam. xxiii. 17. "is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives?" Accordingly, the same form of speech is used in regard to baptism: Eph. v. 26. "that he might cleanse it with the washing of water by the word:" Col. ii. 12. "buried with him in baptism;" and to the Lord's Supper: Matt. xxvi. 26, 27. "as they were eating, Jesus took bread," &c..."take, eat; <131> this is my body." Compare also Mark. xiv. 23. and Luke xxii. 20. "this cup is the new testament." See also 1 Cor. xi. 25. Again, 1 Cor. x. 4. "that rock was Christ." The object of the sacred writers, in thus expressing themselves, was probably to denote the close affinity between the sign and the thing signified, as well as, by a bold metaphor, to intimate the certainty with which the seal is thus set to spiritual blessings; the same form of speech being used in other instances, where the certainty of a thing is to be emphatically expressed: Gen. xli. 27. "the seven kind are seven years." Rev. i. 20. xvii. 9. "the seven heads are seven mountains," and v. 12. "the ten horns are ten kings."

Lastly, since every sacrament is, by its very definition, a seal of the covenant of grace, it is evident that the Papists err, when they attribute to the outward sign the power of bestowing salvation or grace by virtue of the mere opus operatum; seeing that sacraments can neither impart salvation nor grace of themselves, but are given as a pledge or symbol to believers of the actual blessing. 1 Pet. iii. 21. "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience."

Hence it follows, that sacraments are not absolutely indispensable: first, because many have been saved without partaking of them; thus circumcision was dispensed with in the case of women, baptism in that of the thief on the cross, and doubtless of many infants and catechumens. Thus also many have obtained the gifts of the Spirit through the word and faith alone. Acts x. 44. "the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." Nor was John himself, <132> the first who administered the rite, baptized, although he testified that he also had need of baptism, Matt. iii. 14. The same was not improbably the case with Apollos, inasmuch as this latter does not appear to have left his native city of Alexandria for Ephesus till long after the death of John; nor can it be inferred with certainty, from its being said of him that he knew only the baptism of John, that he had actually undergone the ceremony. Yet, as far as appears, Aquila and Priscilla considered a more thorough initiation in the gospel all that was wanting to him, without requiring that he should be baptized, Acts xviii. 24-26. Secondly, the seal does not constitute the covenant, but is only an evidence of it; whence Abraham, after that he had already believed and was justified, received circumcision as the seal of his righteousness. When therefore it is said John iii. 5. "except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," this must be understood in a conditional sense, assuming that a fit opportunity has been offered, and that it has not been lost through neglect. The same may be said of Eph. v. 26. "that he might cleanse it with the washing of water by the word," and Tit. iii. 5. "by the washing of regeneration;" for the gospel is also called "the power of God unto salvation," Rom. i. 16. "and we are said to be born again by the word," 1 Pet. i. 23, although those who die in infancy must either be regenerated by the Spirit alone, without any outward reception of the gospel or word, or they must perish altogether. In the same manner, he who believes only, drinks of that living water which is the blood of Christ, and eats of that heavenly bread <133> which is the flesh of Christ, and has eternal life: John iv. and vi. as above. When therefore the necessity of the sacraments is under discussion, it may in like manner be urged, that it is the Spirit which quickens, and that it is faith which feeds upon the body of Christ; that on the other hand the outward feeding of the body, as it cannot always take place conveniently, so neither is it absolutely necessary. Assuredly, if a sacrament be nothing more than what it is defined, a seal, or rather visible representation of God's benefits to us, he cannot be wrong, who reposes the same faith in God's promises without as with this confirmation, in cases where it is not possible for him to receive it duly and conveniently; especially as so many opportunities are open to him through life of evincing his gratitude to God, and commemorating the death of Christ, though not in the precise mode and form which God has instituted.

We no where read in Scripture of the Lord's Supper being distributed to the first Christians by an appointed minister; we are only told that they partook of it in common, and that frequently, and in private houses. Acts ii. 42. "they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." v. 46. "they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart." xx. 7. "upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them" —. I know no reason therefore why ministers refuse to permit the celebration of the Lord's Supper, except where they themselves are allowed to adminis <134> ter it; for if it be alleged that Christ gave the bread and wine to his disciples, it may be replied, first, that we nowhere read of his giving them to each individually, and secondly, that he was then acting in the character, not of a minister, but of the founder of a new institution. With regard to the expression in 1 Cor. iv. 1 . "let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God," it is evident that Paul is there speaking of himself and the other ministers of his own order, who were the exclusive stewards of the divine mysteries, that is, of the doctrine of the gospel, before hidden, but then first revealed from God; not of bread and wine, for they did not "serve tables," Acts vi. 2. not even those at which we may suppose them to have met constantly for the celebration of the sacrament; in like manner as Paul himself was not sent "to baptize, but to preach the gospel," 1 Cor. i. 17. That the "mysteries" in question are to be understood of doctrine, is evident from the verse following, "it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful;" for it would be derogating from the dignity of such a steward as Paul to consider faithfulness in administering bread and wine (which are mere elements, and not mysteries) as of sufficient importance to be specified in his case among the requisite qualifications for the office. So also chap. x. 16, 17. the cup of blessing and the breaking of bread is spoken of as common to all, who are qualified to participate in the communion itself. For Christ is the sole priest of the new covenant, Heb. vii. 23, 24. nor is there any order of men which can claim to itself either the right of distributing or the power of withholding the sacred elements, seeing <135> that in Christ we are all alike priests, 1 Pet. ii. 9. Rev. i. 6.[37] Even were it otherwise, however, it is not: conceivable that there should he any such essential distinction between the passover and the Lord's Supper, that whereas under the law, when it was forbidden to all but the priests and Levites even to touch the sacred things, there was no ordinance restricting the celebration of the passover to the members of that body, under the gospel, by which these ceremonial sanctities have been abolished, and a wider scope given to the rights and liberties of believers, the dispensing of the elements, which in Scripture is committed to no one in particular, should be considered as an unfit office for any but the ministers of the church; so that the master of a family, or any one appointed by him, is not at liberty to celebrate the Lord's Supper from house to house, as was done in the dispensation of the passover: if indeed we are to suppose that any distribution of the elements by an individual officiator was then, or is now, requisite.

The sacraments are not to be approached without self-examination and renunciation of sin. 2 Chron. xxx. 13-15, "they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron: then they killed the passover." Ezra. vi. 21. "all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek Jehovah, God of Israel, did eat."1 Cor. xi. 28. "let a man examine himself."


The neglect, or the improper celebration of the sacraments, equally provokes the indignation of the Deity. Exod. iv. 24-26. "Jehovah met him and sought to kill him: then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son... so he let him go." 1 Cor. xi. 29, &c. "he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body: for this cause many are weak and sickly among you" —. Hence it is not only allowable, but necessary to defer partaking in them, till such time as a proper place and season, purity of heart and life, and a regular communion of believers, concur to warrant their celebration. Exod. xiii. 5. "it shall be when Jehovah shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites... that thou shalt keep this service in this month." Numb. ix. 10, 11. "if any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto Jehovah; the fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it." Compare also 2 Chron. iii. 2, 3. Josh. v. 5. "all the people that were born in the wilderness, by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised."

The mass of the Papists differs from the Lord's Supper in several respects. In the first place, the one is an ordinance of our Lord, the other an institution of the Pope. Secondly, the Lord's Supper is celebrated in remembrance of Christ once offered, which offering he himself made by virtue of his own peculiar priesthood, Heb. vii. 24, 25, 27. ix. 15, 25, 26. x. 10, 12, 14. whereas in the mass the offering itself is supposed to be repeated daily, and that by <137> innumerable petty priests at the same point of time. Thirdly, Christ offered himself, not at the holy supper, but on the cross; whereas it is in the mass that the pretended daily sacrifice takes place. Fourthly, in the Lord's Supper the real body of the living Lord, made of the Virgin Mary, was personally present; in the mass, by the mere muttering of the four mystical words, this is my body, it is supposed to be created out of the substance of the bread at some given moment, for the sole purpose of being broken in pieces as soon as created. Fifthly, in the Lord's Supper the bread and wine, after consecration, remain unchanged in substance as in name; in the mass, if we believe the Papists, although the outward appearance remains the same, they are converted by a sudden metamorphosis into the body of our Lord. Sixthly, in the Lord's Supper, according to the original institution, all the communicants drink of the cup; in the mass, the cup is refused to the laity. Lastly, in the mass the sacred body of Christ, after having completed its appointed course of hardship and suffering, is dragged back from its state of exaltation at the right hand of the Father to a condition even more wretched and degrading than before; it is again exposed to be broken, and crushed, and bruised by the teeth not only of men, but of brutes; till, having passed through the whole process of digestion, it is cast out at length into the draught; a profanation too horrible to be even alluded to without shuddering.

It is manifest from the very definition of the word, that the other sacraments so called by the Papists, namely, confirmation, repentance, extreme unction, ordination, and marriage, cannot be such in the proper <138> sense of the term; inasmuch as they are not of divine institution, neither do they possess any sign appointed by God for the sealing of the covenant of grace.

Confirmation or imposition of hands was, it is true, administered by Christ, not however as a sacrament, but as a form of blessing, according to a common Jewish custom, derived probably from patriarchal times, when fathers were accustomed to lay their hands on their children in blessing them, and magistrates on those whom they appointed their successors, as Moses on Joshua, Numb. xxvii. 18. Hence the apostles usually laid hands on such as were baptized, or chosen to any ecclesiastical office; usually, I say, not always: for, although we read of imposition of hands on the seven deacons, Acts vi. 6. we do not find that this ceremony was practised towards Matthias, when he was numbered with the eleven apostles, Acts i. 26. In the case of the baptized, imposition of hands conferred, not indeed saving grace, but miraculous powers, and the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit: Acts viii. 17, &c. xix, 6. 1 Tim. iv. 14. 2 Tim. i. 6. Hence, although the church rejects this ceremony as a sacrament, she retains it with great propriety and advantage as a symbol of blessing. Heb. vi. 2. "the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands."

With respect to ordination, and to the act of repentance, for sins committed subsequently to baptism, (the only kind of repentance to which the Papists apply the name of a sacrament) we have no objection to their being called sacraments, in the sense of religious emblems, or symbols of things sacred, analogous to the ancient custom of washing the feet of the poor, and the like. It is unnecessary to be very scrupulous <139> as to the sense of a word which no where occurs in Scripture. Repentance however has no peculiar sign attached to it, neither is it a seal of the covenant, any more than faith.

With regard to marriage, inasmuch as it is not an institution peculiar to Christian nations, but common to all by the universal law of mankind, (unless it be meant to restrict the word to the union of believers properly so called,) it is not even a religious ceremony, still less a sacrament, but a compact purely civil; nor does its celebration belong in any manner to the ministers of the church.[38]

As to the unction of the sick, it is true that the apostles "anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them," Mark vi. 13. and James enjoins the same custom, v. 14, 15. This rite, however, was not of the nature of a sacrament; and as it was employed solely in conjunction with miraculous powers, with the cessation of those powers its use must have also ceased. There is therefore no analogy between the anointing of the first Christians, and the extreme <140> unction of the modern Papists; seeing that, in the first place, the apostles anointed not only those who were at the point of death, as is now the custom, but all, as many as were grievously sick; and that, secondly, this unction was attended with the cure of their disorder: Mark vi. 13.

To the above may be added, that sacraments, being instituted chiefly for purposes in which all are concerned, namely, as tokens of the sealing of the covenant of grace, and for the confirmation of our faith, ought to be imparted equally to all believers; whereas of the five papistical sacraments above-mentioned, four are exclusively appropriated to particular classes of individuals; repentance to the lapsed, ordination to the clergy, extreme unction to the sick, marriage to the lay members of the church alone.



WE have hitherto treated of the vocation of man, and of the effects thereby produced, whether consisting in a mere outward change of character, or in actual regeneration; of the spiritual increase of the regenerate; of the various manifestations of the offered covenant; and, finally, of the sealing of that covenant by sacraments.

The assembly of those who are called is termed the visible church. By the called, I mean those indiscriminately who have received the call, whether they be actually regenerate or otherwise. Matt. iii, 12. "whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into his garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." xiii. 24, 25. "the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat." v. 47. "the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind." xxii. 9, 10. "go ye therefore into the highways... and they gathered together all as many as <142> they found, both bad and good." xxv. 1, 2. "then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins... and five of them were wise, and five were foolish." 1 John ii. 19. "they went out from us, but they were not of us."

The tokens of the visible church are, pure doctrine; the proper external worship of God; genuine evangelical love, so far as it can be distinguished from the fictitious by mere human perception; and a right administration of the seals of the covenant. Matt. xxviii. 19, 20. "go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them... teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Acts ii. 42. "they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." 1 Tim. iii. 15. "the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." The tokens of the Jewish church enumerated by St. Paul are not dissimilar: Rom. ix. 4. "who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises." On the other hand, he intimates, that where these tokens are wanting, there is no church. Eph. ii. 12. "at that time ye were with out Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."

As to what are called signs, Mark xvi. 17, 18. "these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall rccov <143> er;" these are not to be considered as tokens uniformly attending the visible church, but as testimonies which, however necessary at the time of its first establishment, when the doctrines of Christianity were to Jews and Gentiles alike, new, unheard of, and all but incredible, are less requisite at the present period, when men are educated in the apostolical faith, and begin their belief from their earliest childhood. Under these circumstances, the same end is answered by their hearing and reading of the miracles performed at the beginning by Christ and his apostles. Deut. xxxi. 13. "that their children, which have not known anything, may hear, and learn to fear Jehovah your God, as long as ye live —." So also 1 Cor. xiv. 22. "tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not," and "they shall cease," 1 Cor. xiii. 8. The working of miracles was some times permitted even to impostors, and to a false church. Deut. xiii. 1-3. "if there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass whereof he spake unto thee... thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams; for Jehovah your God proveth you, to know whether ye love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul." Matt. vii. 22, 23. "many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name have done many wonderful works? and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you." xxiv. 24. "there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if <144> it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Gal. i. 8. "though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." 2 Thess. ii. 9. "whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." Rev. xiii. 13. "he doeth great wonders."

Neither is the re-establishment of the church uniformly attended by miracles; in like manner as this species of attestation was not granted to several of the prophets, nor to the Baptist, John x. 41. nor in all cases to the apostles themselves, Matt. xvii. 16. "I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him." 2 Tim. iv. 20. "Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick:" whence it appears that Paul was unable to heal, not only one who was a believer, but who was of note among the believers.

Miracles have no inherent efficacy in producing belief, any more than simple preaching; it is God that gives the right heart in the one case as in the other.[39] Deut. xxix. 2-4. "ye have seen all that Jehovah did before your eyes in the land of Egypt... yet Jehovah hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day." Psal. lxxviii. 11. "they forgat his wonders." v. 32. "they believed not his wondrous works." Luke xvi. 31. "if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Acts iv. 16, 17. "that a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem, <145> and we cannot deny it." Those also are declared blessed who believe without the testimony of miracles. John xx. 29. "blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Matt. xii. 39, &c. "an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas..... the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonas." Luke x. 20. "in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

So long therefore as charity, the greatest of all gifts, exists, and wheresoever it is found, we cannot doubt that the visible church there established is a true church. John xiii. 35. "by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." 1 Cor. xii. 31. "covet earnestly the best gifts; and yet show I you a more excellent way." xiii. 1, &c. "though I speak with the tongue of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass —." v. 8. "charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail —." v. 13. "now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

As Christ is the head of the mystical church, so no one besides Christ has the right or power of presiding over the visible church.[40] Matt. xviii. 20. "there am <146> I in the midst of them." xxviii. 20. "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." 1 Cor. v. 4. "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ." Heb. iii. 6. "Christ as a son over his own house." Rev. ii.1. "who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks." They are therefore in error, who would set up an earthly head over the church in the person of the apostle Peter, and his successors commonly so called, the Roman pontiffs; for which no authority can be found in Scripture.[41] As to Peter, it does not appear that any preference was given to him over the other apostles, either with regard to his mission, Matt. x. 1. or to any special command assigned to him, John xx. 21, 22. or to any authority reposed in him for the deciding of controversies, Acts xv. 2, 6, 7, 19, 23, 25. or to his knowledge of the faith, at least to his constancy in professing it, since he fell grievously in his denial of Christ, and was afterwards reprehensible, though in a less degree, in the matter for which he was reproved by Paul, Gal. ii. 11. He was also an elder like the others, 1 Pet. v. 1. neither is he promised any distinction of honours hereafter, Matt. xix. 28. nor is superiority of any kind attributed to him rather than to James or John, or Paul and Barnabas, Gal. ii. 9. Nay, he was the apostle of the circumcision <147> only, as was Paul of the Gentiles, v. 8, 9. who was "not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles," 2 Cor. xi. 5. He was likewise sent as the colleague of John into Samaria, Acts viii. 14. and gave an account of his apostleship to those who contended with him, xi. 2. Lastly, the church is not said to be "built upon the foundation" of Peter alone, but "of the apostles," Eph. ii. 20. Rev. xxi. 14. Even supposing, however, that it were otherwise, how can a foundation have any succession? Nor does the celebrated text, Matt. xvi. 18, 19. which is perverted by the Pope to form the charter of his authority, confer any distinction on Peter beyond what is not enjoyed by other professors of the same faith. For inasmuch as many others confessed no less explicitly than Peter that Christ was the Son of God (as is clear from the narrative of the evangelists) the answer of Christ is not, upon thee Peter, but upon this rock I will build my church, that is, upon this faith which thou hast in common with other believers, not upon thee as an individual; seeing that, in the personal sense of the word, the true rock is Christ, 1 Cor. x. 4. nor is there any other foundation, iii. 11. whence also faith in Christ is called the foundation, Jude 20. "building up yourselves on your most holy faith;" and the same term is applied to the apostles as the original teachers of that faith, though not to the exclusion of others. Eph. ii. 20. "ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets." Nor is it to Peter exclusively that the keys of the kingdom of heaven are committed,[42] inasmuch as the power of those keys, as it is <148> called, or the right of binding and loosing, is not entrusted to him alone, Matt. xviii. 18, 19. "whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven," &c. John xx. 23. "whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them." Nor does the passage of John, xxi. 15, &. c. imply that the office of feeding the flock of Christ was committed to Peter in any higher sense than to the others; the meaning of the repetition is, that he who had fallen by denying his master thrice, is here, by a confession as often repeated, restored to the place from whence he fell; and that he who in his overweening self-confidence had maintained that he loved Christ more than all the rest, is at once reminded of the event by which his weakness had been manifested, and admonished that if he really loved Christ more than the other disciples, he should show that love by a greater assiduity in feeding Christ's flock, and more particularly his lambs; being in effect a repetition of the charge he had shortly before received, Luke xxii. 32. "when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." For to feed the sheep of Christ, that is, to teach all nations, was the common office of all the apostles. Matt. xxviii. 19.

Granting, however, to Peter all that is claimed for him, what proof have we that the same privileges are <149> continued to his successors? or that these successors are the Roman pontiffs?

The visible church is either universalor particular.

The universal visible churchis the whole multitude of those who are called in every part of the world, and who openly worship God the Father through Christ in any place whatever, either individually, or in conjunction with others.

In any place whatever. John iv. 21. "the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father." 1 Cor. i. 2. "with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord."

Either individually, &c. for although it is the duty of believers to join themselves, if possible, to a church duly constituted,[43] Heb. x. 25. "not forsaking the <150> assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another; yet such as can not do this conveniently, or with full satisfaction of conscience, are not to be considered as excluded from the blessing bestowed by God on the churches. 1 Kings xix. 10, 14."I, even I only, am left." v. 18. "yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel." John iv. 23. "the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him." 1 Cor. i. 2. "unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and ours." 2 Cor. i. 1. "unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia."

The universal church consists of ministers and people.[44] 1 Cor. 9. "we are labourers together with God; ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." 2 Cor. iv. 5. "ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." Matt. xx. 25-28. "even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister." Rom. x. 14. "how shall they hear without a preacher?"


Ministers are persons appointed by divine commission to perform various offices in the church of Christ.

By divine commission. Jer. xxiii. 21. "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran; I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied." Matt. xxviii. 19, 20. "go ye therefore, and teach all nations" —. Rom. x. 15. "how shall they preach, except they be sent?" 1 Cor. ii. 1. "I came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God." v. 4. "my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power." v. 13. "which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." 1 Tim. iv. 6. "if thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained."

Various offices. 1 Cor. xii. 28. "God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." Acts xx. 20, 21. "I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance to wards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Tim. iv. 2. "preach the word, be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." 2 Pet. i. 12. "I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth."


Ministerial labours are of no efficacy in themselves, independently of divine grace. 1 Cor. iii. 7. "neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase." A reward, however, is laid up for such as are faithful in the ministry." Isai. xlix. 4. "then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain; yet surely my judgment is with Jehovah, and my work with my God." Dan. xii. 3. "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."

The ministers of the universal church are either extraordinary or ordinary. 1 Cor. xii. 28. as above. Eph. iv. 11-13. "he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God" —: where it is observable that pastors and teachers are used synonymously; for the apostle does not say, "he gave some, pastors, some, teachers," but merely adds the second or proper title as an explanation of the figurative term; whereby is evinced the futility of the modern academical title of doctor, as distinguishing its possessor from other ministers of the word.[45] For the <153> provinces of teaching and of exhortation are nowhere separated, but are both alike assigned to the pastor, no less than to the teacher so called; the functions are twofold, but the office and the agent are one; although individuals may possess peculiar powers either of teaching or of exhortation, and may be distinguished as such, Rom. xii. 7, 8.

Extraordinary ministers are persons inspired and sent on a special mission by God, for the purpose of planting the church where it did not before exist, or of reforming its corruptions, either through the medium of preaching or of writing. To this class belong the prophets, apostles, evangelists, and the like. 1 Cor. iv. 1 . "let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ; and stewards of the mysteries of God." Gal. i. 1. "Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead." v. 17. "neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me." ii. 6. "of those who seemed to be somewhat, whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me; God accepteth no man's person: for they who seemed to be somewhat, in conference added nothing unto me." Acts xiii. 2. "the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." 2 Tim. iv. 5, "do the work of an evangelist."

Any believer is competent to act as an ordinary minister,[46] according as convenience may require, pro <154> vided only he be endowed with the necessary gifts;[47] these gifts constituting his mission. Such were, before the law, the fathers or eldest sons of families,[48] as Abel, Noah, Abraham, &c. Jethro, Exod. xviii. 12. xix. 22. let "the priests also, which come near to Jehovah, sanctify themselves" —. xxiv. 5. he "sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed peace-offerings of oxen unto Jehovah." Such were, under the law, Aaron and his posterity, the whole tribe of Levi, and lastly the prophets. In like manner, any one, who appeared to be in other respects qualified, was allowed to teach openly in the synagogue, though he were neither priest nor Levite; a permission which was granted to Christ, and subsequently to Paul at Antioch. Acts. xiii. 15. "after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye <155> men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on." How much more then must every believer endowed with similar gifts enjoy the same liberty under the gospel? Accordingly, this liberty is expressly conceded: Mark ix. 38, 39. "we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us; and we forbad him, because he followeth not us: but Jesus said, Forbid him not." Acts viii. 4. "they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word." xi. 19, &c. "they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about, Stephen, travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch... which spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus; and the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord... they sent forth Barnabas... who when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord." If our modern clergy, as they are called by way of distinction, who claim to themselves the exclusive right of preaching the gospel, had seen this grace imparted to those whom they are pleased to denominate the laity, it would have been to them a subject, not of rejoicing, but of censure and obloquy. xviii. 24, 25. "a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus: this man was instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John." 2 Tim. ii. 2. "the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."


Exod. xix. 6. compared with Isai. lxi. 6. "ye shall be named the priests of Jehovah; men shall call you the ministers of our God." 1 Pet. ii. 9. "ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." Rev. i. 6. "who hath made us Kings and priests unto God and his Father." Again, 1 Pet. v. 3. "neither as being lords over God's heritage." If in this passage the word heritage, (clerus, Lat. whence the term clergy, appropriated by the ecclesiastics to themselves) has any meaning at all, it must designate the whole body of the church.[49] Nor is the name of prophet applied exclusively to such as foretel future events, but to any one endowed with extraordinary piety and wisdom for the purposes of teaching. Thus it was said of Abraham, Gen. xx. 7. "he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live." So also Miriam is called a prophetess, Exod. xv. 20. and Deborah, Judges iv. 4. and the same title is applied to believers in general, Psal. cv. 15. "touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." Hence under the gospel likewise, the simple gift of teaching, especially of public teaching, is called prophecy. 1 Cor. xiv. 1. "desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy." v. 3. "he that prophesieth, speaketh <157> unto men to edification;" and so through the remainder of the chapter. 1 Cor. iii. 8, &c. "he that planteth and he that watereth are one; and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour: for we are labourers together with God." Pastors and teachers, therefore, are the gift of the same God who gave apostles and prophets, and not of any human institution whatever.[50] 1 Pet. iv. 10, 11. "as every man hath received the gift, even so let him minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God: if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God."

If therefore it be competent to any believer what ever to preach the gospel, provided he be furnished with the requisite gifts, it is also competent to him to administer the rite of baptism; inasmuch as the latter office is inferior to the former. John iv. 2. "Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples." 1 Cor. i. 17. "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." Hence Ananias, who was only a disciple, baptized Paul. Acts ix. 10, 18. x. 48. "he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord;" which command was given to the companions of Peter, who are only called brethren, v. 23. and they <158> which believed, v. 45. And if it be true that baptism has succeeded to the place of circumcision, and bears the analogy to it which is commonly supposed, why should not any Christian whatever (provided he be not a mere novice, and therefore otherwise incompetent) be qualified to administer baptism, in the same manner as any Jew was qualified to perform the rite of circumcision?

With regard to the Lord's Supper also, it has been shown in the preceding chapter that all are entitled to participate in that rite, but that the privilege of dispensing the elements is confined to no particular man, or order of men. There can be still less shadow of reason for assigning to the ministers of the church the celebration of marriages or funerals,[51] offices which hirelings[52] are wont to assume to themselves exclusively, without even the feeble semblance of prescription derived from the Levitical law.

The people of the universal church comprise all nations: Matt. xxviii. 19, 20. "go ye and teach all nations;" whose conversion it is the duty of all men to promote to the utmost of their power. Rom. i. 14. "I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians; both to the wise and to the unwise."



THE writings of the prophets, apostles and evangelists, composed under divine inspiration, are called the Holy Scriptures. 2 Sam. xxiii. 2. "the Spirit of Jehovah spake by me, and his word was in my tongue." Matt. xxii. 43. "how then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying —?" 2 Cor. xiii. 3. "since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me." 2 Tim. iii. 16. "all scripture is given by inspiration of God."

With regard to the question, what books of the Old and New Testament are to be considered as canonical, that is to say, as the genuine writings of the prophets, apostles, and evangelists, there is little or no difference of opinion among the orthodox, as may be seen in the common editions of the Bible.

The books usually subjoined to these under the name of apocryphal, are by no means of equal authority with the canonical, neither can they be adduced as evidence in matters of faith.

The reasons for their rejection are, first, because, although written under the old dispensation, they are not in the Hebrew language, which they would un <160> doubtedly be if genuine; for as the Gentiles were not then called, and the church consisted wholly of Hebrews, Rom. iii. 2. ix. 4. it would have been preposterous to write in the language of a people who had no concern in the things discoursed of. Secondly, their authority is deservedly called in question, inasmuch as they are never quoted in the New Testament. Lastly, they contain much that is at variance with the acknowledged parts of Scripture, besides some things fabulous, low, trifling, and contrary to true religion and wisdom.

The Holy Scriptures were not written for occasional purposes only, as is the doctrine of the Papists, but for the use of the church throughout all ages, as well under the gospel as under the law. Exod. xxxiv. 27. "write thou these words; for after the tenour of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel." Deut. xxxi. 19. "write ye this song for you... that this song may be a witness for me." Isai. viii. 20. "to the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." xxx. 8. "write it... that it may be for the time to come forever and ever." Habak. ii. 2. "write... for the vision is yet for an appointed time." Luke xvi. 29. "they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them." John v. 39. "search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life." Rom. xv. 4. "whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." 1 Cor. x. 11. "they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."


Almost every thing advanced in the New Testament is proved by citations from the Old. The use of the New Testament writings themselves is declared John xx. 31. "these are written that ye might believe" —. Eph. ii. 20. "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets." Philipp. iii. 1. "to write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe." 1 Thess. v. 27. "I charge you by the Lord, that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren." 1 Tim. iii. 15. "-if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God." 2 Tim. iii. 15-17. "from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus: all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." It is true that the Scriptures which Timothy is here said to have known from a child, and which were of themselves "able to make him wise unto salvation through faith in Christ," were probably those of the Old Testament alone, since no part of the New Testament appears to have existed during the infancy of Timothy: the same is, however, predicated of the whole of Scripture in the succeeding verse, namely, that it is "profitable for doctrine;" even to such as are already wise and learned, 1 Cor. x. 15. "I speak as unto wise men, judge ye what I say," to men arrived at Christian maturity, Philipp. iii. 15. "let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded," such as Timothy himself, and Titus, to whom Paul wrote; and to the strong in faith, 1 John ii. 14. "I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word <162> of God abideth in you." 2 Pet. i. 12, 15. "wherefore 1 will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth: moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance." iii. 15, 16. "even as our beloved brother Paul also, according unto the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you." For although the epistle of Paul here alluded to was more immediately directed to the Romans. Rom. i. 7. 15. Peter in the above passage expressly intimates that it was addressed not to that church alone, but to believers generally. 2 Pet. iii. 1, 2. "this second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance." 1 John ii. 21. "I have not written unto you, because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it." Rev. i. 19. "write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter."

From all these passages it is evident, that the use of the Scriptures is prohibited to no one; but that, on the contrary, they are adapted for the daily hearing or reading of all classes and orders of men;[53] of princess, Deut. xvii. 19. of magistrates, Josh. i. 8. of men of all descriptions, Deut. xxxi. 9-11. 'Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi... and unto all the elders of Israel: and <163> Moses commanded them, saying... Thou shalt read this law before all Israel.' xi. 18-20. "therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart, and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand... and thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thine house." xxix. 29. "those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words —." xxx. 11. "for this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off." 2 Chron. xxxiv. 30. "he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant." Isai. viii. 20. "to the law and to the testimony." Nehem. ix. 3. "they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of Jehovah;" that is, the whole people, as appears from the second verse of the chapter. To the same purpose may be adduced the testimony of a writer whom the opponents of this opinion regard as canonical. 1 Macc. i. 56, 57. "wheresoever was found with any the book of the testament, the king's commandment was that they should put him to death."

The New Testament is still more explicit. Luke x. 26. "what is written in the law? how readest thou?" This was the question of Christ to one of the interpreters of the law, of whom there were many at that time, Pharisees and others, confessedly neither priests nor Levites; neither was Christ himself, whom we cannot suppose to have been considered as particularly learned in the law, forbidden to expound in the synagogue; much less therefore could it have been unlawful to read the Scriptures at home. xvi. 29. "they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them." John v. 39. "search the scriptures." <164> Acts. viii. 28. "he read Esaias the prophet." xvii. 11. "they searched the scriptures daily." xviii. 24. "mighty in the scriptures." 2 Tim. iii. 15. "from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures." Rev. i. 3. "blessed is he that readeth."

The Scriptures, therefore, partly by reason of their own simplicity, and partly through the divine illumination, are plain and perspicuous in all things necessary to salvation, and adapted to the instruction even of the most unlearned, through the medium of diligent and constant reading.[54] Psal. xix. 7. "the law of Jehovah is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise the simple." cxix. 105. "thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." v. 130. "the entrance of thy words giveth light, it giveth understanding unto the simple;" whence it follows that the liberty of investigating Scripture thoroughly is granted to all. v. 18. "open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Luke xxiv. 45. "then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures." Acts xviii. 28. "he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ." 2 Pet. i. 20, 21. "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation; for the prophecy came not in the old time by <165> the will of man;" neither therefore is it to be interpreted by the judgment of men, that is, by our own unassisted judgment, but by means of that Holy Spirit promised to all believers.[55] Hence the gift of prophecy, mentioned 1 Cor. i. 4.

If then the Scriptures be in themselves so perspicuous, and sufficient of themselves to make men wise unto salvation through faith, and that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, through what infatuation is it, that even Protestant divines persist in darkening the most momentous truths of religion by intricate metaphysical comments,[56] on the plea that such explanation is necessary; stringing together all the useless technicalities and empty distinctions of scholastic barbarism, for the purpose of elucidating those Scriptures, which they are continually extolling as models of plainness? As <166> if Scripture, which possesses in itself the clearest light, and is sufficient for its own explanation, especially in matters of faith and holiness, required to have the simplicity of its divine truths more fully developed, and placed in a more distinct view, by illustrations drawn from the abstrusest of human sciences, falsely so called.

It is only to those who perish that the Scriptures are obscure, especially in things necessary for salvation. Luke viii. 10. "unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand." 1 Cor. i. 18. "the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God." ii. 14. "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." 2 Cor. iv. 2, 3. "by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God: but if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost." 2 Pet. iii. 16. speaking of the epistles of Paul, "in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures unto their own destruction."

No passage of Scripture is to be interpreted in more than one sense; in the Old Testament, however, this sense is sometimes a compound of the historical and typical, as in Hosea xi. 1. compared with Matt. ii. 15. "out of Egypt have I called my son," which may be explained in a double sense, as referring partly to the people of Israel, and partly to Christ in his infancy.


The custom of interpreting Scripture in the church is mentioned Nehem. viii. 8, 9. "they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading: and Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people —." 2 Chron. xvii. 9. "they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of Jehovah with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people." Luke iv. 17. "then was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias." 1 Cor. xiv. 1. "desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy."

The requisites for the public interpretation of Scripture have been laid down by divines with much attention to usefulness, although they have not been observed with equal fidelity. They consist in knowledge of languages; inspection of the originals; examination of the context; care in distinguishing between literal and figurative expressions; consideration of cause and circumstance, of antecedents and consequents; mutual comparison of texts; and regard to the analogy of faith. Attention must also be paid to the frequent anomales of syntax; as for example, where the relative does not refer to the immediate antecedent, but to the principal word in the sentence, though more remote. See 2 Kings. xvi. 2. compared with v. 1. "twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign," that is, Jotham the father of Ahaz, as appears by considering the age at which Hezekiah began his reign, xviii. 2. See also 2 Chron. xxxvi. 9. "when he began to reign," compared with 2 Kings xxiv. 8. Psal. xcix. 6. "Moses and Aaron among his priests." John viii. 44. "he is a liar and the father of it." Last <168> ly, no inferences from the text are to be admitted, but such as follow necessarily and plainly from the words themselves; lest we should be constrained to receive what is not written for what is written, the shadow for the substance, the fallacies of human reasoning for the doctrines of God: for it is by the declarations of Scripture, and not by the conclusions of the schools, that our consciences are bound.

Every believer has a right to interpret the Scriptures for himself, inasmuch as he has the Spirit for his guide, and the mind of Christ is in him;[57] nay, the expositions of the public interpreter can be of no use to him, except so far as they are confirmed by his own conscience. More will be added on this subject in the next chapter, which treats of the members of particular churches. The right of public interpretation for the benefit of others is possessed by all whom God has appointed apostles, or prophets, or evangelists, or pastors, or teachers, 1 Cor. xii. 8, 9. Eph. iv. 11-13. "that is, by all who are endowed with the gift of teaching, "every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven," Matt. xiii. 52. not by those whose sole commission is derived from human authority, or academical appointment: of whom it may too often be said in the words of Scripture, "woe unto you, lawyers, for ye have taken away the key of knowledge; ye enter not yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." Luke xi. 52.

It is not therefore within the province of any visible church, much less of the civil magistrate, to <169> impose their own interpretations on us as laws, or as binding on the conscience; in other words, as matter of implicit faith.[58]

If however there be any difference among professed believers as to the sense of Scripture, it is their duty to tolerate such difference in each other, until God shall have revealed the truth to all. Philipp. iii. 15, 16. "let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded; and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you: nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing." Rom. xiv. 4. "to his own master he standeth or falleth: yea, he shall be holden up."

The rule and canon of faith, therefore, is Scripture alone.[59] Psal. xix. 9. "the judgments of Jehovah are true and righteous altogether." Scripture is the sole judge of controversies; or rather, every man is to decide for himself through its aid, under the guidance of the Spirit of God. For they who, on the authority of 1 Tim. iii. 15. "the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth," claim for the visible church, however defined, the supreme right of interpreting Scripture and determining religious controversies, are confuted by a comparison of the words in question with the former part of the verse, and with that which precedes. What Paul here writes to Timothy, and which is intended to have the force <170> of Scripture with him, is a direction by which he may know how he ought to behave himself in the house of God which is the church; that is, in any assembly of believers. It was not therefore the house of God, or the church, which was to be a rule to him that he might know, but the Scripture which he had received from the hands of Paul. The church indeed is, or rather ought to be, (for it is not always such in fact) the pillar and ground, that is the guardian, and repository, and support of the truth: even where it is all this, however, it is not on that account to be considered as the rule or arbiter of truth and the Scripture; inasmuch as the house of God is not a rule to itself, but receives its rule from the word of God, which it is bound, at least, to observe scrupulously. Besides, the writings of the prophets and apostles, in other words the Scriptures themselves are said to be the foundation of the church: Eph. ii. 20. "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." Now the church cannot be the rule or arbiter of that on which it is itself founded.

That some of the instructions of the apostles to the churches where not committed to writing, or that, if written, they have not come down to us, seems probable from 2 John 12. "having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink." See also 3 John 13. Col. iv. 16. "that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea." Seeing then that the lost particulars cannot be supposed to have contained anything necessary to salvation, but only matters profitable for doctrine, they are either to be collected from other passages of Scripture, or, if it be doubtful <171> whether this is possible, they are to be supplied, not by the decrees of popes or councils, much less by the edicts of magistrates, but by the same Spirit which originally dictated them, enlightening us inwardly through the medium of faith and love. John xvi. 12, 13. "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now; howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all truth." So also Peter admonishes us, 2 Eph. i. 19. "to take heed to the sure word of prophecy, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in our hearts," that is to say, the light of the gospel, which is not to be sought in written records alone, but in the heart. 2 Cor. iii. 3. "ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." Eph. vi. 17. "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." 1 John ii. 20. "ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." v. 27. "ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." Thus when the Corinthians had made inquiry of Paul on certain subjects with regard to which there was no specific direction in Scripture, he answers them according to the natural dictates of Christianity, and the unction of the Spirit which he had received: 1 Cor. vii. 12. "to the rest speak I, not the Lord." v. 25. "concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful: I suppose therefore —." v. 40. "she is happier if she so abide <172> alter my judgment; and I think also that I have the Spirit of God;" whence he reminds them that they are also able to give answer to themselves in such questions, v. 15. "a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases." v. 36. "if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not."

Under the gospel we possess, as it were, a twofold Scripture; one external, which is the written word, and the other internal, which is the Holy Spirit, written in the hearts of believers, according to the promise of God, and with the intent that it should by no means be neglected; as was shown above, chap, xxvii, on the gospel. Isai. lix. 21. "as for me, this is my covenant with them, saith Jehovah; my Spirit which is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith Jehovah, from henceforth and for ever." See also Jer. xxxi. 33, 34. Acts v. 32. "we are his witnesses of those things, and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." 1 Cor. ii. 12. "we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."

Hence, although the external ground which we possess for our belief at the present day in the written word is highly important, and, in most instances at least, prior in point of reception, that which is internal, and the peculiar possession of each believer, is far superior to all, namely, the Spirit itself.


For the external Scripture, or written word, particularly of the New Testament (to say nothing of spurious books, with regard to which the apostle has long since cautioned us, 2 Thess. ii. 2. "that ye be not shaken in mind... by letter as from us —;" iii. 17. "the salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle —" : ) the written word, I say, of the New Testament, has been liable to frequent corruption, and in some instances has been corrupted, through the number, and occasionally the bad faith of those by whom it has been handed down, the variety and discrepancy of the original manuscripts, and the additional diversity produced by subsequent transcripts and printed editions. But the Spirit which leads to truth cannot be corrupted, neither is it easy to deceive a man who is really spiritual: 1 Cor. ii. 15, 16. "he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man: for who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ." xii. 10. "to another, discerning of spirits." An instance of a corrupted text pervading nearly all the manuscripts occurs in Matt. xxvii. 9. where a quotation is attributed to Jeremiah, which belongs only to Zechariah;[60] and similar in stances are to be found in almost every page of Erasmus, Beza, and other editors of the New Testament.

Previously to the Babylonish captivity, the law of Moses was preserved in the sacred repository of the ark of the covenant: after that event, it was committed to the trust and guardianship of the priests and prophets, as Ezra, Zechariah, Malachi, and other men <174> taught of God. There can be no doubt that these handed down the sacred volumes in an uncorrupted state to be preserved in the temple by the priests their successors, who were in all ages most scrupulous in preventing alterations, and who had themselves no grounds of suspicion to induce them to make any change. With regard to the remaining books, particularly the historical, although it be uncertain by whom and at what time they were written, and although they appear sometimes to contradict themselves on points of chronology, few or none have ever questioned the integrity of their doctrinal parts. The New Testament, on the contrary, has come down to us (as before observed) through the hands of a multitude of persons, subject to various temptations; nor have we in any instance the original copy in the author's hand-writing, by which to correct the errors of the others. Hence Erasmus, Beza, and other learned men, have edited from the different manuscripts what in their judgment appeared most likely to be the authentic readings. It is difficult to conjecture the purpose of Providence in committing the writings of the New Testament to such uncertain and variable guardianship, unless it were to teach us by this very circumstance that the Spirit which is given to us is a more certain guide than Scripture, whom therefore, it is our duty to follow.

For with regard to the visible church, which is also proposed as a criterion of faith, it is evident that, since the ascension of Christ, the pillar and ground of the truth has not uniformly been the church, but the hearts of believers, which are properly "the house and church of the living God," 1 Tim. iii. 15. Certain it is, that <175> the editors and interpreters of the New Testament (which is the chief authority for our faith) are accustomed to judge of the integrity of the text, not by its agreement with the visible church, but by the number and integrity of the manuscripts. Hence, where the manuscripts differ, the editors must necessarily be at a loss what to consider as the genuine word of God; as in the story of the woman taken in adultery,[61] and some other passages.

The process of our belief in the Scriptures is, however, as follows: we set out with a general belief in their authenticity, founded on the testimony either of the visible church, or of the existing manuscripts; afterwards, by an inverse process, the authority of the church itself, and of the different books as contained in the manuscripts, are confirmed by the internal evidence implied in the uniform tenor of Scripture, considered as a whole; and, lastly, the truth of the entire volume is established by the inward persuasion of the Spirit working in the hearts of individual believers. So the belief of the Samaritans in Christ, though founded in the first instance on the word of the woman, derived its permanent establishment, less from her saying, than from the presence and discourses of Christ himself, John iv. 42.[62] Thus, even on the authority <176> of Scripture itself, every thing is to be finally referred to the Spirit and the unwritten word.

Hence it follows, that when an acquiescence in human opinions or an obedience to human authority in matters of religion is exacted, in the name either of the church or of the Christian magistrate, from those who are themselves led individually by the Spirit of God, this is in effect to impose a yoke, not on man, but on the Holy Spirit itself.[63] Certainly, if the apostles themselves, in a council governed by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, determined that even the divinely instituted law was a yoke from which believers ought to be exempt. Acts xv. 10, 19, 28. "why tempt ye God?" much less is any modern church, which cannot allege a similar claim to the presence of the Spirit, and least of all is the magistrate entitled to impose on believers a creed no where found in Scripture, or which is merely inferred from thence by human reasonings, carrying with them no certain conviction.


An acquiescence in human traditions, whether written or unwritten, is expressly prohibited.[64] Deut. iv. 2. "ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it." Prov. xxx. 6. "add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Rev. xxii. 18, 19. "if any man shall add unto these things, &c...... and if any man shall take away from the words," &c. Isai. xxix. 13, 14. "their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men." See also Matt. xv. 3, 9. Gal. i. 8. "though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you —." 1 Tim. vi. 3. "if any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words." Tit. i. 4. "not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men, that turn from the truth." 1 Tim. i. 4. "neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith." Col. ii. 8. "beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

Neither can we trust implicitly in matters of this nature to the opinions of our forefathers, or of antiquity.[65] <178> 2 Chron. xxix. 6. "our fathers have trespassed." Psal. lxxviii. 8, &c. "that they might not be as their fathers." Ezek. xx. 18. "walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers." Amos ii. 4. "because they have despised the law of Jehovah, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked." Mal. iii. 7. "even from the days of your fathers ye have gone away from mine ordinances." Eccles. vii. 10. "say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely respecting this." Jeremiah also admonishes the people to ask for the old paths, in order to see where is the good way, and to choose that alone, vi. 16.[66] for in any other sense the argument may be as justly employed to defend the idolatries of the heathen, and the errors of the Pharisees and Samaritans. Jer. xliv. 17. "to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our Kings, and our princes —." Matt. xv. 2, &c. "why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?" where Christ opposes to their tradition the commandment of God, v. 3. "why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" See also Mark vii. 8, 9. John iv. 20. "our fathers worshipped in this mountain."


Even to the venerable name of our mother church itself we are not to attach any undue authority. Hos. ii. 2. "plead with your mother, plead; for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband; let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight:" unless by this expression we understand exclusively the mystical church in heaven; Gal. iv. 26. "Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."



THUS far of the universal visible church. A particular church is a society of persons professing the faith, united by a special bond of brotherhood, and so ordered as may best promote the ends of edification and mutual communion of the saints. Acts ii. 42. "they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

The ordinary ministers of a particular church are presbyters and deacons.

Presbyters are otherwise called Bishops.[67] Acts xx. 17. compared with v. 28. "he called the elders (πρεσβυτέρους) of the church: take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, (ἐπισκόπου) to feed the church of God." The same office of bishop <181> or presbyter is described 1 Tim. iii. 1, &c. where no mention is made of any other minister except deacon.[68] Philipp. i. 1. "with the bishops and deacons." Tit. i. 5. "that thou shouldest ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee," compared with v. 7. "a bishop must be blameless." 1 Pet. v. 1. "the elders which are among you I exhort... feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight there of," that is, performing the office of bishops. Lastly, in the first council of the church, held at Jerusalem, the apostles and elders alone are spoken of as present, no mention being made of bishops, Acts xv. 6. xvi. 4. bishops and presbyters must therefore have been the same.

Of the presbyters, some were set apart for the office of teaching, others watched over the discipline of the church, while in particular instances both these functions were united. 1 Tim. iii. 2. "apt to teach." v. 5. "if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?" v. 17. "let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine." Rom. xii. 7, 8. "he that teacheth, on teaching... he that ruleth, with diligence." 1 Cor. xii. 28. "governments," 1 Pet. v. 1. as above. Hence a bishop or presbyter is called "the steward of God," Tit. i. 7.

The office of a deacon is properly to administer, in the character of a public servant, to the temporal <182> wants of the church in general, and particularly of the poor, the sick, and strangers. Acts vi. 3. "look ye out among you... whom we may appoint over this business," 1 Tim. iii. 10. "let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless." v. 13. "they that have used the office of a deacon well." Also to teach and baptize; as appears from the example of Philip, who in his capacity of deacon (the apostle of that name having remained during the same period at Jerusalem) converted the people of Samaria to the faith, and on his own authority baptized, first his new converts, and afterwards the Ethiopian eunuch. Acts vi. 5. viii. 1, 12. "when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." v. 38. "he baptized him." In allusion to this his office of preaching he is called "the evangelist," Acts xxi. 8. where his identity is established by his being designated as one of the seven. Hence 1 Tim. iii. 13. "they that have used the office of a deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus."

The widows of the church are also associated with the deacons in the performance of their duty, 1 Tim. v. 3-16. "honour widows that are widows indeed," &c.

The choice of ministers belongs to the people[69]. Acts i. 23. "they appointed two." vi. 5. "the saying pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen." <183> xiv. 23. "when they had ordained them elders in every church." xv. 22. "then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas."

It is proper that ministers should undergo a certain trial previous to their admission. 1 Tim. iii. 10. "let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless." The requisite qualifications of an elder, as well as of a deacon, are detailed at length in the epistles to Timothy and Titus, and particularly 1 Tim. iii. 1, &c. Tit. i. 5, &c.

On such as were approved the presbyters laid their hands. 1 Tim. iv. 14. "neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." v. 22. "lay hands suddenly on no man." The imposition of hands, however, was not confined to the election of presbyters, but was practised even towards veteran ministers, in the way of solemn benediction, on their engaging in any work of importance. Acts xiii. 2, 3. "as they ministered unto the Lord... when they had fasted and prayed and laid hands upon them, they sent them away."

The right of succession is consequently nugatory, and of no force.[70] Acts xx. 29, 30. "I know this <184> that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock: also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." 2 Cor. xi. 13. "such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ."

With regard to the remuneration to be allotted to the ministers of the universal church, as well as to those of particular religious communities, it must be allowed that a certain recompense is both reasonable in itself, and sanctioned by the law of God and the declarations of Christ and his apostle.[71] Matt. x. 10. "the workman is worthy of his meat." 1 Cor. ix. 7-13. "who goeth a warfare at any time at his own charges?" Gal. vi. 6. "let him that is taught in the word, communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things." 1 Tim. v. 17, 18. "let the elders that rule well," &c. Hence it is lawful and equitable, and the ordinance of God himself, 1 Cor. ix. 14. "that they which preach the gospel, should live of the gospel." It is how ever more desirable for example's sake, and for the preventing of offence or suspicion, as well as more noble and honourable in itself, and conducive to our more complete glorying in God, to render an unpaid service to the church in this as well as in all other instances, and, after the example of our Lord, to minister and serve gratuitously. Matt. xx. 28. "even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister." x. 8. "freely ye have received, <185> freely give." Acts xx. 35. "remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." Paul proposed the same to the imitation of ministers in general, and recommended it by his example.[72] v. 34, 35. "ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me: I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak." 2 Thess. iii. 7-9. "yourselves know how ye ought to follow us; for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us." 1 Cor. ix. 15, 18. "I have used none of these things; neither have I written these things that it should be so done unto me; for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void: what is my reward then? verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel." 2 Cor. xi. 9. "when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man... in all things I have kept myself from being burthensome unto you, and so will I keep myself." v. 10. "no man shall stop me of this boasting." v. 12. "what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them that desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we are." xii. 14. "behold the third time I am ready <186> to come unto you, and I will not be burthensome to you; for I seek not yours but you; for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children." v. 17. "did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?" v. 18. "did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit?" v. 19. "we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying." And if at any time extreme necessity compelled him to accept the voluntary aid of the churches, such constraint was so grievous to him, that he accuses himself as if he were guilty of robbery. 2 Cor. xi. 8. "I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service."

If however such self-denial be thought too arduous for the ministers of the present day, they will most nearly approach to it, when, relying on the providence of God who called them, they shall look for the necessary support of life, not from the edicts of the civil power, but from the spontaneous good-will and liberality of the church in requital of their voluntary service. Matt. x. 11. "inquire who in it is worthy, and there abide till ye go thence." Luke x. 7, 8. "in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give... and into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you." xxii. 35. "he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? and they said, Nothing." 2 Cor. xi. 9. "that which was lacking to me, the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied." Philipp. iv. 15, &c. "now ye Philippians, know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and re <187> ceiving, but ye only: for even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity: not because I desire a gift, but I desire fruit that may abound to your account: but I have all, and abound; I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God."

For it does not necessarily follow, that because a thing is in itself just, a matter of duty and conscience, and sanctioned by the word of God, the performance of it is therefore to be enjoined and compelled by the authority of the magistrate. The same argument, and nearly the same words, which are used by Paul to prove that provision should be made for the ministers of the church, are also used to prove that the Gentiles ought to contribute to the support of the poor saints at Jerusalem; 1 Cor. ix. 11. compared with Rom. xv. 27. "it hath pleased them verily, and their debtors they are; for if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things;" yet no one contends that the giving of alms should be compelled by authority. If then in a case of merely moral and civil gratitude, force is not to be employed, how much more ought the gratitude which we owe for the benefits of the gospel to be exempt from the slightest shadow of force or constraint? On the same principle, pecuniary considerations ought by no means to enter into our motives for preaching the gospel: Acts viii. 20. "thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." If it be a crime to purchase the gospel, what must it be to sell it? or what are we to think of the faith of <188> those, whom I have so often heard exclaiming in the language of unbelief, "If you take away church revenues, you destroy the gospel?"[73] If the Christian religion depends for its existence on no firmer supports than wealth and civil power, how is it more worthy of belief than the Mahometan superstition?[74]

Hence to exact or bargain for tithes or other stipendiary payments under the gospel, to extort them from the flock under the alleged authority of civil edicts, or to have recourse to civil actions and legal processes for the recovery of allowances purely ecclesiastical, is the part of wolves rather than of ministers of the gospel.[75] Acts xx. 29. "I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock." v. 33. "I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel;" whence it follows <189> that the apostle neither exacted these things himself, nor approved of their exaction by ministers of the gospel in general. 1 Tim. iii. 3. "not greedy of filthy lucre; not covetous;" far less therefore an exactor of lucre. Compare also v. 8. Tit. i. 7, 11. 1 Pet. v. 2, 3. "feed the flock of God which is among you... not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind." If it be scarcely allowable for a Christian to go to law with his adversary in defence even of his own property, Matt. v. 39, 40. 1 Cor. vi. 7. what are we to think of an ecclesiastic, who for the sake of tithes, that is, of the property of others, which, either as an offering made out of the spoils of war, or in pursuance of a vow voluntarily contracted by an individual, or from an imitation of that agrarian law established among the Jews, but altogether foreign to our habits, and which is not only abolished itself, but of which all the causes have ceased to operate, were due indeed formerly, and to ministers of another sect, but are now due to no one; what are we to think of a pastor, who for the recovery of claims thus founded, (an abuse unknown to any reformed church but our own,)[76] enters into litigation with his own flock, or, more properly speaking, with a flock which is not his own? If his own, how avaricious in him to be so <190> eager in making a gain of his holy office! if not his own, how iniquitous! Moreover what a piece of officiousness, to force his instructions on such as are unwilling to receive them; what extortion, to exact the price of teaching from one who disclaims the teacher, and whom the teacher himself would equally disclaim as a disciple, were it not for the profit![77] For "he that is an hireling, whose own the sheep are not... fleeth beause he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep," John x. 12, 13. Many such there are in these days, who abandon their charge on the slightest pretences, and ramble from flock to flock, less through fear of the wolf than to gratify their own wolfish propensities, wherever a richer prey invites; who, unlike good shepherds, are for ever seeking out new and more abundant pastures, not for their flock, but for themselves.[78]

"How then," ask they, "are we to live?" How ought they to live, but as the prophets and apostles lived of old? on their own private resources, by the exercise of some calling, by honest industry, after the <191> example of the prophets, who accounted it no disgrace to be able to hew their own wood, and build their own houses, 2 Kings vi. 2. of Christ, who wrought with his own hands as a carpenter, Mark vi. 3. and of Paul, Acts xviii. 3. 4. to whom the plea so importunately urged in modern times, of the expensiveness of a liberal education, and the necessity that it should be repaid out of the wages of the gospel, seems never to have occurred.[79] Thus far of the ministers of particular churches.

With regard to the people of the church (especially in those particular churches where discipline is maintained in strictness) such only are to be accounted of that number, as are well taught in Scripture doctrine, and capable of trying by the rule of Scripture and the Spirit any teacher whatever, or even the whole collective body of teachers, although arrogating to themselves the exclusive name of the church.[80] <192> Matt. vii. 15, 16. "beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves: ye shall know them by their fruits." xvi. 6. "take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees," compared with v. 12. "then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine —." John vii. 17, 18. "if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself: he that speaketh of himself, seeketh his own glory." Acts xvii. 11. "they searched the scriptures daily, whether these things were so." 1 Cor. ii. 15. "he that is spiritual, judgeth all things." x. 15. "I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say." Eph. iv. 14. "that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine." vi. 14, &c. "stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth." Philipp. iii. 2. "beware of dogs; beware of evil workers; beware of the concision." 1 Thess. v. 21. "prove all things; hold fast that which is good." Heb. xiii. 9. "be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines." See more on this subject above, chap. xxi. on the discernment of spiritual things.


Hence the people are warned not to take delight in vain teachers. 2 Tim. iv. 3. "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears." 1 Pet. ii. 2. "as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." False teachers are not to be tolerated. Rev. ii. 2. "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars." v. 7. "he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

Every church consisting of the above parts, how ever small its numbers, is to be considered as in itself an integral and perfect church, so far as regards its religious rights; nor has it any superior on earth, whether individual, or assembly, or convention, to whom it can be lawfully required to render submission; inasmuch as no believer out of its pale, nor any order or council of men whatever, has a greater right than itself to expect a participation in the written word and the promises, in the presence of Christ, in the presiding influence of the Spirit, and in those gracious gifts which are the reward of united prayer. Matt. xviii. 20. "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Acts xiv. 23. "when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed."

Hence all particular churches, whether in Judea, where there was originally one church comprehending <194> the whole nation, or in any other country whatever, are properly called churches: 2 Cor. viii. 1. "the churches of Macedonia;" Gal. i. 2. "the churches of Galatia;" v. 22.; "the churches of Judea"; see also 1 Thess. ii. 14. Rev. i. 4. "the seven churches which are in Asia:" even where they consist of but few members: Rom. xvi. 5. "greet the church that is in their house." See also 1 Cor. xvi. 19. Col. iv. 15. "the church which is in his house." Philem. 2. "the church in thy house."

In this respect a particular church differs from the Jewish synagogue, which, although a particular assembly, and convened for religious purposes, was not a particular church, inasmuch as the entire worship of God could not be there duly celebrated, by reason that the sacrifices and ceremonies of the law were to be performed in the temple alone. Under the gospel, on the contrary, all that pertains to the worship of God and the salvation of believers, all, in short, that is necessary to constitute a church, may be duly and orderly transacted in a particular church, within the walls of a private house, and where the numbers assembled are inconsiderable. Nay, such a church, when in compliance with the interested views of its pastor it allows of an increase of numbers beyond what is convenient, deprives itself in a great measure of the advantages to be derived from meeting in common.

It was indeed necessary for Jews and proselytes to meet together at Jerusalem from all quarters of the world for religious purposes, Acts ii, 5, &c. viii. 27. because at that time there was only one national or universal Jewish church, and no particular churches; <195> whereas at present there is no national church, but a number of particular churches,[81] each complete and perfect in itself,[82] and all co-equal in divine right and power; which, like similar and homogeneous parts of the same body, connected by a bond of mutual equality, form in conjunction one catholic church; nor need any one church have recourse to another for a grace or privilege which it does not possess in its independent capacity.

Particular churches, however, may communicate with each other in a spirit of brotherhood and agreement, and co-operate for purposes connected with the general welfare. 2 Cor. viii. 19. "who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us." i. 24. "not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy." 1 Pet. v. 3. "neither as being lords over God's heritage."

Of councils, properly so called, I find no trace in Scripture[83] for the decision recorded Acts xv. 2, &c. is rather to be considered as an oracular declaration obtained from the inspired apostles, to whom recourse <196> was had in a doubtful matter, as to the supreme authority on controverted points, while there was as yet no written word. This was very different from a modern council composed of bishops or elders, who have no gift of inspiration more than other men; whose authority is not, like that of the apostles, co-ordinate with the Scriptures; who are equally liable to error with their brethren, insomuch that they can not pronounce with certainty, like the Apostles, Acts xv. 28. "it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us;" who nevertheless assume the right of imposing laws on the churches, and require the rest of mankind to obey their mandates; forgetting that at the assembly in Jerusalem[84] the whole multitude of believers were present, and gave their voices: Acts xv. 12,22, 23. Where however they content them selves with the fraternal office of admonition, their counsel is not to be despised.

The enemies of the church are partly heretics, and partly profane opponents.

The hostility of heretics originates either in their own evil dispositions, Philipp. i. 16. "the one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely; or in the imposition of some unnecessary yoke on the church, Matt. ix. 16. "that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse." let even these are not without their use. 1 Cor. xi. 19. "there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you."


The enemies of the church are various, but the destruction of all is portended. Psal. cxxxvii. 7-9, "remember, O Jehovah, the children of Edom... O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed, happy shall he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us." Jer. xxx. 16. "all they that devour thee shall be devoured." 1. 29, 30. "call together the archers against Babylon, all ye that bend the bow —." v. 34. "their Redeemer is strong." li. 11. "the vengeance of Jehovah, the vengeance of his temple." v. 24. "I will render unto Babylon." v. 34. "Nebuchadrezzar hath devoured me, he hath crushed me." v. 49. as "Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth." Ezek. xxv. 3, &c. "because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary —." xxviii. 24. "there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel." xxxv. 5, &c. "because thou hast had a perpetual hatred —." Joel iii. 2, &c. "I will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat —." Amos i. 3, &c. "for three transgressions of Damascus —." Obad. 10, &c. "for thy violence against thy brother Jacob." Micah iv. 13. "arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion." Zech. xii. 3, &c. "I will make Jerusalem a burthensome stone for all people —." Rev. xix. 2. "he hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand."

The great enemy of the church is called Antichrist, who according to prediction is to arise from the church itself. 2 Thess. ii. 3, &c. "that man of sin, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing him <198> self that he is God." 1 John ii. 18, &c. "even now are there many antichrists... they went out from us." iv. 3. "every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God; and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come." 2 John 7. "many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: this is a deceiver and an antichrist." See also nearly the whole of the latter part of Revelations, from chap. xiii. to the end of the book.

The frauds and persecutions practised by the enemies of the church are of various kinds. Numb. xxxi. 16. "behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against Jehovah —." compared with Rev. ii. 14. Neh. vi. 6, &c. "he pronounced this prophecy against me; for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him." Ezra iv. 12. "the rebellious and the bad city." See also Neh. ii. 19. Esther iii. 8. "there is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people, neither keep they the king's laws." Jer. xxvi. 8. "the priests took him." xxix. 26. "Jehovah hath made thee priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest... that thou shouldest put him in prison and in the stocks." Amos vii. 10, 13. "then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent —." Matt. v. 10, 11. "blessed are they which are persecuted —." x. 25. "if they have called the master Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?" Gal. iv. 29. "but as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him <199> that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now." Heb. xi. 36, &c. "others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings —."

Hence we are enjoined to flee from persecution, and the precept is confirmed by the example of Elijah, 1 Kings xix. 3. of Joseph, Matt. ii. 13. and x. 16, 17. "behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves... but beware of men, for they will deliver you up to the councils." v. 23. "when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another;" of Christ, Matt. xii. 15. Luke iv. 30. John viii. 59. xi. 54. of the disciples, Acts viii. 4. of Paul and Barnabas, xiv. 6. 2 Cor. xi. 32, 33. Rev. xii. 6. "the woman fled into the wilderness." v. 14. "to the woman were given two wings —." Except where flight would not be conducive to the glory of God. Hence Paul declares, Acts xxi. 13. "I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die."

There are appropriate consolations for the persecuted. Matt. x. 32. "whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also." Luke xii. 4, 5, &c. "be not afraid of them that kill the body." xxi. 18, 19. "there shall not an hair of your head perish." John xv. 18-20. "if the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." Acts v. 41. "rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." Rom. viii. 35, &c. "who shall separate us... shall persecution?" 2 Cor. iv. 8, 9. "we are persecuted, but not forsaken." Philipp. ii. 17. "if I be offered upon the sacrifice of your faith, I joy." 2 Tim. iii. 12. "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution." 1 Pet. iv. 14. "if ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy <200> are ye." v. 16. "if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed."

A compensation is also promised. Mark x. 30. "he shall receive an hundred-fold." Luke vi. 23. "behold, your reward is great in heaven." Rom. viii. 18. "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." 2 Thess. i. 6, 7. "tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us." Heb. x. 34. "knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance." v. 36. "that ye might receive the promise." xi. 26. "he had respect unto the recompense of the reward."



THE bond by which a particular church is held together, is its discipline.[85]

Church discipline consists in a mutual agreement among the members of the church to fashion their lives according to Christian doctrine, and to regulate every thing in their public meetings decently and with order. Rom. xii. 4. to the end of the chapter. Eph. iv. 1-3. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation where with ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Col. iii. 16. "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto the Lord." 1 Thess. iv. 18. "comfort one another with <202> these words." Heb. iii. 13. "exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." x. 24. "let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works." 1 Cor. xi, 17, 18. "I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse; for first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you." xiv. 40. "let all things be done decently and in order." Col. ii. 5. "though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying, and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ."

It is a prudent, as well as a pious custom, to solemnize the formation or re-establishment of a particular church by a public renewal of the covenant; as was frequently done in the reformations of the Jewish church; Deut. xxix. 1. "these are the words of the covenant which Jehovah commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb." The same took place under Asa, Ezra, Nehemiah, and others.

So also, when an individual unites himself to a particular church, it is requisite that he should enter into a solemn covenant with God and the church, to conduct himself in all respects, both towards the one and the other, so as to promote his own edification and that of his brethren. This covenant ought properly to take place in baptism, as being the rite appointed for the admission of all persons (that is, of all adults) into the church. Seeing, also, that most men are liable to a frequent change of residence, it will be necessary that this promise should be repeated so <203> often as they pass from one particular church to another, unless they are provided with the most satisfactory testimonials from some other orthodox church; this being apparently the only means by which discipline can be adequately maintained, or prevented from sinking into gradual decline and dissolution.

The custom of holding assemblies is to be maintained, not after the present mode, but according to the apostolical institution, which did not ordain that, an individual, and he a stipendiary, should have the sole right of speaking from a higher place, but that each believer in turn should be authorized to speak, or prophesy, or teach, or exhort, according to his gifts; insomuch that even the weakest among the brethren had the privilege of asking questions, and consulting the elders and more experienced members of the congregation. 1 Cor. xiv. 26, &c. "when ye come together, every one of you," &c.

This custom was derived by the apostles from the synagogue, and transferred by them to the churches. Luke ii. 46. "hearing them, and asking them questions."[86] iv. 16. "he stood up for to read." Compare also other places where Christ is related to have taught in the synagogue, and even in the temple, Matt. xxvi. 55. John vii. 14. a permission which was granted to him, not as Christ, but simply as a gifted individual, in the same manner as it was afterwards granted to the apostles. Acts xiii, 5. "they preached <204> the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews." v. 15. "after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on." These rulers of the synagogue were persons appointed to see that all things were done in order. Mark v. 22. "one of the rulers of the synagogue." Luke viii, 41 "a ruler of the synagogue." xiii, 14. "the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day." Acts xiii. 15. as above, &c.

Women, however are enjoined to keep silence in the church. 1 Cor. xiv. 34, 35. "let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience, as saith the law (Gen. iii, 16.); and if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home; for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." 1 Tim. ii. 11, 12. "let the woman learn in silence in all subjection: but I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."[87]


The administration of discipline is called, "the power of the keys;"[88] a power not committed to Peter and his successors exclusively, or to any individual pastor specifically, but to the whole particular church collectively, of whatever number of members composed. Matt. xvi, 19. "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven," compared with xviii, 17-20. "tell it unto the church... verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven: again, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth, as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven: for where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." John xx, 22, 23. "when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." 1 Cor. v. 4. "when ye are gathered together, and my <206> spirit." 2 Cor. ii. 7, 8. "ye ought rather to forgive him... wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him." Rev. iii. 7, 8. "these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth... behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it."

The administration of discipline consists, first, in receiving and treating with gentleness the weak or lapsed members of the church. Rom. xiv. 1. "him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations." Gal. vi. 1. "brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Matt. ix, 16. "no man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse." John xvi. 12. "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye can not bear them now." 1 Thess. v. 14. "comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak." Jude 22, 23. "of some have compassion, making a difference." It was for the sake of such that those temporary decrees were made, Acts xv. For similar reasons Paul circumcised Timothy, xvi. 3. and purified himself in the temple, xxi. 26.

Secondly, in composing differences between the brethren, Matt. xviii. 17. "if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church."

Thirdly, in admonishing, or openly rebuking grievous offenders. 1 Tim. v. 20. "them that sin rebuke before all." Tit. iii. 10. "a man that is an <207> heretic, after the first and second admonition reject." 1 Cor. iv. 21. "shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?" 2 Cor. ii. 6. "sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many." 1 Thess. v. 14. "warn them that are unruly." 1 Tim. v. 1. "rebuke not an elder." 3 John 10. "if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth."

Fourthly, in separating the disobedient from the communion of the church. Rom. xvi. 17. "I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them." 1 Cor. v. 11. "with such an one no not to eat" 2 Thess. iii. 6. "we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." v. 14. "if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed." 2 John 10, 11. "if there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed; for he that biddeth him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds." Rev. ii. 14. "I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam."

Or even, lastly, in ejecting them from the church;[89] not however for their destruction, but rather for their <208> preservation, if so they may be induced to repent; as was done in the ancient synagogue, John ix. 22. 34. xii. 42. Matt. xviii. 17. "if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." 1 Cor. v. 5. "deliver such an one unto Satan" (that is, give him over again to the world, which, as being out of the pale of the church, is the kingdom of Satan,) "for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." 2 Cor. ii. 7, 8. "so that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such an one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow." xiii. 10. "therefore I write these things, being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction." 2 Thess. iii. 15. "yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." 1 Tim. i. 20. "whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme." Rev. ii. 2. "I know thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil."

There are some, however, who may justly be considered irrecoverable. 1 Cor. xvi. 22. "if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, Maran-atha;" by which form of words an incurable sinner is abandoned to the dreadful judgment of the Lord at his final advent. 1 John v. 16. "there is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it."

The civil power differs from the ecclesiastical in the following respects. First, every man is subject to the civil power; that is to say, in matters properly civil. Rom. xiii. 1: "let every soul be subject unto the higher powers." On the contrary, none but the <209> members of the church are subject to ecclesiastical power, and that only in religious matters, with a liability to ecclesiastical punishment alone, that is, to punishment inflicted by their own body: Matt. xviii. 15, 16. "if thy brother shall trespass against thee... tell it unto the church; if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." John viii. 11. "neither do I condemn thee." 1 Cor. v. 11-13. "now 1 have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator... with such an one no not to eat: for what have I to do to judge also them that are without?" Secondly, the civil power has dominion only over the body and external faculties of man; the ecclesiastical is exercised exclusively on the faculties of the mind, which acknowledge no other jurisdiction[90]. Luke xii. 14. "who made me a judge or a divider over you?" Acts v. 4. "whiles it remained, was it not thine own?" 1 Cor. vi. 4. "if then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church." 2 Cor. x. 3, 4. "though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are <210> not carnal —." James iv. 12. "there is one lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy; who art thou that judgest another?" Nay, we are expressly enjoined not to suffer ourselves to be governed by the commandments of men in matters of religion. 1 Cor. vii. 23. "ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men." Thirdly, the civil power punishes even such as confess their faults; the ecclesiastical, on the contrary, pardons all who are penitent. John viii. 7. "when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

The power of the church against those who despise her discipline is exceedingly great and extensive. 2 Cor. x. 4, &c. "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience."

It is therefore highly derogatory to the power of the church, as well as an utter want of faith, to suppose that her government cannot be properly administered without the intervention of the civil magistrate.



IN the twenty-fifth chapter I treated of that imperfect glorification to which believers attain in this life. I now proceed to consider, lastly, that perfect glorification which is effected in eternity.

Before the law this was typified by the translation of Enoch, Gen. v. 24. as it was under the law by that of Elijah, 2 Kings ii. 11.

Its fulfilment and consummation will commence from the period of Christ's second coming to judgment, and the resurrection of the dead. Luke xxi. 28. "when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." 2 Thess. i. 7. "to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven."

The coming of the Lord to judgment, when he shall judge the world with his holy angels, was predicted, first, by Enoch and the prophets; afterwards by Christ himself and his apostles. Jude 14, 15. <212> "Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Dan. vii. 22. "until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High." Matt. xxv. 31. "the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him." Acts i. 11. "this same Jesus.... shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." x. 42. "it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead." xvii. 31. "he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained... in that he hath raised him from the dead." 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels."

The day and hour of Christ's coming are known to the Father only. Matt. xxiv. 36. Mark. xiii. 32. "of that day and that hour knoweth no man." Acts i. 7. "it is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power." Dan. xii. 8, 9. "then said I, O my lord, what shall be the end of these things? and he said, Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." The treatise of Zanchius De fine sæculitom. vii. may be likewise advantageously consulted on this subject.

Hence it will be sudden. Matt. xxv. 6. "at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." Luke. xvii. 26, &c. <213> "as it was in the days of Noe... likewise also as it was in the days of Lot." xxi. 34, 35, "take heed to yourselves, lest at any time, &c...... and so that day come upon you unawares; for as a snare shall it come upon all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth." 1 Thess. v. 2, 3. "for yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night: for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them."

Certain signs however are pointed out by Christ and his apostles as indicative of its approach; Matt. xxiv. 3-27. Mark xiii. Luke xxi. These signs are either general or peculiar.

The general signs are those which relate equally to the destruction of Jerusalem, the type of Christ's advent, and to the advent itself; such as false prophets, false Christs, wars, earthquakes, persecutions, pestilence, famine, and the gradual decay of faith and charity, down to the very day itself.[91] Matt. xxiv. 3-27. 2 Tim. iii. 1, &c.

The peculiar signs are, first, an extreme recklessness and impiety, and an almost universal apostasy. Luke xviii. 8. "when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" 2 Thess. ii. 3. "that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first." Compare also 1 Tim. iv. 1.


Secondly, the revealing of antichrist, and his destruction by the spirit of the mouth of Christ. 2 Thess. ii. 3. "that man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition —." v. 8. "and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

Some refer to the same event another sign, namely, the calling of the entire nation of the Jews, as well as of the ten dispersed tribes.[92] Isai. xi. 11, 12. "it shall come to pass in that day, that Jehovah shall set his hand again the second time —." xiv. 1. "Jehovah will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land." xxvii. 12. "Jehovah shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt." Jer. iii. 12. "return, thou back sliding Israel." v. 18. "in those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel." xxx. 3. "I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah." xxxi. 5. "thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria." v. 36, &c. "if those ordinances depart from before me —." xxxiii. 7. "I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return —." Ezek. xx. 42. "ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel." xxxvii. 21, 22. "I will make them <215> one nation in the land —." Hos. iii. 5. "afterward shall the children of Israel return." Amos ix. 14, 15. " I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel." Zech. viii. 23. "in those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold... of him that is a Jew," &c. xii. 4, &c. "in that day, saith Jehovah, I will smite every horse with astonishment —." Thus the Jews, on their return from the Babylonish captivity, Ezra vi. 17. "offered for a sin-offering for all Israel, twelve he-goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel," all which God still accounted as his own, though even to the present day they have not returned out of captivity. Luke xxi. 24. "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Rom. xi. 12, 13. "now if the fall of them be the riches of the world... how much more their fulness?" v. 15. "if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be?" v. 25. "I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery... that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in: and so all Israel shall be saved."

Christ will delay his coming. 2 Thess. ii. 1-3. "now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand: let no man seduce you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first —." 2 Pet. iii. 3, 4. &c. "there shall come in the last days scoffers,..... saying, Where is the promise of his coming?" <216> &c. to the end of the chapter; where the reason of his delay is assigned.

His advent will be glorious. Matt. xxiv. 27. "as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." v. 30. "they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." See also Luke xxi. 27. Matt. xxv. 31. "when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." 1 Thess. iv. 16. "the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God." 2 Thess. i. 10. "when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day." Tit. ii. 13. "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Jude 14. "behold, the Lord cometh, with ten thousand of his saints."

It will be terrible. Isai. lxvi, 15, 16. "behold, Jehovah will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." xiii. 9, 10. compared with Matt. xxiv. 29,30. "immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." See also Mark xiii. 24, 25. Luke xxi. 25, 26. "there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for <217> fear." 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire." Rev. vi. 12. to the end of the chapter; "lo, there was a great earthquake and the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains... hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains."

The second advent of Christ will be followed by the resurrection of the dead and the last judgment.

A belief in the resurrection of the dead existed even before the time of the gospel. Job xix. 25, 26, &c. "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God." Psal. xvi. 10, &c. "thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." xvii. 14, 15. "from men of the world which have their portion in this life." xlix. 14, 15. "like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them," &c. Isai. li. 6, &c. "the heavens shall vanish away like smoke... but my salvation shall be for ever." xxvi. 19. "thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise; awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust." Zech. iii. 7. "thus saith Jehovah of hosts; if, &c...... I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." Dan. xii. 2. "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Hos. xiii. 14. compared with 1 Cor. xv. 54. "I will ransom thee from the power of the grave, I will redeem thee from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave I will be thy destruction." Acts xxiv. 15. "have hope toward God, which they them <218> selves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." xxvi. 6-8. "I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers... why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" Heb. xi. 10. "he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

This expectation was confirmed under the Gospel by the testimony of Christ. Matt. xii. 41. "the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation." John v. 28, 29. "the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." See also vi. 39, 40. and 1 Cor. vi. 14. xv. 52. "the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible." 2 Cor. iv. 14. "knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you." See also 1 Thess. iv. 14.

To these testimonies from Scripture, may be added several arguments from reason in support of the doctrine. First, the covenant with God is not dissolved by death. Matt. xxii. 32. "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Secondly, "if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen." 1 Cor. xv. 13-20. v. 23. "every man in his own order; Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." John xi. 25. "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life." Thirdly, were there no resurrection, the righteous would be of all men most miserable, and the wicked, who have a better portion in this life, most happy; which <219> would be altogether inconsistent with the providence and justice of God. 1 Cor. xv. 19. "if in this life only we have hope in Christ-." v. 30-32. "why stand we in jeopardy every hour?"

This resurrection will take place partly through the resuscitation of the dead, and partly through a sudden change operated upon the living.

It appears indicated in Scripture that every man will rise numerically one and the same person. Job xix. 26, 27. "though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another." 1 Cor. xv. 53. "this corruptible must put on incorruption." 2 Cor. v. 4. "not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." v. 10. "that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." Otherwise we should not be conformed to Christ, who entered into glory with that identical body of flesh and blood, wherewith he had died and risen again.

The change to be undergone by the living is predicted 1 Cor. xv, 51. "behold, I show you a mystery... we shall all be changed." 1 Thess. iv. 15-18. "this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep... and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord."


The last judgment is that wherein Christ with the saints, arrayed in the glory and power of the Father, shall judge the evil angels, and the whole race of mankind.[93]

Arrayed in the glory and power of the Father. John. v. 22. "the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." v. 27. "he hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man;" that is, because he is himself man.[94] So Acts xvii. 31. "he will judge the world in righteousness by that man —." Rom. ii. 16. "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel."

With the saints. Matt. xix. 28. "ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man <221> shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." See also Luke xxii. 30. 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3. "do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?...... know ye not that we shall judge angels?"

Shall judge. Eccles. xii. 14. "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Matt. xii. 36, 37. "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment; for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned;" that is to say where our actions do not correspond with our words.[95] Rom. xiv. 12. "so then every one of us shall give account of himself to God". 1 Cor. iv. 5. "until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God." 2 Cor. v. 10. "that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

The evil angels. 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3, as above.

The whole race of mankind. Matt. xxiv. 31. "he shall send his angels with a great shout of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." xxv. 32, &c. "before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd <222> divideth his sheep from the goats." Rom. xiv. 10. "we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ." 2 Cor. v. 10. "we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ." Rev. xx. 12, 13. "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God... and the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them."

The rule of judgment will be the conscience of each individual, according to the measure of light which he has enjoyed. John xii. 48. "he that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him at the last day." Rom. ii. 12. "as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law." v. 14. "when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another; in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." James ii. 12. "as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." Rev. xx. 12. "the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

Coincident, as appears, with the time of this last judgment (I use the indefinite expression time, as the word day is often used to denote any given period, and as it is not easily imaginable that so many myriads <223> of men and angels should be assembled and sentenced within a single day) beginning with its commencement, and extending a little beyond its conclusion, will take place that glorious reign of Christ on earth with his saints, so often promised in Scripture, even until all his enemies shall be subdued. His kingdom of grace, indeed, which is also called the kingdom of heaven, began with his first advent, when its beginning was proclaimed by John the Baptist, as appears from the testimony of Scripture; but his kingdom of glory will not commence till his second advent. Dan. vii. 13, 14. "behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven..... and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom;" given him that is, from the time when he came with the clouds of heaven (in which manner his final advent is uniformly described) not to assume our nature as Junius interprets it,[96] (for then he would have been like the Son of man before he became man, which would be an incongruity) but to execute judgment; from the period so indicated, to the time when he should lay down the kingdom, 1 Cor. xv. 24. "then cometh the end," of which more shortly. That this reign will be on earth, is evident from many passages. Psal. ii. 8, 9. compared with Rev. ii. 25-27. "I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession; thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." ex. 5, 6. "Jehovah at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath: he shall judge among the heathen, he <224> shall fill the places with the dead bodies, he shall wound the heads over many countries." Isai. ix. 7. "of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom." Dan. vii. 22. "until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." v. 27. "the kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High —." Luke i. 32, 33. "the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Matt. xix. 28. "ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Luke xxii. 29, 30. "I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." It appears that the judgment here spoken of will not be confined to a single day, but will extend through a great space of time; and that the word is used to denote, not so much a judicial inquiry properly so called, as an exercise of dominion: in which sense Gideon, Jephthah, and the other judges are said to have judged Israel during many years. 1 Cor. xv. 23-26. "every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming: then cometh the end —." Rev. v. 10. "thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth." xi. 15. "the king <225> doms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." xx. 1-7. "I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years: but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished: this is the first resurrection: blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

After the expiration of the thousand years Satan will rage again, and assail the church at the head of an immense confederacy of its enemies; but will be overthrown by fire from heaven, and condemned to everlasting punishment. Rev. xx. 7-9. "when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle... and they compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." 2 Thess. ii. 8. "then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

After the evil angels and chief enemies of God have been sentenced, judgment will be passed upon the whole race of mankind. Rev. xx. 11-15. "I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,... and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead <226> were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works: and the sea gave up the dead which was in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works."

Then, as appears, will be pronounced that sentence, Matt. xxv. 34. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. v. 41. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

The passing of the sentence will be followed by its execution; that is to say, by the punishment of the wicked, and the perfect glorification of the righteous. Matt. xxv. 46. "these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal." Rev. xx. 14, 15. "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire: this is the second death: and whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire."

Then will be the end, spoken of, 1 Cor. xv. 24-28. "then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power; for he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet; the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death; for he hath put all things under his feet: but when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under him: and when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."


It may be asked, if Christ is to deliver up the kingdom to God and the Father, what becomes of the declarations, Heb. i. 8. "unto the Son lie saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever," (in sæculum sæculi, for ages of ages,) and Dan. vii. 14. "his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed;" Luke i. 33. "of his kingdom there shall be no end." I reply, there shall be no end of his kingdom for ages of ages, that is, so long as the ages of the world endure, until time itself, shall be no longer, Rev. x. 6. until every thing which his kingdom was intended to effect shall have been accomplished;[97] insomuch that his kingdom will not pass away as insufficient for its purpose; it will not be destroyed, nor will its period be a period of dissolution, but rather of perfection and consummation, like the end of the law, Matt. v. 18. In the same manner many other things are spoken of as never to pass away, but to remain eternally; as circumcision, Gen. xvii. 13, the ceremonial law in general, Levit. iii. 17. xxiv. 8. the land of Canaan, Gen. xiii. 15. Jer. vii. 7. xxv. 5. the sabbath, Exod. xxxi. 16. the priesthood of Aaron, Numb. xviii. 8. the memorial of stones at the river Jordan, Josh. iv. 7. the signs of heaven, Psal. cxlviii. 6. the earth, Eccles. i. 4. although every one of these has either already come to an end, or will eventually be terminated.

The second death is so termed with reference to the first, or death of the body. For the three other <228> or preparatory degrees of death, see chap. xiii. on the punishment of sin. The fourth and last gradation is that of which we are now speaking, namely, eternal death, or the punishment of the damned.

Under this death may be included, the destruction of the present unclean and polluted world itself, namely, its final conflagration.[98] Whether by this is meant the destruction of the substance of the world itself, or only a change in the nature of its constituent parts, is uncertain, and of no importance to determine; respecting the event itself, we are informed, so far as it concerns us to know, Job. xiv. 12. "till the heavens be no more." Psal. cii. 26. "they shall perish." Isai. xxxiv. "the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and all their host shall fall down." li. 6. "the heavens shall vanish away like smoke." Matt. xxiv. 35. "heaven and earth shall pass away." 1 Cor. vii. 31. "the fashion of this world passeth away." 2 Pet. iii. 7. "the heavens and the earth, which are now... reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." v. 10. "in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise." v. 12. "wherein the heavens being on fire —." Rev. x. 6. "he sware by him that liveth for ever and ever... that there should be time no longer." xxi. 1. "the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea."

The second death, or the punishment of the damned, seems to consist partly in the loss of the chief good, namely, the favour and protection of God, and the beatific vision of his presence, which is commonly <229> called the punishment of loss; and partly in eternal torment which is called the punishment of sense.[99] Matt. xxv. 41. "depart from me, ye cursed, into ever lasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Luke xiii. 27, 28. "I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." xvi. 23. "being in torments, he seeth Abraham afar off." 2 Thess. i. 9. "who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."

The intensity and duration of these punishments are variously intimated. Isai. xxx. 33. "Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared: he hath made it deep and large; the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it." lxvi. 24. compared with Mark ix. 44. "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Dan. xii. 2. "to shame and everlasting contempt." Matt. viii. 12. "outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." See also xiii. 42, &c. Mark ix. 43. "fire that never shall be quenched." Rom. ii. 8, 9. "indignation and Wrath, tribulation and anguish." 2 Thess. i. 9. "who shall be punished with everlasting destruction." Rev. xiv. 11. <230> "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night." See also xix. 3. xxi. 8. "they shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone."

Punishment, however, varies according to the degree of guilt. Matt. xi. 22. "it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you." Luke xii. 47, 48. "he shall be beaten with many stripes... he shall be beaten with few stripes."

The place of punishment is called Hell; Tophet,[100] Isai. xxx. 33. "hell fire," Matt. v. 22. and still more distinctly x. 28. "outer darkness," viii. 12. xxii. 13. xxv. 30, "a furnace of fire," xiii. 42. Hades, Luke. xvi. 23; and elsewhere; "a place of torment," v. 28. "the bottomless pit," Rev. ix. 1. "the lake of fire," xx. 15. "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone," xxi. 8. Hell appears to be situated beyond the limits of this universe. Luke xvi. 26. "between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot." Matt. viii. 12. "outer darkness." Rev. xxii. 14, 15. "they may enter in through the gates into the city; for without are dogs." Nor are reasons wanting for this locality; for as the place of the damned is the same as that prepared for the devil and his angels, Matt. xxv. 41. in punishment of their apostasy, which occurred before the fall of man, it does not seem probable that hell should have been prepared within the limits of this world, in the bowels of the earth, on which the curse had not as yet passed.[101] This is said to have been the opinion <231> of Chrysostom, as likewise of Luther and some later divines.[102] Besides, if, as has been shown from various passages of the New Testament, the whole world is to be finally consumed by fire, it follows that hell being situated in the centre of the earth, must share the fate of the surrounding universe, and perish likewise; a consummation more to be desired than expected by the souls in perdition.

Thus far of the punishment of the wicked; it remains to speak of the perfect glorification of the righteous.

Perfect glorification consists in eternal life and perfect happiness, arising chiefly from the divine vision.[103] It is described Psal. xvi. 11. "thou wilt show me the <232> path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." xvii. 15. "I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." Dan. xii. 3. "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Matt. xiii. 43. "then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." xxii. 30. "they are as the angels of God in heaven." v. 8. "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." 1 Cor. ii. 9. "as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." xiii. 12. "I now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known." xv. 42, 43. "so also is the resurrection of the dead: it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." 2 Cor. iv. 17. "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." v. 1. "we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Eph. ii. 6. "hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Philipp. iii. 21. "who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body." 1 Thess. iv. 17. "we shall be caught up together with them into the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 2 Tim. iv. 8. "henceforth there is laid up <233> for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing." 1 Pet. i. 4. "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." v. 4 "when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." v. 10. "who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus." 1 John. iii. 2. "we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." Rev. vii. 14-17. "these are they... therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them; they shall hunger no more, neither thirst —." xxi. 4. "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." xxii. 1-5. "he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb."

It appears that all the saints will not attain to an equal state of glory. Dan. xii. 3. "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Matt. xx. 23. "to sit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them of whom it is prepared of my Father." 1 Cor. xv. 41, 42. "there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory: so also is the resurrection of the dead."


In heaven. Matt. v. 12. "great is your reward in heaven." Luke xii. 33. "provide yourselves... a treasure in the heavens that faileth not." Philipp. iii. 20. "our conversation is in heaven." Heb. x. 34. "knowing in yourselves that ye have a better and an enduring substance."

Our glorification will be accompanied by the renovation of heaven and earth, and of all things therein adapted to our service or delight, to be possessed by us in perpetuity.[104] Isai. lxv. 17. "behold, I create <235> new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." lxvi. 22. "as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith Jehovah, so shall your seed and your name remain." Acts iii. 21. "whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Matt. xix. 29. "every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life." xxvi. 29. "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." Luke xiv. 15. "one of them that sat at meat with him... said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God;" nor is he reproved by Christ for this saying. xxii. 30. "that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom." Rom. viii. 19-24. "the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God... in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God." 2 Pet. iii. 13. "we according to his promise look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Rev. v. 10. "thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on <236> the earth." xx. 1, &c. "I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea: and I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."




THE subject of the first Book was Faith, or the Knowledge of God. The second treats of the Service or Love of God.[105]

The true service of God consists chiefly in the exercise of good works. Matt. xvi. 27. "then he shall reward every man according to his works." Rom. ii. 13. "not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." Philipp. i. 11. "being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ." iv. 8. "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good <238> report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things: those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you." 2 Tim. iii. 17. "that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." Tit. ii. 11, 12. "the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world." iii. 8. "this is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God may be careful to maintain good works." James i. 22. "be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." 2 Pet. i. 5, &c. "besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge"..... &c. "for if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Good works are those which we perform by the Spirit of God working in us through true faith, to the glory of God, the assured hope of our own salvation, and the edification of our neighbour.

By the Spirit of God working in us. John iii. 21. "that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God." 1 Cor. xv. 10. "by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain, but I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." 2 Cor. iii. 5. "not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God." Gal. v. 22. <239> "the fruit of the Spirit is love... gentleness, goodness, faith." Eph. ii. 10. "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath be foreordained that we should walk in them." v. 9. "the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth." Philipp. ii. 13. "it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

Through faith. John xv. 5. "he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." Heb. xi. 6. "without faith it is impossible to please him." James ii. 22. "seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" that is, how faith (to use a logical expression) constitutes the form of the works, and endows them with the quality of goodness; and how it is itself consummated by the works, as by its end and natural product.

As to the position of divines, that the essential form of good works is their accordance with the decalogue, so far as they are there prescribed, it is not easy to discover how this can be the case under the gospel. Paul certainly teaches a different doctrine, throughout the whole of Romans and elsewhere; declaring explicitly, Rom. xiv. 23. "that whatsoever is not of faith is sin." He does not say whatsoever is not of the decalogue, is sin, but whatsoever is not of faith; it is therefore an accordance with faith, not with the decalogue, that ought to be considered as the essential form of good works. Hence, if I observe the sabbath in compliance with the decalogue, but contrary to dictates of my own faith, conformity with the delogue, however exact, becomes in my case sin, and a <240> violation of the law. For it is faith that justifies, not agreement with the decalogue; and that which justifies can alone render any work good; none therefore of our works can be good, but by faith; hence faith is the essential form of good works, the definition of form being, that by which a thing is what it is. With regard to the passages in which mention is made of keeping God's commandments, 1 John ii. 4. iii. 24. and elsewhere, it seems reasonable to understand this of the precepts of the gospel, in which faith is uniformly put before the works of the law. If then in the gospel faith be above the works of the law, it must be equally above its precepts; for works are the end and fulfilling of precepts. Since therefore under the gospel, although a man should observe the whole Mosaic law with the utmost punctuality, it would profit him nothing without faith,[106] it is evident that good works must be defined to be of faith, not of the decalogue; whence it follows that conformity, not with the written, but with the unwritten law, that is, with the law of the Spirit given by the Father to lead us into all truth, is to be accounted the true essential form of good works. For the works of believers are the works of the Spirit itself; and though such can never be in contradiction to the love of God and our neighbour, which is the sum of the law, they may occasionally deviate from the letter even of the gospel precepts, particularly of those which are merely special, through a predominating regard to the law of <241> love; as was shown by Christ himself in the abolition of sabbatical observances, as well as on several other occasions[107]. See Book I. chap, xxvii, on the gospel.

To the glory of God. Matt. v. 16. "let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." 1 Cor. x. 31. "do all to the glory of God." Philipp. i. 11. "being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."

The assured hope of our own salvation. Gen. xv. 1. "thy exceeding great reward." Prov. x. 9. "he that walketh uprightly, walketh surely." v. 25. "the righteous is an everlasting foundation." v. 29. "the way of Jehovah is straight to the upright." xi. 18, 19. "to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward." xii. 3. "the root of the righteous shall not be moved." xiii. 21. "to the righteous good shall be repaid." xv. 24. "the way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath." xvi. 17. "he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul." xx. 7. "the just man walketh in his integrity; his children are blessed after him." Psal. xv. 1, 2. "Jehovah, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?" &c. Isai. xxxiii. 14, &c. "who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?..... he that walketh righteously." 2 Cor. vii. 1. "having therefore these promises, let us cleanse our selves —." Gal. vi. 8. "he that soweth to his flesh, shall of his flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Philipp. iii. 14. "I press toward the mark for the prize <242> of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Heb. xi. 6. "he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." v. 26. "he had respect unto the recompense of the reward." xii. 2. "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross."

The edification of our neighbour. Hence we are admonished so to act, that we may become examples to others. 2 Sam. xxi. 11, 12. "it was told David what Rizpah had done," &c. 2 Cor. viii. 24. "wherefore show ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf." Rom. xii. 17. "provide things honest in the sight of all men." 1 Tim. iv. 12. "be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." Tit. ii. 4. "that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children." v. 7. "in all things showing thyself a pattern of good works." 1 Pet. ii. 12. "that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." For a virtuous example excites, in the virtuous, an emulation of that virtue; Rom. xi. 14. "if by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them:" a vicious example, on the contrary, is productive of vicious emulation; Prov. xxiii. 17. "let not thine heart envy sinners;" xxiv. 7. "be not thou envious against wicked men;" as well as of offences, by which the strong are scandalized, and the weaker brethren, if not absolutely led into sin, rendered more remiss in the performance of good works." 1 Cor. x. 32, 33. "give none offence, neither <243> to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God; even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved." Matt. xviii. 6, 7. "whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him," &c. See also Mark ix. 42. Rom. xiv. 21. "it is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or offendeth, or is made weak." In this sense a man is said to be a stumbling-block to himself, when he indulges himself in any vice to which his nature inclines him. Matt. v. 29, 30. "if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out," &c. See also xviii. 7, 8.

Where however the offence does not proceed from any fault of ours, but from the frowardness or malignity of the other party, the guilt rests not with him who gives, but with him who takes the offence." Matt. xv. 12, 13. "knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying? but he answered and said, Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up: let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind." Thus Christ did not break off his intercourse with the publicans through fear of scandalizing the Pharisees, but contented himself with giving reasons for his conduct: Matt. ix. 10, &c. "they that be whole need not a physician —." Luke xix. 7. &c. "the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." xx. 18. "whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." See Book I. chap, xxvii. on Christian liberty.


As to what the Papists call works of supererogation, whereby more is done than the law prescribes, insomuch that some of the saints, through the super abundance of their works, have been enabled to purchase eternal life not only for themselves, but for others, such works are clearly impossible. For since we are commanded, under the gospel as well as under the law, to love and serve God with all our strength and with all our mind, and our neighbour as our selves, and since, consequently, there can be no excess in piety and charity, it follows that no act which we are capable of performing can be of such excellence as to fulfil, still less to transcend the requisitions of duty. Lukexvii. 10. "when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants, we have done that which was our duty to do." Those counsels of the gospel, therefore, which the Papists affirm to be of a higher nature than its precepts, insomuch that if a man follow them, not being compelled so to do, he performs a work of supererogation, are not in reality counsels, as distinguished from precepts, nor of a higher nature than the latter; but are to be considered as particular precepts, given, not to all mankind, but to certain individuals, for special reasons and under special circumstances. Thus we are told, Matt. xix. 11. that it is good for those who have the gift of continence, and can receive the saying, not to marry, whenever by remaining single, they can more effectually promote the glory of God, and the good of the church. Again, v. 21. whether the words of Christ are to be considered as precept or as simple counsel, it is certain that, had the young man to whom they were addressed fulfilled them in <245> their utmost extent, he would have done nothing beyond what duty required, any more than Abraham when he led forth his son to sacrifice: for the commands of God, whether addressed to mankind in general, or to a particular class, or to an individual, are equally obligatory on the kind, or class, or individual to whom they are addressed. In the example just cited, obedience to the general precept of loving God above all things was singled out as an instance of duty to be required from the self-sufficient young man, for the purpose of exposing his folly and unfounded confidence, and of showing him how far he was from the perfection to which he pretended. For it was not the selling all he had, which has been done without charity, but the leaving his possessions and following Christ, which was to be the test of his perfection. With regard to the other instance of celibacy, 1 Cor. vii. this is neither made expressly a matter of precept nor of counsel, but is left free to the discretion of individuals, according to seasons and circumstances. To the above may be added, that, if there be any such works as are here described, those precepts must needs be imperfect, which require to be amended by supplementary admonitions. If, moreover, these latter are, as is alleged, of a higher order of excellence than the precepts themselves, who shall be sufficient to fulfil them? seeing that no one is able to perform entirely even the requisitions of the law. Not to mention, that the name of counsels is sometimes applied to precepts of universal application, and of the most imperative necessity; as Rev. iii. 18. "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire." Lastly, that prayer for forgiveness, which by Christ's <246> command we all daily offer, is utterly irreconcileable with the vain boasting of works implied in this doctrine.

It is true, that in matters of choice and Christian liberty, one work may be more perfect than another: 1 Cor. vii. 38. "he doeth well..... he doeth better."2 Cor. xi. 23. "are they ministers of Christ? I am more;" but it is not less the duty of every one to do whatever may most effectually promote the glory of God and the edification of his neighbour. Paul, had he so chosen, needed not have preached the gospel without charge, 1 Cor. ix. 7, &c. but believing, as he did, that a gratuitous service would be less open to suspicion, and tend more to the edification of the church, he did nothing more than his duty in preaching gratuitously. No work of supererogation was performed by Zaccheus, when he voluntarily gave half his goods to the poor, Luke xix. 8. nor by the poor widow, when she cast into the treasury all that she had, Mark xii. 42. nor by the disciples, when they sold their lands, and divided the produce among the brethren, Acts iv. 34; those who did such actions only proved that they loved their neighbours, and especially the believing part of them, as themselves. They were not however under any absolute obligation to give such extraordinary proofs of their love, Acts v. 4. for although perfection is proposed to all men as the end of their endeavours, it is not required of all.

Hence may be easily discerned the vanity of human merits; seeing that, in the first place, our good actions are not our own, but of God working in us; secondly, that, were they our own, they would still <247> be equally due; and, thirdly, that, in any point of view, there can be no proportion between our duty and the proposed reward. Rom. vi. 23. "the gift of God is eternal life." viii. 18. "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Hence although Hezekiah asserts his uprightness in the sight of God, Isai. xxxviii. 3. "remember now, O Jehovah, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which was good in thy sight," he is so far from considering this as constituting any claim to reward, that he acknowledges himself indebted to the free mercy of God for the pardon of his sins: v. 17. "thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption, for thou hast cast all my sins behind my back." So likewise Nehemiah, xiii. 22. "remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy." The declarations of God himself, Exod. xx. 6, is to the same purpose. Lastly, that of which God stands in no need, can deserve nothing of him.[108] Job xxii. 2, &c. "can a man be profitable with God?" xxxv. 7. "if thou be righteous, what givest thou him?" Luke xvii. 10. "we are unprofitable servants." Rom. xi. 35. "who hath first given him —?" See Book I. ch. xxii. on Justification.

Opposed to good works are evil works; the vanity and bitterness of which are forcibly described by Isaiah. lix. 4, &c. "they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity; they hatch cocatrice' eggs —." Prov. <248> xi. 3. "the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them." v. 5. "the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness." xiii. 15. "the way of transgressors is hard." xxii. 5. "thorns and snares are in the way of the froward."

A good man is known by his works. Matt. xii. 35. "a good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things." 1 John iii. 7. "he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." He is described Job xxix. 11-25. "when the ear heard me, then it blessed me," &c. and elsewhere.

Sometimes, however, certain temporary virtues, or semblances of virtues, are discernible even in the wicked; as in Saul, 1 Sam. xix, and in the Jews, Jer. xxxiv. An outward show of liberality, gratitude, and equity, with a regard for the interest of his subjects, are visible in the king of Sodom, Gen. xiv. 21. See also the instance of Eglon, Judges iii, and of Belshazzar, Dan. v. 29.

The wicked man is described Psal. x. 3, &c. "the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire," &c. xiv. 1, &c. "the fool hath said in his heart —." Prov. i. 11, &c. "if they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood —." iv. 14, &c. "enter not into the path of the wicked —." xxviii. 5, &c. "evil men understand not judgment."



THE primary, efficient cause of good works, as has been stated above, is God.

The proximate causes of good works are naturally, in ordinary cases at least, good habits, or, as they are called,virtues; in which is comprised the whole of our duty towards God and man. Philipp. iv. 8. "if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise." 2 Pet. i. 5. "add to your faith virtue." These are partly general, or such as pertain to the whole duty of man; and partly special, or such as apply to the particular branches of that duty.

The general virtues belong partly to the understanding, and partly to the will.

Those which belong to the understanding are wisdom and prudence.

Wisdom is that whereby we earnestly search after the will of God, learn it with all diligence, and govern all our actions according to its rule.

The will of God. Deut. iv. 6. "keep therefore and do them, for this is your wisdom —." Psal. cxix. 66. "teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I have <250> believed thy commandments." v. 98-100. "thou through thy commandments, hast made me wiser than mine enemies... than my teachers... than the ancients." Prov. xxviii. 5. "they that seek Jehovah understand all things." xxx. 5, 6. "every work of God is pure... add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Rom. xii. 2. "be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." xvi. 19. "I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil." Ephes. v. 15. "see that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise." James iii. 13. "who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom." v. 17. "the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." 1 John ii. 3. "hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." Hence the fear of the Lord is called wisdom, Job xxviii. 28. Psal. xxv. 14. "the secret of Jehovah is with them that fear him." cxi. 10. "the fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom." See also Prov. i. 7. Eccles. xii. 15. "let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter," &c. So also Christ, 1 Cor. i. 30. "is made unto us wisdom." Col. ii. 3. "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom."

Earnestly search. Prov. ii. 4, &c. "if thou seekest her as silver —." James i. 5. "if any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given <251> him." Wisdom is readily found of such as seek her, and discloses herself to them of her own accord. Prov. i. 20, &c. "wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets." See also viii. 1, &c.

Wisdom is praised, Job xxviii. 15, &c. "it cannot be gotten for gold —." Prov. iii. 13, &c. "happy is, the man that findeth wisdom." iv. 5, &c. "get wisdom —." viii. 6, &c. "hear, for I will speak of excellent things," Eccles. ix. 18. "wisdom is better than weapons of war."

The treasures of wisdom are not to be rashly lavished on such as are incapable of appreciating them. Prov. xxiii. 9. "speak not in the ears of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of thy words." Matt. vii. 6. "give not that which is holy unto the dogs." Mark iv. 34. "without a parable spake he not unto them." 1 Cor. ii. 6. "howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world."

To wisdom is opposed folly; which consists, first and chiefly, in an ignorance of the will of God. Isai. i. 3. "the ox knoweth its owner." v. 13. "therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge." Jer. v. 4. "they are foolish, for they know not the way of Jehovah, nor the judgment of their God." viii. 7, &c. "yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times —." John xvi. 2, 3. "the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service: and these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me." xii. 10. "the chief priests consulted that they might put. Lazarus also to death." <252> Eph. iv, 17, 18. "being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them." v. 17. "be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." 1 Cor. ii. 8. "had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." 1 Tim. i. 13. "I did it ignorantly in unbelief."

Secondly, in a false conceit of wisdom. Numb. xv. 39. "that ye seek not after your own heart." 1 Kings xviii. 17. "art thou he that troubleth Israel?" Prov. iii. 7. "be not wise in thine own eyes; fear Jehovah." xiv 6. "a scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not." v. 12. "there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." xxi. 2. "every way of a man is right in his own eyes; but Jehovah pondereth the hearts." xxvi. 12. "seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him." xxviii. 26. "he that trusteth in his own way is a fool; but whoso walketh wisely he shall be delivered." Isai. v. 21. "woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes." John ix. 39. "that they which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind." Rom. i. 22. "professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." 1 Cor. viii. 2. "if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." Yet folly cries aloud, and invites mankind to her instructions, as if she were the sole depositary of wisdom. Prov. ix. 16. "whoso is simple, let him turn in hither."

Thirdly, in a prying into hidden things, after the example of our first parents, who sought after the knowledge of good and evil contrary to the command <253> of God;[109] and of Lot's wife, Gen. xix. 26. xxxii. 29, "wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?" Exod. xix. 23. "set bounds about the mount —." Deut. xxix. 29. "the secret things belong unto Jehovah our God." 1 Sam. vi. 19. "he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah." Acts i. 7. "it is not for you to know the times or the seasons." xix. 19. "many of them also which used curious arts, brought their books together." Rom. xii. 3. "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every men the measure of faith."

Fourthly, in human or carnal wisdom. Job v. 12. "he disappointeth the devices of the crafty." xii. 24 "he taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth." xxviii. 13, 14. "man knoweth not the price thereof... the depth saith, It is not in me —." Eccles. i. 17. "I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly; I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit." vii. 29. "they have found out many inventions." xii. 12. "of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh." Isai. xix. 11, &c. "the princes of Zoan are fools..... how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?" xxix. 14. "the wisdom of their wise men shall perish." xxxiii. 11. "ye shall bring forth stubble." lix. 15. "he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey." <254> Mark iii. 21. "when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him; for they said, He is beside himself." John x. 20. "he hath a devil, and is mad." Acts xvii. 18. "certain philosophers of the Epicureans... encountered him; and some said, What will this babbler say?" v. 32. "when they heard of the resurrection from the dead, some mocked." xxvi. 24. "Paul, thou art beside thyself." 1 Cor. i. 19, 20. "it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise." v. 23. "we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called," &c. iii. 19. "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." vi. 4. "if then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church." Col. ii. 8. "beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy." Luke xii. 56, 57. "ye can discern the face of the sky, and of the earth... and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?" Hence we are frequently permitted to be deceived with false shows of human wisdom, in requital for our contempt of that which is true and divine. Psal. lxxxi. 11-13. "my people would not hearken to my voice... so I gave them up unto their own heart's lusts, and they walked in their own counsels."

Prudence is that virtue by which we discern what is proper to be done under the various circumstances of time and place. Prov. xxix. 11. "a fool uttereth all his mind; but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards." Eccles. iii. 1. "to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." v. 11. "he hath made every thing beautiful in his time." Matt. x. 16, 17. "behold, I send you forth as <255> sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves: but beware of men —." Philipp. i. 9, 10. "that your love may abound yet more and more, in knowledge and in all judgment, that ye may approve things that are excellent." Heb. v. 14. "strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." This quality is an indispensable seasoning to every virtue, as salt was to the ancient sacrifices. Mark ix. 49. "every one shall be salted with fire; and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt."

Hence the maxim, "of the evils of sin choose none, of those of punishment the least." If this be true with regard to the evils of sin, it is obvious how preposterously, they interpret the law, who hold that usury, divorce, polygamy, and the like, were conceded to the hard-heartedness of the Jews as venial infirmities, or as evils which were to be abated or regulated by law; whereas the law can no more concede or tolerate the smallest degree of moral evil, than a good man can voluntarily choose it.

Thus much of the general virtues which belong to the understanding; those which belong to the will are sincerity, promptitude, and constancy.

Sincerity, which is also called integrity, and a good conscience, consists in acting rightly on all occasions, with a sincere desire and a hearty mental determination. Gen. xvii. 1. "walk before me, and be thou perfect." Deut. xviii. 13. "thou shalt be perfect with Jehovah thy God." Job xxvii. 5, 6. "till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me." Psal. xxvi. 1. "judge me, O Jehovah, for I have walked in mine <256> integrity." Prov. iv. 23. "keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." Matt. xii. 35. "a good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things —." Acts xxiii. 1. "I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day." xxiv. 16. "to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men." 2 Tim. i. 3. "I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience." 1 Cor. iv. 4. "I know nothing of myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord." Philipp. ii. 15. "that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation." Col. iii. 23. "whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." 1 Tim. i. 19. "holding faith, and a good conscience, which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck." 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course." Heb. xiii. 18. "we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly." 1 John iii. 19. "hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him." v. 21. "if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God." Properly speaking, how ever, a good conscience is not in itself sincerity, but rather an approving judgment of the mind respecting its own actions, formed according to the light which we have received either from nature or from grace, whereby we are satisfied of our inward sincerity. Rom. ii. 15. "which show the work of the law written in their hearts," &c. This feeling is described Job xiii. 15, &c. "I will maintain mine own ways before him," xxiii. 3, &c. "O that I knew where I <257> might find him —!" xxxi. 6. "let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity." v. 35. "O that one would hear me!" 2 Cor. i. 12. "our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world."

The opposite to this is an evil conscience;[110] that is to say (allowing some latitude of signification to the word) the judgment of each individual mind concerning its own bad actions, and its consequent disapproval of them, according to the light enjoyed from nature or grace; which may be more properly called a consciousness of evil. Gen. xlii. 21. "we are verily guilty concerning our brother... therefore is this distress come upon us." Hos. x. 8. "they shall say to the mountains, Cover us, and to the hills, Fall on us," compared with Rev. vi. 16. "they said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb." Luke xx. 5, 6. "they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven, he will say, Why then believed ye him not?" Acts xxiv. 25. "as he reasoned of righteousness...Felix trembled." Rom. ii. 15. "their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another." Heb. x. 22. "having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience." John viii. 9. "being convicted by their own conscience." <258> strictly speaking, however, an evil conscience is one which judges erroneously or with a wrong bias, and not according to the light derived from nature or grace." 1 Cor. viii. 7. "their conscience being weak, is defiled." 1 Tim. iv. 2. "having their conscience seared with a hot iron." Tit. i. 15. "even their mind and conscience is defiled."

Contrary to sincerity are, first, evil thoughts. Matt. v. 28. "he hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." xv. 18, 19. "those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man; for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders —." Secondly, hypocrisy; the deeds of which, though plausible, are not good, or if good, are not done with a good design. Matt. vi. 1, &c. "take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them, otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." xxiii. 25, 26. "woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess."

Promptitude or alacrity is that which excites us to act with a ready and willing spirit. Psal. i. 2. "whose delight is in the law of Jehovah." xl. 8. "I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart." cx. 3. "thy people shall be willing." Prov. xxi. 15. "it is joy to the just to do judgment." 2 Cor. viii. 12. "if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath —." ix. 7. "God loveth a cheerful giver."

Its opposites are, first, precipitancy. Matt. viii. 19. "I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest."


Secondly, a forced and not spontaneous discharge of duty. Deut. xxviii. 47. "because thou servedst not Jehovah thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart." 2 Cor. ix. 7. "not grudgingly, or of necessity." Gal. vi. 9. "let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." 2 Thess. iii. 13. "be not weary in well doing." Heb. v. 11. "ye are dull of hearing." xii. 3. "consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." v. 12. "lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees." 1 Pet. v. 2. "not by constraint, but willingly."

Constancy is that virtue whereby we persevere in a determination to do right, from which nothing can divert us. Psal. cxix. 44, 45. "I shall keep thy law continually for ever and ever; and I will walk at liberty." v. 51. "the proud have had me greatly in derision, yet have I not declined from thy law." v. 61. "the bands of the wicked have robbed me, but I have not forgotten thy law." v. 95. "the wicked have waited for me to destroy me, but I will consider thy testimonies." v. 110. "the wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I erred not from thy precepts." v. 112. "I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end." v. 157. "many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies." Eccles. vii. 14. "in the day of prosperity be joyful; but in the day of adversity consider." Matt. xxiv. 13. "he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved." 2 Cor. vi. 4, &c. "in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, <260> in necessities, in distresses-." viii. 11. "now therefore perform the doing of it, that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have."

The opposites of this are, first, inconstancy. Jer. xxxiv. 8, &c. "after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people... to proclaim liberty unto them... afterward they turned and caused the servants and the handmaids whom they had let go free to return." v. 15, 16. "ye were now turned and had done right in my sight but ye turned and polluted

my name. Luke ix. 62. "no man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Matt. xiii. 20-22. "he heareth the word... yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended... he heareth the word, and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word."

Secondly, obstinacy in error, or in a wrong purpose. Psal. xix. 13. "keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me; then shall I be upright, and 1 shall be innocent from the great transgression." Jer. ii. 35. "behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned." Acts vii. 51. "ye stiff-necked, and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost."



SPECIAL virtues are those which pertain only to a particular branch of our duty; namely, to our duty towards God, or towards man.

Our duty towards God relates to his immediate worship or service; which is either internal or external.

Internal worship consists mainly in the acknowledgment of the one true God, and in the cultivation of devout affections towards him. Deut. vi. 4. "hear, O Israel; Jehovah our God is one Jehovah;" as in the first book, on God.

Opposed to this is, first, atheism. Psal. xiv. 1 . "the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." also liii. 1. See more on this subject in the first book, as above.

Secondly, polytheism, or the acknowledgment of more Gods than one, except in the sense authorized by Scripture itself. Gal. iv. 8. "when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no Gods." <262> Devout affections towards God are love, trust, hope, gratitude, fear, humility, patience, obedience. Deut. x. 12, 13. "what doth Jehovah thy God require of thee, but to fear Jehovah thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve Jehovah thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul: to keep the commandments of Jehovah and his statutes."

The love of God is that by which we prefer him above all other objects of affection, and desire his glory. Deut. vi. 5. "thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thine heart —." See also Matt. xxii. 37.

Desire his glory. Numb. xiv. 15, 16. "then the nations will speak, saying, Because Jehovah was not able to bring this people into the land —." Josh. vii. 9. "what wilt thou do unto thy great name?"

Opposed to this is a hatred of God: John xv. 24. "they have hated both me and my Father;" and a love of the world or of created things. Luke xiv. 33. "whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." 1 Cor. vii. 31. "they that use this world, as not abusing it." Philipp. iii. 1, 8. "what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ; yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ." James iv. 4. "know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." 1 John ii. 15. "love not the world."

Of faith, in its primary sense, and as the instrumental cause of justification, I have spoken above; I <263> now speak of trust in God, considered as an effect of love, and as a part of internal worship, whereby we wholly repose on him. 2 Chron. xx. 20. "believe in Jehovah your God, so shall ye be established." Psal. xviii. 2, 3, &c. "Jehovah is my rock and my fortress... in whom I will trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." So also Psal. xxvii. xxviii. 7. xxxii. 10. xxxvii, 5. "commit thy way unto Jehovah, trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass." So also lxi. lxii. lxxiii. 26. lxxxiv. 12. cxii. 7. cxv. 9, &c. cxxiii. cxxx. 6. Prov. xiv. 26. "in the fear of Jehovah is strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge." xvi. 3. "commit thy works unto Jehovah, and thy thoughts shall be established." See also xviii. 10. xxx. 5. Isai. lix. 1. "behold, Jehovah's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save." Jer. xvii. 7. "blessed is the man that trusteth in Jehovah, and whose hope Jehovah is." Mal. iii. 16-18. "then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked," &c.

Opposed to this is, first, distrust of God. Gen. xii. 13. "say, I pray thee, thou art my sister —." xxxii. 7. "then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed." Numb. xiv. 1, &c. "all the congregation lifted up their voice and cried —." xx. 10, 11. "must we fetch you water out of this rock?... with his rod he smote the rock twice." 2 Kings vii. 2. "if Jehovah would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?" Isai. vii. 12. "I will not ask, neither will I tempt Jehovah."

Secondly, an overweening presumption. Numb. xiv. 44. "they presumed to go up unto the hill top." xv. 30. "the soul that doeth ought presumptuously —." <264> Prov. xxvii. 1. "boast not thyself of to-morrow —." Amos v. 18. "woe unto you that desire the day of Jehovah." Mic. iii. 11. "the heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon Jehovah, and say, Is not Jehovah among us?" Matt. iii. 7. "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" iv. 6, 7. "thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Rom. ii. 4. "despisest thou the riches of his goodness-?"

Thirdly, carnal reliance. 2 Chron. xvi. 7. "because thou hast relied on the king of Syria —." v. 12. "in his disease he sought not to Jehovah, but to the physicians." Psal. xiv. 6. "ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because Jehovah is his refuge." See also cxviii. 8, 9. cxlvi. 3. "put not your trust in princes." cxlvii. 10. "he delighteth not in the strength of the horse." Prov. xxix. 26. "many seek the ruler's favour." Isai. xxx. 2. "to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh," &c. iii. 1. "the Lord doth take away...the stay and the staff." xxii. 8. "thou didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest." xxxi. 1. "woe to them that go down to Egypt for help —." Jer. xvii. 5. "cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from Jehovah." Amos vi. 13. "ye which rejoice in a thing of nought."

Fourthly, a trust in idols. 2 Kings i. 2. "go, inquire of Baalzebub —." More will be said on this subject hereafter, under the head of idolatry.

Hope is that by which we expect with certainty the fulfilment of God's promises. Job xiii. 15. "though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Psal. xxxi. 24. <265> "be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in Jehovah." xxvii. 14. "wait on Jehovah —." cxix. 116. "let me not be ashamed of my hope." Prov. x. 28. "the hope of the righteous shall be gladness." Isai. xl. 31. "they that wait upon Jehovah shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles." Rom. v. 4, 5. "experience worketh hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts."

Opposed to this virtue, as well as to faith, is doubt; to which even the pious are sometimes liable, at least for a time. 1 Sam. xxvii. 1 . "David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul." Matt. xiv. 31. "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" xxi. 21. "if ye have faith and doubt not —." Mark xi. 23. "whosoever shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe —."

Secondly, despair; which takes place only in the reprobate. Gen. iv. 13. "Cain said unto Jehovah, My punishment is greater than I can bear." Matt. xxvii. 5. "he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." Acts i. 18. "falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst."

Gratitude towards God is that whereby we acknowledge his goodness in conferring benefits upon creatures so unworthy as ourselves. Psal. ciii. 2. "forget not all his benefits." cxvi. 12. "what shall I render unto Jehovah-?" 1 Cor. vl 20. "ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." Heb. xii. 28. "let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably <266> with reverence and godly fear." 1 Pet. ii. 9. "that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness —." 1 John iv. 19. "we love him, because he first loved us."

Opposed to this is, first, ingratitude towards God. Isai. i. 2. "I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me." Hos. xiii. 6. "according to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted: therefore have they forgotten me." Rom. i. 21. "when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful."

Secondly, the bestowing on idols, or on created things, that gratitude which we owe to God. Jer. xliv. 17. "to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her... then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil." Habak. i. 16. "they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag."

The fear of God is that whereby we reverence God as the supreme Father and Judge of all men, and dread offending him above all things. Deut. xxviii. 58. "that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, Jehovah thy God." Psal. ii. 11. "serve Jehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling." xxxiv. 11. "I will teach you the fear of Jehovah." cxxx.4. "there is forgiveness with him, that thou mayest be feared." Prov. xix. 23. "the fear of Jehovah tendeth to life." Mal. i. 6. "if I be a father, where is mine honour? if I be a master, where is my fear?" 1 Pet. i. 17. "if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear." Matt. x. 28. <267> "rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell." Philipp. ii. 12. "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

Opposed to this is, first, carnal security. Job v. 3, &c. "I have seen the foolish taking root." xxiv. 23, &c. "though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth —." xxxiv. 22. "there is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves." Psal. x. 5, 6. "thy judgments are far above out of his sight." xxx. 6. "in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved." lxxiii. 6. "therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain." xciv. 7. "yet they say, Jah shall not see." Eccles. viii. 11. "because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Isai. v. 19. "that say, Let him make speed and hasten his work." xxviii. 15. "because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death." xxix. 15. "woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from Jehovah." Ezek. viii. 12. "Jehovah seeth us not, Jehovah hath forsaken the earth." Amos vi. 1. "woe to them that are at ease." Zeph. i. 12. "that say in their hearts, Jehovah will not do good, neither will he do evil." Matt. xxv. "the foolish virgins." Luke xii. 2, 3. "there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed —." v. 19. "I will say to my soul," &c. v. 45. "if that servant say in his heart," &c. 1 Cor. xi. 31. "if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."

Secondly, a slavish fear. 1 John iv. 18. "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment: he that feareth is not made perfect in love."


Thirdly, a fear of idols. 2 Kings xvii. 33. "they feared Jehovah, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence."

And lastly, a fear of any thing whatever except God. Matt. x. 28. "fear not them which kill the body."

Humility is that whereby we acknowledge our unworthiness in the sight of God. Gen. xxxii. 10. "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies," &c. 1 Chron. xxix. 14. "who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." Psal. li. 17. "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit." cxv. 1. "not unto us, O Jehovah, not unto us, but unto thy name give the praise." Isai. lxvi. 2. "to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Matt. v. 3. "blessed are the poor in spirit." Luke ix. 48. "he that is least among you all, the same shall be great." 1 Pet. v. 5, 6. "submit your selves," &c. 1 Tim. i. 15. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief."

To this is opposed, first, pride towards God. Job xv. 25. "he stretcheth out his hand against God." Prov. iii. 34. "he scorneth the scorners; but he giveth grace unto the lowly." See also James iv. 6. 1 Pet. v. 5. Prov. xvi. 5. "every one that is proud of heart is an abomination to Jehovah." Acts xii. 23. "the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory." Rev. iii. 17. "thou sayest, I am rich, and in creased with goods, and have need of nothing; and <269> knowest not that them art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."

Secondly, a false or superstitious humility. Col. ii. 23. "which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh."

Patience is that whereby we acquiesce in the promises of God, through a confident reliance on his divine providence, power, and goodness, and bear inevitable evils with equanimity, as the dispensation of the supreme Father, and sent for our good. Job i. 22. "in all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." ii. 10. "shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" 2 Sam. xvi. 10. "because Jehovah hath said unto him, Curse David, who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?" Isai. xxviii. 16. "he that believeth shall not mistake." Lam. iii. 29, &c. "he putteth his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope; he giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him." Matt. xvi. 24. "let him take up his cross, and follow me." Luke xxi. 19. "in your patience possess ye your souls." Rom. viii. 25. "if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." xv. 4. "that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." 2 Cor. xii. 10. "therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake." Coloss. i. 11. "unto all long-suffering". 2 Thess. iii. 5. "the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ." Heb. x. 36. "ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive <270> promise." James v. 7, 8. "be patient unto the coming of the Lord; behold, the husbandman waiteth —... be ye also patient, stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." 1 Pet. ii. 19, &c. "this is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully... if when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God: for even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an ex ample that ye should follow his steps... who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."

Opposed to this is impatience under the divine decrees; a temptation to which the saints themselves are at times liable. 1 Kings xix. 4. "he requested for himself that he might die." Job iii. 2, &c. "let the day perish wherein I was born." vii. 11. "therefore I will not refrain my mouth." xix. 7. "behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard; I cry aloud, but there is no judgment." Eccles. vii. 7. "surely oppression maketh a wise man mad." Jer. xx. 15. "cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying-." xlv. 5. "thou didst say, Woe is me now, for Jehovah hath added grief to my sorrow." Jonah iv. 3. "it is better for me to die than to live."

Obedience is that virtue whereby we propose to ourselves the will of God above all things as the rule of our conduct, and serve him alone. Thus Abraham, Gen. xii. 4. "departed from Canaan, as Jehovah had spoken unto him." xxii. 3. "Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass —." 1 Sam. xv. 22. "hath Jehovah as great delight in burnt-offerings <271> and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? behold, to obey is better than sacrifice." Psal. lxxxi. 13, 14. "O that my people had hearkened unto me," 5 &c. Eccles. v. 1. "be more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools." Jer. vi. 19, 20. "because they have not hearkened unto my words... your burnt-offerings are not acceptable." vii. 22, 23. "I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices; but this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice." xxxv. 2. "go unto the house of the Rechabites —." Matt. vi. 10. "thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." xxvi. 39. "not as I will, but as thou wilt." v. 42. "thy will be done." John xiv. 15. "if ye love me, keep my commandments." See also v. 21, 23. Acts iv. 19. "whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye." v. 29. "we ought to obey God rather than men." Eph. vi. 6, 7. "as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service." 1 John ii. 5. "whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected." v. 17. "he that doeth the will of God abideth forever." v. 3. "this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous."

Opposed to this is disobedience. 1 Sam. xv. 23. "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." This was the error of the prophet of Judah, 1 Kings xiii. 22. Prov. xiii. 13. "whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed." xxviii. 9. "he that turneth away his ear... even his prayer shall be abomination." Jer. vi. 16. "thus <272> saith Jehovah, Stand ye in the ways... and walk there in... but they said, We will not walk therein." v. 17. "they said, We will not hearken." vii. 26. "they hearkened not unto me —." xxii. 21. "this hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice." xxxvi. 23, &c. "it came to pass that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves," &c. xliv. 16. "as for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of Jehovah, we will not hearken unto thee." Even where it wears the disguise of humility: John xiii. 8. "thou shalt never wash my feet;" or of a righteousness beyond what is commanded: Deut. v. 32. "ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left." See also xxviii. 14. Josh. i. 7. Deut. xii. 32. "thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." 1 Kings xx. 35. "the man refused to smite him." Prov. xxx. 6. "add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." 1 Cor. iv. 6. "that ye might learn in us not to think of man above that which is written." Rev. xxii. 18, 19. "if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues —."



THUS much of the internal service of God. We are now to speak of his external service, which is commonly denominated religion; not that internal worship is not also religion, but that it is not usually called so, except as it manifests itself in outward actions. Although external worship is, for the convenience of definition, distinguished from internal, it is our duty to unite them in practice, nor are they ever separated, except by the fault of the wicked.

True religion is that by which God is worshipped with sincerity after the form and manner which himself has prescribed. Mic. vi. 6. "wherewith shall I come before Jehovah-?" Worship is expressed in Scripture by the verb λατρεύειν, Matt. iv. 10, and δουλεύειν, vi. 24. Gal. iv. 8. The Papists therefore err in explaining λατρεία of the worship paid to God, δουλεία of that paid to holy men and angels[111].

Opposed to this is, first, superstition or will worship (ἐθελοθρησκεία,) the offspring of man's invention. Thus Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire before <274> Jehovah, for which they were forthwith punished with death, Lev. x. 1, 2. 1 Sam. xiii. 12. "I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt-offering... thou hast done foolishly." xv. 15, 16. "they have brought them... to sacrifice unto Jehovah thy God... stay and I will tell thee what Jehovah hath said to me." 1 Kings xii. 31, 32. "he made an house of high places." 2 Kings xvi. 10. "he saw an altar that was at Damascus," &c. 1 Chron. xv. 13, 15. "Jehovah our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order... so the children of the Levites bare the ark of God... according to the word of Jehovah." Isai. xxix. 13. "their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men." Mark vii. 7, 8. "in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matt. xv. 3, &c. "why do ye also transgress the commandment of God-?" Gal. vi. 12. "as many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised." Some of the early teachers of the church are chargeable with this grievous error, in that they, to facilitate the conversion of the heathen to Christianity,[112] retained <275> the pagan rites with a slight alteration of names or things, to the infinite detriment of religion, and in direct violation of the precept, Deut. xii. 30, 31. "take <276> heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them... and that thou inquire not after their gods saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise: thou shalt not do so unto Jehovah thy God."

Secondly, an hypocritical worship, in which the external forms are duly observed, but without any accompanying affection of the mind; which is a high offence against God. Lev. xxvi. 31. "I will make your cities waste," &c. 1 Sam. iv. 3. "let us fetch the ark of the covenant of Jehovah out of Shiloh unto us." 2 Chron. xii. 9. "so Shishak came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of Jehovah." Thus Joash repaired the temple, xxiv. 4-6.; as did also Herod, although the enemy of Christ. xxxvi. 7. "Nebuchadnezzar carried of the vessels of the house of Jehovah, and put them in his temple at Babylon." See also Ezra i. 7. Prov. xv. 8. "the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Jehovah." See also xxi. 27. Isai. i. 11. "to what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?" Jer. vii. 4." trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of Jehovah..... are these." v. 12. "go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh." See also v. 14. Isai. xxix. 13. "forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me." See also Matt. xv. 8, 9. Isai. xlviii. 1. "hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel." lxvi. 3. "he that killeth an ox," &c. Jer. xviii. 18. "come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest." Ezek. xxxiii. 30-32. "they sit before thee as my <277> people... but their heart goeth after covetousness." Amos v. 21. "I hate, I despise your feast days." vi. 5. "that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David." Mic. vi. 7, &c. "will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? he hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Matt. xii. 44. "he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished." xxi. 30, &c. "he answered and said, I go, sir; and went not." xxiii. 3. "they say and do not." v. 15. "woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites —." Luke xi. 40, 42. "ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? " Philipp. i. 15, 16. "some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife."

The Shechemites, (Gen. xxxiv.) were punished with slaughter and destruction for having adopted a new religion inconsiderately, and from secular motives.

On the contrary, internal worship, or the worship of the heart, is accepted of God, even where external forms are not in all respects duly observed[113]. 1 Kings iii. 3. "Solomon loved Jehovah... only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places." 2 Chron. xxx. 18-20. "a multitude of the people... had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the Passover... but Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good <278> Jehovah pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, Jehovah God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary: and Jehovah hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people." John vii. 14. "now about the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught."

The parts and circumstances of true religion, or of the worship of God, are next to be considered.

The parts into which religion is divided, are the invocation or adoration of God, and the sanctification of his name in all the circumstances of life.

Under invocation are included, first, supplication and thanksgiving; secondly, oaths and the casting of lots.

Supplication is that act whereby under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we reverently ask of God things, lawful, either for ourselves or others, through faith in Christ. Psal. 1. 15. "call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." lxxxvi. 4, 5. "unto thee, O Jehovah, do I lift up my soul; for thou, Jehovah, art good and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." Matt. vii. 7-10. "ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Philipp. iv. 6. "be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God."

Through faith. Mark xi. 24. "what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Rom. x. 14. "how then shall they call on him in whom they have not believ <279> ed?" 1 Tim. ii. 8. "without doubting." James i. 6, 7. "let him ask in faith, nothing wavering; for he that wavereth," &c.

In Christ. John xiv. 13, 14 "whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." xvi. 23. "whatsover ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you." Rev. v. 8. "having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." viii. 3, 4. "there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne; and the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God."

Things lawful; and above all, the best things. 1 Kings iii. 11, 12. "because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words." Matt. vi. 33. "seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Zech. xii. 10. "I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplications." Rom. viii. 26, 27. "likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought." Ephes. vi. 18. "praying always... in the Spirit." Jude 20. "praying in the Holy Ghost;" that is, quickening and calling into action, as much as possible, the gift of the Holy Ghost within us."


The Lord's Prayer was intended rather as a model of supplication, than as a form to be repeated verbatim by the apostles, or by Christian churches at the present day,[114] Hence the superfluousness of set forms of worship; seeing that, with Christ for our master, and the Holy Spirit for our assistant in prayer, we can have no need of any human aid in either respect.[115]

Reverently. Reverence comprehends, first, the internal affection of the mind, and secondly, the voice and outward deportment of the body.

Under the former is included, first, that we ask every thing aright, that is to say, to a right end. James iv. 3. "ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." Secondly, that our supplications proceed from a pure and penitent heart. Hence 2 Sam. xxii. 42. "they look <281> ed, but there was none to save; even unto Jehovah, but he answered them not." Psal. lxvi. 18. "if I regard iniquity in my heart, Jehovah will not hear me." Isai. i. 16-18. "wash you, make you clean... come now, and let us reason together —." Ezek. viii. 18. "though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them". xx. 30, 31. "are ye polluted, after the manner of your fathers?... and shall I be inquired of by you?" John ix. 31. "God heareth not sinners." Thirdly, that we pray in a spirit of kindness and forgiveness towards our brethren. Matt. v. 24. "leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother —." vi. 12. "forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." See also xviii. 23. the parable of the two debtors. 1 Tim. ii. 8. "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." Fourthly, that we seek the Lord early. Prov. i. 24-28. "because I have called, and ye refused... they shall call upon me, but I will not answer." Psal. xxxii. 6. "for this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found." Isai. lv. 6. "seek ye Jehovah, while he may be found." Fifthly, that we pray with all humility. Luke xviii. 9, &c. "standing afar off... saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." Sixthly, that we pray earnestly; see the parable of the man who came to borrow bread of his friend, Luke xi. 5. and of the unjust judge, xviii. 2, &c. Lastly, that we persevere in prayer. Coloss. iv. 2. "continue in prayer."

It is not necessary that our prayers should be always audible; the silent supplication of the mind, whispers, even groans and inarticulate exclamations in <282> private prayer, are available.[116] Exod. xiv. 15. "Jehovah said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me?" though he was saying nothing with his lips, and only praying inwardly. 1 Sam. i. 13. "now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard." Thus, too, our devotions will be less conspicuous; according to the command, Matt. vi. 6.

Prayer may be offered either alone, or in company. Christ appears seldom to have prayed in conjunction with his disciples, or even in their presence, but either wholly alone, or at some distance from them. It is moreover evident that the precepts, Matt. vi. have reference to private prayer alone. When however he inculcated on his disciples the duty of prayer in general, he gave no specific direction whether they should pray alone, or with others. It is certain that they were in the frequent practice of praying in assemblies; and that either individually, each framing within himself his own particular petition relative to some subject on which they had agreed in common, Matt. xviii, <283> 19. or by the mouth of one chosen from their number, who spoke in the name of the rest; both which modes of prayer appear to have been used indiscriminately by the primitive Christians. Acts ii. 42. "in breaking of bread and in prayers." iv. 24. "they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said —." xii. 12. "where many were gathered together praying." xvi. 13. "by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made." xx. 36. "he kneeled down and prayed with them all." xxi. 5. "we kneeled down on the shore and prayed." 1 Cor. xiv. 15, 16. "I will pray with the understanding... how shall he... say Amen at thy giving of thanks?"

Hence the impropriety of offering up public prayer in an unknown tongue, 1 Cor. xiv. 15, 16, as above; inasmuch as in public prayer consent is necessary.[117] Matt. xviii. 19. "if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them."

Both in private and in public prayer, vain repetitions and empty words are to be avoided. Matt. vi. 7. Eccles. v. 2. "be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God, for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth, therefore let thy words be few." Such repetitions, however, as proceed from vehement emotion of mind, are not to be accounted vain.[118] Mark xiv. 39. "again he went away and prayed, and spake the same words."


No particular posture of the body in prayer was enjoined, even under the law.[119] 2 Sam. vii. 18. "then went king David in, and sat before Jehovah, and he said —." xii. 16. "he lay all night upon the earth." Psal. xcv. 6. "O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before Jehovah our maker." cxlix. 5. "let them sing aloud upon their beds." 1 Kings viii. 22. "Solomon stood before the altar of Jehovah." v. 54. "he arose from kneeling on his knees." See also 2 Chron. vi. 12, 13. xx. 5. "Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah —." v. 13. "all Judah stood before Jehovah." Dan. vi. 10. "he kneeled upon his knees and prayed." Luke xviii. 13. "the publican standing afar off."

Connected with the posture of the body, is the deportment to be observed in prayer. On this subject Paul says, 1 Cor. xi. 4. "every man praying or prophesying having his head covered, dishonoured <285> his head; but every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoured her head." Why was this? Because at that time covering the head was, with both sexes alike,[120] a token of subjection; on which account it was usual for men to pray or prophesy with their heads uncovered. Now, on the contrary, since the covering the head has become a token of authority, and the uncovering it of submission, it is the custom with most churches, especially those of Europe, in compliance not so much with the letter as with the spirit of the law (which is always to be preferred) to worship God uncovered, as being the mark of reverence prescribed by modern custom; but to prophesy covered, in token of the authority with which the speaker is invested; and likewise to listen to his instructions covered, as the deportment most emblematic, according to modern ideas, of our freedom and maturity as sons of God.[121] On the other hand, it will be easily inferred from hence, that in countries where the cold is intense, as Livonia or Russia, or where custom will not allow the head to be uncovered without great impropriety, as in Asia or Africa, it is allowable to pray covered; as has been shown by Cappellus in a learned note on this passage,[122] and by other commentators.


With regard to the place of prayer, all are equally suitable.[123] 1 Tim. ii. 8. "I will therefore that men pray every where." For private prayer, a retired place is most proper. Matt. vi. 6. "enter into thy closet." xiv. 23. "he went up into a mountain apart to pray." To offer private prayer in public is hypocritical. Matt. vi. 5. "they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men." It was lawful however to offer private prayer in the sanctuary, and afterwards in the temple at Jerusalem, as in the instances of Hannah, David, and others, quoted above. Neither is there any time at which prayer may not be properly offered. Psal. cxix. 55. "I have remembered thy name, O Jehovah, in the night." v. 62. "at midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee." v. 164. "seven times a day do I praise thee, because of thy righteous judgments." Luke xviii. 1. "men ought always to pray, and not to faint." Eph. vi. 18. "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto —." Col. iv. 12. "always labouring fervently for you in prayers." 1 Thess. v. 17. "pray without ceasing." The seasons most appropriate for prayer, however, are evening, morning, and noon-day. Psal. lv. 17. "evening and <287> morning and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice." v. 3. "my voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Jehovah; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee." lxxxviii. 13. "in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee." xcii. 1, 2. "it is a good thing to give thanks unto Jehovah... to show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night." cxix. 147. "I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried." v. 148. "mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word." Dan. vi. 10. "he kneeled upon his knees three times a day." Mark i. 35. "in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." Acts x. 9. "Peter went up on the house-top to pray about the sixth hour."

For ourselves or others; inasmuch as we are commanded not to pray for ourselves only, but for all mankind. 1 Tim. ii. 1-3. "I exhort therefore that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men." Particularly for the universal church and its ministers. Psal. xxviii. 9. "save thy people, and bless thine inheritance." See also iii. 8.[124] li. 18. "do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion." lxxiv. 2, &c. "remember thy congregation." cii. 13. "thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come." cxxii. 6. "pray for the peace of Jerusalem." Matt. ix. 38. "pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send <288> forth labourers into his harvest." Eph. vi. 18, 19. "with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit... for all saints, and for me, that," &c —. Col. iv. 3. "withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ." For all magistrates: especially with a view to the peace of the church. Psal. lxxii. 1. "give the king thy judgments —." Jer. xxix. 7. "seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto Jehovah for it; for in the peace thereof ye shall have peace." 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. "for kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." Even for our enemies. Matt. v. 44. "pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you." Luke xxiii. 34. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Acts vii, 60. "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." Much more for the brethren. Rom. i. 8-10. "without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers —." If however there be any whom we know certainly to be past remedy, we are not to pray for them. Jer. vii. 16. "pray not thou for this people —." See also xiv. 11, 12. John xvii. 9. "I pray not for the world." 1 John v. 16. "there is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it."

We are even commanded to call down curses publicly on the enemies of God and the church; as also on false brethren, and on such as are guilty of any grievous offence against God, or even against our selves. The same may be lawfully done in private prayer, after the example of some of the holiest of men. Gen. ix. 25. "cursed be Canaan," Deut. xxvii. <289> 13-26. "these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse —." Judges v. 23. "curse ye Meroz, said the angel of Jehovah." Psal. v. 10. "destroy thou them, O God." cix. 6, &c. "set thou a wicked man over him, and let Satan stand at his right hand." cxl. 10. "let burning coals fall upon them." Similar imprecations occur in many other Psalms. 2 Kings ii. 24. "he cursed them in the name of Jehovah." Jer. xviii. 19, &c... "deliver up their children to the... famine for they have digged a pit to take me —." Neh. iv. 4. &c. "give them for a prey in the land of captivity." vi. 14. "think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works." xiii. 25. "I contended with them, and cursed them." Acts viii. 20. "thy money perish with thee." Gal. v. 12. "I would they were even cut off that trouble you." 2 Tim. iv. 14. "the Lord reward him according to his works."

It is expressly promised that supplications offered in a spirit of faith and obedience shall be heard. Psal. cxlv. 18. "Jehovah is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth." Isai. lix. 1, 2. "neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear; but... your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." lxv. 24. "it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Dan. ix. 20, &c. "whiles I was speaking and praying ... even the man Gabriel... touched me, &c —." x. 12. "from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to under stand... thy words were heard." John ix. 31. "if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."


Hence our knowledge of God's will, or of his providence in the government of the world, ought not to render us less earnest in deprecating evil and desiring good, but the contrary. Exod. xxxii. 10. "now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them, and I will make of thee a great nation: and Moses besought Jehovah his God, and said —." 1 Chron. xvii. 25, 26. "thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house; therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee." John xvii. 1. "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son." v. 5. "O Father, glorify thou me."

It frequently happens, however, that believers are not heard in all that they ask for themselves or others; namely, when they seek what is contrary to their own good, or to the glory of God. Deut. iii. 25, 26. "I pray thee, let me go over and see... but Jehovah said unto me, Let it suffice thee, speak no more unto me of this matter." 1 Sam. xv. 11. "it grieved Samuel, and he cried unto Jehovah all night." 2 Sam. xii. 16-18. "David besought God for the child —." 1 Kings xix. 4. "he requested for himself that he might die." Ezek. xiv. 14. "though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it," &c. —. Matt. xx. 22. "ye know not what ye ask." 2 Cor. xii. 8, 9. "for this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me; and he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee."

The prayers even of unbelievers sometimes prevail with God, to the obtaining of bodily comforts or worldly advantages; for he is kind to all, and "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good." Matt. <291> v. 45. Hence he occasionally grants the requests even of devils. Job i. 11, 12. "put forth thy hand now... and Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power." See also ii. 5, 6. Matt. viii. 31, 32. "the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine; and he said unto them, Go." See also Mark v. 10-13.

Sometimes he complies with our prayers in anger; as when the Israelites asked flesh, Num. xi. 18, &c. "ye shall eat flesh, for ye have wept in the ears of Jehovah, saying, &c... ye shall eat... until it come out at your nostrils." See also Psal. lxxviii. 30. So likewise when they asked a king, Hos. xiii. 11.[125]

Among errors under the head of prayer may be classed rash imprecations, whereby we invoke God or the devil to destroy any particular person or thing: Rom. xii. 14. "bless and curse not;" an intemperance to which even the pious are occasionally liable; Job iii. 2, 3. "let the day perish wherein I was born —." Jer. xx. 14. "cursed be the day wherein I was born." Undeserved curses, however, are of no force, and therefore not to be dreaded. Gen. xii. 3. "I will curse him that curseth thee." Numb. xxiii. 8. "how shall I curse whom God hath not cursed?" Prov. xxvi. 2. "as the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come." Psal. cix. 28. "let them curse, but bless thou."

Prayer is assisted by fasting and vows. Matt. ix. 15. "the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast."


A religious fast is that whereby a man abstains, not so much from eating and drinking, as from sin, that he may be enabled to devote himself more closely to prayer, for the obtaining some good, or deprecating some evil. Isai. lviii. 5, 6. "is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day unto Jehovah? is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burthens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?" Joel ii. 12, 13. "turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and mourning; and rend your heart, and not your garments —." Jonah iii. 6-9. "word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him... saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock taste anything... but let them cry mightily unto God; yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands." Zech. vii. 5. "when ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, did ye at all fast unto me, even unto me?"

Religious fasts are either private or public.

A private fast is one imposed by an individual on himself or his family, for private reasons. 2 Sam. xii. 16. "David besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth." Psal. xxxv. 13. "as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting." Neh. i. 4. "it came to pass when I heard these words that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain <293> days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven." Dan. ix. 3. "I set my face unto the Lord God to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes." x. 2, 3. "in those days I Daniel was mourning full three weeks; I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all." Luke ii. 37. "she served God with fastings and prayers night and day." 1 Cor. vii. 5. "except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer." To this head belongs the precept, Matt. vi. 16-18. "when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance; for they disfigure their faces that they may appear unto men to fast: verily I say unto you, They have their reward: but thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast."

A public fast is that which is proclaimed by the church or civil power for public reasons. Lev. xvi. 29. "this shall be a statute for ever unto you, that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all —." 1 Sam. vii. 6. "they fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against Jehovah." xxxi. 13. "they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days." Ezra viii. 21. "then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him —." Esther iv. 3, 15, 16. "there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing, and many lay in sackcloth and ashes... then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer; Go, <294> gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night nor day; I also and my maidens will fast likewise." ix. 31, 32. "to confirm those days of Purim in their time appointed... the matters of the fastings and their cry;" to which allusion is made Zech. vii. 5. viii. 19. Joel ii. 15, 16. "blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast." Acts xiii. 2, 3. "as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted." xiv. 23. "when they had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord."

To fasting were anciently added various inflictions for the mortification of the body, conformably to the customs of those nations. Compare Ezra ix. 3. Jonah iii. 6. and the passages quoted above.

Even outward fasting sometimes averts the anger of God for a season. 1 Kings xxvii. 29. "because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days."

There is also a fasting which works miracles. Matt. xvii. 21. "this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."

A vow is a promise respecting some lawful matter, solemnly made to God, sometimes with the sanction of an oath, and by which we testify our readiness and hearty resolution to serve God, or the gratitude with which we shall receive the fulfilment of our prayers. Gen. xxviii; 20. "Jacob vowed a vow, saying —." 1 Sam. i. 11. "she vowed a vow, and said —." Psal. cxix. 106. "I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments." Neh. x. 29. "they entered into a curse and into an oath to walk in God's law."


Vows are general or special.

General vows relate to things which God has commanded; and are either public or private.

A public vow is one which is vowed by the whole church; and is usually called in Scripture a covenant. Josh. xxiv. 22, 23. "ye are witnesses against yourselves, that you have chosen you Jehovah to serve him; and they said, We are witnesses." 2 Chron. xv. 12-14. "they entered into a covenant to seek Jehovah God of their fathers..... and they sware unto Jehovah." Ezra x. 5. "he made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel to swear that they should do according to this word."

A private vow is one which is vowed by an individual; as for instance the baptismal vow.

Special vows relate to things lawful, but not expressly commanded; and are undertaken for special reasons. Acts xviii. 1-8. "having shorn his head in Cenchrea; for he had a vow." xxi. 23. "we have four men which have a vow on them."

We must be careful, however, not to interdict our selves or others from those things which God intended for our use, as meat or drink; except in cases where the exercise of our liberty may be a stumbling-block to any of the brethren. Matt. xv. 17,18. "do not ye yet understand that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?" Mark vii. 15, 16. "there is nothing from without a man that entering into him can defile him," &c. The reason is given v. 19. "because it entereth not into his heart, but into his belly," &c. Rom. xiv. 14. "I am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself." v. 17. "for the kingdom of God <296> is not meat and drink —." 1 Cor. vi. 13. "meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but God shall destroy both it and them." viii. 8. "meat commendeth us not to God; for neither if we eat, are we the better, neither if we eat not, are we the worse." Coloss. ii. 20, &c. "if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why as though living in the world are ye subject to ordinances? touch not, taste not, handle not; which all are to perish with the using —." 1 Tim. iv. 3, 4. "forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth; for every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused." Heb. xiii. 9. "not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein." Acts x. 13. "rise, Peter, kill and eat." v. 15. "what God hath cleansed, that call not thou common." The same rule applies to marriage: Matt. xix. 11. "all men cannot receive this saying, save them to whom it is given." 1 Cor. vii. 9. "but if they cannot contain, let them marry." v. 26. "I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress." v. 36, 37. "if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely towards his virgin," &c. 1 Tim. iv. 3. "forbidding to marry;" and to other subjects of a similar nature. 1 Tim. iv. 8. "bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness is profitable unto all things."

Vows of voluntary poverty are also to be accounted superstitious: Prov. xxx. 8. "give me neither poverty nor riches;" inasmuch as poverty is enumerated among the greatest evils: Deut. xxviii. 48. "in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of <297> all things." Acts xx. 35. "it is more blessed to give than to receive." Eph. iv. 28. "rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."

No one can make a special vow who is not his own master, and exempt from subjection to any other authority; as a son or a daughter to a parent, a wife to her husband, a male or female servant to their lord. See Num. vi. and xxx. 13. "every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void." Neither can a general or special vow be made by one who has not yet arrived at the full use of his judgment. Considering how generally this rule is received among divines, it is strange that they should so far forget their own doctrine, as to require the special vow of baptism from infants.

Any one, who is in these respects qualified, may bind himself by a special vow; when once made, however, he is not at liberty to recal it, but must fulfil it at all hazards. Deut. xxiii. 20. "when thou shalt vow a vow unto Jehovah thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it; for Jehovah thy God will surely require it of thee, and it would be sin in thee." Num. xxx. 2. "if a man vow a vow unto Jehovah..... he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth." Eccles. v. 4, 5. "when thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed: better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay."

An impious vow, however, is not binding, any more than an unjust oath. Matt. xv. 5. "ye say, Who <298> soever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free." Here that which ought to have been applied to the support of the parents, had been vowed as a gift to God; so that either the vow could not be fulfilled, or the support of the parents must be with drawn. Christ therefore decides that the parents are to be supported, and that the impious vow is of no force.

The opposite of a vow is sacrilege; which consists in the non-performance of a vow, or in the appropriation to private uses of things dedicated to God.[126] Josh. vii. 11. "they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also." Prov. xx. 25. "it is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make inquiry." Mal. iii. 8. &c. "will a man rob God? yet ye have robbed me: but ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? in tithes and offerings: ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." i. 8. "if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil?"

Thus far of prayer and its auxiliaries.

Thanksgiving consists in returning thanks with gladness for the divine benefits. Job i. 21. "Jehovah gave, and Jehovah hath taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah." Eph. v. 20. "giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."


Addresses to God, and particularly thanksgivings, are frequently accompanied by singing, and hymns in honour of the divine name.[127] Mark. xiv. 26. "when they had sung an hymn —." Eph. v. 19, 20. "speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always." Col. iii. 16. "teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." James. v. 13. "is any merry? let him sing psalms."



ANOTHER species of Invocation consists in Oaths, and in the casting of the Lot.

An Oath is that whereby we call God to witness the truth of what we say, with a curse upon ourselves, either implied or expressed, should it prove false. Ruth i. 17. "Jehovah do so to me, and more also." See also 1 Kings ii. 23, 24. 2 Cor. i. 23. "I call God for a record upon my soul." See also Philipp. i. 8.

The lawfulness of oaths is evident from the express commandment, as well as example of God. Deut. vi. 13. "thou shalt fear Jehovah thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name." See also x. 20. Isai. lxv. 16. "he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth." Jer. xii. 16. "if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name." Gen. xxii. 16. "by myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah." Exod. vi. 8. "concerning the which I did swear to give it." Deut. xxxii. 40. "I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever." Psal. <301> xcv. 11. "unto whom I sware in my wrath —." cx. 4. "Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent." Heb. vi. 13. "because he could sware by no greater, he sware by himself."

Agreeable to this is the practice of angels and holy men. Dan. xii. 7. "he held up his right hand, and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever." Rev. x. 5, 6. "the angel sware by him that liveth for ever and ever." Gen. xiv. 22, 23. "I have lift up mine hand unto Jehovah... that I will not take from a thread,&c." xxxi. 53. "Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac;" that is, by God.

It is only in important matters, however, that recourse should be had to the solemnity of an oath. Exod. xx. 7. "thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain." Heb. vi. 16. "men verily swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is to them the end of all strife."

An oath involving a promise is to be observed, even contrary to our interest, provided the promise itself be not unlawful. Josh. ix. 19. "we have sworn unto them by Jehovah God of Israel; now therefore we may not touch them." Judges xxi. 7. "how shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by Jehovah that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?" Psal. xv. 4. "he that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not."

In connexion with this subject, it has been made matter of discussion whether an oath sworn to a robber for the observance of secresy, or for the payment of a stipulated ransom, is binding. Some answer, that the oath only which relates to ransom is to be observed, not that which relates to secresy; inasmuch <302> as every man is bound by a prior obligation to the civil magistrate to denounce any known robber, and that this obligation is of more force than the subsequent one of secresy can possibly be. They conclude, therefore, that it is the duty of such person to give information to the magistrate, and to consider his compulsory oath as annulled by his prior engagement, the weaker obligation yielding to the stronger.[128] If however this be just, why does it not apply equally to the oath respecting ransom? seeing that it is the positive duty of every good man, not to support robbers with his substance, and that no one can be compelled to do a dishonourable action, even though bound by oath to its performance. This seems to be implied in the word jusjurandum itself, which is derived from jus. Considering the robber, therefore, as one with whom (at least while in the act of robbery,) we can be under no engagement, either of religious obligation, or civil right, or private duty, it is clear, that no agreement can be lawfully entered into with one thus circumstanced. If then under the influence of compulsion, <303> we have sworn to perform any such act as that above described, we have only committed a single offence; but if from religious scruples we observe an oath extorted under such circumstances, the sin is doubled, and instead of giving honour to God, and acquitting ourselves of an obligation which we ought never to have incurred, we are only entangling ourselves more deeply in the bonds of iniquity. Hence, if we fail to perform such agreement, it ought not to be imputed to us as a crime that we deceive one who is him self guilty of deceit or violence towards us, and refuse to ratify an unlawful compact.[129] If, therefore, a man has allowed himself to be involved in such an engagement, the point for consideration is, not whether a bond of faith extorted by a robber ought in conscience to be observed, but how he may best effect his escape.

To the fulfilment of oaths is opposed, first, a superstitious denial of their legality. For the precept of Christ, Matt. v. 33, &c. "swear not at all, neither by heaven," &c. does not prohibit us from swearing by the name of God, any more than the passage James v. 12. (inasmuch as it was foretold that even under the gospel every tongue should swear by the God of truth, Isai. xlv. 22, 23. and lxv. 16.) We are only commanded not to swear by heaven or by earth, or by Jerusalem, or by the head of any individual. Besides, the prohibition does not apply to serious subjects, but to our daily conversation, in which nothing can occur <304> of such importance as to be worthy the attestation of God. Lastly, Christ's desire was that the conversation and manners of his disciples should bear such a stamp of truth and good faith, that their simple asseveration should be considered as equivalent to the oath of others.

Secondly, perjury; which consists in swearing to what we know to be false, with the view of deceiving our neighbour, or in making a lawful promise under the sanction of an oath, without intending to perform it, or at least, without actually performing it. Lev. xix. 12. "ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God." Peter was betrayed into this offence, Matt. xxvi. 72, 74.

I have said our neighbour, with reference to the question discussed above. For as it would be a crime to make a sworn promise to a robber or assassin, who in committing the act has forfeited his title to the rights of social life, so to observe the oath would not be to repair the original offence, but to incur a second; at any rate, there can be nothing wrong in refusing to ratify the promise. Cases, however, may occur, in which a contrary decision shall be necessary, owing to the degree of solemnity in the form of the oath, or to other accompanying circumstances. An instance of this occurs in the three kings, Hoshea, Hezekiah, and Zedekiah. 2 Kings xvii. 4. "the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea... therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison." xviii. 7." Jehovah was with Hezekiah, and he prospered whithersoever he went forth, and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not." 2 Chron. xxxvi. 13. "Zedekiah also rebelled against <305> king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God." The fault of Hoshea seems to have been not so much his rebellion, as his reliance on So king of Egypt. In Hezekiah it was considered meritorious and praiseworthy that he trusted in the Lord, rather than in his enemy. To Zedekiah, on the contrary, it was objected, first, that his defection from the enemy was not accompanied by a return to the protection of God, and secondly, that he acted in opposition to God's special command, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 13, and Jer. xxvii.6. "now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar." There is, however, this difference between a robber and a national enemy, that with the one the laws of war are to be observed, whereas the other is excluded from all rights, whether of war or of social life.

Thirdly, common swearing. Lev. v. 4, 5. "if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him, when he knoweth of it then he shall be guilty in one of these: and it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing." To this may be added rash swearing. 1 Sam. xiv. 39. "though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die." v. 44. "God do so and more also, for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan."

Fourthly, unlawful oaths; that is to say, oaths of which the purport is unlawful, or which are exacted from us by one to whom they cannot be lawfully taken. Of the former kind was the oath of David respecting the destruction of the house of Nabal, 1 Sam. xxv. 22. "from which example we may also learn that the breach of such oaths <306> is better than the performance, v. 33, 34. a rule disregarded by Herod, when he beheaded John for his oath's sake. Of the latter, David's oath to Shimei is an instance. 2 Sam. xix. 23. "the king sware unto him." Hence, although David himself did not violate his oath, he forbad his son to observe it, 1 Kings ii. 8, 9. "he cursed me with a grievous curse... and I sware to him... now therefore hold him not guiltless, for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him." Solomon therefore committed no breach of faith in punishing Shimei with death, of which the latter was doubly deserving, as being himself guilty of perjury: 1 Kings ii. 36, 37. compared with v. 42, &c.

Fifthly, an idolatrous oath; which consists in swearing, not by God, but by some other object, contrary to the prohibition Matt. v. 33. and James v. 12.

Next in solemnity to an oath is a grave asseveration, as Gen. xlii. 15, 16. "by the life of Pharaoh;" or 1 Sam. i. 26. "as thy soul liveth, my lord;" that is, as surely as thou livest, or as I wish that thou mayest live. Such also is the expression of Christ, verily, verily, I say unto you; and that of Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 31. νὴ τὴν ἡμετέραν καύχησιν, "I protest by your rejoicing;" although, strictly speaking, the particle ὴ has the force of an oath.

To the same head belongs what is commonly called adjuration; that is to say, the charging any one in the name of God, by oath or solemn asseveration, to speak the truth to the best of his knowledge respecting the subject of inquiry. Thus Joshua adjured Achan, vii. 19. "my son, give, I pray thee, glory to Jehovah God of Israel, and make confession unto <307> him." Gen. xxiv. 3. "I will make thee swear by Jehovah, God of heaven." Numb. v. 21. "then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing." Ezra x. 5. "then Ezra made the chief priests to swear," &c. Neh. xiii. 25. "I made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons," &c —. 1 Thess. v. 27. "I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read —." There is no impropriety in adjuring even our dearest and most faithful friends. Gen. xlvii. 29. "put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh."

Adjurations are to be complied with, in matters not contrary to religion or equity. Thus Christ, Matt. xxvi. 63, 64. on the adjuration even of the impious high-priest Caiaphas, no longer kept silence, but confessed openly that he was the Christ."

Opposed to this are magical adjurations, and the superstitious or mercenary practice of exorcism. Acts xix. 13, &c. "certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them," &c.

Thus far of oaths. In the Casting of the Lot we appeal to the Deity for the explanation of doubts, and the decision of controverted questions. Lev. xvi. 8. "Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats." Josh. vii. 14. "it shall be, that the tribe which Jehovah taketh, shall come according to the families thereof." 1 Sam. x. 20. "when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken." Prov. xvi. 33. "the lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of Jehovah." xviii. 18. "the lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty." 1 Chron. xxvi. 13, 14. "they cast lots, as well the small as the great." Neh. x. 34. <308> we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people." Luke i. 9. "according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense." Acts i. 24, 26. "they prayed, and said, Thou Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two thou hast chosen... and the lot fell upon Matthias."

Against the use of the lot it has been urged, that on successive repetitions the result is not invariably the same, and that therefore it must be considered as a matter of chance. This objection is of no force, in as much as the Deity, even in his direct verbal communications with the prophets of old, did not uniformly return the same answer, when tempted by importunate inquiries; as in the instance of Balaam, Num. xxii. 12, 20. "thou shalt not go with them... rise up and go with them."

To this is opposed the casting of lots in jest, or with a superstitious or fraudulent purpose.

To the invocation or adoration of the Deity are opposed idolatry, and invocation of angels or saints.

Idolatry consists in the making, worshipping, or trusting in idols, whether considered as representations of the true God, or of a false one. Exod. xx. 4, 5. "thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them." See also Lev. xxvi. 1. Deut. xvi. 21, 22. "Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of Jehovah... neither shalt thou set thee up any image, which Jehovah thy God hateth." xxvii. 15. "cursed be the man that maketh <309> any graven or molten image." Isai. ii. 8. "their land also is full of idols". xvii. 8. "he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands —." Acts xvii. 16. "his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." 1 Cor. viii. 4. "we know that an idol is nothing in the world." x. 6, 7, 14. "neither be ye idolaters," &c. 2 Cor. v. 16. "though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now hence forth know we him no more." Gal. v. 19, 20. "the works of the flesh...are these, adultery... idolatry, witchcraft... they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." See also 1 John v. 21. Rev. ix. 20. "that they should not worship devils and idols of gold." Idolatry is described, Isai. lvii. 5." enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree." Jer. vii. 31. "they have built the high places of Tophet." xi. 13. "according to the number of thy cities were thy gods —." xxxii. 29. "they shall burn it with the houses upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal." Ezek. viii. 5, &c. "behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy —." Hos. iv. 13. "they sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains."

Whether of the true God —. Exod. xxxii. 5. "when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it, and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To-morrow is a feast to, Jehovah;" compared with Psal. cvi. 19, 20. "they made a calf in Horeb, —thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox." Deut. iv, 15, 16. "take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves, for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that Jehovah spake unto you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire: lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven <310> image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female." It is indeed said, Exod. xxiv. 10. that Moses and the elders "saw the God of Israel, and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness;" and v. 11. "they saw God;" and v. 17. "the sight of the glory of Jehovah was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel;" but it is clear, from the passage of Deuteronomy quoted above, that they saw the likeness of no living thing whatever. So Ezek. i. 27, 28. "I saw... from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward;" where no mention is made of his face. Judges xvii. 4. "the founder made thereof a graven image and a molten image, and they were in the house of Micah;" compared with v. 13. "then said Micah, Now know I that Jehovah will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest." 2 Kings xvii. 28. "then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria, came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear Jehovah." Isai. xl. 18. "to whom then will ye liken God, or what likeness will ye compare unto him?" xliv.10. "who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?" xlvi. 5, 6. "to whom will ye liken me, and make me equal? —they hire a goldsmith, and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship." Jer. ii. ll, &c. "hath a nation changed their gods which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit." Acts xvii. 29. "forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is <311> like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. Rom. i. 23, 24. "they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man." Hence to worship the true God under the form of an idol was considered as criminal as to worship devils. 2 Chron. xi. 15. "he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves that he had made;" although Jeroboam doubtless imagined that he was appointing priests to Jehovah, while he was in reality officiating in the rites of those which were not Gods.

Or of a false God. Numb. xxxiii. 52. "then shall ye destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places." See also Deut. vii. 5, 25. xii. 2, 3. In pursuance of these injunctions, pious rulers in all ages have opposed idolatry;[130] Moses, Asa, 2 Chron. xiv. 3. xv. 8, &c. Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, 2 Kings xxiii. 1-25. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 4. &c. "the whole people," 2 Chron. xxiii. 17. and xxxi. 1.

The cherubic images over the ark are not to be accounted idols; first, as being representations not of <312> false gods, but of the ministering spirits of Jehovah, and consequently not objects of worship; secondly, as being made by the special command of God himself.

Even the brazen serpent, the type of Christ, was commanded to be demolished, as soon as it became an object of religious worship, 2 Kings xviii. 4. "he brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made."

Hence the Papists err in calling idols the laymen's books;[131] their real nature whether considered as books or teachers, appears from Psal. cxv. 5, &c. "they have mouths, but they speak not... they that make them are like unto them, so is every one that trusteth in them." Isai. xliv, 18. "they have not known nor understood, for he hath shut their eyes —." Jer. x. 8, 14, 15. "every man is brutish in his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image; for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them; they are vanity and the work of errors; in the time of their visitation they shall perish." Habak. ii. 18, 19. "what profiteth the graven image, that the graver thereof hath graven it; the molten image and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach; behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it."


We are commanded to abstain, not only from idolatrous worship itself, but from all things and persons connected with it. Acts xv. 20. "that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication." v. 29. "from meats offered to idols... and from fornication." Rev. ii. 14. "who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication." v. 20. "to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." From a comparison of these passages, it would appear that the fornication here prohibited, was a part of idolatrous worship. 1 Cor. viii. 10. "if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him that is weak be emboldened to eat," &c. x. 14. "flee from idolatry." v. 20, &c. "they sacrifice to devils, and not to God; and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils." 2 Cor. vi. 16. "what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" 1 Thess. i. 9. "ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God." 1 Pet. iv. 3. "we walked in lasciviousness... and abominable idolatries." 1 John v. 21. "little children, keep yourselves from idols."

A question here arises, whether it be lawful for a professor of the true religion to be present at idol-worship, in cases where his attendance is necessary for the discharge of some civil duty. The affirmative seems to be established by the example of Naaman the Syrian, 2 Kings v. 17-19. who was permitted, as an additional mark of the divine approbation, to construct for himself a private altar of Israelitish earth, although, as a Gentile, he was uncircumcis <314> ed."[132] It is however safer and more consistent with the fear of God, to avoid, as far as possible, duties of (his kind, even of a civil nature, or to relinquish them altogether.

The invocation of saints and angels is forbidden. Acts x. 26. "stand up; I myself also am a man." xiv. 15. "sirs, why do ye these things? we also are men of like passions with you —." Col. ii. 18. "let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels." Rev. xix. 10. "I fell at his feet to worship him; and he said unto me, See thou do it not, I am thy fellow-servant." See also xxii. 8, 9. The reason is, that God is kinder and more favourable to us than any saint or angel either is, or has power to be. Psal. lxxiii. "whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee." Isai. lxiii. 16. "doubt less thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not; thou, O Jehovah, art our father, our redeemer." Further, the charge of absurdity and folly which the prophets uniformly bring against the worshippers of idols, applies equally to those who worship images of saints or angels. Isai. xlvi. 6, 7, &c. "they lavish gold out of the bag, &c... and hire a goldsmith... they bear him upon the shoulder," &c. See also other passages.

The subterfuges by which the Papists defend the worship of saints and angels, are truly frivolous. They allege Gen. xlviii. 15, 16. "the angel which <315> redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads." Jacob here was not praying, but conferring his benediction on the sons of Joseph; no one therefore will contend that the words are to be taken as an invocation, but simply as an expression of hope that God, and the redeeming angel as his minister, should bless the lads. Some indeed contend that the angel here spoken of was not a created being; but whether this be true, or whether it entered into the mind of Jacob or not, involves another and a far more difficult controversy. They urge also Job v. 1. "to which of the saints wilt thou turn?" which however may as properly be understood of living saints, as in James v. 14. "let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him;" where it is not recommended that the dead should be invoked, but that those who are living and present should be intreated to pray for us.

Another opposite to invocation is the tempting of God. Exod. xvii. 7. "they tempted Jehovah, saying, Is Jehovah among us or not?" Psal. lxxviii. 18, 19. "they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust: yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" v. 41. "they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel." xciv. 7. "yet they say, Jah shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it." xcv. 7-9. "as in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works." Matt. iv. 7. "thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." 1 Cor. x. 22. "do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?"

A third consists in the invocation of devils, and the practice of magical arts. Exod. xxii. 18. "thou shalt <316> not suffer a witch to live." Lev. xix. 26. "neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times." xx. 27. "a man also or a woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones, their blood shall be upon them." v. 6. "the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people." xix. 31. "neither seek after wizards, to be defiled with them." Num. xxiii. 23. "surely there is no enchantment against Jacob; neither is there any divination against Israel." Deut. xviii. 10-12. "there shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer; for all that do these things are an abomination unto Jehovah." 2 Kings xxi. 6. "he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards." Isai. viii. 19. "when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?" xliv. 25. "I am he that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad." xlvii. 13, 14. "let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee: behold, they shall be as stubble." Jer. x. 2. "be not dismayed at the signs of <317> heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.[133] Mic. v. 12. "I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers."

All study of the heavenly bodies, however, is not unlawful or unprofitable; as appears from the journey of the wise men, and still more from the star itself, divinely appointed to announce the birth of Christ, Matt. ii. 1, 2.



WE have treated of the first part of true religion, the invocation or adoration of the Deity; we proceed to the remaining part, the sanctification of the divine name under all circumstances.

An ardent desire of hallowing the name of God, together with an indignation against whatever tends to the violation or contempt of religion, is called zeal. Psal. lxix. 8, 9. "I am become a stranger unto my brethren... for the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." cxix. 139. "my zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words." Rom. xii. 11. "not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."

Examples of this virtue are seen in Lot, 2 Pet. ii. 7, 8. in Moses, Exod. xxxii. 19. in Phinehas, Num. xxv. 7. in Elijah, 1 Kings xix. 10. in Jeremiah, Jer. xxiii. 9-11. "mine heart within me is broken... for the land is full of adulterers;" in Christ, Matt. xii. 30. John ii. 14, &c. in Stephen, Acts vii. 51, &c. in Paul and Barnabas, xiv. 14. and xvii. 16, 17.


Its opposites are, first, lukewarmness, as exemplified in Eli, 1 Sam. ii. 29. and iii. 13. in the chief rulers of the Jews, John xii. 43. in the Laodiceans, Rev. iii. 15, 16.

Secondly, an ignorant and imprudent zeal. 2 Sam. xxi. 1, 3. "because he slew the Gibeonites... Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah." Rom. x. 2. "I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."

Thirdly, a too fiery zeal. Jonah iv. 1-3. Luke ix. 54, "wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven?"

Fourthly, an hypocritical and boastful zeal, as that of Jehu, 2 Kings x. 16. "come with me and see my zeal for Jehovah."

The name of God is to be hallowed in word as well as in deed. To hallow it in word, is never to name it but with a religious purpose, and to make an open profession of the true faith, whenever it is necessary.

The holy or reverential mention of God is inculcated Exod. xx. 7. "thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain."

To this is opposed an impious or reproachful mention of God, or, as it is commonly called, blasphemy, from the Greek βλασφημία, as in the Hebrew ברובה with the root ברו, and פללח with the root קלל This was the crime of the Israelitish woman's son, Levit. xxiv. 11. who blasphemed (or expressly named) the name of Jehovah, and cursed (or spake impiously), v. 14. "bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp." Such also was that of Rabshakeh <320> and the other Assyrians, 2 Kings xix. 6. "be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me;" of the scribes, Mark iii. 22. "they said, He hath Beelzebub," compared with v. 29. "he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost —," for the scribes had said that the deeds of the Father working in Christ were the deeds of Beelzebub; of those whom Paul before his conversion compelled to blaspheme, Acts xxvi. 11. of the Jews at Corinth, xviii. 6. "when they opposed themselves and blasphemed —;" of Paul himself in his unconverted state, 1 Tim. i. 13. "who was before a blasphemer and a persecutor;" of Hymenæus and Alexander, v. 19, 20. "that they may learn not to blaspheme," inasmuch as "having put away a good conscience concerning faith, they had made shipwreck;" of those profane persons mentioned in James ii. 7. "do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?" of the beast, Rev. xiii. 5, 6. "there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies;" of the followers of the beast, xvi. 11. "they blasphemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and their sores."

Considering, however, that all the Greek writers, sacred as well as profane, use the word blasphemy in a general sense, as implying any kind of reproach against any person whatever, which is also the received usage of the corresponding word in Hebrew, Isai. xliii. 28. "I have given Israel to reproaches." li. 7. "neither be ye afraid of their revilings;" Ezek. v. 15. "so it shall be a reproach and a taunt," that is, to the Jews; Zeph. ii. 8. "the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my <321> people;" in all which passages the same word is used, being that which we translate blasphemy: so also Matt. xv. 19. "false witness, blasphemies." (Compare Mark vii. 22.) 1 Tim. vi. 1. "that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed." (Compare Tit. ii. 5.) 2 Pet. ii. 10. "they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities" (βλασφημοῦντες Gr.); v. 11. "whereas angels... bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord" (βλάσφημον κρίσιν Gr.): considering, 1 say, that such is the meaning invariably attached to the Greek word even by the sacred writers, I am of opinion that those who introduced this foreign term into the Latin language, did wrong in restricting it to the single sense of speaking evil of God; especially since, at the same time that they narrowed its meaning in one direction, they expanded it in another to an almost indefinite vagueness; insomuch, that presuming on the general ignorance as to the true signification of the word, they have not scrupled to brand as blasphemy every opinion differing from their own on the subject of God or religion.[134] This is to resemble the scribes, Matt. ix. 3, who, when Christ had simply said, v. 2. "thy sins be forgiven thee," immediately "said within themselves, This man blasphemeth;" whereas blasphemy, as is evident from the foregoing <322> examples, consists solely in uttering reproaches against God, openly and with a high hand, Numb. xv. 30. Matt. xv. 19. "out of the heart proceed blasphemies," and that whether against God or men. This sin therefore is not to be imputed to those, who in sincerity of heart, and with no contentious purpose, promulgate or defend their conscientious persuasions respecting God, founded, as appears to them, on the Scriptures. If on the other hand blasphemy is interpreted according to the Hebrew sense, it will comprehend too much; for in this sense every obstinate sinner will be a blasphemer, and as such, according to those who regard the law of Moses on this subject as still in force, punishable with death.[135] Numb. xv. 30. "the soul that doeth ought presumptuously... the same reproacheth (or blasphemeth) Jehovah; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people." Ezek. xx. 27, 28. "yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me; for when had brought them into the land... then they saw every high hill," &,c.

A second opposite is irreverent or jesting mention of the name of God, or of religious subjects.

The most solemn mention of the name of God consists in dedicating to his glory whatever is intended for the use of man. 1 Cor. x. 31. "whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Tim. iv. 4, 5. "nothing is to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." Acts xxvii. 35. "he took <323> bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all." 1 Cor. vii. 14. "the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife."

Opposed to this are superstitious consecrations such as are common among the Papists.

Thus far of the solemn and reverential mention of the name of God. We are next to consider the duty of making a consistent, and, when necessary, an open profession of his true worship. This is enjoined Matt. x. 32, 33. "whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven; but whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Psal. cxix. 46. "I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed." Luke ix. 26. "whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come —." Rom. x. 10. "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." 2 Cor. iv. 13. "it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak." 1 Tim. vi. 12-14. "thou hast professed a good profession before many witnesses; I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession, that thou keep this commandment." 2 Tim. i. 16. "he was not ashamed of my chain." ii. 12. "if we deny him, he also will deny us." 1 Pet. iii. 15. "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you." Heb. x. 35, "cast not away therefore your confidence."


This profession, when it leads to death, or imprisonment, or torments, or disgrace, is called martyrdom. Matt. v. 11. "blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake." Philipp. i. 20, "with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death." v. 29. "for unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake." Heb. xi. 36, &c. "others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea moreover of bonds and imprisonment —." 1 Pet. iii. 14. "but and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye."

It is generally through the means of martyrdom that the spread of the gospel is effected. Philipp. i. 14. "many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear."

Opposed to this is, first, the concealment of our religion. This was the fault of Nicodemus, John iii. 2. "the same came to Jesus by night." xii. 42. "nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue." Isai. lix. 4. "none calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth."

Secondly, apostasy. 2 Chron. xxviii. 6. "he slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men, because they had forsaken Jehovah God of their fathers." John vi. 66. "from that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him." 1 Tim. iv. 1, &c. "in the latter times some shall depart from the faith. &c." Heb. vi. <325> 4, &. c "it is impossible for those who were once enlightened... if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance." x. 29. "of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God."

Thirdly, an unseasonable profession. Matt. vii. 6. "give not that which is holy unto the dogs... lest they turn again and rend you." xvi. 20. "then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ."

Such are the means by which the name of God is hallowed in word. It is hallowed in deed, when our actions correspond with our religious profession. Matt. v. 16. "let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Opposed to this, is a neglect to act conformably to our profession. Thus Moses and Aaron are said, contrary to their usual custom, not to have sanctified God in the eyes of the people, Numb. xx. 12. and David, a man otherwise holy, gave occasion to the Gentiles to think and speak ill of God, by reason of his adultery, 2 Sam. xii. 14. So also the Jews, of whom St. Paul writes, Rom. ii. 24. "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written;" alluding to Isai. lii. 5. Ezek. xxxvi. 20. "when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of Jehovah, and are gone forth out of his land."



THUS far of the parts of divine worship. We are now to consider its circumstances.

The circumstances of worship are the same as of all things natural, place and time.[136]

Public worship, previously to the law of Moses, was not confined to any definite place; under the law it took place partly in the synagogues and partly in the temple; under the gospel any convenient place is proper. John iv. 21, 23. "ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father; but the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth;" as Malachi had also prophesied, i. 11 . "in every place incense shall be offered unto my name."


With regard to the time of public worship, what this was before the law, does not appear. Under the law it was the Sabbath, that is, the seventh day, which was consecrated to God from the beginning of the world, Gen. ii. 2, 3. but which (as stated above, Book I. chap, x.) was not, so far as we can learn, observed, or commanded to be observed, till the second month of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, Exod. xvi. 1, 23, 25, 29. when it was enforced with severe prohibitions: v. 23. "to-morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto Jehovah; bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that which ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over, lay up for you to be kept until the morning." xx. 8, &c. "remember the sabbath-day, to keep it holy;" that is, remember it according to the previous commandment in the sixteenth chapter, referred to above; or it may be an emphatic manner of admonition. xxxi. 14. "ye shall keep the sabbath-day therefore, for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death." xxxiv. 21. "in earing time, and in harvest thou shalt rest." xxxv. 2, 3. "a sabbath of rest to Jehovah... ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the sabbath-day." Lev. xxiii. 3. "six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation." Num. xv. 32, &c. "they found a man that gathered sticks on the sabbath-day." 2 Chron. xxxvi. 20, 21. "them that had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon... until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths." Jer. xvii. 21, 22. "bear no burthen on the sabbath-day." Neh. x. 31. "if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath <328> day to sell, that we would not buy it of them —." xiii. 15, &c. "in those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath."

The command to observe the Sabbath was given to the Israelites for a variety of reasons, mostly peculiar to themselves, and which are recorded in different parts of the Mosaic law. First, as a memorial of God's having completed the work of creation on the seventh day. Exod. xx. 11. xxxi. 15-17. "wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant... for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed." Here although the reason given for the celebration of the Sabbath applies equally to all other nations, the Israelites alone are enjoined to observe it; as is also the case with the command to abstain from creeping things, Lev. xi. 44. "ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy, for I am holy; neither shall ye defile your selves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth;" with the law against disfiguring the body, and other similar commands, Deut. xiv. 1, &c. "ye are the children of God;" for the reasons on which these precepts are founded apply equally to believers in general, and to all ages, although the precepts themselves are no longer obligatory. This has been remarked by our countryman Ames.[137] "Non est <329> catholicæ veritatis illa regula interpretandi scripturas quæ tradi solet a quibusdam, officia illa omnia esse moralia et immutabilia quæ rationes morales et immutabiles habent sibi annexas; nisi sic intelligatur ut illa officia sequantur ex illis rationibus, nullo singulari Dei præcepto intercedente." Ames, Medull. Theol. lib. ii. c. 13. This however cannot be said either of the precepts above-mentioned, or of the Sabbath.

Secondly, because God was pleased by this distinguishing mark to separate the Israelites from other nations. Exod. xxxi. 13, &c. "it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am Jehovah that doth sanctify you; ye shall keep the sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you." Ezek. xx. 12. "to be a sign between me and <330> them, that they might, know that I am Jehovah that sanctity them." See also v. 20.

Thirdly, that the slaves and cattle might enjoy a respite from labour. Exod. xxiii. 12. "that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thine handmaid and the stranger may he refreshed." Deut. v. 12, 14. "keep the sabbath-day... that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou." This reason applies only where servants are in a state of slavery, and subject to severe labour; the condition of hired servants, who are now generally employed, being much easier than that of purchased slaves in old time.

Fourthly, in remembrance of their liberation from Egypt. Deut. v. 15. "remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that Jehovah thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm; therefore Jehovah thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath-day."

Fifthly, as a shadow or type of things to come. Col. ii. 16, 17. "in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath-days; which are a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ." Of what things to come the sabbaths are a shadow, we are taught Heb. iv. 9, 10. namely, of that sabbatical rest or eternal peace in heaven, of which all believers are commanded to strive to be partakers through faith and obedience, following the example of Christ.

Works of charity and mercy were not forbidden on the Sabbath, upon the authority of Christ himself. Mark ii. 27. "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath." iii. 4. "is it lawful to do good on the sabbath-days, or to do evil? to save life, or to <331> kill?" Luke xiii. 15, 16. "doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox —?... ought not this woman to be loosed from this bond on the sabbath-day?": xiv. 5. "which of you shall have an ox or an ass fallen into a pit," &c. John vii. 23. "are ye angry at me because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath-day?" Even for a man to take up his bed, v. 11. although consonant to the spirit of the law, was contrary to its letter, Jer. xvii. 21, 22.

Since then the Sabbath was originally an ordinance of the Mosaic law, since it was given to the Israelites alone, and that for the express purpose of distinguishing them from other nations, it follows that, if (as was shown in the former book) those who live under the gospel are emancipated from the ordinances of the law in general, least of all can they be considered as bound by that of the Sabbath, the distinction being abolished which was the special cause of its institution.[138] It was for asserting this in precept, and enforcing it by example, that Christ incurred the heavy censure of the Pharisees, John ix. 16. "this man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath-day." Gal. iv. 9, 10 "how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? ye observe days, and months, and times, and years." Col. ii. 16, 17. "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath-days." If it be <332> contended, that it is only the septennial, and not the seventh day sabbath which is said by Paul to be abrogated, I reply, first, that no exception is here made; and, secondly, that it may as well be contended that baptism is not meant Heb. vi. 2. on account of the plural noun baptisms. Besides, it is certain that the words sabbath and sabbaths are used indiscriminately of the seventh day; Exod. xxxi. 13, 14. Isai. lvi. 2, 4, 6. Whoever therefore denies that under the words of the apostle, "in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath-days," the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is comprehended, may as well deny that it is spoken of 2 Chron. ii. 4. or viii. 13. or xxxi. 3. from which passages the words of Paul seem to be taken.

The law of the Sabbath being thus repealed, that no particular day of worship has been appointed in its place, is evident from the same apostle, Rom. xiv. 5. "one man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." For since, as was observed above, no particular place is designated under the gospel for the public worship of God, there seems no reason why time, the other circumstance of worship, should be more defined. If Paul had not intended to intimate the abolition of all sabbaths whatever, and of all sanctification of one day above another, he would not have added in the following verse, "he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it."[139] For how does he not regard the day to the Lord, <333> if there be any commandment still in force by which a particular day, whether the Sabbath or any other, is to be observed?

It remains to be seen on what they ground their opinion, who maintain that the Lord's day is to be observed as set apart for public worship by divine institution, in the nature of a new sabbath. It is urged, first, that God rested on the seventh day. This is true; and with reason, inasmuch as he had finished a great work, the creation of heaven and earth; if then we are bound to imitate him in his rest, without any command to that effect, (and none has yet been produced,) we are equally bound to imitate his work, according to the fable of Prometheus of old;[140] for rest implies previous labour. They rejoin, that God hallowed that day. Doubtless he hallowed it, as touching himself, for "on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed," Exod. xxxi. 17. but not as touching us, unless he had added an express commandment to that effect; for it is by the precepts, not by the example, even of God himself, that we are bound.[141] They affirm again, that the Sabbath was observed previously to the Mosaic law. This is <334> asserted with more confidence than probability; even if it were so, however, (a point as to which we are altogether ignorant) it is equally certain that sacrificial rites, and distinctions between things clean and unclean, and other similar observances, were in force during the same period, which nevertheless are not classed among moral duties.

They urge, however, that the celebration of the Sabbath was subsequently ordained by the fourth commandment. This is true, as regards the seventh day; but how does this apply to the first day? If, on the plea of a divine command, they impose upon us the observance of a particular day, how do they presume, without the authority of a divine command, to substitute another day in its place? or in other words to pronounce, that not merely the seventh day, which was appointed for the observation of the Israelites alone, but any one of the seven may, even on the authority of the fourth commandment itself, be kept holy; and that this is to be accounted an article of moral duty among all nations.

In the first place, I do not see how this assertion can be established, for it is impossible to extort such a sense from the words of the commandment; seeing that the reason for which the command itself was originally given, namely, as a memorial of God's having rested from the creation of the world, cannot be transferred from the seventh day to the first; nor can any new motive be substituted in its place, whether the resurrection of our Lord, or any other, without the sanction of a divine commandment. Since then it is evident from more than one passage of Scripture, that the original Sabbath is abrogated, and since we <335> are no where told that it has been transferred from one day to another, nor is any reason given why it should be so transferred, the church, when she sanctioned a change in this matter, evinced, not her obedience to God's command (inasmuch as the command existed no longer) but her own rightful liberty; for in any other view it can only be termed folly. To make any change whatever in a commandment of God, whether we believe that commandment to be still in force or not, is equally dangerous, and equally reprehensible; inasmuch as in so doing we are either annulling what is not yet repealed, or re-enacting what is obsolete. It ought also to be shown what essential principle of morality is involved in the number seven; and why, when released from the obligation of the Sabbath, we should still be bound to respect a particular number, possessing no inherent virtue or efficacy. The only moral sabbatical rest which remains for us under the gospel, is spiritual and eternal, pertaining to another life rather than in the present. Heb. iv. 9-11. "there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God; for he that hath entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his: let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." If then the commandment of the Sabbath was given to those alone whom God had brought out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage, it is evidently inapplicable to us as Christians; or if, as is contended, it is applicable to us inasmuch as we have been brought out of the slavery of a spiritual Egypt, the Sabbath ought to be such as the deliverance, spiritual and evangelical, not bodily <336> and legal; above all, it ought to be a voluntary, not a constrained observance,[142] lest we should be merely substituting one Egyptian bondage for another;[143] for the Spirit cannot be forced. To contend therefore that what, under the new dispensation, ought to be our daily employment, has been enjoined as the business of the Sabbath exclusively, is to disparage the gospel worship, and to frustrate rather than enforce the commandments of God.

It is urged, however, that it is on the fourth commandment that the church relies as its perpetual authority for the observance of public worship. That public worship is commended, and inculcated as a voluntary duty, even under the gospel, I allow; but that it is a matter of compulsory enactment, binding on believers from the authority of this commandment, or of any Sinaitical precept whatever, I deny. With regard to the doctrine of those who consider the decalogue as a code of universal morality, I am at a loss to understand how such an opinion should ever have prevailed; these commandments being evidently nothing more than a summary of the whole Mosaic law, as the fourth in particular is of the whole ceremonial law; which therefore can contain nothing applicable to the gospel worship.

Whether the festival of the Lord's day (an expression which occurs only once in Scripture, Rev. i. 10.) was weekly or annual, cannot be pronounced with <337> certainty, inasmuch as there is not (as in the case of the Lord's Supper) any account of its institution, or command for its celebration, to be found in scripture. If it was the day of his resurrection, why, we may ask, should this be considered as the Lord's day in any higher sense than that of his birth, or death, or ascension? why should it be held in higher consideration than the day of the descent of the Holy Spirit? and why should the celebration of the one recur weekly, whereas the commemoration of the others is not necessarily even annual, but remains at the discretion of each believer?

Neither can the circumstance of Christ's having appeared twice to his disciples on this day (if indeed the words after eight days, John xx. 26. are rightly interpreted the eighth day after) be safely adduced in proof of the divine institution of a new sabbath; inasmuch as there can be no doubt that he appeared on other days also, Luke xxiv. 36. and John xxi. 3, 4. "Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing," which was not lawful on the Sabbath; so that the day following, on the morning of which Christ appeared, could not have been the first day of the week. Even supposing, however, that it had been so, still the assigning this as a reason for the institution of a new sabbath is matter solely of human inference; since no commandment on this subject, nor any reason for such institution, is found in all Scripture.

From commandments, of which we have proved the non-existence, we pass to examples; although no example can weaken the force of a contrary precept. We shall proceed, however, to prove, that what are adduced as examples are not such in reality. First <338> then, with regard to Acts xx. 7. where it is related that the disciples dwelling at Troas "came together to break bread upon the first day of the week," who shall determine with certainty whether this was a periodical meeting, or only held occasionally, and of their own accord; whether it was a religious festival, or a fraternal meal; whether a special assembly convoked on that particular day, or a daily meeting like those recorded in chap. ii. 42. compared with v. 46; lastly, whether this meeting was held by order of the apostles, or whether it was merely permitted by them in compliance with the popular custom, according to their frequent practice on other occasions?

The inference deduced from 1 Cor. xvi. 2. is equally unsatisfactory; for what the apostle is here enjoining, is not the celebration of the Lord's day, but that on the first day of the week (if this be the true interpretation of κατὰ μίαν σαββάτων, per unam sabbathorum) each should lay by him (that is at home) for the relief of the poor; no mention being made of any public assembly, or of any collection at such assembly, on that day. He was perhaps led to select the first day of the week, from the idea that our alms ought to be set aside as a kind of first-fruits to God, previous to satisfying other demands; or because the first day of the week was most convenient for the arrangement of the family accounts. Granting, however, that the Corinthians were accustomed to assemble on that day for religious purposes, it no more follows that we are bound to keep it holy in conformity with their practice, without a divine command to that effect, than that we are bound to observe the Jewish sabbath in conformity with the practice of the <339> Philippians, or of Paul himself, Acts xvi. 13." on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made." xvii. 2. "Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath-days reasoned with them out of the scripture." xviii. 3,4. "he abode with them and wrought... and he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath;" following his own occupation at home, as we have reason to believe, during the six remaining days.

Those therefore, who on the authority of an expression occurring only once in Scripture, keep holy a sabbath-day, for the consecration of which no divine command can be alleged, ought to consider the dangerous tendency of such an example, and the consequences with which it is likely to be followed in the interpretation of Scripture.

Hence we arrive at the following conclusions; first, that under the gospel no one day is appointed for divine worship in preference to another, except such as the church may set apart of its own authority for the voluntary assembling of its members, wherein, relinquishing all worldly affairs, we may dedicate ourselves wholly to religious services, so far as is consistent with the duties of charity; and, secondly, that this may conveniently take place once every seven days, and particularly on the first day of the week;[144] provided always that it be observed in compliance with the authority of the church, and not in obedience to the edicts of the magistrate; and likewise that a snare be not laid for the conscience by the <340> allegation of a divine commandment, borrowed from the decalogue; an error against which Paul diligently cautions us, Col. ii. 16. "let no man therefore judge you," &c. For if we under the gospel are to regulate the time of our public worship by the prescriptions of the decalogue, it will surely be far safer to observe the seventh day, according to the express commandment of God, than on the authority of mere human conjecture to adopt the first. I perceive also that several of the best divines as Bucer, Calvin, Peter Martyr, Musculus, Ursinus, Gomarus, and others, concur in the opinions above expressed.[145]



HITHERTO we have treated of the virtues comprehended in our duty towards God; we are next to speak of those which belong to our duty towards men; although even in these we may be considered as serving God, so long as they are done in obedience to the divine command. Matt. vii. 12. "all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Col. iii. 23. "whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." James i. 26, 27. "if any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain; pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." 1 John iv. 20. "if a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"


Inasmuch therefore as God is best served by internal worship, whereas man stands more in need of outward attention, the external service even of God is sometimes to be postponed to our duties towards men. Prov. xxi. 3. "to do justice and judgment is more acceptable to Jehovah than sacrifice." Jer. vii. 4, 5. "trust ye not in lying words, saying, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah are these: for if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings —." Matt. xii. 1, &c. "Jesus went on the sabbath-day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered —." v. 7. "I will have mercy and not sacrifice." xv. 5. "ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free." See also Mark vii. 11, 12. and ii. 27, "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath."

The virtues connected with our duty towards man are partly those which each individual owes to himself, and partly those which we owe to our neighbours. Lev. xix. 18. "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." See also Matt. xix. 19.

These virtues, like those relating to God, are either general or special.

The general virtues are love and righteousness. In the first book I treated of love generally, and in its wider sense as identified with holiness; I now proceed to define it more particularly, with reference to its object as follows. Love is a general virtue, infused into believers by God the Father in Christ through the Spirit, and comprehending the whole duty of love owing from each individual to himself and his <344> neighbour. It is nowhere more fully described than in the whole thirteenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians, to which we shall have frequently to refer. Compare also 1 John iii. 18, 19. "my little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth: and hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him."

By God, &c. 1 John iii. 10. "in this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness... neither he that loveth not his brother." iv. 7. "love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." Gal. v. 22. "the fruit of the Spirit is love.

Into believers. Gal. v. 6. "faith that worketh by love."

The opposite of this is uncharitableness; which renders all our other qualities and actions, however excellent in appearance, of no account. 1 Cor. xiii. 1, &c. "though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or as a tinkling cymbal."

The other general virtue belonging to the regenerate is righteousness, whereby we render to each his due, whether to ourselves, or to our neighbour. Prov. xvi. 8. "better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues without right." Isai. lxi. 8. "I Jehovah love judgment; I hate robbery for burnt-offering." Matt. vii. 12. "all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Rom. xiii. 7. "render therefore to all their dues."


Belonging to the regenerate. 1John iii. 10. "in this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God." Hence under righteousness is frequently included the observance of the whole law.

Opposed to this is, first, unrighteousness, which excludes from the kingdom of heaven. 1 Cor. vi. 9. "know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" Jer. xvii. 11. "as the partridge setteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not, so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool."

Secondly, a pharisaical righteousness. Matt. v. 20. "except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Both these general virtues, as has been stated above, are exercised partly towards ourselves, and partly towards our neighbour.

The love of man towards himself consists in loving himself next to God, and in seeking his own temporal and eternal good. Prov. xi. 17. "the merciful man doeth good to his own soul, but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh." xix. 8. "he that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul." Eph. v. 29. "no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourished and cherisheth it." Philipp. ii. 12. "work out your own salvation." 1 Tim. v. 23. "drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake, and thine often infirmities."


Opposed to this is, first, a perverse hatred of self.[146] Eph. v. 29. as above. In this class are to be reckoned those who lay violent hands on themselves, (who nevertheless are not excluded from decent burial, 2 Sam. xvii. 23.) and all who are guilty of presumptuous sin. Prov. viii. 36. "he that sinneth against me hateth his own soul; all they that hate me love death." xxix. 24. "whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul."

Secondly, a preposterous self-love, whereby a man loves himself more than God, or despises his neighbour in comparison of himself. In allusion to the former species of self-love Christ says, John xii. 25. "he that loveth his life shall lose it." Respecting the latter see 2 Tim. iii. 2, &c. "men shall be lovers of themselves —." On the contrary, those are commended, Rev. xii. 11, "who loved not their lives unto the death." Matt. x. 39. "he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." See also Mark viii. 35, &c. Matt. xvi. 23. "he said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan, thou <347> art an offence unto me; for thou savourest not the things that be or God, but those that be of men."

Righteousness towards ourselves consists in a proper method of self-government. 1 Cor. ix. 27. "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection." From this, as from a fountain, the special virtues in general derive their origin; inasmuch as under the head of righteousness towards ourselves are included, first, the entire regulation of the internal affections; secondly, the discriminating pursuit of external good, and the resistance to, or patient endurance of, external evil.

The regulation of the affections. Prov. xxv. 28. "he that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and hath no walls." Gal. v. 16, 17. "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit... so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." v. 24. "they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Col. iii. 5. "mortify therefore your members that are upon the earth." 1 Thess. iv. 4, 5. "that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour." James i. 14, 15. "every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." 1 Pet. iv. 2. "that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God."

The affections are love, hatred; joy, sorrow; hope, fear; and anger.

Love is to be so regulated, that our highest affections may be placed on the objects most worthy of them; in like manner, hatred is to be proportioned to the intrinsic hatefulness of the object. Gen. vi. 2. "the sons of God saw the daughters of men that <348> they were fair, and they took them —." 1 Sam. xvi 7, 8. "look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature." Esth. ii. 15. "Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her." Prov. vi. 25. "lust not after her beauty in thy heart". xi. 22. "as a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion." Rom. xii. 9. "abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good." 1 Cor. x. 6. "we should not lust after evil things."

Our joy ought to be so regulated, that we may delight in things essentially good in proportion to their excellence, and in things indifferent so far only as is consistent with reason. The same rule is to be observed with regard to sorrow. Deut. xii. 7. "there shall ye eat before Jehovah your God, and ye shall rejoice —." See also v. 12, 18. xxvi. 11. "thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which Jehovah thy God hath given unto thee." Job xxii. 19. "the righteous see it, and are glad; and the innocent laugh them to scorn." Psal. iv. 6-8. "lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us; thou hast put gladness in my heart more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased." xxx. 11, 12. "thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing." lviii. 10. "the righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked." cxxvi. 2. "then was our mouth filled with laughter." Luke ii. 10. "bring you good tidings of great joy." xxiv. 52. "they returned to Jerusalem with great joy;" and to the same effect in many other passages. Prov. x. 23. "it is as sport to a fool to do mischief; but a man of understanding hath wisdom." xv. 21. "folly <349> is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom; but a man of understanding walketh uprightly." xvii. 5. "whoso mocketh the poor, reproacheth his maker." v. 22. "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones." See also xviii. 14. xxvi. 19. "so is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?" Eccles. ii. 2. "I said of laughter, It is mad; and of mirth, What doeth it?" vii. 2-4. "it is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men." Isai. xxii. 12, &c. "in that day did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping and to mourning... and behold joy and gladness —." Jer. xxxi. 4. "thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry." v.13. "then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together, for I will turn their mourning into joy." Lam. v. 15. "the joy of our heart is ceased, our dance is turned into mourning." Amos vi. 6. "that drink wine in bowls... but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph." There are occasions on which tears are not unbecoming even a wise man. Gen. xlii. 24. "Joseph turned himself about from them, and wept." Psal. cxix. 136. "rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law."

In the proper regulation of hope and fear, the cause, the object, and the degree of excitation are chiefly to be considered. Concerning hope, see above; concerning fear, Matt. x.28. "fear not them which kill the body." Isai. viii. 12, 13. compared with 1 Pet. iii. 14. "be not afraid of their terror." Even the bravest may occasionally be influenced by fear. Gen. xxxii. 7. "then Jacob was greatly afraid." Exod. ii. <350> 14. "Moses feared." 1 Kings. xix. 3. "when he saw that, he arose and went for his life." Psal. lv. 5-7. "because of the voice of the enemy..... fearfulness and trembling are come upon me." 2 Chron. xx. 3. "Jehoshaphat feared." Nehem. ii. 2 "then I was very sore afraid."

In anger, we are to consider the motive for the passion, its degree, and duration. Prov. xvi. 32. "he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." xix. 11. "the discretion of a man deferreth his anger, and it is his glory to pass over a transgression." Mark. iii. 5. "when he had looked round upon them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts —." Eph. iv. 2. "with long-suffering." v. 26. "be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Col. i. 11.; "unto all patience and long-suffering."

The excess of anger is irascibility. Prov. xii. 16. "a fool's wrath is presently known." xiv. 17. "he that is soon angry dealeth foolishly, and a man of wicked devices is hated." xxii. 24, 25. "make no friendship with an angry man —." xxvii. 3. "a stone is heavy..... but a fool's wrath is heavier." xxix. 22. "an angry man stirreth up strife." Eccles. vii. 9. "be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry; for anger resteth in the bosom of fools." Matt. v. 22. "whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment." Eph. iv. 31. "let all wrath and anger..... be put away from you." From this infirmity even the best of men are not always exempt. Acts. xv. 38, 39. "the contention was so sharp between them, that," &c.


From well-regulated affections proceeds the proper government of the tongue. Prov. xi. 9. "an hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour; but through knowledge shall the just be delivered." v. 11. "by the blessing of the upright the city is exalted; but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked." xii. 14. "a man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth." xiii. 2. "a man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth; but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence." xv. 2, 4, 7. "the tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright; but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness." v. 23. "a man hath joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due sea son how good is it!" v. 28. "the heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things. xvi. 1. "the answer of the tongue is from Jehovah." v. 23, 27. "the heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips." xviii. 13. "he that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." xix. 28. "an ungodly witness scorneth judgment, and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity." xxix. 20. "seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him." Matt. xii. 34, 36, 37. "how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." James. iii. 2, &c. "if any man of fend not in word, the same is a perfect man." Psal. cxli. 3. "set a watch, O Jehovah, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." Prov. xviii. 21. "death and life are in the power of the tongue." xxi. 23. "whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles."



THE special virtues which regulate our desire of external advantages, have reference either to bodily gratifications, or to the possessions which enrich and adorn life.

The virtue which prescribes bounds to the desire of bodily gratification, is called temperance. Tit. ii. 11, 12. "the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." 1 Pet. ii. 11. "as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul." 2 Pet. ii. 9. "the Lord knoweth how..... to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished; but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness."

Under temperance are comprehended sobriety and chastity, modesty and decency.

Sobriety consists in abstinence from immoderate eating and drinking.[147] 1 Thess. v. 8. "let us, who <353> are of the day, be sober." 1 Pet. i. 13. "wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober." iv. 7. "the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." v. 8 "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour." Esth. 8. "the drinking was according to law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure."

The opposites of this virtue are drunkenness and gluttony; instances of which may be seen in Noah, Gen. ix. Lot, Gen. xix. and Benhadad, 1 Kings. xx. 16. Prov. xx. 1. "wine is a mocker." xxi. 17. "he that loveth wine..... shall not be rich." xxiii. 3, &c. <354> "be not desirous of his dainties, for they are deceitful meat." v. 20, 21. "be not among wine-bibbers, among riotous eaters of flesh —." v. 29-32. "who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? they that tarry long at the wine." Isai. v. 11, 12. "woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink..... but they regard not the work of Jehovah." v. 22. "woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine." xxviii. 1, 3, 7, 8. "woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim —." Ezek. xvi. 49. "behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread." Luke. xxi. 34, "take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." Rom. xiii. 13. "let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness." 1 Cor. vi. 10. "nor drunkards..... shall inherit the kingdom of God." Gal. v. 21. "drunkenness, revellings, and such like..... shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Hos. iv. 10. "they shall eat, and not have enough." vii. 5. "in the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine." Habak. ii. 15. "woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink." Eph. v. 18. "be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but —." 1 Pet. iv. 3, 4. "the time past of our lives may suffice us..... when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings,..... wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot."


Allied to sobriety is watchfulness. Matt. xxiv. 42. "watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your lord doth come." See also xxv. 13. xxvi. 41. "Mark xiii. 35. v. 37. "what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch." Luke. xii. 37. "blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching." xxi. 36. "watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass." Col. iv. 2. "continue in prayer, and watch —." 1 Thess. v. 6. "therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." 1 Pet. v. 8. "be sober, be vigilant." Rev. iii. 3. "if therefore thou shall not watch, I will come upon thee as a thief in the night." xvi. 15. "blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked." In most of these passages it appears that the watchfulness spoken of refers less to the sleep of the body, than to the lethargy of the mind.

The opposite to this, is an excessive love of sleep.[148] Prov. xx. 13. "love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty."


Chastity consists in temperance as regards the unlawful lusts of the flesh; which is also called sanctification. 1 Thess. iv. 3. "this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication." Rev. xiv. 4. "these are they which were not defiled with women, for they are virgins: these are they which follow the Lamb."

To chastity are opposed all kinds of impurity; effeminacy, sodomy, bestiality, &c. which are offences against ourselves in the first instance, and tending to our own especial injury.[149] 1 Cor. vi. 15, 16. "know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take, &c —. ? what, know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? —." v. 18. "flee fornication: every sin that man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth <357> against his own body." See also Prov. vi. 24, &c. Gen. xxxviii. 9,10. "the thing which he did displeased the Lord." Exod. xxii. 19. "whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death." Lev. xviii. 22, 23. "thou shalt not lie with mankind." Deut. xxiii. 17. "there shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor," &c. xxvii. 21. "cursed is he that lieth with any manner of beast." Prov. ii. 16 "to deliver thee from the strange woman." v. 3, &c. "the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb." vi. 24. "to keep thee from the evil woman." See also v. 32. vii. 25. "let not thine heart decline to her ways." ix. 18. "he knoweth not that the dead are there —." xxii. 14. "the mouth of strange women is a deep pit" See also xxiii. 26, 27. xxx. 20. "such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness." 1 Kings. xiv. 24. "there were also sodomites in the land." Rom. xiii. 13. "not in chambering and wantonness." 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. "be not deceived; neither fornicators... nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of them selves with mankind... shall inherit the kingdom of God." v. 13, &c. "the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body." Eph. v. 3-5. "fornication and all uncleanness... let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints... nor filthiness... which are not convenient... for this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean per son... hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."

Modesty consists in refraining from all obscenity of language or action, in short, from whatever is inconsistent with the strictest decency of behaviour in ref <358> erence to sex or person. Deut. xxv. 11, 12. "when men strive together," &c. Job. xxxi. 1. "I made a covenant with mine eyes," &c. 1 Cor. xi. 10. "for this cause ought the woman to have power on her head, because of the angels." Heb. xii. 28. "we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear." 2 Kings. iv. 15. "when he had called her, she stood in the door." The same ideas of womanly decorum existed even among the Gentiles. Thus Homer introduces Penelope;

στῆ ῾ρα παρὰ τέγεος πύκα ποιητοῖο. Odyss. a. 333.

She... beneath

The portal of her stately mansion stood.

I. 414. Cowpers Translation.

Opposed to this are obscene conversation, and filthy and licentious gestures. Isai. iii. 16, &c. "therefore Jehovah will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and Jehovah will discover their secret parts." Matt. v. 28. "whosoever looketh on a woman," &c. Eph. v. 4. "neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient." 2 Pet. ii. 14. "having eyes full of adultery."

Decency consists in refraining from indecorum or lasciviousnsss in dress or personal appearance. Exod. xx. 26. "neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon." Deut. xxii. 5. "the woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for all that do so are abomination unto Jehovah thy God." Zeph. i. 8. "it shall come to pass that I will punish all such as are clothed <359> in strange apparel." Matt. xi. 8. "they that wear soil clothing are in kings houses." 1 Tim. ii. 9. "in like manner also that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array." 1 Pet. iii. 3. "whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel." 2 Kings. ix. 30. "she painted her face," &c.

Moderation in the enjoyment of temporal possessions manifests itself in the virtues of contentment, frugality, industry, and a liberal spirit.

Contentment is that virtue whereby a man is inwardly satisfied with the lot assigned him by divine providence. Prov. x. 22. "the blessing of Jehovah, it maketh rich." xxx. 8. "give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me." Eccles. iii. 12, 13. "I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice and to do good in his life; and also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God." v. 18, &c. "behold that which I have seen; it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all the labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life which God giveth him, for it is his portion; every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion arid rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God: for he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart." vi. 1,2. "there is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men; a man to whom God hath given <360> riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it." ix. 9, 10. "live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest —." Zech. ix. 16, 17. "how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!" —. Philipp. iv. 11, 12. "not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content: I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; every where, and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." 1 Tim. vi. 6, 7. "godliness with contentment is great gain; for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out: and having food and raiment let us therewith be content." Heb. xiii. 5. "be content with such things as ye have." Even in poverty. Psal. xxiii. 1, 2. "Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want." xxxiv. 9, &c. "there is no want to them that fear him; the young lions do lack and suffer hunger —." xxxvii, 16, 18, 19. "a little that a righteous man hath is better, &c... they shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied." xl. 17. "I am poor and needy, yet Jehovah thinketh upon me —." lxviii. 10. "thou hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor." Prov. x. 3. "Jehovah will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish." Hence poverty is not to be accounted a disgrace. Prov. xvii. 5, "whoso mocketh the poor, reproacheth his maker." xix. 1. "better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips." xxviii. 6. better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his <361> ways, though he be rich." v. 11. "the rich man is wise in his own conceit, but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out." We are forbidden to glory in riches, or to put our confidence in them. Prov. xi. 28. "he that trusteth in his riches shall fall." Eccles. vi. 11. "seeing there be many things that multiply vanity-." Mark. x. 2325. "how hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!..... it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle —." 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18. "charge them that are rich in this world that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God." 2 Kings. xx. 13, 14. "Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and showed them all the house of his precious things."

Opposed to this are, first, anxiety respecting the necessaries of life. Matt. vi. 25, &c. "take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on." v. 33. "seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

Secondly, covetousness. Job. xx. 15. "he hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again." Josh. vii. 21. "when I saw among the spoils, &c...... then I coveted them and took them." Psal. cxix. 36. "incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness." Prov. i. 19. "so are the ways of everyone that is greedy of gain, which taketh away the life of the owners thereof." xv. 27. "he that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house." xx. 21. "an inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning, but the end thereof shall not be blessed." Eccles. ii. 26. "to the sinner he giveth <362> travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God." iv. 8. "there is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother, yet is there no end of all his labour, neither is his eye satisfied with riches." v. 10. "he that loveth silver, shall not be satisfied with silver." Isai. lvii. 17. "for the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him." Matt. vi. 19. "lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt." xxvii. 5. "he cast down the pieces of silver," &c. Luke. xii. 15. "take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things that he possesseth." 1 Tim. vi. 9, &c. "they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts." Heb. xiii. 5. "let your conversation be without covetousness. For covetousness is idolatry." Matt. vi. 24. "ye cannot serve God and mammon." Eph. v. 5. "nor covetous man, who is an idolater." Col. iii. 5. "covetousness, which is idolatry." It is likewise styled the root of all evil. 1 Tim. vi. 10. "the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith."

Thirdly, a murmuring against the wisdom of God in making provision for the wants of this life. Jude. 16. "these are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration be cause of advantage."

Frugality consists in avoiding expense, so far as is seemly, and in wasting nothing which is capable of <363> being applied to an useful purpose. John. vi. 12. "gather up the fragments that remain."

The opposite of this is penuriousness. 1 Sam. xxv. 3. "the man was churlish." v. 11. "shall I then take my bread, and my water... and give it unto men?" Eccles. vi. 2. "a man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it."

Industry is that by which we honestly provide for ourselves the means of comfortable living. Gen. ii. 15. "to dress it and to keep it." iii. 19. "in the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread." Prov. x. 4. "he becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand." v. 5. "he that gathereth in summer is a wise son." xii. 11. "he that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread." xiv. 23. "in all labour there is profit." xxi. 5. "the thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness, but of every one that is hasty only to want." xxii. 29. "seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings." 1 Thess. iv. 11, 12. "work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing." 2 Thess. iii. 12. "we exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread."

The opposite of this is remissness in making provision for the necessaries of life. Prov. vi. 6. "go to the ant, thou sluggard." x. 5. "he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame." xiii. 4. "the soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing." xix. 24. "a slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom." <364> xx. 4. "the sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest and have nothing." xxi. 25. "the desire of the slothful killeth him, for his hands refuse to labour." xxii. 13. "the slothful man says, There is a lion in the streets." xxiv. 30. "I went by the field of the slothful." xxvi. 14. "as the door turneth upon his hinges," &c. xxviii. 19. "he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough." Eccles. iv. 5, 6. "the fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh: better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit." 2 Thess. iii. 10. "if any would not work, neither should he eat."

Liberality is a temperate use of our honest acquisitions in the provision of food and raiment, and of the elegancies of life.

In the provision of food. Gen. xxi. 8. "Abraham made a great feast." Job. i. 5. "it was so when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them." Psal. xxiii. 5. "thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest mine head with oil; my cup runneth over." civ. 15. "wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine —." Prov. xxxi. 6. "give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish." Dan. x. 3. "I ate no pleasant bread." Luke. v. 29. "Levi made him a great feast." John. xii. 2, 3. "there they made him a supper... then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly." Acts. xiv. 17. "filling our hearts with food and gladness."

Of the elegancies of life. Gen. xxiv. 22. "the man took a golden ear-ring of half a shekel weight —." 2 Sam. i. 24. "who clothed you in scarlet, with other <365> delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel." Prov. xiv. 24. "the crown of the wise is their riches." xxxi. 22, 25." she maketh herself coverings of tapestry —." Eccles. ix. 8. "let thy garments be always white, and let thy head lack no ointment."

The opposite of this is luxury. Prov. xxi. 17. "he that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man; he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich." Luke. xvi. 19. "there was a certain rich man which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day."

The virtues more peculiarly appropriate to a high station are lowliness of mind and magnanimity.

Lowliness of mind consists in thinking humbly of ourselves, and in abstaining from self-commendation, except where occasion requires it. Exod. iii. 11. "who am I, that I should go unto Pharoah? Psal. cxxxi. 1. "my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty, neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me." Prov. xi. 2. "with the lowly is wisdom." xii. 9. "a man that is despised and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself." xv. 33. "before honour is humility." See also xviii. 12. xvi. 19. "better is it to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud." xxix. 23. "honour shall uphold the humble in spirit." Jer. i. 6, 7. "ah Lord... I am a child." Dan. ii. 31. "this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living." Matt. xxiii. 12. "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Rom. xii. 10. "in honour preferring one another." 2 Cor. x. 13. "we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule," <366> &c. v. 15. "not boasting of things without our measure —." Eph. iii. 8. "unto me who am less than the least of all saints —." v. 21. "submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." Philipp. ii. 3. "in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

In abstaining from self-commendation, except where occasion requires it. Job. xii. 3. "I have understanding as well as you, I am not inferior to you." xiii. 2. "what ye know, the same do I know also." xxix. 8, &c. "the young men saw me, and hid themselves, and the aged arose and stood up." Judges. v. 7. "until I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel." Eccles. i. 16. "lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me."

Opposed to this are, first, arrogance. Prov. xx. 6. "most men will proclaim every one his own goodness." xxvi. 16. "the sluggard is wiser in his own conceit, than seven men that can render a reason." James. iii. 1. "be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation."

Secondly, a desire of vain glory. Matt, xxiii. 12. "whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased." John. v. 41. "I receive not honour from men." v. 44. "how can ye believe, which receive honour one of another?" xii. 42, 43. "they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." Gal. v. 26. "let us not be desirous of vain glory." 1 Thess. ii. 6. "nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others."

Thirdly, boasting. Prov. xxv. 14. whoso boasteth himself of a false gift, is like clouds and wind without rain."


Fourthly, a crafty or hypocritical extenuation of our own merits, for the purpose of extorting greater praises.

Fifthly, a glorying in iniquity and misdeeds. Psal. lii. 1. "why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O thou mighty man?" Isai. iii. 9. "they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not; woe unto their soul, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves."

Allied to lowliness is the love of an unspotted reputation, and of the praises of good men, with a proportionate contempt for those of the wicked. Psal. cxix. 22. "remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies." v. 39. "turn away my reproach, which I fear." Prov. xxii. 1. "a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold." Eccles. vii. 1 . "a good name is better than precious ointment." 1 Kings. xviii. 13. "was it not told my lord what I did, when Jezebel slew the prophets of Jehovah?" Neh. v. 14, 15. "so did not I, because of the fear of God." Matt. v. 11. "blessed are ye when men... shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake." 2 Cor. vi. 8. "by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report, as deceivers and yet true." Heb. xi. 24 26. "esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt." xiii. 13. "let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach."

Opposed to this is a shameless disregard of reputation. Luke. xviii, 2. "which feared not God, neither regarded man."

Secondly, an excessive and indiscriminate passion for esteem and praise, from whatever quarter. Prov. <368> xxvii. 2. "let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth." Matt. xxiii. 5. "all their works they do for to be seen of men." Luke. vi. 26. "woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you."

Magnanimity is shown, when in the seeking or avoiding, the acceptance or refusal of riches, advantages, or honours, we are actuated by a regard to our own dignity, rightly understood. Thus Abraham did not refuse the gifts of the king of Egypt, Gen. xii. 13. xx. 14. though he rejected those of the king of Sodom, xiv. 22, 23. and though he declined to accept the field offered him by Ephron the Hittite except on payment of its full value, xxiii. 13. Thus also Job, although restored to his former health and prosperity, did not disdain the congratulatory offerings of his friends, xlii. 11. In this spirit Gideon refused the kingdom, Judges. viii. 23. The same disposition accompanied Joseph in his exaltation from a prison to the first honours of the empire, Gen. xli. So also Dan. ii. 48, 49. "then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts." On the other hand, chap. v. 17. "he answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another;" but v. 29. "Belshazzar commanded, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet." He was actuated by the same temper in refusing and in accepting dignities, vi. 2. "over these were three presidents, of whom Daniel was first." Such was also the spirit of Nehemiah in asking honours, ii. 5. "I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant hath found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me into Judah;" of Samuel in laving down his authority. 1 Sam. x. 1. "then Samuel took a vial of oil, and <369> poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because Jehovah hath anointed thee —?" of Elisha in refusing a reward for the cure he had wrought, 2 Kings. v. 15, 16. "as Jehovah liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none; of Christ in rejecting the empire of the world," Matt. iv. 9. "all these things will I give thee, if," &c. Luke. iv. 6. John. vi. 15. "when Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force to make him a king, he departed: in despising riches," 2 Cor. viii. 9. "though he Was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor;" in accepting honours, Matt. xxi. 7, &c. "they brought the ass, and the colt... and they set him thereon." Such, finally, is the spirit by which every true Christian is guided in his estimate of himself. James. i. 9, 10. "let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted; but the rich in that he is made low."

Allied to this is indignation at the unfounded praises or undeserved prosperity of the wicked, Prov. xxx. 21, &c. "for three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear; for a servant when he reigneth, and a fool when he is filled with meat; for an odious woman when she is married, and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress." When however this feeling exceeds due bounds, it ceases to be praise-worthy. Psal. xxxvii. 1. "fret not thyself because of evil doers." v. 7, 8. "fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass." Prov. iii. 31. "envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways." The language of indignation is used, Job. xxx. 1, &c. Psal. xv. 4. "in whose eyes a vile person is contemned, but he hon <370> oureth them that fear Jehovah." The vehemence of its expression sometimes borders on indecency. See Ezek. xvi. 25, 38.

Opposed to magnanimity are, first, an ambitious spirit. Numb. xii. 2. "hath Jehovah indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us?" xvi. 3. "seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Jehovah is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of Jehovah?" Judges. ix. 1,2. "Abimelech went to Shechem

... and communed with them..... saying, Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem," &c. 2 Sam. xv. 2. "Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate —." v. 4. "O that I were made judge in this land —." Prov. xxv. 27. "for men to search their own glory is not glory."

Secondly, pride, when a men values himself with out merit, or more highly than his merits deserve, or is elated by some insignificant circumstance. 2 Sam. xxii. 28. "thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down." Prov. vi. 16, 17. "these six things doth Jehovah hate..... a proud look —." xv. 25. "Jehovah will destroy the house of the proud." xvi. 5. "every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to Jehovah." v. 18. "pride goeth before destruction." xviii. 12. "before destruction the heart of man is haughty." xxi. 4. "an high look, and a proud heart —." xxix. 23. "a man's pride shall bring him low."

Thirdly, pusillanimity; of which Saul when chosen king is an example, 1 Sam. x. 21, 22. "when they sought him, he could not be found..... behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff."



THE virtues which regulate our desire of external good have been spoken of; we are next to consider those which are exercised in the resistance to, or the endurance of evil.

These virtues are fortitude and patience.

Fortitude is chiefly conspicuous in repelling evil, or in regarding its approach with equanimity. Josh. i. 6, 7, 9. "have not I commanded thee? be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed." Heb. xi. 32, &c. "the time would fail me to tell of Gideon," &c. "who through faith subdued kingdoms." Psal. iii. 9. "I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set themselves against me round about." See Psal. xviii. 32, &c. xxiii. 4. "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me." xxxvii. 12, &c. "the wicked plotteth against the just..... the wicked have drawn out the sword their sword shall enter into their own heart." xlvi. 1, 2. "God is our refuge and strength therefore will we not fear. <372> though the earth be removed." lvi. 11. "in God have I put my trust; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me." See also cxviii. 6. cxii. 7, 8. "he shall not be afraid of evil tidings." Prov. iii. 24, 25. "when thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid." xxiv. 5, 6. "a wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength." xxviii. 1. "the righteous are bold as a lion." Isai. xli. 10. "fear thou not, for I am with thee." li. 7. "fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings." v. 12. "I am he that comforteth you; who art thou that thou shouldst be afraid?" Dan. iii. 16. "they said to the king..... we are not careful to answer thee in this matter." Matt. x. 28, &c. "fear not them which kill the body —." The great pattern of fortitude is our Saviour Jesus Christ, throughout the whole of his life, and in his death. Luke. xiii. 31, &c. "go ye and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." John. xi. 7, 8. "his disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee, and goest thou thither again?" 2 Tim. i. 7. "God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 1 John. ii. 14. "I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one."

Opposed to fortitude, are, first, timidity. Psal. xxvii. 1. "Jehovah is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?" Prov. x. 24. "the fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him." xxv. 26. "a righteous man falling down before the wicked, is as a troubled fountain and a corrupt spring." Xxviii 1 <373> "the wicked flee when no man pursueth." xxix. 25. "the fear of man bringeth a snare." Isai. xli. 13, 14. "fear not, thou worm Jacob." Neh. vi. 11. "should such a man as I flee?" Matt. xxiv. 6. "ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled." Rev. xxi. 8. "the fearful and unbelieving..... shall have their part in the lake that burneth —."

Secondly, rashness, which consists in exposing our selves to danger unnecessarily. Prov. xiv. 16. "a wise man feareth and departeth from evil; but the fool rageth, and is confident." This fault is exemplified in Amaziah, 2 Kings. xiv. 8. "come, let us look one another in the face;" and in Josiah, 2 Chron. xxxv. 20-22. "he sent ambassadors unto him, saying... nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him —." Christ has taught us to avoid it by his example. John. vii. 1. "he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him." xi. 53, 54. "Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews." Matt. x. 23. "when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another."

Patience consists in the endurance of misfortunes and injuries. Psal. lxix. 7. "for thy sake I have borne reproach, shame hath covered my face" Prov. xi. 12. "he that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour; but a man of understanding holdeth his peace." xvii. 27. "he that hath knowledge spareth his words, and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit." xix. 11. "the discretion of a man deferreth his anger." Eccles. vii. 21. "also take no heed unto all words that are spoken, lest thou hear thy servant curse thee." Isai. 1. 7, 8. "I have set my face like a flint —." Matt. v. 39. "Resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee <374> on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." 1 Cor. vi. 7. "why do ye not rather take wrong?" 1 Thess. v. 14. "be patient towards all men." See above on patience towards God. Compensation for injuries, nevertheless, is occasionally exacted even by pious men. Acts. xvi. 37. "they have beaten us openly uncondemned," &c.

The opposites to this are, first, impatience and effeminacy of temper. Prov. xxiv. 10. "if thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small."

Secondly, an hypocritical patience, which voluntarily inflicts upon itself unnecessary evils. This is exemplified in the prophets of Baal, 1 Kings. xviii. 28. "they cut themselves after their manner with knives;" and in the flagellations of the modern Papists.

Lastly, a stoical apathy; for sensibility to pain, and even lamentations, are not inconsistent with true patience; as may be seen in Job and the other saints, when under the pressure of affliction.[150]



HITHERTO we have treated of the duties of charity and justice owing from man to himself; we are next to consider the same virtues as exercised towards our neighbour.

Charity towards our neighbour consists in loving him as ourselves. Lev. xix. 18. "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; I am Jehovah." 1 John. iv. 11. "beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." Under the name of neighbour are comprehended all to whom we have the opportunity of rendering service or assistance. Luke. x. 36, 37. "which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him —?" he that showed mercy on him;" as in the present instance the Samaritan showed mercy on the Jew, although estranged from him in so many respects.

Chiefly however believers: Gal. vi. 10. "as we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all <376> men, especially unto them that are of the household of faith;" inasmuch as, in addition to the ordinary tie of affinity, we are connected with them by a spiritual bond: Eph. iv. 3. "endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Next in degree are those most closely allied to us by relationship or friendship. Rom. ii. 3. "I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh; who are Israelites —." 1 Tim. v. 4. "let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents; for that is good and acceptable before God."

Even our enemies are not to be excluded from the exercise of our charity, inasmuch as they are not excluded from our prayers. Exod. xxiii. 4, 5. "if thou meet thine enemy's ox or ass going astray," &c. Prov. xxv. 21 , 22. "if thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink; for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and Jehovah shall reward thee." See also Rom. xii. 14, 20. Matt. v. 44. "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you." Matt. vi. 15. "if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Luke. xxii. 51. "he touched his ear and healed him." xxiii. 34. "Father, forgive them —." Rom. xii. 17. "recompense to no man evil for evil." v. 21. "be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." 1 Thess. v. 15. "see that none render evil for evil unto any man." 1 Pet. iii. 9. "not rendering evil for evil. We are taught the same by the example of God himself." Matt. v. 44. "love your enemies... that ye may be the children of your Father which is in <377> heaven." Rom. v. 8. "God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

The opposite of this virtue is, first, uncharitableness towards our neighbour. James. ii. 15, 16. "if a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food," &c.

Secondly, hypocritical charity. Matt. vi. 2-4. "when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do —."

Thirdly, an excessive and preposterous love. 1 Sam. ii. 29. "thou honourest thy sons above me —." xvi. 1. "how long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him?" Matt. x. 37. "he that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me."

Fourthly, hatred of our neighbour. 1 John. iii. 15. "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer." iv. 8. "he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love."

Fifthly, a meddling disposition. Prov. xxvi. 17. "he that passeth by and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears."

Hatred, however, is in some cases a religious duty; as when we hate the enemies of God or the church.[151] 2 Chron. xix. 2. "shouldest thou love them that hate Jehovah?" Psal. xxxi. 6. "I have hated them that regard lying vanities." cxxxix. 21, 22. "do I not hate them, O Jehovah, that hate thee?" Prov. xxviii. 4. "they that forsake the law, praise the wicked; but <378> such as keep the law contend with them." xxix. 27. "an unjust man is an abomination to the just." Jer. xlviii. 10. "cursed be he that doeth the work of Jehovah deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood." We are to hate even our dearest connexions, if they endeavour to seduce or deter us from the love of God and true religion. Exod. xxxii. 27. "slay every man his brother, and every man his companion." Deut. xiii. 6-8. "if thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go, and serve other gods," &c. Luke. xiv. 26. "if any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife," &c. Thus Christ, notwithstanding his love for Peter: Mark. viii. 33. "get thee behind me, Satan."

Love towards our neighbour is absolute or reciprocal.

Under absolute love are comprised humanity, good will, and compassion.

Humanity consists in the performance of those ordinary attentions which man owes to man, whether living or dead, as the partaker of one common nature. Deut. xxii. 1 . &c. "thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray," &c.

Towards the dead humanity is shown by mourning for their loss, and by a decent sepulture.

Mourning is the appropriate mark of respect paid to the memory of all who are not utterly worthless. Gen. l. 3. "the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days." 2 Sam. i. 12. "they mourned and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan <379> his son, and for the people of Jehovah, and for the house of Israel, because they were fallen by the sword." iii. 31, 32. "the king wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept." Much more therefore to those of our own household. Thus the ancient patriarchs: Gen. 1. 10. "they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation." So also when believers are cut off. Acts. viii. 2. "devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him." Even on such occasions, however, our grief ought not to be immoderate. Lev. xxi. 2. 4, 5. "he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself; they shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard; nor make any cuttings in their flesh." Deut. xiv. 1 . "ye are the children of Jehovah your God; ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead." 1 Thess. iv. 13. "sorrow not, even as others which have no hope."

Decent burial. Gen. xxiii. 8. "that I may bury my dead out of my sight." xxxv. 20. "Jacob set a pillar upon her grave." 1. 2, &c. "Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father." 2 Chron. xvi. 14. "they laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices," &c. To remain unburied is an indignity. Jer. viii. 2. "they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven," &c. xvi. 4. &c. "they shall not be lamented, neither shall they be buried." Any place of sepulture which is consistent with decency, may be adopted without impropriety. Sarah, for instance, was buried in a cave, Gen. xxiii. 19. <380> Rachel, not in Ephrah, but on the high road to that city. xxxv. 18. xlviii. 7. Samuel in his own house at Ramah, 1 Sam. xxv. 1. and Christ in a garden near the place of crucifixion. When Jacob and Joseph made it their especial request to be gathered unto the sepulchre of their fathers in the land of promise, this was in token of their reliance on the divine declarations, Gen. xlix. 29. 1. 25. Josh. xxiv. 32. Heb. xi. 22. "by faith, Joseph... gave commandment concerning his bones."

The opposite of humanity is, first, inhumanity; against which there are the severest prohibitions, Lev. xix. 14. "thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind." Deut. xxvii. 18. "cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way." Such was that of the Edomites towards the Israelites in their distress, Amos. i. 6, &c. Psal. cxxxvii. 7. "rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof." Such too was that of the priest and Levite in the parable, who passed by on the other side, when the traveller who had fallen among thieves was lying half dead and plundered, Luke. x. 31, 32.

Secondly, an incautious and unadvised humanity; as for instance, when we become responsible for another without due consideration. Prov. vi. 1, 2. "if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, thou art snared with the words of thy mouth —." xi. 15. "he that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it, and he that hateth suretyship is sure." xvii. 18. "a man void of under standing striketh hands —." xx. 16. "Make his garment that is surety for a stranger." See also xxvii. 13. xxii. 26, 27. "be not one of them that strike hands, &c."


Thirdly, an officious humanity. Prov. xxv. 17. "withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house, lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee." 1 Kings. xiii. 15, 16. "then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread."

Lastly, an excess of humanity, which makes provision for the idle and undeserving. 2 Thess. iii. 10. "if any would not work, neither should he eat."

The second modification of love is good will, which consists in wishing well to all men. Such was that of Titus, 2 Cor. viii. 16. "which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you; and of the angels," Luke. ii. 10. "I bring you good tidings of great joy;" and xv. 10. "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." Rom. xii. 15. "rejoice with them that do rejoice."

The opposite of this is, first, envy, or a grudging disposition; which is shown in various ways. First, when a man cannot bear that others should participate in his good fortune: as in the instance of the labourers who were hired first into the vineyard, Matt. xx. 11, &c. and of the Jews who were unwilling that salvation should be extended to the Gentiles, as may

be seen throughout the book of Acts. Secondly, when a man grudges another that which he cannot himself obtain; which is exemplified in the envy with which Satan regards the salvation of the human race;[152] in Cain's anger against his brother, because God had <382> more respect unto him, Gen. iv.[153] in Esau, xxvii. 41. in Joseph's brethren, Acts. vii. 9. in Saul, 1 Sam. xviii. 7, 8. and in the princes of Persia, Dan. vi. Thirdly, when a man is jealous that any should be endued with the same gifts as one of whom he is himself an admirer or follower; which is exemplified in Joshua. Num. xi. 28. in John's disciples, John. iii. 26. and in those of Christ, Mark. ix. 38. "we saw one casting out devils in thy name," &c. Envy is to be shunned, Matt. xx. 15. "is thine eye evil, because I am good?" partly as instigating to crimes, murder for instance, Gen. iv. 2 Sam. iii. 24, 27. "what hast thou done? behold Abner came unto thee... and he smote him there under the fifth rib;" and partly as being in its nature a self-tormentor: Prov. xiv. 30. "envy is the rottenness of the bones." James. iii. 16. "where envying... is, there is confusion and every evil work."

Secondly, pretended good will; which is exemplified in the Pharisees who invited Christ to eat bread, Luke. xiv. 1, &c. "it came to pass as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath-day, that they watched him."

The third modification of absolute love is compassion. Zech. vii. 9. "shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother." Job. xxx. 25. "did not I weep for him that was in trouble?" Matt. v. 7. "blessed are the merciful." Luke x. 33. "a certain Samaritan had compassion on him." Rom. xii. 15. "weep with them that weep." Compassion ex <383> tends even to animals. Prov. xii. 10. a righteous man regardeth the life of his beast." Deut. xxii. 6-8. "if a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way," &c.

The opposite of this is, first, unmercifulness. Prov. xii. 10. "the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." James. ii. 13. "he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy."

Secondly, a rejoicing in the misfortunes of others Psal. lii. 1. "why boastest thou thyself in mischief?" This is exemplified in the Edomites, Psal. cxxxvii. Prov. xxiv. 17. "rejoice not when thine enemy falleth."

Thirdly, pretended pity. Psal. xii. 6. "if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity."

Fourthly, a misplaced compassion. Jer. xvi. 7. "neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead —." This is exemplified in the pity of Ahab for Benhadad.

Under reciprocal love are comprised brotherly love and friendship.

Brotherly or Christian love is the strongest of all affections, whereby believers mutually love and assist each other as members of Christ, and are as far as possible of one mind; bearing at the same time to the utmost of their power with the weaker brethren, and with such as are of a different opinion. Psal. cxxxiii. 1. "behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." John. xiii. 3-4, &c. "by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." xv. 12, &c. "this is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you: greater love hath no man than <384> this —." See also Eph. v. 1. 1 John. iii. 16. John. xvii. 11. "that they may be one, as we are." Rom. xiv. 19. "let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." 2 Cor. xiii. 11. "be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." Eph. iv.15. "that we speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ." Philipp. ii. 2. "that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Col. ii. 1, 2. "their hearts being knit together in love." iii. 15. "let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful." 1 Thess. iv. 9. "as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you, for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another." Heb. xiii. 3, &c. "remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them —." 1 Pet. ii. 17. "love the brotherhood." iv. 8. "above all things have fervent charity among yourselves, for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." 2 Pet. i. 7. "add to brotherly kindness charity." 1 John. ii. 10. "he that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him." iii. 14, 15. "we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." iv. 7, 8. "beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God." v. 2. "by this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments."

Bearing with the weaker brethren, &c. Acts. xxi. 20, &c. "thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe, and they are all zealous of the law..... do therefore this." Gal. vi. 1, 2. <385> "brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted; bear ye one another's burdens." Eph. iv. 2. "with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, for bearing one another in love." Col. iii. 12-14. "put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another; if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."

Opposed to this are divisions, enmities, rivalries among brethren, &c. Gen. xiii. 8. "let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen, for we be brethren." 1 Cor. iii. 3. "whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal?" Gal. v. 20, 21. "hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings... they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." 1 John. ii. 9. 11. "he that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now." To these may be added a pretended brotherly love, from which great danger often arises to believers. 2 Cor. xi. 26. "in perils among false brethren." Gal. ii. 4. "and that because of false brethren unawares brought in."

Friendship is a most intimate union of two or more individuals, cemented by an interchange of all good offices, of a civil at least, if not of a religious kind. Eccles. iv. 9, &c. "two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour —." It takes precedence of all degrees of relationship. Deut. xiii. <386> 6. "thy friend, which is as thine own soul." Prov. xvii. 17. "a friend loveth at all times." xviii. 24. "there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." xxvii. 10. "thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not, neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity; for better is a neighbour that is near, than a brother that is far off."

Friendship, and even common companionship with good men, is safe and advantageous. Gen. xii. 3. "I will bless them that bless thee." xviii. 26. "if I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then will I spare all the place for their sakes." xix. 21. "see, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also." xx. 7. "he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shall live." Numb. xi. 2. "the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto Jehovah, the fire was quenched." xiv. 19, 20. "pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people..... I have pardoned according to thy word." 1 Sam. xv. 6. "go, depart..... lest I destroy you with them: for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel —." Psal. cxix. 63. "I am a companion of all them that fear thee." Prov. xiii. 20. "he that walketh with wise men shall be wise." Isai. lxv. 8. "so will I do for my servants sake." Ezek. xxii. 30. "I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge." They are also useful as counsellors. Exod. xviii. 14. "when Moses father-in-law saw all that he did to the people," &c. v. 24. "so Moses hearkened unto the voice of his father-in-law." Prov. xii. 15. "he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." xxvii. 9. "ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel." The benefits of their friendship, how <387> ever, extend not to the ensuring our salvation in a future life; not even in the instance of those who associated with Christ on earth: Matt. xii. 46, &c. Mark. iii, 35. Luke. xi. 27. xiii. 26. John. vii. 5.

Opposed to this, are, first, pretended friendship. Job. xix. 13, &c. "he hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me." Psal. lv. 12, &c. "it was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could have borne it..... but it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance; we took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company." Prov. xix. 4. 6, 7. "many will intreat the favour of the prince," &c. Of this crime the traitor Judas is an example.

Secondly, friendship or social intercourse with the wicked. Gen. xiv. 12. they took lot —." xix. 12, &c. "hast thou here any beside?..... bring them out of this place. Psal. i. 1. "blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly." xxvi. 4, 5. "I have not sat with vain persons —." cxli. 4. "incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity." Prov. xiii. 20. "a companion of fools shall be destroyed." xiv. 7. "go from the presence of a foolish man." v. 9. "fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour." v. 14 "a good man shall be satisfied from himself." xxiv. 1,2. "neither desire to be with them." xxviii. 7. "he that is a companion of riotous men, shameth his father." Rom. i. 31, 32. "who not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." 1 Cor. xv. 33. "be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." Eph. v. 7. "be not ye therefore partakers with them." v. 11. "have <388> no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness." Such intercourse, however, is sometimes unavoidable in the present life. Judges. xi. 3. "there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him." 1 Sam. xxii. 2. "every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt..... gathered themselves unto him." xxx. 22. "then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David —." Psal. cxx. 5, 6. "woe is me!..... my soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace." 1 Cor. v. 9 11. "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators; yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world..... for then ye must needs go out of the world; but... if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator —."

Thirdly, enmity. Prov. xvii. 14. "the beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water; therefore leave off contention before it be meddled with." v. 19. "he loveth transgression that loveth strife; and he that exalteth his gate, seeketh destruction." xx. 3. "it is an honour for a man to cease from strife; but every fool will be meddling." xxvi. 26. "whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be showed before the whole congregation."



The special virtues, or various modes of charity or justice as regards our neighbour, relate to him either under the general acceptation of the word neighbour, as denoting simple proximity; or under some special acceptation, where our relationship arises from special circumstances.

The discharge of our special duties towards our neighbour includes the regulation not only of our actions, but of our affections, as concerns him. Exod. xx. 17. "thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house —."

Special duties towards our neighbour, using the word in its general sense, regard either his internal or external good.

His internal good is consulted by a regard to his, safety and honour; his external, by a concern for his good name and worldly interests. Our regard to his safety should extend not merely to the present life, but to the eternal state. Prov. x. 11. "the mouth of a righteous man is a well of life." Rom. xiv. 15. "destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died." James. v. 20. "let him know that he which <390> converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." The duty of preserving our neighbour's life is inculcated, Prov. xxiv. 11, 12. "if thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?"

Under this class of virtues are comprehended innocence, meekness, and placability.

Innocence consists in doing a voluntary injury to no one. Psal. xxiv. 4. "he that hath clean hands." xxvi. 6. "I will wash mine hands in innocency." Rom. xii. 18. "if it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Heb. xii. 14. "follow peace with all men."

Meekness is that by which we are so far from offering or taking offence, that we conduct ourselves mildly and affectionately towards all men, as far as is practicable. Num. xii. 3. "now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth." Psal. xxv. 9. "the meek will he teach his way." cxlvii. 6. "Jehovah lifteth up the meek." Isai. iii. 1. "Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek." Matt. v. 5. "blessed are the meek." xi. 29, "learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." xxi. 5. "behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek —." Tit. iii. 2. "showing all meekness unto all men."

Placability consists in a readiness to forgive those by whom we have been injured. Matt. vi. 12, 14 <391> "forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors... for if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." xviii. 21, 22, "how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?..... until seventy times seven." Luke. xvii. 3, 4. "if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him; and if he trespass against thee seven times a day —." Rom. xii. 18. "if it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."

Opposed to a regard for the life of our neighbour, is, first, the shedding his blood. Gen. iv. 10. "what hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground." ix. 5, 6. "whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he man." Exod. xx. 13. "thou shall not kill." xxi. 12. "he that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall surely be put to death." v. 14. "if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile," &c. v. 28. "if an ox gore a man," &c. Deut. xxvii. 25. "cursed is he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person." Num. xxxv. 31. "ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer." v. 34. "defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit —." Deut. xxi. 1. "if one be found slain in the land," &c. 1 Kings. ii. 5, 6. "thou knowest also what Joab did to me," &c. v. 33, 34. "their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab." Prov. vi. 16, 17. "these six things doth Jehovah hate... hands that shed innocent blood." xxviii. 17. "a man that doeth violence to the blood of any person, shall flee to the pit: let no man stay him"


Under this head is also included, first, every thing by which the life of our neighbour is endangered; as blows, wounds, mutilations, &c. Exod. xxi. 18,

&c. "if men strive together, and one strike another," &c. Lev. xxiv. 19, 20. "if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour," &c. Deut. xxvii. 24. "cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly."

Secondly, hasty anger. Prov. xiv. 29. "he that is slow to wrath is of great understanding; but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly." xvi. 32. "he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city." xix. 11. "the discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a trangression." xv. 18. "a wrathful man stirreth up strife." Matt. v. 22. "whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment." 1 John. iii. 15. "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer."

Thirdly, revenge. Lev. xix. 18. "thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge, against the children of thy people." Deut. xxxii. 35. "to me belongeth vengeance and recompense." Psal. xciv. 1. "O Jehovah, God to whom vengeance belongeth." Prov. xx. 22. "say not thou, I will recompense evil." xxiv. 29. "say not, I will do so to him, as he hath done to me." Rom. xii. 19. "dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath." 1 Pet. iii. 8, 9. "not rendering evil for evil." To avenge the church, however, or to desire that she be avenged of her enemies, is not forbidden. Exod. xvii. 16. "because Jehovah hath sworn that Jehovah will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." Deut. xxv. 17. "remember what Amalek did unto thee by the <393> way." Psal. xviii. 37-43. "I have pursued mine enemies... then did I beat them small as the dust." xli. 10, 11. "raise me up that I may requite them." liv. 5. "he shall reward evil unto mine enemies." xcii. 11. "mine eyes also shall see my desire upon mine enemies." xciv. 2. "render a reward to the proud." cxxxvii. 8. "O daughter of Babylon," &c. Jer. xi. 20. "let me see thy vengeance on them." See also xx. 12. xv. 15. "revenge me of my persecutors." 1. 15. "take vengeance upon her." Lam. i. 21, 22. "let all their wickedness come before thee." iii. 64, &c. "render unto them a recompense." Esth. ix. 13. "then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted unto the Jews... to do to-morrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Hainan's ten sons be hanged on the gallows." Rev. vi. 10. "how long, O Lord?"

The honour of our neighbour is consulted by a respect to his personal modesty. Lev. xix. 29. "do not prostitute thy daughter to cause her to be a whore." Deut. xxiii. 17. "there shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel."

Opposed to this are unnatural vices, fornication, violation, adultery, incest, rape, whoredom, and similar offences. Gen. xix. 5. "bring them out unto us, that we may know them." See also Judges. xix. 22. Deut. xxiii. 17, as above. 1 Kings. xv. 12. "he took away the sodomites out of the land." xxii. 46. "the remnant of the sodomites," &c. Gen. xxxiv. 2. "he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her." Exod. xx. 14. "thou shalt not commit adultery." Lev. xviii. 20. "thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's <394> wife, to defile thyself with her." Job. xxxi. 9, 10, &c, "if mine heart hath been deceived by a woman," &c. Jer. v. 7, 8. "they committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots houses." Ezek. xviii. 6. "neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife." xxii. 11. "one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife." Hos. vii. 4. "they are all adulterers." Amos. ii. 7. "a man and his father will go in unto the same maid —." Heb. xiii. 4. "whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Hence the laws against fornication, Exod. xxii. 16, 17, &c. "if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her," &c. against incest, Lev. xviii. 6. xx. 11, &c. "the man that lieth with his father's wife," &c. Deut. xxii. 21, 23, 28. "then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her... because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: if a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband... if a man find a damsel that is a virgin —." xxiii. 2. "a bastard shall not enter into the congregation of Jehovah." xxvii. 20, &c. "cursed be he that lieth with his father's wife." Hence also provision was expressly made for cases of jealously, Num. v. 12, &c. Prov. vi. 34. "jealousy is the rage of a man." Cant. viii. 6. "jealousy is cruel as the grave." Even before the promulgation of the law, adultery was made capital by divine command: Gen. xx. 3. "thou art but a dead man, for the woman whom thou hast taken." xxxviii. 24. "bring her forth, and let her be burnt." Some marriages, however, were prohibited by the Mosaic code, which appear to have been previously lawful. Gen. xx. 12. "yet indeed she is my sister; <395> she is the daughter of my father;" compared with Deut. xxvii. 22. "cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father;" and Ezek. xxii. 11. "another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter." Exod. vi. 20. "Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife." Lev. xviii. 12. "thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's sister." Respecting a menstruous woman, see Lev. xx. 18. "if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness," &c. Exek. xviii. 6. "neither hath come near to a menstruous woman." xxii. 10. "in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution."



THE external good of our neighbour is consulted, as before said, by a regard to his good name and worldly interests.

We consult our neighbours good name, when in our deportment towards him, in our conversation with him, and in our manner of speaking of him, we preserve towards him a due respect, and avoid doing any thing which may causelessly injure him in the opinion of others. 1 Pet. ii. 17. "honour all men." Gen. xviii. 2. &c. "he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground." xxiii. 7. "Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land." Exod. xviii. 7. "Moses went out to meet his father-in-law." Ruth. ii. 10. "then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground." Nor are we any where told that obeisance was made even to kings otherwise than by a lowly inclination of the body, the same token of respect which was frequently paid to each other even by private individuals.[154]


In our deportment towards him. To this head be longs that sense of delicacy, which precludes us from saying or doing every thing indiscriminately, however proper in itself, in the presence of our neighbour. Job. xix. 3. "ye are not ashamed that ye make your selves strange to me."

Opposed to this is impudence; as exemplified in the unjust judge, Luke. xviii. 2. "which feared not God, neither regarded man."

In our manner of conversing with him, &c. The virtues herein comprised are veracity and candour.


Veracity consists in speaking the truth to all who are entitled to hear it, and in matters which concern the good of our neighbour. Psal. xv. 2. "he that speaketh the truth in his heart." Prov. xii. 17. "he that speaketh truth, showeth forth righteousness." v. 22. "lying lips are abomination to Jehovah, but they that deal truly are his delight." xx. 6. "a faithful man who can find?" Zech. viii. 16. "speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour." Eph. iv. 25. "putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another."

Opposed to this is, first, an improper concealment of the truth. I say improper, for it is not every concealment of the truth that is wrong, inasmuch as we are not on all occasions required to declare what we know: that concealment only is blameable, which proceeds from improper motives.

Secondly, falsehood. Psal. v. 6. "thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing." xii. 1. "the faithful fail from the children of men: Prov. xiii. 5. "a righteous man hateth lying; but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame." xix. 5. "he that speaketh lies shall not escape." John. viii. 44. "when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." Rev. xxii. 15. "without are dogs..... and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." Hence falsehood is not justifiable, even in the service of God. Job. xiii. 7. "will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?"

The definition commonly given of falsehood is, that it is a violation of truth either in word or deed, with the purpose of deceiving. Since however not only the dissimulation or concealment of truth, but even <399> direct untruth with the intention of deceiving, may in many instances be beneficial to our neighbour, it will be necessary to define falsehood somewhat more precisely; for I see no reason why the same rule should not apply to this subject, which holds good with regard to homicide, and other cases hereafter to be mentioned, our judgment of which is formed not so much from the actions themselves, as from the intention in which they originated. No rational person will deny that there are certain individuals whom we are fully justified in deceiving. Who would scruple to dissemble with a child, with a madman, with a sick person, with one in a state of intoxication, with an enemy, with one who has himself a design of deceiving us, with a robber? unless indeed we dispute the trite maxim, Cui nullum est jus, ei nulla fit injuria. Yet, according to the above definition, it is not allowable to deceive either by word or deed in any of the cases stated. If I am under no obligation to restore to a madman a sword, or any other deposit, committed to me while in a sound mind, why should I be required to render the truth to one from whom I never received it, who is not entitled to demand it, and who will in all probability make a bad use of it? If every answer given to every interrogator with the intent of deceiving is to be accounted a falsehood, it must be allowed that nothing was more common even among the prophets and holiest of men.

Hence falsehood may perhaps be defined as follows: Falsehood is incurred when any one, from a dishonest motive, either perverts the truth, or utters what is false to one to whom it is his duty to speak the truth. Thus the devil, speaking in the serpent, was the first <400> liar, Gen. iii. 4. So Cain subsequently, iv. 9. and Sarah, xviii. 15. "for when the angels were justly angry with her, she evaded a candid confession of her fault." So also Abraham, xii. 13. and chap. xx. for his fiction concerning Sarah, as he might have learned from his previous experience in Egypt, though intended only for the preservation of his own life, was of a nature to lead others into dangerous error, and a desire of what was not their own, through ignorance of the fact. Thus too David in his flight from Saul, 1 Sam. xxi. 3. inasmuch as he ought not to have concealed from the priest his situation with respect to the king, or to have exposed his host to danger. Ananias and Sapphira were guilty of the same crime, Acts. v.

It follows from this definition, first, that parables, hyperboles, apologues, and ironical modes of speech are not falsehoods, inasmuch as their object is not deception but instruction. In this respect it agrees with the common definition. 1 Kings. xviii. 27. "it came to pass that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud, for he is a God —." xxii. 15. "he answered him, Go and prosper, for Jehovah shall deliver it into the hand of the king." Secondly, that in the proper sense of the word deceit, no one can be deceived without being at the same time injured. When therefore, instead of injuring a person by a false statement, we either confer on him a positive benefit, or prevent him from inflicting or suffering injury, we are so far from being guilty of deceit towards him, however often the fiction may be repeated, that we ought rather to be considered as doing him a service against his will. Thirdly, it is universally admitted that feints and stratagems in war, when unaccompanied by perjury <401> or breach of faith, do not fall under the description of falsehood. Now this admission is evidently fatal to the vulgar definition; inasmuch as it is scarcely possible to execute any of the artifices of war, without openly uttering the greatest untruths with the indisputable intention of deceiving; by which, according to the definition, the sin of falsehood is incurred. It is better therefore to say that stratagems, though coupled with falsehood, are lawful for the cause above assigned, namely, that where we are not under an obligation to speak the truth, there can be no reason why we should not, when occasion requires it, utter even what is false; nor do I perceive why this should be more allowable in war than in peace, especially in cases where, by an honest and beneficial kind of falsehood, we may be enabled to avert injury or danger from ourselves or our neighbour.

The denunciations against falsehood, therefore, which are cited from Scripture, are to be understood only of such violations of truth as are derogatory to the glory of God, or injurious to ourselves or our neighbour. Of this class, besides what were quoted above, are the following texts: Lev. xix. 11. "ye shall not deal falsely, neither lie one to another." Psal. ci. 7. "he that worketh deceit shall not tarry within my house; he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight." Prov. vi. 16, 17. "yea, seven are an abomination unto him; a proud look, a lying tongue —." Jer. ix. 5. "they will deceive every man his neighbour, and will not speak the truth." In these and similar passages we are undoubtedly commanded to speak the truth; but to whom? not to an enemy, not to a madman, not to an oppressor, not to an assassin, but <402> to our neighbour, to one with whom we are connected by the bonds of peace and social fellowship. If then it is to our neighbour only that we are commanded to speak the truth, it is evident that we are not forbidden to utter what is false, if requisite, to such as do not deserve that name. Should any one be of a contrary opinion, I would ask him, by which of the commandments falsehood is prohibited? He will answer doubt less, by the ninth. Let him only repeat the words of that commandment, and he will be a convert to my opinion; for nothing is there prohibited but what is injurious to our neighbour; it follows, therefore, that a falsehood productive of no evil to him, if prohibited at all, is not prohibited by the commandment in question.

Hence we are justified in acquitting all those holy men who, according to the common judgment of divines, must be convicted of falsehood: Abraham for example, Gen. xxii. 5. when he told his young men, for the purpose of deceiving them and of quieting their suspicions, that he would return with the lad: although he must at the same time have been persuaded in his own mind that his son would be offered up as a sacrifice and left on the mount; for had he expected otherwise, his faith would have been put to no severe trial. His wisdom therefore taught him, that as his servants were in no way interested in knowing what was to happen, so it was expedient for himself that it should be for a time concealed from them. So also Rebecca and Jacob, Gen. xxvii. when by subtlety and proper caution they opened a way to that birthright which Esau had held cheap, a birthright already be longing to Jacob by prophecy, as well as by right of <403> purchase. It is objected, that in so doing he deceived his father. Say rather that he interposed at the proper time to correct his father's error, who had been led by an unreasonable fondness to prefer Esau. So Joseph, Gen. xlii. 7, &c. who according to the common definition must have been guilty of habitual falsehood, inasmuch as he deviated from the truth in numberless instances, with the express purpose of deceiving his brethren; not however to their injury, but to their exceeding advantage. The Hebrew midwives, Exod. i. 19, &c. whose conduct received the approbation of God himself; for in deceiving Pharaoh, they were so far from doing him any injury, that they preserved him from the commission of a crime. Moses, Exod. iii. who by the express command of God asked permission for the Israelites to go three days journey into the wilderness under the pretext of sacrificing to the Lord; his purpose being to impose on Pharaoh by alleging a false reason for their departure, or at least by substituting a secondary for the principal motive. The whole Israelitish people, who, by divine command likewise, borrowed from the Egyptians jewels of gold and silver, and raiment, doubtless under a promise of restoring them, though with the secret purpose of deception; for by what obligation were they bound to keep faith with the enemies of God, the transgressors of the laws of hospitality, and the usurpers, for so long a period, of the property of those who now despoiled them? Rahab, whose magnanimous falsehood, recorded Josh. ii. 4, 5. was no breach of duty, inasmuch as she only deceived those whom God willed to be deceived, though her own countrymen and magistrates, and preserved those <404> whom God willed to be preserved; rightly preferring religious to civil obligations. Ehud, who deceived Eglon in two several instances, Judges. iii. 19, 20. and that justifiably, considering that he was dealing with an enemy, and that he acted under the command of God himself. Jael, by whose enticements Sisera perished, Judges. iv. 18, 19. although he was less her personal enemy than the enemy of God. Junius, in deed, considers this as a pious fraud, not as a false hood; which is a distinction without a difference.[155] Jonathan, who was prevailed upon to assign a fictitious reason for the absence of David, 1 Sam. xx. 6, 28. thinking it better to preserve the life of the innocent, than to abet his father in an act of cruelty; and considering that the duties of charity were better fulfilled by favouring the escape of a friend under wrongful accusation, though at the expense of veracity, than by disclosing the truth unnecessarily in obedience to the commands of a parent, for the purpose of aiding in the commission of a crime. All these, with numberless other saints, are by a more careful inquiry into the nature of truth rescued, as it were, from the new limbus patrum[156] to which the vulgar definition had consigned them.


Under falsehood is included false witness; which is forbidden Exod. xx, 16. "thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." xxiii. 1. "put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness." It is again prohibited Deut. xix. 16, &c. under a most severe penalty; "f a false witness rise up against any man... then shall ye do unto him as he had thought to have done unto his brother." Prov. xix. 5. "a false witness shall not be unpunished." xxv. 18. "a man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow."

The other virtue included in a regard to the good name of our neighbour, whether present or absent, is candour; whereby we cheerfully acknowledge the gifts of God in our neighbour, and interpret all his words and actions in a favourable sense. Matt. vii. 1. "judge not, that ye be not judged." Candour, however, is usually spoken of under the general name of charity or love. 1 Cor. xiii. 5, 6. "charity thinketh no evil rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things." Prov. x. 12. "love covereth all sins." xvii. 9. "he that covereth a transgression seeketh love." The same virtue appears also to be described under the name of equity or moderation. Philipp. iv. 5. "let your moderation be known unto all men; the Lord is at hand." Eccles. x. 4. "yielding pacifieth great offences."

Opposed to this is, first, evil surmising. 1 Sam. i. 14. "how long wilt thou be drunken?" xxii. 8. that <406> all of you have conspired against me —." 2 Sam. x. 3. "hath not David sent his servants unto thee to search the city?" Acts. xxviii. 4. "when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand —." 1 Tim. vi. 4. "whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings —."

Secondly, a prying into the faults of others, and a precipitancy in passing judgment upon them. Matt. vii. 3. "why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye?"

Thirdly, tale-bearing. Exod. xxiii. 1. "thou shalt not raise a false report." 1 Sam. xxiv. 9. "wherefore nearest thou men's words, saying, Behold David seeketh thy hurt?" Prov. xviii. 8. "the words of a tale bearer are as wounds." See also xxvi. 22. xx. 19. "he that goeth about as a tale-bearer revealeth secrets." xxvi. 20. "where there is no tale-bearer, strife ceaseth." Rom. i. 29, 30. "whisperers, backbiters." 1 Tim. v. 13. "tattlers also and busy bodies, speaking things which they ought not."

Fourthly, calumny, which consists in a malicious construction of the motives of others. 1 Sam. xxii. 9. "I saw the son of Jesse," &c. Psal. cxix. 69. "the proud have forged a lie against me." Matt. xxvi. 61. "this fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God." Luke. xi. 53, 54. "laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him." xix. 8. "if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation." Acts. ii. 13 15. "these men are full of new wine."

Fifthly, evil speaking and slandering. Lev. xix. 16. "thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people. Job. v. 21. "thou shalt be hid <407> from the scourge of the tongue." Psal. xxxiv. 13. "keep thy tongue from evil." lii. 2. "thy tongue deviseth mischiefs." lix. 8. "behold, they belch out with their mouth." lxiv. 3, &c. "who whet their tongue like a sword —." cix. 2. "the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me." cxx. 2. "deliver my soul, O Jehovah, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue." cxl. 3. "they have sharpened their tongues like a serpent." Prov. x. 18. "he that uttereth a slander is a fool." Eccles. x. 20. "curse not the king, no not in thy thought, and curse not the rich in thy bed-chamber; for a bird of the air shall carry the voice." Jer. ix. 3, &c. "they bend their tongues like their bow for lies." Matt. xii. 34. "how can ye, being evil, speak good things?" Col. iii. 8. "but now ye, put off all these... blasphemy."

Sixthly, contumely and personal abuse. Matt. v. 22. "whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

Seventhly, litigiousness. Prov. xxv. 8-10. "go not forth hastily to strive —." Matt. v. 40. "if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also." 1 Cor. vi. 7. "there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another; why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be de frauded?"

Opposed to candour, on the other side, are, first, flattery. Job. xxxii. 21, 22. "let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man." Psal. xii. 3. "Jehovah shall cut off all flattering lips." Prov. xxvi. 28. "a flat <408> tering mouth worketh ruin." xxvii. 6. "the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." v. 14. "he that blesseth his friend with a loud voice," &c. xxix. 5. "a man that flattereth his neighbour," &c. 1 Thess. ii. 5. "neither at any time used we flattering words."

Secondly, unmerited praise or blame. Prov. iii. 31. "envy thou not the oppressor." xvii. 15. "he that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to Jehovah." xxiii. 17. "Let not thine heart envy sinners." xxiv. 24. "he that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous, him shall the people curse." Isai. v. 20. "woe unto them that call evil good —." xxxii. 5, 8. "the vile person shall be no more called liberal —."

Allied to candour are simplicity, faithfulness, gravity, taciturnity, courteousness, urbanity, freedom of speech, and the spirit of admonition.

Simplicity consists in an ingenuous and open dealing with our neighbour. Psal. cxvi. 6. "Jehovah preserveth the simple." Matt. x. 16. "be ye harmless as doves." xix. 14. "suffer little children... for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Mark. x. 15. "whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." 1 Cor. xiv. 20. "be not children in understanding; howbeit in malice be ye children." 2 Cor. i. 12. "that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world." xi. 3. "I fear, lest by any means... your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

Opposed to this are, first, duplicity. Psal. v. 6. "Jehovah will abhor the deceitful man." xii. 3. "with <409> a double heart do they speak." xxviii. 3, &c. "which speak peace to their neighbours but mischief is in their heart." cxx. 2. "deliver my soul from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue." Prov. iii. 29. "devise not evil against thy neighbour." xvii. 20. "he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief." xxvi. 24, &c. "he that hateth, dissembleth with his lips." v. 28. "a lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it." Matt. ii. 8. "go and search diligently for the young child."

Secondly, credulity. Prov. xiv. 15. "the simple believeth every word."

Faithfulness is shown in the performance of promises, and the safe custody of secrets. Psal. xv. 4. "he that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not." Prov. xi. 13. "he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter." xx. 19. "he that goeth about as a tale bearer revealeth secrets, therefore meddle not with him —." xxv. 9. "discover not a secret to another."

It has been made matter of inquiry, whether it be lawful to revoke a promise once made, or to recal a benefit once conferred. This would seem to be allowable, where the person on whom the promise or benefit was bestowed proves himself unworthy of our kindness. Thus the lord in the parable exacted the debt from his servant, in punishment for his cruelty towards his fellow-servant, although he had before forgiven it him; Matt. xviii. 27, 32, 34.

Opposed to this are, first, precipitancy in making a promise, without due consideration of circumstances. Matt. xxvi. 35. "though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee."


Secondly, talkativeness. Prov. xi. 13. "a tale bearer revealeth secrets."

Thirdly, treachery; of which Judas Iscariot is a signal instance.

Gravity consists in an habitual self-government of speech and action, with a dignity of look and manner, befitting a man of holiness and probity.[157] Prov. xvii. 24. "wisdom is before him that hath understanding." Eccles. viii. 1. "a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine —."

Opposed to this is levity. Prov. xvi. 22. "the instruction of fools is folly." xvii. 24. "the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth." Eccles. x. 2. "a wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart at his left."

Taciturnity preserves a due moderation in our speech. Prov. x. 19. "he that refraineth his lips is wise." xiii. 3. "he that openeth wide his lips, shall have destruction." xvii. 28. "even a fool when he holdeth his peace is counted wise; and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

Opposed to this are, first, loquacity. Prov. x. 14. "the mouth of the foolish is near destruction." v. 19. "in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin." xviii. 7. "a fool's lips are the snare of his soul." xxix. 20. "seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him." James. iii. 8. "the tongue can no man tame."


Secondly, foolish talking. Matt. xii. 36. "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Eph. v. 4. "foolish talking."

Thirdly, excess of taciturnity. 2 Kings. vii. 9. "this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace."

Courteousness consists in affability and readiness of access.[158] 1 Pet. iii. 8. "be ye pitiful, courteous."

Opposed to this are, first, churlishness. 1 Sam. xxv. 17. "he is such a son of Belial, that a man can not speak to him."

Secondly, frowardness. Prov. iv. 24. "put away from thee a froward mouth." xiv. 3. "in the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride." xvi. 26. "he that laboureth, laboureth for himself: for his mouth craveth it of him." xviii. 6. "a fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes." xxvii. 22. "though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him."

Thirdly, false, or constrained courtesy; as that of Absalom, 2 Sam. xv. 3, 4. Psal. xii. 3. "Jehovah shall cut off all flattering lips."


Urbanity comprehends not only the innocent refinements and elegancies of conversation, but acuteness and appropriateness of observation or reply. Prov. xxiv. 26. "every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer." 5 xxv. 11. "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold, in pictures of silver." 1 Kings. xviii. 27. "Elijah mocked them —." Col. iv. 6. "let your speech be alway with grace seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

Opposed to this are obscenity and double meanings. Eph. iv. 29. "let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth." v. 4. "neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting,[159] which are not convenient." Col. iii. 8. "but now ye also put off all these; anger... filthy communication out of your mouth." Obscenity, properly speaking, consists neither in word nor in action, but in the filthiness of his mind, who out of derision or wantonness perverts them from their proper import. Hence those expressions in the Hebrew Scriptures, for which the Jewish commentators substitute others in the margin which they esteem more decent, are not to be considered as obscene, but are to be attributed to the vehemence or indignation of the speaker.[160] Neither are the words of Deut. <413> xxii. 17. to be regarded as indecent; "they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city."

Freedom of speech consists in speaking the truth with boldness. Exod. xi. 8. "all these thy servants shall come down unto me." Job. xii. 3. "I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?" 1 Sam. xiii. 13. "Samuel said unto Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of Jehovah." Psal. cxix. 42. "so shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me." Prov. xxvi. 5. "answer a fool according to his folly." This virtue is exemplified in Elijah and Elisha, 2 Kings. vi. 32. and in many others; in Hanani, 2 Chron. xvi. 7. in Zechariah, xxiv. 20. Isai. i. 10, 23. "hear the word of Jehovah... thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves." Jer. xiii. 18. "say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down." Ezek. xxi. 25. "and thou, profane wicked prince of <414> Israel —." Mic. vii. 4. "the best of them is a briar." Matt. iii. 7. "O generation of vipers." John. xiv. 4. "it is not lawful for thee to have her." Luke. xiii. 32. "tell that fox." John. vii. 7. "me it hateth, because I testify of it that the works thereof are evil." xviii. 37. "to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth." Acts. xiii. 10. "O full of all subtilty," &c. xix. 8, 9. "he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing," &c. xxiii. 3. "thou whited wall." Eph. vi. 20. "that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." Tit. i. 12. "the Cretians are alway liars."

Opposed to this is timidity in speaking the truth. 1 Sam. iii. 15. "Samuel feared to show Eli the vision."

The spirit of admonition is that by which we freely warn sinners of their danger, without respect of persons. Gen. xxxvii. 2. "Joseph brought unto his father their evil report." Lev. v.1. "if a soul sin... if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity." xix. 17. "thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart; thou shalt in anywise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him." Psal. cxli. 5. "let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness." Prov. vi. 23. "reproofs of instruction are the way of life." x. 17. "he that refuseth reproof erreth." xii. 1. "he that hateth reproof is brutish." xiii. 18. "he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured." xv. 5. "he that regardeth reproof is prudent." v. 10. "he that hateth reproof shall die." v. 32. "he that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul." xvii. 10. "a reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a <415> fool." xxiv. 25. "to them that rebuke him shall be delight." xxv. 12. "as an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear." xxvii. 6, "faithful are the wounds of a friend." xxviii. 23. "he that rebuketh a man, afterward shall find more favour —." xxix. 1. "he that being often reproved hardeneth his neck —." Eccles. vii. 5. "it is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than —." Matt. xvi. 23. "get thee behind me, Satan." John. iii. 19. "men loved darkness rather than light." 1 Cor. i. 11. "it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe," &c. 2 Cor. vii. 8. "though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent," &c. Heb. iii. 13. "exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day." James. v. 19, 20. "if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him —." Admonition however, is not to be thrown away on the scornful and obstinate. Psal. lviii. 4, 5. "they are like the deaf adder which stoppeth her ear, which will not hearken to the voice of charmers." Prov. ix. 7, 8. "he that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame... reprove not a scorner." xiii. 1 . "a scorner heareth not rebuke." xxvi. 4. "answer not a fool according to his folly." xxix. 9. "if a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest." 2 Chron. xxv. 16. "then the prophet forbare —."



THE virtues by which we promote the worldly interests of our neighbour, are integrity and beneficence.

Integrity consists in refraining from the property of others, which is also called abstinence; and in honesty and uprightness as regards our dealings with our neighbour, which is called commutative justice. Psal. xv. 2. "he that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness."

Abstinence is exemplified in Moses, Num. xvi. 15. "I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them;" and in Samuel, 1 Sam. xii. 3. "whose ox have I taken?" On this subject laws are given, Deut. xxiii. 24, 25. "when thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard," &c.

The opposites to this are, first, theft. Exod. xx. 15. "thou shalt not steal." See also Lev. xix. 11. Prov. xxix. 24. "whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul." xxii. 28. "remove not the ancient land-mark." See also xxiii. 10. "This was the crime of Judas Iscariot," John. xii. 6. Eph. iv. 28. "let him <417> that stole steal no more, but rather let him labour. Laws against theft are given Exod. xxii. Prov. vi. 30. "men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry." xxviii. 24. "Whoso robbeth his father or mother," &c. Zech. v. 3. "everyone that stealeth shall be cut off —."

Secondly, fraud. Lev. xix. 11. "ye shall not deal falsely one to another." Under the law, fraud could not be expiated unless restitution were previously made. Lev. vi. 5, &c. "he shall even restore it in the principal... and he shall bring his trespass offering unto Jehovah." Prov. xxi. 6. "the getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity —."1 Thess. iv. 6. "that no man go beyond or defraud his brother in any matter."

Thirdly, oppression and robbery. Job v. 15. "he saveth the poor from the hand of the mighty." xx. 18, 19. "because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor —." Prov. xiv. 31 . "he that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his neighbour." xxii. 22, 23. "rob not the poor," &c. xxx. 14. "there is a generation whose teeth are as swords." Eccles. v. 8. "if thou seest the oppression of the poor," &c. vii. 7. "surely oppression maketh a wise man mad." Isai. iii. 14. "the spoil of the poor is in your houses." v. 7, 8. "woe unto them that join house to house," &c. Jer. ii. 34. "in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents." xxii. 13, &c. "woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness —." Neh. v. 8. "we after our ability have redeemed our brethren." Amos. iv. 1. "hear this word, ye kin of Bashan, which oppress the poor —." v. 11. "for as much therefore as your treading is upon the poor —." <418> viii. 4, 5, &c. "hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail —." Mic. ii. 1, 2. "they covet fields, and take them by violence." iii. 2, 3. "who pluck the skin off from them —."

Fourthly, injury. Exod. xxi, 33. "if an ox or an ass fall therein —." v. 35, 36. "if one man's ox hurt another's... or if it be known that the ox hath used to push in times past," &c. xxii. 5, 6. "if a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten," &c.

Fifthly, man-stealing. Exod. xxi. 16. "he that stealeth a man, or selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death." Deut. xxiv. 7. "if a man be found stealing any of his brethren," &c. 1 Tim. i. 10. "men-stealers."

Under commutative justice are included all transactions of purchase and sale, of letting and hire, of lending and borrowing, of keeping and restoring deposits.

Transactions of sale and purchase. Lev. xix. 36. "just balances, just weights —." xxv. 14. "if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another." Prov. xvi. 11. "a just weight and balance are Jehovah s; all the weights of the bag are his work."

To justice in matters of sale and purchase, are opposed various frauds. Prov. xi. 26. "he that with-holdeth corn, the people shall curse him." Ezek. xxviii. 16. "by the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence —." So also when counterfeit or adulterated goods are sold for genuine. Amos. viii. 6. "that we may sell the refuse of the wheat." Or when false weights and measures are employed. Lev. xix. 35. "ye shall do <419> no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure." Deut. xxv. 13-15. "thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small —." Prov. xi. 1. "a false balance is abomination to Jehovah." xx. 10. "divers weights and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to Jehovah." See also v. 23. Hos. xii. 7. "he is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand." Amos. viii. 5. "making the ephah small." Mic. vi. 11. "shall I count them pure with the wicked balances?" Or when the buyer, on his part, uses dishonest artifices in the conclusion of a bargain. Prov. xx. 14. "it is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer."

Transactions of letting or hire. Lev. xix. 13. "the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning." Exod. xxii. 15. "if it be an hired thing it came for his hire." Deut. xxiv. 14. 15. "thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in the land within thy gates." Mal. lii. 5. "against those that oppress the hireling in his wages." James. v. 4. "behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth."

Lending and borrowing. Deut. xv. 7, &c. "if there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren... thou shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need in that which he wanteth." Psal. xxxvii. 26. "he is ever merciful, and lendeth." cxii. 5. "a good man showeth favour, and lendeth." Matt. v. 42. "from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." Luke. vi. 35. "lend, hoping for nothing again." Prov. xix. 17. "he that hath pity upon the poor, <420> lendeth to Jehovah." The case of loans to such as are not poor is different. Exod. xxii. 14. "if a man borrow aught of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die," &c. Psal. xxxvii. 21. "the wicked borroweth and payeth not again."

In loans, justice is violated by the exaction of immoderate interest; under which denomination all interest is included, which is taken from the poor. Exod. xxii. 25. "if thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer." Lev. xxv. 35, 36. "if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him; yea, though he be a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with thee: take thou no usury of him, or increase; but fear thy God, that thy brother may live with thee." This is the meaning of the command in Deut. xxiii. 19. "thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother, usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury."

As however much difference of opinion exists with regard to usury, and as the discussion belongs properly to this place, we will consider briefly what is to be determined on the subject. It is the opinion of most, that usury is not in all cases unlawful, but that its legality or illegality is determined by the purpose for which it is exacted, the rate of interest, and the party by whom it is to be paid; that with regard to the party, it may be lawfully received from any one possessed of sufficient property for payment; that the rate of interest should be such as is consistent with equity at least, if not with charity; and that in exacting it we should have a view not to our own interests exclusively, but also to those of our neighbour. Where these con <421> ditions are observed, they maintain that usury is perfectly allowable; nor is it without reason that these limitations are added, since without these there is scarcely any species of compact or commercial intercourse which can be considered as lawful. That usury is in itself equally justifiable with any other kind of civil contract, is evident from the following considerations;[161] first, that if it were in itself reprehensible, God would not have permitted the Israelites to lend upon usury to strangers, Deut. xxiii. 20. especially as he elsewhere commands them to do no hurt to the stranger, but on the contrary to assist him with every kind of good office, especially in case of poverty. Secondly, if it be lawful to receive profit for the use of cattle, lands, houses, and the like, why not of money also? which, when borrowed, as it often is, not from necessity, but for purposes of gain, is apt to be more profitable to the borrower than to the lender. It is true that God prohibited the Israelites from lending upon usury on the produce of their land; but this was for a reason purely ceremonial, in like manner as he forbad them to sell their land in perpetuity, Lev. xxv. 23. Under the gospel, therefore, that usury only is to be condemned which is taken from the poor, or of which the sole object is gain, and which is exacted without a regard to charity and justice; even as any other species of lucrative commerce carried on in the same spirit would be equally reprehensible, and equally entitled to the Hebrew name <422> כשך, signifying a bite. This therefore is the usury prohibited Exod. xxii. 25. "if thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer." Lev. xxv. 35-37. as above. These are the earliest passages in which the subject occurs; they ought therefore to be considered as illustrating by anticipation those which come after, and the exception contained in them as applying equally to all other occasions on which usury is mentioned: Deut. xxiii. 19. as above. Psal. xv. 5. "he that putteth not out his money to usury... shall never be moved." Prov. xxviii. 8. "he that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor." Ezek. xviii. 8. "e that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity —."

Justice as regards the safe custody of property, is concerned in the demand or restitution of pledges, and of deposits in trust; on which subject see Exod. xxii. 7. "if a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, &c. See also v. 10, 11. Ezek. xviii. 7. "hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge." Under what limitations a pledge may be received from a poor man, is seen Exod. xxii. 26. "if thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge," &c. Deut. xxiv. 6. "no man shall take the upper or nether millstone to pledge." The same chapter enjoins a regard to humanity in the taking of pledges, v. 10. "thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge."

Thus far of commutative justice. Under the same head may be classed moderation, which consists in <423> voluntarily conceding some portion of an acknowledged right, or in abandoning it altogether. Gen. xiii. 9. "if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left."

Beneficence consists in rendering willing assistance to our neighbour out of our own abundance; particularly to the poor within our reach. Levit. xix. 9. "when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest." xxv. 35. "if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him; yea, though he be a stranger or a sojourner; that he may live with thee." Prov. iii. 27, 28. "withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it; say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to-morrow I will give, when thou hast it by thee." Luke. vi, 30. "give to every one that asketh of thee." v. 38. "give, and it shall be given unto you." Gal. vi. 10. "as we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them that are of the household of faith." 1 Thess. v. 15. "ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves and to all men." Heb. xiii. 16. "to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." Concerning the proper mode of receiving benefits, see above on Magnanimity.

Beneficence, as shown in public distributions of any kind, is called liberality. Psal. cxii. 5. "a good man sheweth favour, and lendeth" (gratiose largitur, Tremell.) Prov. xi. 24, 25. "there is that scattereth, and yet increaseth —." xxi. 26. "the righteous giveth <424> and spareth not." Eccles. xi. 1. "cast thy bread on the waters."

Opposed to liberality are, first, niggardliness, which gives nothing, or sparingly, or with a grudging mind. Prov. xxiii. 6-8. "eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats." Secondly, prodigality. Prov. xxi. 20. "there is treasure to be desired, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man spendeth it up."

Beneficence, whether private or public, when exercised on an extraordinary scale, is called magnificence. This is exemplified in David, 1 Chron. xxix. 2. "I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God, the gold for things to be made of gold... moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good," &c. and in the Jews who returned from captivity, Ezra. ii. 68, 69. "some offered freely for the house of God to set it up in its place; they gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work."

Corresponding with beneficence is gratitude, which is shown in the requital, or, where this is impossible, in the thankful sense of a kindness. 2 Sam. ix. 1. "David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" xix. 34, &c. "the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me —." 1 Kings. ii. 7. "show kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite.

Opposed to this is ingratitude. Prov. xvii. 13. "whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house." Eccles. ix. 15. "he by his wisdom delivered the city, yet no man remembered that same poor man."



THUS far we have treated of the virtues or special duties which man owes to his neighbour simply as such; we are next to consider those which originate in circumstances of particular relationship. These duties are either private or public.

The private duties are partly domestic, and partly such as are exercised towards those not of our own house. Gen. xviii. 19. "I know him, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Jehovah." 1 Tim. v. 8. "if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

Under domestic duties are comprehended the reciprocal obligations of husband and wife, parent and child, brethren and kinsmen, master and servant.

The duties of husband and wife are mutual or personal.


Mutual duties. 1 Cor. vii. 3. "let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence, and likewise also the wife unto the husband."

The personal duties appertaining to either party respectively, are, first, those of the husband. Exod. xxi. 10, 11. "her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage shall he not diminish; and if he do not these three unto her," &c. Prov. v. 18, 19. "rejoice with the wife of thy youth," Esther. i. 22. "every man should bear rule in his own house." 1 Cor. xi. 3. "I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man." Eph. v. 25. "husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church." Col. iii. 19. "husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." 1 Pet. iii. 7. "likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel." The contrary is reproved Mal. ii. 13, 14, &c. "Jehovah hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously —." Prov. v. 20, 21. "why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman?"

Personal duties of the wife. Prov. xiv. 1. "every wise woman buildeth her house." xix. 14. a prudent wife is from Jehovah. xxxi. 11, &c. "the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her." 1 Cor. xi. 3, &c. "the woman is the glory of the man; for the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man." Eph. v. 22-24. "wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord; for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and he is the Saviour of the body; there <427> fore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Col. iii. 18. "wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord." Tit. ii. 4, 5. "that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." 1 Pet. iii. 1, &c. "likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands," &c. The same is implied in the original formation of the woman: Gen. ii. 22. "the rib which Jehovah had taken from man, made he a woman;" it cannot therefore be fitting that a single member, and that not one of the most important, should be independent of the whole body, and even of the head. Finally, such is the express declaration of God: Gen. iii. 16. "he shall rule over thee."[162]

Offences against these duties. Exod. iv. 25. "a bloody husband art thou to me." Job. ii. 9. "then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine in <428> tegrity?" &c. 2 Sam. vi. 20. Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said," &c. Prov. ix. 13. "a foolish woman is clamorous." vii. 11. "her feet abide not in her house."[163] xiv. "the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." xix. 13. "the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping." See also xxvii. 15. xxi. 9. "it is better to dwell in a corner of the house top, than with a brawling woman in a wide house." v. 19. "it is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." See also xxv. 24. Eccles. vii. 26. "I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her." Above all, adultery: Deut. xxii. 14, 20. "I took this woman, and when I came unto her, I found her not a maid if... this thing be true," &c.

The duties of parents are inculcated Deut. iv. 9. "teach them thy sons, and thy sons sons." vi. 6, 7. "these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children." Prov. xiii. 24. "he that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Prov. xix. 18. "chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying?" xxii. 6. "train up a child in the way he <429> should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." v. 15. "foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." xxiii. 13, 14. "withhold not correction from the child; for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die: thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." xxix. 15, 17. "the rod and reproof give wisdom." Lam. iii. 27, 28. "it is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." Deut. xxi. 18-20. "if a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and that when they have chastened him will not hearken unto them." Eph. vi. 4. "ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Col. iii. 21. "fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."

The opposites are, first, unbounded indulgence; as that of Eli the priest, 1 Sam. ii. and of David towards his sons Absalom and Adonijah, 1 Kings. i. 6. "whom his father had not displeased at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?" Gen. xxv. 28. "Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison."

Secondly, excessive severity. 1 Sam. xiv. 44. "thou shalt surely die, Jonathan."

The duties of children are prescribed Gen. ix. 23. "Shem and Japheth took a garment —." xxiv. 15, &c. "with her pitcher upon her shoulder —." xxix. 9. "Rachel came with her father's sheep." Exod. ii. 16. "they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock." xviii. 7. "Moses went out to meet his father-in-law." xx. 12. "honour thy father and thy mother." Lev. xix. 3. "ye shall fear <430> every man his mother and his father." 1 Sam. xx. 32. "Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?" 1 Kings. ii. 19. Bathsheba went unto king Solomon... and the king rose up to meet her." Prov. i. 8. "my son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." vi. 20, 21. "my son, keep thy father's commandment." xxiii. 22, 24, 25. "hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old." Jer. xxxv. 5, 6. "our father commanded us, saying —." Eph. vi. 1-3. "children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right: honour thy father," &c. Col. iii. 20. "children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." 1 Tim. v. 4. "if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents, for that is good and acceptable before God."

Contrary to the above is the conduct of Ham, Gen. ix. 22. "Ham saw the nakedness of his father." Exod. xxi. 15. "he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death." v. 17. "he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death." See also Lev. xx. 9. Deut. xxi. 18. "if a man have a stubborn and rebellious son —." xxvii. 16. "cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother." Prov. x. 1. "a wise son maketh a glad father, but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother." xix. 26. "he that wasteth his father," &c. xx. 20. "whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness." xxiii. 22. "hearken unto thy father that begat thee —." xxviii. 24. "whoso robbeth his father or his mother —." xxx. 17. "the <431> eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it." Matt. xv. 5. "ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or mother, It is a gift... and honour not his father or mother, he shall be free." See also Mark. vii. 11, 12. Also an extravagant and preposterous regard. Matt. viii. 21, 22. "suffer me first to go and bury my father."

Analogous to the relation of parent and child are those of guardian and ward, teacher and pupil, elder and younger; in a word, of superior and inferior, whatever be the ground of distinction.

For the duties of guardians, see 2 Kings. xi. 4, &c. "he shewed them the king's son," &c.

The duties of wards. 2 Kings. xii. 2. "Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of Jehovah all his days, wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him."

The prophet Samuel did not consider it beneath his dignity in his old age, after having exercised the most important public functions, to discharge the office of teacher in the schools of the prophets.[164] 1 Sam. xix. 20. "they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them."

The duties of pupils. 1 Kings. xix. 21. "he went after Elijah, and ministered unto him." 2 Kings. ii. 2, 4, 6. "I will not leave thee."


The duties of the elder. Prov. xvi. 31. "the hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." Tit. ii. 2. "that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience."

The reverse. Job. xx. 11. "his bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie, down with him in the dust." Isai. lxv. 20. "the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed."

The duties of the younger. Lev. xix. 32. "thou shalt rise up before the hoary head —." 2 Chron. xxxiv. 3. "in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after God." Job. xxxii. 4. "Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he." v. 6. I" am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not show you mine opinion." Psal. Xxv. 7. "remember not the sins of my youth —." cxix. 9. "wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? —." cxlviii. 12. "young men and maidens..... praise the name of Jehovah." Eccles. xi. 9, 10. "rejoice, O young man, in thy youth..... but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." xii. 1-3. "remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." 1 Tim. iv. 12. "let no man despise thy youth," 2 Tim. iii. 15. "from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures." Tit. ii. 6. "young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded."

The reverse. 2 Kings. ii. 23. "there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him." 2 Chron. xxxvi. 9. Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign..... and he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah." Psal. lviii. 3. "the wicked are <433> estranged from the womb." Prov. xx. 11. "even a child is known by its doings." Isai. iii. 5. "the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient."

The duties of superiors. Ruth. ii. 4. "Boaz said unto the reapers, Jehovah be with you." Psal. xlix. 20. "man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish." Prov. iii. 35. "the wise shall inherit glory." 1 Pet. iv. 10. "as every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."

The reverse. Prov. xxvi. 1. "as snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool." Eccles. x. 5. 6. "there is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler; folly is set in great dignity —." Isai. xxiii. 9. "to stain the pride of all glory —."

We are forbidden to glory in nobility of birth, or in rank, however exalted. Deut. xxvi. 5, &c. "thou shalt speak and say before Jehovah thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father —." Job. xii. 21. "he poureth contempt upon princes." Psal. lxxv. 7. "God is the judge, he putteth down one, and setteth up another." cxiii. 7. "he raiseth up the poor out of the dust." Isai. xxxii. 8. "the liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand." John. i. 13. "which were born, not of blood —." iii. 6. "that which is born of the flesh is flesh." viii. 39. "if ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham."

Opposed to the proper duty of a superior, is an unauthorized assumption of censorial power. 1 Pet. iv. 15. "a busybody in other men's matters."


The duties of inferiors. Prov. xxvi. 8. "as he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool." Ruth. ii. 4. "they answered him, Jehovah bless thee." v. 7. "I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers." 2 Kings. ii. 15. "they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him." Luke. xiv. 9, 10. "when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room." Rom. xiii. 7. "render therefore to all their dues..... honour to whom honour."

The reverse. James. ii. 2, &c. "if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring," &c.

The duties of brethren and kinsmen. Gen. iv. 7. "unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." xiii. 8. "let there be no strife, I pray thee, between thee and me... for we be brethren." xxix. 11. "Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept." v. 13. "he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him." xliii. 33. "they sat before him, the first-born according to his birth-right —." Psal. cxxxiii. 1. "behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

The reverse. 2 Chron. xxi. 4. "he slew all his brethren —." v. 13. "and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house, which were better than thyself." Prov. xviii. 19. "a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city."

The duties of masters. Exod. xxi. 26, 27. "if a man strike the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake." Job. xxxi. 13. "if I did despise the cause of my man-servant, or of my maid-servant, when they contended with me." Psal. ci. 6. "he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me." cxxvii. 1,2. ex <435> cept Jehovah build the house, they labour in vain that build it." Prov. iii. 33. "he blesseth the habitation of the just." xiv. 11. "the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish." xv. 6. "in the house of the righteous is much treasure." xxiv. 3, 4. "through wisdom is an house builded," &c. xxvii. 23. "be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks —." xxix. 21. "he that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child, shall have him become his son at the length." Luke. xvii. 7-10. "which of you having a servant plowing...... will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup..... doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not." Eph. vi. 9. "and ye, masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening; knowing that your master also is in heaven, neither is there respect of persons with him." Col. iv. 1. "masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal," &c. 1 Tim. iii. 5. "if a man know not how to rule his own house," &c.

The reverse. Prov. iii. 33. "the curse of Jehovah is in the house of the wicked." xi. 29. "he that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind." xiv. 11. "the house of the wicked shall be overthrown." xv. 6. "in the revenues of the wicked is trouble." v. 25. "Jehovah will destroy the house of the proud."

Respecting the possession of slaves, and the extent of the master's authority, see Gen. xvii. 12. "he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger —." Levit. xix. 20. "whosoever lieth carnally with a woman that is a bondmaid," &c. xxv. 44 46. "both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids which thou shalt have," &c. 1 Cor. vii. 21, 22. "let every <436> man abide in the same calling wherein he was called... art them called being a servant, care not for it." See also the epistle to Philemon. Concerning the forfeiture, by insolvency, of the rights of freedom, see 2 Kings. iv. 1 . "the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen." Matt. xviii. 25. "his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife," &c.

Respecting the punishment of slaves, see Gen. xvi. 6. "behold, the maid is in thine hand, do to her as it pleaseth thee." Prov. xxix. 19. "a servant will not be corrected by words; for, though he understand, he will not answer." Punishment, however, should not exceed due limits. Exod. xxi. 20, 21, 26, 27. "if a man smite his servant, or his maid, and he die —."

Respecting the manumission of Hebrew slaves, see Exod. xxi. 2-4. Levit. xxv. 39, 40. Deut. xv. 12, 13, 16, 17, &c. Jer. xxxiv.

The duties of servants. Gen. xvi. 9. "the angel of Jehovah said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands." xxiv. 9. "the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him —." Prov. xvii. 2. "a wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame —." xxv. 13. "so is a faithful messenger to them that send him, for he refresheth the soul of his masters." xxvii. 18. "he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured." Eph. vi. 5-8. "servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ —." See also Col. iii. 22, &c. 1 Tim. vi. 1, 2. "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not <437> blasphemed: and they that have believing masters, let them not despise them... because they are faithful and beloved." Tit. ii. 9, 10. "exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them in all things, not answering again, not purloining, but showing all fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." 1 Pet. ii. 18, 19. "servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward; for this is thankworthy —."

The reverse. Gen. xvi. 4. "her mistress was despised in her eyes." 2 Kings. v. 20, &c. "Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman the Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought; but as Jehovah liveth, I will run after him, and take some what of him." Prov. x. 26. "as vinegar to the teeth..... so is the sluggard to them that send him." xxvi. 6. "he that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage." xxx. 22, 23. "for a servant when he reigneth," &c.



THUS far of domestic duties. We are next to speak of those which are exercised towards strangers.

The principal virtues in this class are almsgiving and hopitality.

Almsgiving consists in affording relief to the poor, especially to such as are brethren, in proportion to our means, or even beyond them, without ostentation, and from, the motive of true charity.[165] Exod. xxiii. 11. "the seventh year thou shalt let the land rest, and lie still, that the poor of thy people may eat." Deut. xv. 2. "this is the manner of the release," &c. v. 11. "thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor and to thy needy, in thy land." xxiv. 19-21. "when thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field —." Luke. iii. 11. "he that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none." xiv. 12-14. "when thou makest a dinner..... call not thy friends.... lest they also <439> bid thee again..... but call the poor, the lame," &c. xvi. 9. !make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations." Christ him self, although poor, set us an example of this virtue. John. xiii. 29. "that he should give something to the poor." Eph. iv. 28. "rather let him labour..... that he may have to give to him that needeth."

In proportion to our means. Matt. x. 42. "whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in my name —." Luke. xi. 41 . "rather give alms of such things as ye have." Acts. iii. 6. "silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee." 2 Cor. viii. 12, 13. "if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not."

Or even beyond them. Luke. xxi. 4. "all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God, but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had." 2 Cor. viii. 3. "to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves." He subjoins however, v. 13. "I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want." On this, as on similar occasions, we are to be guided by geometrical rather than by arithmetrical proportion, regulating our bounty according to the rank and dignity, the education and previous condition of each individual; lest we fall into the absurdity of equalizing those whom nature never intended for an equality.

To the poor; that is, to such as are unable to support themselves by their own labour and exertions. <440> Lev. xxv. 35. "if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger." Deut. xv. 7, &c. "if there be among you a poor man," &c. 2 Thess. iii. 10. "if any would not work, neither should he eat." Hence we are not bound to relieve those vagrants and beggars who are such of choice, and not of necessity. v. 11, 12. "we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies; now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." Among the poor are to be reckoned orphans and widows, on account of the desolate situation of the one, and the tender age of the other." Exod. xxii. 22-24. "ye shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child." Deut. x. 18. "he doth create the judgment of the fatherless and widow." xiv. 28, 29. "at the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase..... and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied." xxvii. 19. "cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the fatherless or widow." Job. xxix. 11, &c. "because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless" xxxi. 16. "if I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless have not eaten thereof." Psal. lxviii. 5. "a father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation." cxlvi. 9. "he relieveth the fatherless and widow." Prov. xxiii. 10, 11, "enter not into the fields of the fatherless; for their redeemer is mighty." To these <441> may be added such as are weak or helpless from any cause whatever, and all who are in affliction, especially for religion's sake. Isai. lviii. 7. "is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?" Matt. xxv. 36. "naked, and ye clothed me; sick," &c. Luke. xiv. 13. "call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind." Heb. vi. 10. "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."

Without ostentation. Prov. xxi. 14. "a gift in secret pacifieth anger, and a reward in the bosom strong wrath." Matt. vi. 1, &c. "when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee —." 2 Cor. viii. 24. "wherefore show ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf."

Out of true charity. 1 Cor. xiii. 3. "though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, I am nothing." Not therefore of compulsion. 2 Cor. viii. 3. "they were willing of themselves." v. 8. "I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love."

Scripture every where declares that the reward of almsgiving is great. Job. xxix. 11 25. "when the ear heard me, then it blessed me..... because I delivered the poor that cried," &c. Psal. xli. 1. "blessed is he that considereth the poor: Jehovah will deliver him <442> in the time of trouble." cxii. 9. compared with 2 Cor. ix. 8, 9. "God is able to make all grace abound t ward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work; as it is written, He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor, his righteousness remaineth for ever." Prov. xiv. 21. "he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he." xix. 17. "he that hath pity upon the poor lendeth to Jehovah, and that which he hath given will he pay him again." xxii. 9. "he that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed, for he giveth of his bread to the poor." xxviii. 27. "he that giveth to the poor shall not lack." Isai. lviii. 6, &c. "is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry?" &c. "then shall thy light break forth as the morning." Matt. x. 40-42. "he that receiveth you, receiveth me, and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me." xxv. 34, 35. "come, ye blessed of my Father..... for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat —." Luke. xi. 41. "give alms..... and behold, all things are pure unto you." xii. 33. "provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not." xiv. 12-14. "thou shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee." Acts. x. 2-4. "thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God." 2 Cor. ix. 6. "he

which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." 1 Tim. vi. 18, 19. "laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

On the other hand, the neglect of this duty is condemned, Prov. xxi. 13. "whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard." xxviii. 27. "he that hideth his <443> eyes shall have many a curse." Matt. xxv. 45. "inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." 2 Cor. ix. 6. "he which soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly."

Hospitality consists in receiving under our own roof, or providing for the kind reception of the poor and strangers; especially such as are recommended to us by the churches, or by our brethren in the faith. Deut. xxiii. 7, 8. "thou shalt not abhor an Edomite, for he is thy brother; thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian, because thou wast a stranger in his land." Job. xxxi. 32. "the stranger did not lodge in the street —." Rom. 13. "distributing to the necessity of saints, given to hospitality." xvi. 2. "that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you, for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also." Heb. xiii. 2. "be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." 1 Pet. iv. 9. "use hospitality one to another without grudging." 3 John 5, 6, &c. "beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; which have borne witness of thy charity before the church." The reward of a hospitable spirit is signally exemplified in the woman of Sarepta, and in the Shunamite, who received prophets under their roof.

Injury or oppression of guests or strangers was forbidden by various laws, recorded Exod. xxii. 21, &c. Levit. xix. 33, 34. Deut. x. 18, 19.

Opposed to this is inhospitality. Deut. xxvii. 19. "cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the <444> stranger." Ezek. xxii. 29. "they have vexed the poor and needy, yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully." 3 John 10. "not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."



HITHERTO we have treated of the private duties of man towards his neighbour. Public duties are of two kinds, political and ecclesiastical.

Under political duties are comprehended the obligations of the magistrate and the people to each other, and to foreign nations.

The duties of the magistrate to the people are described Exod. xxiii. 8. "thou shalt take no gift, for the gift blindeth the wise." xxxii. 11. "Moses be sought Jehovah his God, and said, Jehovah, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people?" Lev. xix. 1-5. "thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour." Num. xi. 11, &c. "wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?" xiv. 13. "Moses said unto Jehovah, Then the Egyptians shall hear it —." Deut. i. 9. "I am not able to bear you myself alone." xvii. 20. "that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment to the right <446> hand or to the left." 1 Kings. ii. 3. "keep the charge of Jehovah thy God —." iii. 8-10. "give thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people —." See also 2 Chron. i. 10. 1 Chron. xiii. 2. "David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of Jehovah our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where —." xxviii. 2. "hear me, my brethren, and my people." 2 Chron. xix. 6. "he said to the judges, Take heed what ye do, for ye judge not for man, but for Jehovah, who is with you in the judgment." Psal. lxxii. 2. "he shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment." lxxv. 2. "when I shall receive the congregation, I will judge uprightly." lxxxii. 3. "defend the poor and fatherless." Prov. xi. 14. "where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." xvi. 12. "it is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness, for the throne is established by righteousness." xxix. 4. "the king by judgment establisheth the land, but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it." xviii. 17. "he that is first in his own cause seemeth just, but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him." xx. 8. "a king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes." xxiv. 23. "it is not good to have respect of persons in judgment." xxxi. 1-10. "the words of king Lemuel," &c. Jer. xxi. 12. "thus saith Jehovah..... Execute judgment in the morning." xxii. 3, 4. "execute ye judgment and righteousness." Neh. v. 14. "from the time that I was appointed to be their governor..... and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor." Matt. xx. 25 27. "ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exer <447> else dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them; but it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister." See also Mark. x. 42, &c. Luke. xxii. 25, &c. Rom. xiii. 3, 4. "rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil..... for he is the minister of God to thee for good."

In the matter of reward and punishment. Psal. ci. 4, &c. "a froward heart shall depart from me... mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land." Inordinate punishment is forbidden. Deut. xxv. 3. "forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed." 1 Kings. ii. 26, "thou art worthy of death, but I will not at this time put thee to death, because," &c.

The right of the magistrate as regards the sword. Gen. ix. 6. whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." Job. xii. 18. "he looseth the bond of kings." Psal. lxxv. 6. "promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south." Prov. viii, 15, 16. "by me kings reign." Dan. ii. 21. "he changeth the times and the seasons." iv. 17. "that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men." v. 18-20. "the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, &c but when his heart was lifted up he was deposed from his kingly throne." Rom. xiii. 1, &c. "let every soul be subject unto the higher powers for he beareth not the sword in vain; if therefore not in vain, much less for the injury of the good."[166] 1 Pet. ii. 13, 14. "as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers."


Of the election of magistrates, see Exod. Xviii. 21. "thou shalt provide out of all the people able men...... and place such over them." Numb. xi. 16, 17, 25. "gather unto me seventy men —." Deut. i. 13, &c. "take you wise men and understanding —." 1 Sam. xi. 15. compared with xii. 1. "all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king... behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you." 2 Sam. ii. 4. "the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah."

The following texts show what is contrary to the duties of the magistrate. Psal. xxvi. 10. "their right hand is full of bribes." xciv. 20. "shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee?" Prov. xvii. 23. "a wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment." xxi. 7. "they refuse to do judgment." xxviii. 15, 16. "as a roaring lion and a ranging bear, so is a wicked ruler over the poor people." xxix. 4. "he that receiveth gifts overthroweth the land." v. 12. "if a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked." Eccles. iv. 13. "better is a poor and wise child, than an old and foolish king who will no more be admonished." x. 5, 6. "there is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceed eth from the ruler; folly is set in great dignity —." v. 16, 17. "woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning." Isai. i. 23. "thy princes are rebellious and <449> companions of thieves, every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards, they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them." iii 4. "I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them." v. 12. "as for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them." v. 14. "Jehovah will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people —." v. 23. which justify the wicked for reward." x. 12. "I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria." Ezek. xxix. 3. "behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt," &c. Amos. v. 7. "ye who turn judgment to wormwood —." See also vi. 12. Micah. iii. 11. "the heads thereof judge for reward —." vii. 3. "the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward."

The licentiousness of courts is exposed, Gen. xii. 15. "the princes also of Pharaoh saw her and commended her before Pharaoh." Prov. xxv.5. "take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness." 2 Chron. xxiv. 17. "after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah," &c. Isai. xxii. 15, 16. "get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house," &c. 1 Kings. xxi. 7. "Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel?" Esther. iii. 6. "he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone —." v. 9. "if it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed." Dan. vi. 7. all the presidents of the kingdom have consulted together to make a royal decree ."

It is especially the duty of the magistrate to encourage religion and the service of God (public worship <450> in particular), and to reverence the church. Isai. xlix. 23. "kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet." That the church, however, does not stand in need of the superintendence of the magistrate, but that, if left in peace, she is fully qualified, in the exercise of her own proper laws and discipline, to govern herself aright, and enlarge her boundaries, is evident from Acts. ix. 31. "then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied."

Religion therefore is to be protected by the magistrate, not forced upon the people.[167] Josh. xxiv. 15. "if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom ye will serve but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah." Psal. cv. 14. "he suffered no man to do them wrong, yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." If then kings are forbidden to exercise violence against religious persons in any matter whatever, much more are they forbidden <451> to force the consciences of such persons in the matter of religion itself, especially on points where the magistrate is fully as liable to be mistaken as the pope, and is actually mistaken in many instances; unless indeed they are content, like him, to be accounted antichrist, a name given to the pope himself chiefly from his encroachments on the consciences of man kind. True it is, that the Jewish kings and magistrates interposed their judgment in matters of religion, and even employed force in the execution of their decrees; but this was only in cases where the law of God was clear and express, and where the magistrate might safely decide without danger of mistake or controversy. In our own times, on the contrary, Christians are on many occasions persecuted or subjected to punishment for matters either purely controversial, or left by Christian liberty to the judgment of each believer, or concerning which there is no express declaration in the gospel. Against such magistrates, Christians only in name, many heathen and Jewish rulers will rise in judgment, and among the rest Pontius Pilate himself, whose deference to Jewish opinions was such, that he did not think it derogatory to his proconsular dignity to go out to speak to the Jews, when they, from a religious scruple, declined entering the judgment-hall. John. xviii. 28, 29. So also Gamaliel, Acts. v. 39. "if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it;" and Gallio, xviii. 15. "I will be no judge of such matters."

For if even the ecclesiastical minister is not entitled to exercise absolute authority over the church, much less can the civil magistrate claim such authority.[168] 2 <452> Cor. i. 24. "not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy; for by faith ye stand." Coloss. ii. 18. "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility," &c. 1 Pet. v. 3. "neither as being lords over God's heritage." Rom. xiv. 4. "who art thou that judgest another man's servant?" See also James. iv. 12. For other arguments to the same effect, I refer to Book I of this treatise, under the heads of Christ's kingdom, faith, the gospel, Christian liberty, church discipline and its objects. Undoubtedly, as the kingdom of Christ is not of this world, so neither is it sustained by force and compulsion, the supports of earthly rule. Hence the outward profession of the gospel ought not to be made a matter of constraint; and as to the inner parts of religion, faith and liberty and conscience, these are beyond its power, being from their very nature matter of ecclesiastical discipline alone, and incapable of being affected by the determinations of human tribunals: not to mention the absurdity and impiety of compelling the conscientious to adopt a religion which they do not approve, or of constraining the profane to bear a part in that public worship from which God has interdicted them. Psal. 1. 16, 17. "unto the wicked God said, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?" Prov. xv. 8. and xxi. 27. "the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?"


For the duties of the people towards the magistrate, see Exod. xxii. 28. "thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people." 2 Sam. xxi. 17. "then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel." Prov. xxiv. 21, 22. "my son, fear thou Jehovah and the king." xxix. 26. "many seek the ruler's favour, but every man's judgment cometh from Jehovah." Eccles. viii. 2. "I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God." Matt. xxii. 21. "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." Rom. xiii. 1. "let every soul be subject unto the higher powers —." 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. "I exhort therefore, that first of all supplications... be made for all men, for kings, and for all that are in authority." Tit. iii. 1. "put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work." 1 Pet. ii. 13. "submit yourselves to every ordinance of God for the Lord's sake."

Even towards unjust magistrates. Matt. xvii. 26, 27. "then are the children free; notwithstanding, lest we should offend them," &c. Acts. xxiii. 4, &c. "re-vilest thou God's high priest?..... I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people." Those cases must be excepted, in which compliance with the commands of men would be incompatible with our duty towards God. Exod. i. 17. "the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them." ii. 2. "she hid him three months." Josh. i. 17. "only Jehovah thy God be with thee —." <454> 1 Sam. xiv. 45. " so the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not." xx. 1, &c. "he said unto him, God forbid, thou shalt not die." xxii. 17. "the servants of the king would not put forth their hand." 2 Chron. xxi. 10. "Libnah revolted from under his hand, be cause he had forsaken Jehovah God of his fathers." xxvi. 18. "they withstood Uzziah the king." Esth. iii. 2, 4. "Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence." Dan. iii. 16. "we are not careful to answer thee in this matter." v. 1 8. "if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods." vi. 10. "when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house," &c. Acts. iv. 19. "whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye." Heb. xi. 23. "by faith Moses when he was born was hid three months of his parents and they were not afraid of the king's commandment."

Opposed to this are, first, rebellion. Numb. xvi. 1. "now Korah took men —." 2 Sam. xx. 1. "and there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba," &c.

Secondly, obedience in things unlawful. 1 Sam. xxii. 18. "Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests," &c.

The opinion maintained by some, that obedience is due to the commands not only of an upright magistrate, but of an usurper, and that in matters contrary to justice, has no foundation in Scripture.[169] For <455> with regard to 1 Pet. ii. 13. "submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, it is evident from v. 14. that although this passage comprehends all human ordinances, all forms of government indiscriminately, it applies to them only so far as they are legitimately constituted. The eighteenth verse, which is alleged to the same purpose, relates to servants exclusively, and affords no rule for the conduct of free nations, whose rights are of a kind altogether distinct from those of purchased or hired servants. As for the obedience of the Israelites to Pharaoh, we have no means of ascertaining whether it was voluntary or compulsory, or whether in obeying they acted rightly or otherwise, inasmuch as we are no where told, either that they were enjoined to obey him, or that their obedience was made matter of commendation. The conduct of Daniel in captivity is equally foreign to the purpose, as under his circumstances it was impossible for him to act otherwise. Besides, it is written, Psalm lx. 4. "thou hast given a banner to them that feared thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth." That it may be the part of prudence to obey the commands even of a tyrant in lawful things, or, more properly, to comply with the necessity of the times for the sake of public peace, as well as of personal safety,[170] I am far from denying.


The duties of the magistrate and people towards their neighbours regard the transactions of peace and war.

Under the head of peace are included international treaties. In order to ascertain whether, in particular cases, these may be lawfully contracted with the wicked, we ought to consider the purposes for which treaties are concluded, whether simply for the sake of peace, or of mutual defence and closer intimacy.

Of the former class are the confederacy of Abraham with the men of Mamre, Gen. xiv. 13. and with Abimelech, xxi. 27. that of Isaac with Abimelech, xxvi. 29-31. that of Solomon with Hiram, 1 Kings. v. 12. from which examples the lawfulness of such alliances appears evident.

Of the latter class are the treaties of Asa with Benhadad, 1 Kings. xv. 19. of Jehoshaphat with the house of Ahab, 2 Chron. xviii. 1. compared with xix. 2. of Amaziah with the Israelites, xxv. 6-8. of Ahaz with the Assyrians, 2 Kings. xvi. 7. and that which the Jews sought to contract with the Egyptians, Isai. xxx. 2, &c. These were unlawful, and led to calamitous results. Exod. xxiii. 32. "thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods." xxxiv. 12. "take heed to thyself lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee." See also v. 15. Deut. vii. 4. "they will turn away thy son from following me." Ezek. xvi. 26. "thou hast committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, <457> great of flesh." 2 Cor. vi. 14. "be not ye unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness?"

Asa, 2 Chron. xvi. 3. and Zedekiah, xxxvi. 13. Ezek. xvii. are examples of the violation of treaties.

On the subject of asylums see Num. xxxv. 6-15. Deut. xxiii. 15.

With regard to the duties of war, it is enjoined, first, that it be not undertaken without mature deliberation. Prov. xx. 18. xxiv. 6. Luke. xiv. 31. "what king going to make war against another king sitteth not down first and consulteth?" Secondly, that it be carried on wisely and skilfully. 1 Sam. xiv. 28. "thy father straitly charged the people with an oath," &c. xxiii. 22. "it is told me that he dealeth very subtilly." Prov. xxi. 22. "a wise man scaleth the city of the mighty." Thirdly, that it be prosecuted with moderation. Deut. xx. 19. "thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof," &c. Fourthly, that it be waged in a spirit of godliness. Deut. xxiii. 9, &c. "when the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing." xxxii. 29, 30. "O that they were wise... how should one chase a thousand —!" 1 Sam. vii. 10. "as Samuel was offering up the burnt-offering..... Jehovah thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines." Isai. xxxi. 6. "turn ye unto him then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword." Amos. i. 13. "because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border." Fifthly, that no mercy be shown to a merciless enemy. 1 Sam. xv. 33. "as thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women." Psal. <458> xviii. 41, 42. "they cried, but there was none to save them then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind." lx. 8. "Moab is my wash-pot: over Edom will I cast out my shoe —." Jer. xlviii. 10. "cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood." Sixthly, that our confidence be not placed in human strength, but in God alone. Exod. xiv. 17, 18. "I will get me honour upon Pharaoh and all his host." Deut. xx. 1. "when thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses and chariots," &c. 1 Sam. xiv. 6. "there is no restraint to Jehovah to save by many or by few." xvii. 47. "all this assembly shall know that Jehovah saveth not with sword and spear." Psal. xxxiii. 16, 17. "there is no king saved by the multitude of an host —." xliv, 2, &c. "thou didst drive out the heathen with thine hand —." lx. 1. "O God, thou hast cast us off," &c. cxliv. 1. "blessed be Jehovah my strength, which teacheth my hands to war." cxlvii. 10. "he delighteth not in the strength of the horse." v. 13. "he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates —." Prov. xxi. 31. "the horse is prepared against the day of battle; but safety is of Jehovah." 2 Chron. xiv. 11. "it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power —." xx. 21. "he appointed singers unto Jehovah," &c. xxiv. 24. "the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and Jehovah delivered a very great host into their hand." Isai. v. 26. "he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far," &c. Jer. xxi. 4. "I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands —." xxxvii. 10. "for though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you," &c. Ezek . xiii. 5. "ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the <459> house of Israel —." Zech. x. 5, 6. "they shall be as mighty men which tread down their enemies in tin; mire of the streets in the battle —." Amos. ii. 14. "the strong shall not strengthen his force." Seventhly, that the booty be distributed in equitable proportions. Numb. xxxi. 27. "divide the prey into two parts between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation." Deut. xx. 14. "all the spoil thereof shalt thou take unto thyself, and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies." Josh. xxii. 8, "he blessed them, and he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents —." 1 Sam. xxx. 24. "as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff."

There seems no reason why war should be unlawful now, any more than in the time of the Jews; nor is it any where forbidden in the New Testament. Psal. cxlix. 6. "let a two-edged sword be in their hand." Two centurions, namely, the man of Capernaum and Cornelius, are reckoned among believers, Matt. viii. Acts. x. Neither does John exhort the soldiers to refrain from war, but only from wrong and robbery; Luke. iii. 14. "he said unto the soldiers, Do violence to no man —." 1 Cor. ix. 7. "who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? Paul like wise availed himself of a guard of soldiers for his personal security;" Acts. xxiii. 17. "bring this young man unto the chief captain."

The observance of the divine commandments is the source of prosperity to nations. See Lev. xxvi. It renders them flourishing, wealthy, and victorious, Deut. xv. 4-6. lords over many nations, v. 6. xxvi. 17-19. exalted above all others, xxviii. 1, &c. a <460> chapter which should be read again and again by those who have the direction of political affairs.[171] Compare also chap. xxix. and iv. Judges. ii. and iii. and Psal. xxxiii. 12. "blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah." Prov. xi. 11. "by the blessing of the upright the city is exalted." xiv. 34. "righteousness exalteth a nation." xxviii. 2. "for the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof." See also Isai. iii. and xxiv. xlviii. 18. "O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments —!" See also Jer. v. Ezek. vii.

The consequences of impiety to nations are described, Isai. iii. 7. "in my house is neither bread nor clothing, make me not a ruler of the people." lvii. 9, 10, 13. "thou wentest to the king with ointment —." Hos. v. 13. "when Ephraim saw his sickness," &c. vii. 11, 12. "Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart —." x ii. 1. "Ephraim feedeth on wind and followeth after the east wind —." Habak. ii.12. "woe to him that buildeth a town with blood."

Public ecclesiastical duties consist in the reciprocal obligations of ministers, and of the church considered collectively and individually.

The duties of ministers towards the church in general, and towards individual believers in particu <461> lar, are stated in the first book, in the chapter on ministers. Towards the church in general: Jer. i. 7, 8. "say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee," &c. v. 17-19. "gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee." xv. 10, 11. "woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth." xviii. 19, &c. "remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them." xx. 7, &c. "thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived I am in derision daily." Isai. lviii. 1. "cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression —." Ezek. ii. 6. "thou, son of man, be not afraid of them," &c. iii. 8, 9. "behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces —." xxxiii. 2-31. "son of man, speak to the children of thy people," &c. Matt. iv. 19. "follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." viii. 21, 22. "suffer me first to go and bury my father; but Jesus said unto him, Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead." ix. 11. "why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? but when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." v. 36. "he was moved with compassion on them, because they were scattered abroad —." x. 14. "whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words," &c. xiii. 52. "every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." xviii. 12. "if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray," &c. Acts. xiii. 51. "they shook off the dust of their feet against thorn." xviii. 6. "when they opposed themselves, and blas <462> phemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them —." 2 Cor. ii. 17. "we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God, but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ." 1 Thess. ii. 5. "neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know." Tit. ii. 7. "in all things showing thyself a pattern of good works."

Opposed to the above are the ignorant, the slothful, the timid, flatterers, the dumb, false teachers, the covetous, the ambitious. Isai. ix. 15. "the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail." Ezek. xliv. 8. "ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves;" as was done by bishops formerly, and is not unfrequently practised by magistrates in the present day, thus depriving the people of their privilege of election. Isai. lvi. 10. "his watchmen are blind," &c. For an example of flatterers, see 2 Chron. xviii. 5. "the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men," &c. Neh. vi. 12. "lo, I perceived that God had not sent him." Jer. ii. 8. "the priests said not, Where is Jehovah?" v. 14. "because ye speak this word," &c. v. 31. "the prophets prophesy falsely." vi. 13, 14. "from the least of them even unto the greatest," &c. viii. 9. "lo, they have rejected the word of Jehovah, and what wisdom is in them?" x. 21. "the pastors are become brutish." xiv. 13 15, 18. "thus saith Jehovah concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name," &c. xxiii. 9, &c. "mine heart is broken within me, because of the prophets." In this class are to be placed Hananiah, chap, xxviii. with the two other prophets mentioned in chap. xxix. 21. and Shemaiah, v. 24, &c. "because thou hast sent letters in my name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem saying, Jehovah hath made <463> thee priest in the room of Jehoiada," &c. and Amaziah, Amos. vii. 10-17. Jer. 1. 6. "their shepherds have caused them to go astray." Lament. ii. 14. "thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee." iv. 13. "for the sins of the prophets —." Ezek. xiii. 2, &c. "prophesy against the prophets of Israel," &c. xxii. 26. "her priests have violated my law." v. 28. "her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar." xxxiv. 2, &c." son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel —." Hos. vi. 9. "as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way," &c. Amos. viii. 11. "I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread," &c. Mic. iii. 5, 6. "thus saith Jehovah concerning the prophets that make my people err —." v. 11. "the heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire —." Zeph. iii. 4. "her prophets are light and treacherous —." Zeph. xi. 15, 16. "take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd." v. 17. "woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock." xiii. 2, &c. "I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land." Mal. ii. 1-10." now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you." John. ii. 16. "he said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence," &c. x. 10. "the thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." 2 Pet. ii. 1, &c. "there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you."

The duties of the whole church and of individual believers towards their ministers are stated Book I. in the chapter concerning the ministers and people; to which many of the following texts may also be referred. Matt. ix. 37, 38. "the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye there <464> fore the Lord of the harvest —." x. 40, &. "he that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me." See also John. xiii. 20. Luke. viii. 18. "take heed therefore how ye hear; for whosoever hath, to him shall he given, and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have." Philipp. iii. 17, 18. "brethren, be followers together of me," &c. 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. "we beseech you, brethren, to know them that labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love, for their work's sake." Heb. xiil 7. "remember them which have the rule overtoil." v. 17, 18. "obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you." Jer. xxiii. 16. "hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you; they make you vain; they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of Jehovah."

The contrary conduct is condemned, Isai. xxx. 9, 10. "this is a rebellious people," &c. Jer. xliii. 2. "saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely; Jehovah our God hath not sent thee —." Micah. ii. 6. "prophesy ye not; say ye to them that prophesy," &c. v. 11. "if a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying," &c. Luke. vii. 29, 30. "the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him." 3 John 9. "I wrote unto the church, but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not."



'Marriage, which is the nearest resemblance of our union with Christ-.' Tetrachordon. Prose Works, II. 138. 'Marriage, which is the dearest league of love, and the dearest resemblance of that love which in Christ is dearest to his Church.' Reply to an Answer against that Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. Ibid. 255.


The Alexandrian MS. here reads ὀλίγως, a little, instead of ὄντως. Other MSS. read ὀλίγον, and the Vulgate paululum. Wetstein's note upon the passage gives a full view of the various readings, and the authorities on which they rest. 'ὀλίγως 'A. B. 8, 9, 19. in ora 25. Editio Colinœi. Versio Vulg. Syr. utraque. Copt. Æthiop. Ephrem. prob. S. Castalione, T. A. Bengelio. ὀλίγον 32, 42. Editio Complut. Plant. Genev. ὄντας 40. ὀλίγου D. Heinsius. οὕτως Erasmi, οἰνοφλυγοῦντας R. Bentleius.'


'Sed inquies, vulgo dicitur de amico, eum nunquam fuisse verum amicum, qui tandem desiit esse. Respondeo, id non esse usquequaque et semper verum. Potest forsan id de aliquibus dici, sed non de omnibus,' &c. Curcellæi Instit. VII. 10, 12.


See Acta et Scripta Synodalia Dordracena,in Defensione sententiæ Remonstrantium circa Articulum V. de Perseverantia. 'In communi vita nihil familiarius est, quam illud impossibile dicere, quod alicujus ingenio et naturæ repugnat; ut temperantem hominem non posse inebriari; doctum hominem non posse ferre contemptum; probum hominem non posse calumniari, &c. In scripturis, 2 Cor. xiii. 8. non possumus quidquam adversus veritatem. Sic Act. iv. 20. Quibus phrasibus non omnimodo impossibilitas earum rerum quæ fieri non posse dicuntur, indicator, sed tantum moralis sive ethica, &c.' p. 320-324


'Apostoli mens est, illum qui ex Deo natus est, quatenus ex principio regenerationis suæ operatur, non posse peccato servire; sicut dicimus eum qui liberalis est, non posse sordide se gerere; qui temperans, non posse gulæ aut libidini indulgere; non quod absolute non possint in talia peccata labi, sedquia cum lapsi sunt, non se ut liberales aut temperantes solent et convenit, gesserunt.' Curcellæi Institut. VII. 3. 9.


See page 260, note 5.


'Melchisedec... incited to do so, first, by the secret providence of God, intending him for a type of Christ and his priesthood.' The likeliest means to remove Hirelings out of the Church. Prose Works, III. 357.


'It cannot be unknown by what expressions the holy apostle St. Paul spares not to explain to us the nature and condition of the law, calling those ordinances, which were the chief and essential office of the priests, the elements and rudiments of the world, both weak and beggarly.' Reason of Church Government urged against Prelaty. Prose Works, I. 91. 'St. Paul comprehends both kinds alike, that is to say, both ceremony and circumstance, under one and the same contemptuous name of 'weak and beggarly rudiments'. Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes, IV. 338.


..... Therefore shall not Moses, though of God

Highly belov'd, being but the minister

Of law, his people into Canaan Lead;

But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call,

His name and office bearing, who shall quell

The adversary serpent, and bring back

Through the world's wilderness long-wander'd man

Safe to eternal Paradise of rest. Paradise Lost, XII. 307.


..... Thy great Deliverer, who shall bruise

The Serpent's head; whereof to thee anon

Plainlier shall be reveal'd. Paradise Lost, XII. 149.

The Woman's seed, obscurely then foretold,

Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord. Ibid. 543.


He to his own a Comforter shall send,

The promise of the Father, who shall dwell

His Spirit within them, and the law of faith

Working through love, upon their hearts shall write. Ibid. 486.


Beza's Translation. Testamentum vetus. Tremellius. Veteris testmenti. Vulgate.


This opinion, that it was inconsistent with the liberty of the gospel to consider the decalogue as a law binding on Christians, is probably the reason why Milton forbears to mention it, where Michael describes to Adam the civil and ritual commandments delivered to the Jews. The omission is too remarkable not to have been designed, considering the noble opportunity which would have been afforded for enlarging on its moral precepts. See Paradise Lost. XII. 230-248.


.....Therefore was law giv'n them to evince

Their natural pravity, by stirring up

Sin against law to fight. Paradise Lost, XII. 287.


... peace

Of conscience, which the law by ceremonies

Cannot appease, nor man the moral part

Perform, and, not performing, cannot live.

So law appears imperfect, and but giv'n

With purpose to resign them, in full time,

Up to a better covnant, disciplined

From shadowy types to truth, from flesh to spirit,

From imposition of strict laws to free

Acceptance of large grace, from servile fear

To filial, works of law to works of faith. Paradise Lost, XII. 296


'These authorities, without long search, I had to produce... But God (I solemnly attest him) withheld from my knowledge the consenting judgment of these men so late, until they could not be my instructor, but only my unexpected witnesses to partial men —.' Tetrachordon. Prose Works, II. 237.


Cameron appears to have been a favourite author with Milton. He elsewhere calls him 'a late writer much applauded,' and characterizes an observation which he makes on Matt. xix. 3. as 'acute and learned.' Tetrachordon. Prose Works, II. 74. Mr. Todd also, in noticing that Cameron was one of the few contemporary authors whom Milton has mentioned in terms of respect, quotes another passage in praise of him from the treatise cited above, where he is spoken of as 'an ingenious writer, and in high esteem.' Tetrachordon, II. 210. Life of Milton, p. 153.


'Non esse sub lege, non est, non teneri obedientia legis, sed liberum esse a maledictione, et coactione legis, et peccati irritatione.' Polani Syntagm. Theol. lib. vi. cap. 10. De Lege Dei.


... what the Spirit within

Shall on the heart engrave. Paradise Lost, XII. 523.

'The state of religion under the gospel is far differing from what it was under the law; then was the state of rigour, childhood, bondage, and works, to all which force was not unbefitting; now is the state of grace, manhood, freedom, and faith, to all which belongs willingness and reason, not force: the law was then written on tables of stone, and to be performed according to the letter, willingly or unwillingly; the gospel, our new covenant, upon the heart of every believer, to be interpreted only by the sense of charity and inward persuasion.' Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes. Prose Works, III. 335.


'Surely force cannot work persuasion, which is faith; cannot therefore justify or pacify the conscience: and that which justifies not in the gospel, condemns; is not only not good, but sinful to do: Rom. xiv. 23. 'whatsoever is not of faith, is sin.' Ibid. Prose Works, III. 342.


..... what will they then

But force the Spirit of grace itself, and bind

His consort Liberty? Paradise Lost, XII. 524.


'In respect of that verity and freedom which is evangelical, St. Paul comprehends both ends alike, &c.' A Treatise of Civil Power, &c. Prose Works, IV. 338


'In religion whatever we do under the gospel, we ought to be thereof persuaded without scruple; and are justified by the faith we have, not by the work we do: Rom. xiv. 5. 'let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.' A Treatise of Civil Power, &c. Prose Works, III. 341.


'I have shown that the civil power hath neither right, nor can do right, by forcing religious things: I will now show the wrong it doth, by violating the fundamental principle of the gospel, the new birthright of every true believer, Christian liberty.' A Treatise of Civil Power, &c. Prose Works, III. 337. 'Liberty, which is inseparable from Christian religion.' Ibid. 352.


None more cautious of giving scandal than St. Paul. Yet while he made himself servant to all, that he might gain the more, he made himself so of his own accord, was not made so by outward force, testifying at the same time that he was free from all men. Ibid. III. 342.


... On earth

Who against faith and conscience can be heard Infallible? Paradise Lost, XII. 528.

'Seeing then that in matters of religion, as hath been proved, none can judge or determine here on earth, no not church-governors themselves against the consciences of other believers, my inference is, or rather not mine, but our Saviour's own, that in those matters they neither can command or use constraint, lest they run rashly on a pernicious consequence, forewarned in that parable, Matt. xiii. from the 29th to the 31st verse, lest while ye gather up the tares ye root up also the wheat with them: let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares,' &c. A Treatise of Civil Power, &c. III. 323.


In profluentem aquam. By the admission of this word into the definition, it is evident that Milton attributed some importance to this circumstance, probably considering that the superior purity of running water was peculiarly typical of the thing signified. Hence it appears that the same epithet employed in Paradise Lost, in a passage very similar to the present is not merely a poetical ornament.

..... Them who shall believe

Baptizing in the profluent stream, the sign,

Of washing them from guilt of sin, to life,

Pure, and in mind prepared, if so befal,

For death, like that which the Redeemer died. XII. 441.

Tertullian concludes differently, arguing that any water which can be conveniently procured, is sufficient for the spirit of the ordinance. 'Nulla distinctio est inari quis an stagno, flumine an fonte, lacu an alveo diluatur; nec quidquam refert inter eos quos Joannes in Jordana, et quos Petrus in Tiberi tinxit; nisi et ille spado quem Philippus inter vias fortuita aqua tinxit, plus salutis aut minus retulit.' De Baptismo, IV.


For an answer to this see Wall's Defence of his History of Infant Baptism, p. 243. and Whitby on Matt.iii. 16.


See Beveridge on the Twenty-seventh Article.


See Wall on Infant Baptism. Part II. Chap. x. Sect. 1. Bps. Burnet, Beveridge, and Tomline on the Twenty-seventh Article.


'They will be always learning and never knowing; always infants.' The likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. Prose Works, III. 391.


See Bps. Beveridge and Burnet on the Twenty-seventh Article.


See Bp. Tomline on the Twenty-seventh Article.


See Wall on Infant Baptism, Part II. Chap. viii. Vol. II. p. 300. and Defence, &c. Vol. III. p. 106-133.


..... with keen dispatch

Of real hunger, and concoctive heat

To transubstantiate; what redounds, transpires

Through spirits with ease. Paradise Lost, V. 436.


'The Lutheran holds consubstantiation; an error indeed, but not mortal.' Of true Religion, &c. Prose Works, IV. 262.


'We now under Christ, a royal priesthood, 1 Pet. ii. 9. as we are coheirs, Kings and priests with him.' The likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. Prose Works, III. 359.


'They insinuated that marriage was not holy without their benediction, and for the better colour, made it a sacrament; being of itself a civil ordinance, a household contract, a thing indifferent and free to the whole race of mankind, not as religious, but as men; best indeed undertaken to religious ends, and as the apostle saith, 1 Cor. vii. 'in the Lord;' yet not therefore invalid or unholy without a minister and his pretended necessary hallowing, more than any other act, enterprize, or contract of civil life, which ought all to be done also in the Lord and to his glory: all which, no less than marriage, were, by the cunning of priests heretofore, as material to their profit, transacted at the altar. Our divines deny it to be a sacrament, yet retained the celebration, till prudently a late parliament recovered the civil liberty of marriage from their encroachment, and transferred the ratifying and registering thereof from the canonical shop to the proper cognizance of civil magistrates.' Considerations on the likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church. Prose Works, III. 371.


'It is God only who gives as well to believe aright, as to believe at all.' Considerations touching the likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church. Prose Works, III. 351.


..... Man over men

He made not lord; such title to himself

Reserving, human left from human free. Paradise Lost, XII. 69.

'Christ hath a government of his own, sufficient of itself to all his ends and purposes in governing his church.' Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes. Prose Works, III. 331.


'All Protestants hold that Christ in his church hath left no vicegerent of his power; but himself, without deputy, is the only head thereof, governing it from heaven: how then can any Christian man derive his Kingship from Christ, but with worse usurpation than the pope his headship over the church? since Christ not only hath not left the least shadow of a command for any such vicegerence from him in the state, as the pope pretends for his in the church' —. Ready Way to establish a Free Commonwealth. Prose Works, 111. 411.


Milton elsewhere, to ridicule the notion that Peter and his successors are specially entrusted with the keys of heaven, places him at the 'wicket,' while 'embryos and idiots, eremites and friars, white, black and gray, with all their trumpery,' are 'blown transverse' into the paradise of fools.

And now Saint Peter at heaven's wicket seems

To wait them with his keys —. Paradise Lost, III. 484.

In Lycidas, however, the allusion to the keys is introduced more seriously.

Last came, and last did go

The pilot of the Galilean lake;

Two massy keys he bore of metals twain,

The golden opes, the iron shuts amain. 108.


This is an important passage, because it discloses Milton's real views upon a point on which his opinions have been represented in a more unfavourable light than they seem to have deserved. Bishop Newton remarks that 'in the latter part of his life he was not a professed member of any particular sect of Christians, he frequented no public worship, nor used any religious rite in his family. Whether so many different forms of worship as he had seen had made him indifferent to all forms; or whether he thought that all Christians had in some things corrupted the purity and simplicity of the gospel; or whether he disliked their endless and uncharitable disputes, and that love of dominion and inclination to persecution which he said was a piece of popery inseparable from all churches; or whether he believed that a man might be a good Christian without joining in any communion; or whether he did not look upon himself as inspired, as wrapt up in God, and above all forms and ceremonies, it is not easy to determine: to his own master he standeth or falleth: but if he was of any denomination, he was a sort of Quietist, and was full of the interior of religion, though he so little regarded the exterior.' The note of Mr. Hawkins on this passage, (Hawkins's Edition of Milton's Poetical Works, Vol. I. p. 101.) deserves to be mentioned as containing the most candid and judicious estimate of Milton's character which has ever been taken. Many parts of the present treatise bear & remarkable testimony to the acuteness with which Mr. Hawkins has detected some of the errors of Milton's religious system, by the unprejudiced spirit in which he has examined the imperfect materials afforded him in the printed works. He observes as follows on Milton's alleged disuse of public worship, which is asserted on the authority of Toland. 'The reproach that has been thrown upon him of frequenting no place of public worship in his latter days, should be received, as Dr. Symmons observes, with some caution. His blindness and other infirmities might be in part his excuse; and it is certain that his daily employments were always ushered in by devout meditation and study of the Scriptures.'


'Let no man cavil, but take the church of God as meaning the whole consistence of orders and members, as St. Paul's epistles express.' Of Reformation in England. Prose Works, I. 11.


Titles of honour are spoken of in the same slighting manner in the prophetic view which Michael unfolds to Adam of the corruptions which should prevail in the latter times of the church.

Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,

Places, and titles, and with these to join

Secular power. —Paradise Lost, XII. 515.


It is evident from many passages in the printed works of Milton, that even the presbyterian institutions did not accord with his notions of Christian liberty. He often attacks the presbyters, during the time when episcopacy was abolished, with as much severity as the bishops during their ascendency. Warton observes, that he contended for that sort of individual or personal religion, by which every man is to be his own priest. See his edition of Milton's smaller Poems, p.326. Edit. 1785. 'The third priesthood only remaining, is common to all the faithful.' Considerations, &c. Prose Works, III. 383. 'If all the faithful be now a holy and a royal priesthood, 1 Pet. ii. 5, 9. not excluded from the dispensation of things holiest, after free election of the church, and imposition of hands..... for the gospel makes no difference from the magistrate himself to the meanest artificer, if God evidently favour him with spiritual gifts, as he can easily, and oft hath done.' Ibid. 390. 'So is he by the same appointment (of God) ordained, and by the church's call admitted, to such offices of discipline in the church, to which his own spiritual gifts... have authorized him.' Reason of Church Government, &c. I. 138. See also p. 139. 'The functions of church government commend him.'


'Heretofore in the first evangelic times (and it were happy for Christendom if it were so again) ministers of the gospel were by nothing else distinguished from other Christians but by their spiritual knowledge and sanctity of life.' Considerations, &c. III. 390.


'In the beginning this authority seems to have been placed, as all both civil and religious rites once were, only in each father of a family.' Reason of Church Government, &c. Prose Works, I. 134. 'In those days was no priest, but the father, or the first-born of each family.' Considerations, &c. III. 359.


This all Christians ought to know, that the title of clergy St. Peter gave to all God's people, till Pope Hyginus and the succeeding prelates took it from them, appropriating that name to themselves and their priests only, and condemning the rest of God's inheritance to an injurious and alienate condition of laity.' Reasons of Church Government urged against Prelaty. Prose Works, I. 135. 'Ecclesiasticorum duntaxat bona fuere, qui hoc maxime senso clerici, vel etiam holoclerici, ut qui sortem totam invasissent, rectius nominari poterant.' Defensio Secunda pro Populo Anglicano, V. 247.


'It is a foul error, though too much believed among us, to think that the university makes a minister of the gospel: what it may conduce to other arts and sciences, I dispute not now; but that which makes fit a minister, the Scripture can best inform us to be only from above, whence also we are bid to seek them. Matt. ix. 33. Acts xx, 28. Rom. x. 15. how shall they preach, unless they be sent? By whom sent? By the university, or the magistrate, or their belly? No surely, but sent from God only, and that God who is not their belly.' Considerations, &c. Prose Works, III. 386. 'Doubtless, if God only be he who gives ministers to his church till the world's end, and through the whole gospel never sent us for minister to the schools of philosophy —.' Ibid. 390.


'Burials and marriages are so little to be any part of their gain, that they who consider well, may find them to be no part of their function... As for marriages, that ministers should meddle with them, as not sanctified or legitimate without their celebration, I find no ground in Scripture either of precept or example.' Considerations, &c. Prose Works, III. 370.


Help us to save free conscience from the paw

Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw. Sonnet XVI. 13.

'Of which hireling crew... Christendom might soon rid herself and be happy, if Christians would but know their own dignity, their liberty, their adoption... and let it not be wondered if I say their spiritual priesthood, whereby they have all equal access to any ministerial function, whenever called by their own abilities and the church, though they never came near the university.' Considerations, &c. Prose Works, III. 391.


'The papal antichristian church permits not her laity to read the Bible in their own tongue; our church on the contrary hath proposed it to all men... Neither let the countryman, the tradesman, the lawyer, the physician, the statesman excuse himself by his much business, from the studious reading thereof.' Of true Religion, &c. Prose Works. IV. 266.


'I offer it to the reason of any man, whether he think the knowledge of Christian religion harder than any other art or science to attain. I suppose he will grant that it is far easier, both of itself, and in regard of God's assisting Spirit... Therefore are the Scriptures translated into every vulgar tongue, as being held in main matters of belief and salvation plain and easy to the poorest, and such no less than their teachers have the the Spirit to guide them in all truth, John xiv. 26. xvi. 13.' Considerations on the likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church. Prose Works, III. 372.


.....the truth,

Left only in those written records pure,

Though not but by the Spirit understood. Paradise Lost, XII. 511

..... he, who receives

Light from above, from the fountain of light,

No other doctrine needs, though granted true.

Paradise Regained, IV. 288.

'The study of Scripture, which is the only true theology —.' Considerations on the likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. Prose Works, III. 377.


Considering the language employed in parts of this treatise, Milton more frequently censures the metaphysical divinity than might have been expected. His practice at least, in this as well as in some other points, is not very consistent with his theory. He speaks however in other works in the same slighting manner of the sophistry of the schools. In the following passage it is not impossible that he may allude to the very Treatise which is now for the first time published. 'Somewhere or other, I trust, may be found some wholesome body of divinity, as they call it, without school-terms and metaphysical notions, which have obscured rather than explained our religion, and made it difficult without cause.' Considerations, &c. Prose Works, III. 375.


'Every true Christian, able to give a reason of his faith, hath the word of God before him, the promised Holy Spirit, and the mind of Christ within: 1 Cor. ii. 16.' Treatise of Civil Power, &c. Prose Works, III, 321.


'What Protestant then, who himself maintains the same principles, and disavows all implicit faith, would prosecute, and not rather charitably tolerate such men as these?' Of true Religion, &c. IV. 263.


See the Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes: 'First it cannot be denied —counts all heretics but himself.' Prose Works, III, 320-326.


See Horne's Introduction to the Critical Study of the Scriptures, Vol. II. p. 385. Note 2.


For the authenticity of the passage alluded to John vii. 53. and viii. 1-11. see Whitby and Mill in loco. Selden, Uxor. Heb. III. 11. Simon, Crit. Hist, of the New Testament, I. 13. Michaelis, Part I. Chap. vi. Sect. 11. Against its authenticity, see Beza, Grotius, Wetstein, Hammond and Le Clerc in loco.


'As the Samaritans believed Christ, first for the woman's word, but next and much rather for his own, so we the Scripture: first on the church's word, but afterwards and much more for its own, as the word of God; yea the church itself we believe then for the Scripture.' Treatise Of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes. Prose Works, III. 326.


..... From that pretence

Spiritual laws by carnal power shall force

On every conscience; laws which none shall find

Left them inroll'd, or what the Spirit within

Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then

But force the Spirit of grace itself?...

..... for, on earth,

Who against faith and conscience can be heard Infallible? Paradise Lost, XII. 520.

'With good cause, therefore, it is the general consent of all sound Protestant writers, that neither traditions, councils, nor canons of any visible church, much less edicts of any magistrate or civil session, but the Scripture only, can be the final judge or rule in matters of religion, and that only in the conscience of every Christian to himself.' Treatise of Civil Power, &c. Prose Works, III. 321


'He hath revealed and taught it us in the Holy Scriptures by inspired ministers, and in the gospel by his own Son and his apostles, with strictest command to reject all other traditions or additions whatsoever; according to that of St. Paul, Gal. i. 8. and Deut. iv. 2. Rev. xxii. 18, 19.' Of true Religion, &c. Prose Works, IV. 260.


'If we turn this our discreet and wary usage of them into a blind devotion towards them, and whatsoever we find written by them, we both forsake our own grounds and reasons which led us at first to part from Rome, that is, to hold to the Scriptures against all antiquity.' Of Prelatical Episcopacy. I. 75.


'Remonst. He that said I am the way, said that the old way was the good way. Answ. He bids ask of the old paths, or for the old ways, where or which is the good way; which implies that all old ways are not good, but that the good way is to be searched with diligence among the old ways, which is the thing that we do in the oldest records we have, the gospel.' Animadversions upon the Remonstrant's Defence. Prose Works, I. 177.


'Bishops and presbyters are the same to us both name and thing.' Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing. Prose Works, I. 314. 'It will not be denied that in the Gospel there be but two ministerial degrees, presbyters and deacons.' Likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. III. 356. 'Through all which book can be no where, either by plain text, or solid reasoning, found any difference between a bishop and a presbyter, save that they be two names to signify the same order.' Of Prelatical Episcopacy, I. 60. 'A bishop and presbyter is all one both in name and office.' Ibid. 75, See also p.76.


'More beneath in the 14th verse of the third chapter, when he hath delivered the duties of bishops, or presbyters, and deacons, not once naming any other order in the church.' Reason of Church Government against Prelaty. Prose Works, I. 86


'He that ennobled with gifts from God, and the lawful and primitive choice of the church assembled in convenient number, faithfully from that time forward feeds his parochial flock, has his co-equal and co-presbyterial power to ordain ministers and deacons by public prayer and vote of Christ's congregation, in like sort as he himself was ordained, and is a true apostolic bishop.' Of Reformation in England. Prose Works, I. 9. 'He that will mould a modern bishop into a primitive, must yield him to be elected by the popular voice.' Ibid. 14.


'See the forwardness of this man; he would persuade us that the succession and divine right of bishopdom hath been unquestionable through all ages.' Animadversions on the Remonstrant's Defence, Prose Works, I. 160.


'We consider, first, what recompense God hath ordained should be given to ministers of the church; (for that a recompense ought to be given them, and may by them justly be received, our Saviour himself from the very light of reason and of equity hath declared, Luke x. 7. the labourer is worthy of his hire.)' Likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. III. 354.


'Which argues also the difficulty, or rather the impossibility to remove them quite, unless every minister were, as St. Paul, contented to preach gratis; but few such are to be found.' Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings &c. Prose Works, III. 345.


'But of all are they to be reviled and shamed, who cry out with the distinct voice of notorious hirelings, that if ye settle not our maintenance by law, farewell the Gospel.' Likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. Prose Works, III. 389.


Si vi et pecunia stat Christiana religio atque fulcitur, quid est quamobrem non æque ac Turcarum religio suspecta esse videatur? 'For if it must be thus, how can any Christian object it to a Turk, that his religion stands by force only; and not justly fear from him this reply, yours both by force and money, in the judgment of your own teachers?' Ibid. 389.


Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves.

Paradise Lost, XII. 508.

'Not long after, as the apostle foretold, hirelings like wolves came in by herds.' Considerations on the likeliest Means, &c. Prose Works, III. 358. To the same effect is quoted, in the History of Britain. Gildas's character of the Saxon clergy: 'subtle prowlers, pastors in name, but indeed wolves; intent upon all occasions, not to feed the flock, but to pamper and well-line themselves.' IV. 112. 'Immo lupi verius plerique eorum, quam aliud quidvis erant dicendi..... pinguia illis plerumque omnia, ne ingenio quidem excepto; decimis enim saginantur, improbato ab aliis omnibus ecclesiis more; Deoque sic diffidunt ut eas malint per magistratum atque per vim suis gregibus extorquere, quam vel divinæ providentiæ, vel ecclesiarum benevolentiæ et gratitudini debere.' Defensio Secunda pro Populo Anglicano. V. 246.


'Under the law he gave them tithes; under the gospel, having left all things in his church to charity and Christian freedom, he hath given them only what is justly given them. That, as well under the gospel, as under the law, say our English divines, and they only of all Protestants, is tithes; and they say true, if any man be so minded to give them of his own the tenth or twentieth; but that the law therefore of tithes is in force under the gospel, all other Protestant divines, though equally concerned, yet constantly deny.' The Likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. Prose Works, III. 354.


'Any one may perceive what iniquity and violence hath prevailed since in the church, whereby it hath been so ordered, that they also shall be compelled to recompense the parochial minister, who neither chose him for their teacher, nor have received instruction from him.' Ibid. 372 'If he give it as to his teacher, what justice or equity compels him to pay for learning that religion which leaves freely to his choice whether he will learn it, or no, whether of this teacher or of another, and especially to pay for what he never learned, or approves not?' Ibid. 380.


'They have fed themselves, and not their flocks.' Animadversions on the Remonstrants Defence. Prose Works, I. 200. 'Rambling from benefice to benefice, like ravenous wolves, seeking where they may devour the biggest.' Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, II. 303. 'Aliis fortasse in locis haud æque ministris provisum; nostris jam satis superque bene erat; oves potius appellandi quam pastores, pascuntur magis quam pascunt.' Defensio Secunda pro Populo Anglicano, V. 247


'Our great clerks think that these men, because they have a trade, (as Christ himself and St. Paul had) cannot therefore attain to some good measure of knowledge.' Animadversions on the Remonstrant's Defence, I. 162. 'This was the breeding of St. Paul, though born of no mean parent, a free citizen of the Roman empire; so little did his trade debase him, that it rather enabled him to use that magnanimity of preaching the gospel through Asia and Europe at his own charges.' Likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. III. 377. 'The church elected them to be her teachers and overseers, though not thereby to separate them from whatever calling she then found them following beside; as the example of St. Paul declares, and the first times of Christianity.' Ibid. 390.

'They pretend that their education, either at school or university, hath been very chargeable, and therefore ought to be repaired in future by a plentiful maintenance.' Likeliest Means, &c. Prose Works, III. 385. See also Animadversions on the Remonstrant's Defence, I. 193.


'I shall not decline the more for that, to speak my opinion in the controversy next moved, whether the people may be allowed for competent judges of a minister's ability. For how else can be fulfilled that which God hath promised, to pour out such abundance of knowledge upon all sorts of men in the times of the gospel? How should the people examine the doctrine which is taught them, as Christ and his apostles continually bid them do? How should they discern and beware of false prophets, and try every spirit, if they must be thought unfit to judge of the minister's abilities?' Apology for Smectymnus. Prose Works, I. 255. 'Every member of the church, at least of any breeding or capacity, so well ought to be grounded in spiritual knowledge, as, if need be, to examine their teachers themselves, Acts xvii. 11. Rev. ii. 2. How should any private Christian try his teachers, unless he be well grounded himself in the rule of Scripture by which he is taught?' Of true Religion, &c. IV. 267


'But to proceed further in the truth yet more freely, seeing the Christian church is not national, but consisting of many particular congregations —.' Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings, &c. Prose Works, III. 379.


Suis in se numeris omnes absolutæ: a Ciceronian expression which he has imitated elsewhere; speaking of the Deity:

... Through all numbers absolute, though one. Paradise Lost, VIII. 421.


It is probably owing to Milton's dislike of councils, that he describes in his epic poems the consultations of the fallen angels in terms borrowed from ecclesiastical assemblies. The devils are said to sit in secret conclave, Paradise Lost, I. 795; and their council is styled a gloomy consistory, Paradise Regained, I. 442. He also says in a letter to a friend, written in the year 1659, 'I pray that the Protestant synod, which you say is soon to meet at Leyden, may have a happy termination, which has never yet happened to any synod that has ever met before.' Prose Works. I. 40.


'That way which the apostles used, was to call a council; from which, by any thing that can be learned from the fifteenth of the Acts, no faithful Christian was debarred, to whom knowledge and piety might give entrance.' Reason of Church Government urged against Prelaty. Prose Works, I. 105.


'Let whoso will interpret or determine, so it be according to true church discipline, which is exercised on them only who have willingly joined themselves in that covenant of union.' Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes. Prose Works, III. 323.


..... At our great feast

I went into the temple, there to hear

The teachers of our law, and to propose

What might improve my knowledge or their own.

Paradise Regained I. 210.


The texts quoted in this paragraph appear to have been in Milton's mind in that passage of Paradise Lost, where Eve is represented as retiring from table as soon as she perceived from Adam's countenance that the conversation was beginning to assume an abstruse cast:

Such pleasure she reserved,

Adam relating, she sole auditress;

Her husband the relater, she preferred

Before the angel, and of him to ask

Chose rather. VIII. 50.

This same decorum is observed subsequently, when Eve is not permitted to see the vision which Michael displays to Adam from the highest hill of Paradise. On descending from the 'specular mount' to the bower where Eve had been left sleeping, the angel says to his companion,

Thou, at season fit,

Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard;

Chiefly what may concern her faith to know. XII. 597.


'Surely much rather might the heavenly ministry of the evangel bind himself about with far more piercing beams of majesty and awe, by wanting the beggarly help of halings and amercements in the use of her powerful keys.' Reason of Church Government urged against Prelaty. Prose Works, I. 131. 'The church in all ages, primitive, Romish, or Protestant, held it ever no less their duty, than the power of their keys," &c. Tenure of Kings and Magistrates. Ibid. 290.


'Quos ecclesiæ est e cœtu fidelium ejicere, non magistratuum e civitate pellere, siquidem in leges civiles non peccant.' Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio. Prose Works, V. 47. The various degrees of church censure, its design, and its effects, are described in a most eloquent passage of the treatise on Church Government &c. 1. 140-142. Compare also p. 53, 54. Of Reformation in England.


'Especially for that the church hath in her immediate cure those inner parts and affections of the mind, where the seat of reason is.' Reason of Church Government, &c. Prose Works, I. 79. 'The magistrate hath only to deal with the outward part..... God hath committed this other office, of preserving in healthful constitution the inner man, to his spiritual deputy, the minister of each congregation,' &c. Ibid. 134. 'Christ hath a government of his own... It deals only with the inward man and his actions, which are all spiritual and to outward force not liable.' Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes, III. 331.

..... this attracts the soul,

Governs the inner man, the nobler part;

That other o'er the body only reigns. Paradise Regained, III. 476.


..... truth shall retire

Bestuck with sland'rous darts, and works of faith

Rarely be found: so shall the world go on,

To good malignant, to bad men benign,

Under her own weight groaning; till the day

Appear of respiration to the just,

And vengeance to the wicked. Paradise Lost, XII, 536.


Compare Paradise Regained, III. 433. especially with reference to the passage quoted from Isaiah xxvii,

Yet he at length (time to himself best known)

Rememb'ring Abraham, by some wond'rous call

May bring them back, repentant and sincere,

And at their passing cleave the Assyrian flood,

While to their native land with joy they haste,

As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft,

When to the promised land their fathers pass'd.


When thou, attended gloriously from heav'n

Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send

The summoning archangels to proclaim

Thy dread tribunal; forthwith from all winds

The living, and forthwith the cited dead

Of all past ages, to the general doom

Shall hasten; such a peal shall rouse their sleep.

Then, all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge

Bad men and angels; they, arraign'd, shall sink

Beneath thy sentence. Paradise Lost, II. 323.

..... Thence shall come

When this world's dissolution shall be ripe,

With glory and power to judge both quick and dead. XII. 458.

Last in the clouds from heav'n to be reveal'd

In glory of the Father, to dissolve

Satan with his perverted world. Ibid. 545.


Vicegerent Son, to thee I have transferr'd

All judgment, whether in heaven, or earth, or hell.

Easy it may be seen that I intend

Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee.

Man's friend, his mediator, his design'd

Both ransom and redeemer voluntary,

And destin'd man himself to judge man fall'n. Paradise Lost, X. 56,


..... only add

Deeds to thy knowledge answerable. Paradise Lost, XII. 581.

'He who from such a kind of psalmistry, or any other verbal devotion, without the pledge and earnest of suitable deeds, can be persuaded of a real and true righteousness in the person, hath yet much to learn.' Answer to Eikon Basilike. Prose Works, II. 406.


'Veniebat; perfecturus in terris mysterium redemptionis nostræ.' Junius on Dan. vii. 13.


Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by,

For regal sceptre thou no more shalt need,

God shall be all in all. Paradise Lost, III, 339.


..... meanwhile

The world shall burn. III. 333.


'Quidam enim eorum censent peccatum originis puniri tantum pœna damni; alii vero insuper ei pœnam sensus adjungunt.' Dissertatio Secunda de Peccato Originis, Curcell. 61. 'To which two heads, all that is necessary to be known concerning this everlasting punishment may be reduced; and we shall accordingly consider it as it is both pœna damni and pœna sensus, the punishment of loss and the punishment of sense.' Beveridge. Works, Vol. II. 449. See also Taylor, Works IX. 369.


.....Tophet thence

And black Gehenna call'd, the type of hell. Paradise Lost, I. 404


In the argument to the first book of Paradise Lost, hell is described as situated 'not in the center (for heaven and earth may be supposed as yet no made, certainly not yet accursed) but in a place of utter' (i.e. outer) 'darkness, fitliest called Chaos.'


Καὶ ποῦ, φησὶ, καὶ ἐν ποίῳ χωρίῳ αὕτη ἔσται ἡ γέεννα; τί σοι τούτου μέλε; τὸ γὰρ ζηούμενον, δεῖξαι ὄτι ἐστὶν, οὐ ποῦ τεταμίευται, καὶ ἐν ποίῳ..... ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ποίῳ τόπῳ, φησὶν, ἔσται; ἔξω που, ὡς ἔγωγε οἶμαι, τοῦ κόσμου πούτου παντός. καθάπερ γὰρ τῶν βασιλείων τὰ δεσμωτήρια καὶ τὰ μέταλλα πό᾽ρ῾ρω δίεστηκεν, οὕτω δὴ καὶ τῆς εἰκουμένης ταύτης ἔξω που ἔσται ἡ γέεννα. Chrysost. in Ep. ad Rom. Homil. 31.

Milton elsewhere refers to the locality of hell:

Such place eternal justice had prepared

For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd

In utter darkness, and their portion set

As far removed from God and light of heaven,

As from the center thrice to th' utmost pole. Paradise Lost, I. 70,

Again: 'to banish forever into a local hell, whether in the air or in the center, or in that uttermost and bottomless gulf of Chaos, deeper from holy bliss than the world's diameter multiplied, they thought not a punishment so proper and proportionate for God to inflict, as to punish sin with sin.' Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. Prose Works, II. 11.


The distinction which Milton makes between the beginnings of bliss which are attainable in this life, and that perfect glorification which will ensue hereafter, coincides with the expressions in the Hymn on the Nativity:

And then at last our bliss

Full and perfect is,

But now begins, xviii. 165.


The following quotations will show that Milton took pleasure in frequently recurring to this idea.

The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring

New heav'n and earth, wherein the just shall dwell,

And after all their tribulations long

See golden days. Paradise Lost, III. 334.

Then heav'n and earth renew'd shall be made pure

To sanctity that shall receive no stain. X. 638.

..... To second life

Wak'd in the renovation of the just

Resigns him up with heav'n and earth renew'd. XI. 64.

..... till fire purge all things new,

Both heav'n and earth, wherein the just shall dwell. Ibid. 900.

..... to reward

His faithful, and receive them into bliss,

Whether in heav'n or earth; for then the earth

Shall all be Paradise, far happier place

Than this of Eden, and far happier days. XII. 461.

..... then raise

From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,

New heav'ns, new earth, ages of endless date

Founded in righteousness and peace and love,

To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.Ibid 547.

And again, in a splendid passage near the end of the treatise. On the Reformation in England: 'Thou, the eternal and shortly expected King, shalt open the clouds to judge the several kingdoms of the world, and distributing national honours and rewards to religious and just commonwealths, shall put an end to all earthly tyrannies, proclaiming thy universal and mild monarchy through heaven and earth; where they undoubtedly, that by their labours, counsels, and prayers, have been earnest for the common good of religion and their country, shall receive above the inferior orders of the blessed, the real addition of principalities, legions, and thrones into their glorious titles, and in supereminence of beatific vision, progressing the dateless and irrevoluble circle of eternity, shall clasp inseparable hands with joy and bliss, in over-measure for ever.' Prose Works, I. 58.


'What evangelic religion is, is told in two words, Faith and Charity, or Belief and Practice.' Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes. Prose Works, III. 332.


..... His obedience

Imputed becomes theirs by faith, his merits

To save them, not their own, though legal works.

Paradise Lost, XII. 408.


See page 51, note.


..... God doth not need

Either man's work or his own gifts. Sonnet XIX. 9.


..... Have my fill

Of knowledge, what this vessel can contain;

Beyond which was my folly to aspire. Paradise Lost, XII. 558.

See also VII. 120. VIII. 172.


'I will begin somewhat higher, and speak of punishment; which as it is an evil, I esteem to be of two sorts, or rather two degrees only; a reprobate conscience in this life, and hell in the other world.' Reason of Church Government urged against Prelaty. Prose Works, 1. 132.


See Grotius and Wetstein on Matt. iv. 10. and Leigh's Critica Sacra on the words δουλεύω and δουλεία;.


'He (Constantine) gave and administered occasion to bring in a deluge of ceremonies, thereby either to draw in the heathen by a resemblance of their rites, or to set a gloss upon the simplicity and plainness of Christianity, which, to the gorgeous solemnities of paganism, and the sense of the world's children, seemed but a homely and yeomanly religion.' Of Reformation in England. Prose Works, I. 18. 'This was that which made the old Christians paganize, while by their scandalous and base conforming to heathenism they did no more, when they had done their utmost, but bring some pagans to Christianize; for true Christians they neither were themselves, nor could make others in this fashion.' Animadversions upon the Remonstrant's Defence, Ibid. 171. For numerous instances of these corruptions, see the ecclesiastical historians and other authorities. The policy which led to what one of the most eloquent of living writers happily calls 'paganizing Christianity in order to christen paganism,' has found its supporters in Mosheim and Gibbon. The former says; 'in these early times it was both wise and necessary to show, in the establishment of outward forms of worship, some indulgence to the ancient opinions, manners and laws of the respective nations to whom the gospel was preached... In a word, the external forms of worship used in the times of old must necessarily have been regulated and modified according to the character, genius, and manners of the different nations, on which the light of the gospel arose.' Ecclesiastical History, I. p. 100. 'The bishops augmented the number of religious rites in the Christian worship by way of accommodation to the infirmities and prejudices both of Jews and heathens, in order to facilitate thus their conversion to Christianity,' &c. Ibid. p. 162. 'After the conversion of the Imperial city, the Christians still continued, in the month of February, the annual celebration of the Lupercalia; to which they ascribed a secret and mysterious influence on the genial powers of the animal and vegetable world.' Gibbon's Decline and Fail of the Roman Empire, chap, xxxvi. Barbeyrac (Traité la Morale des Pères, ch. v. sect. 59, &c.) accuses Clemens Alexandrinus of having permitted the heathen converts to worship the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies; but the passage alluded to, when candidly considered, seems to admit of a different construction. See Strom. Lib. VI. Cap. xiv. p. 795, 796. Edit. Oxon. The author of the Life of Gregory Thaumaturgus mentions the following instance of a concession granted to the Christians of the second century. 'Cum animadvertisset (Gregorius) quod ob corporeas delectationes et voluptates simplex et imperitum vulgus in simulacrorum cultus errore permaneret..... permisit eis, ut in memoriam et recordationem sanctorum martyrum sese oblectarent, et in lætitiam effunderentur, quod successu temporis aliquando futurum esset ut sua sponte ad honestiorem et accuratiorem vitæ rationem transirent.' In the sixth century, Gregory the First, bishop of Rome, even went so far as to rebuke Serenus, Bishop of Marseilles, for breaking the images placed in churches, stating that he was desirous of conciliating the affections of the people by permitting the use of them, as pieces of history to instruct their minds in the leading facts of Christianity. See Milner's Church History, III. 55. Acting on the same principle, he also wrote to Mellitus, a missionary proceeding to Britain, recommending certain concessions to the early converts among our own countrymen, who had been accustomed to propitiate demons, and to indulge in sacrificial feasts. Ibid. p. 79. Tertullian seems to have formed a better judgment respecting the spirit of Christianity. See the treatise De Creatione, where he complains of the unnecessary introduction of additional rites into the church, borrowed from the enemies of the true religion.


This said unanimous, and other rites

Observing none, but adoration pure,

Which God likes best. Paradise Lost, IV. 736.


'If the Lord's Prayer had been "the warrant or pattern of set liturgies," as is here affirmed, why was neither that prayer, nor any other set form ever after used, or so much as mentioned by the apostles, much less commended to our use?' Answer to Eikon Basilike. Prose Works, III. 37.


'Conformably with his opinions on this subject, Milton ascribes extemporaneous effusions to our first parents:

Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began

Their orisons, each morning duly paid

In various style; for neither various style

Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise

Their Maker, in fit strains pronounc'd, or sung

Unmeditated. Paradise Lost, V. 144.

'It is not the goodness of matter, therefore, which is not, nor can be, owed to the liturgy, that will bear it out, if the form, which is the essence of it, be fantastic and superstitious, the end sinister, and the imposition violent.' Animadversions on the Remonstrant's Defence. Prose Works, I. 173. 'Neither can any true Christian find a reason why liturgy should be at all admitted, a prescription not imposed or practised by those first founders of the church, who alone had that authority,' &c. Answer to Eikon Basilike, III. 36. Compare also the whole of the chapter entitled 'On the Ordinance against the Common Prayer Book,' from which the last quotation is taken.'


..... Sighs now breath'd

Unutterable, which the spirit of prayer

Inspired, and wing'd for heav'n with speedier flight

Than loudest oratory. Paradise Lost, XI. 5.

..... Now therefore bend thine ear

To supplication, hear his sighs though mute,

Unskilful with what words to pray. Ibid. 30.

..... This will prayer,

Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne

Ev'n to the seat of God. Ibid. 146.

'Though we know not what to pray as we ought, yet he with sighs unutterable by any words, much less by a stinted liturgy, dwelling in us makes intercession for us.' Answer to Eikon Basilike. Prose Works, III.39.


'It is his promise also that where two or three gathered together in his name shall agree to ask him any thing, it shall he granted, for he is there in the midst of them.' Answer to Eikon Basilike. Prose Works, III. 39.


'There is a large difference in the repetition of some pathetical ejaculation raised out of the sudden earnestness and vigour of the inflamed soul, (such as was that of Christ in the garden) from the continual rehearsal of our daily orisons; which if a man shall kneel down in a morning, and say over, and presently in another part of the room kneel down again, and in other words ask but still for the same things as it were out of one inventory, I cannot see how he will escape that heathenish tautology of multiplying words, which Christ himself, that has the putting up of our prayers, told us would not be acceptable in heaven.' Animadversions upon the Remonstrant's Defence. I. 166.


'Adam and Eve are represented in Paradise Lost as praying, sometimes in a standing posture, sometimes kneeling, sometimes prostrate:

Thus they, in lowliest plight repentant stood,

Praying. XI. I.

where all the commentators have mistaken the true import of the phrase.

..... Since I sought

By prayer the offended Deity to appease,

Kneel'd, and before him humbled all my heart —. Ibid. 146.

..... They forthwith to the place

Repairing where he judg'd them, prostrate fell

Before him reverent, and both confessed

Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd. X. 1098.


She as a veil down to the slender waist

Her unadorned golden tresses wore


..... which implied

Subjection. IV. 304.

See 1 Cor. xi. 15. 'her hair is given her for a covering,' where the marginal reading is for a veil.


... Sanctitude severe and pure,

Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd. Paradise Lost, IV. 293.


'Si forte in Livonia, Norvegia, Suedia, Moscovia, &c. hyberno tempore, capite adeoque et manibus tectis orant, ratio est manifesta; natura nempe cœli, ob aëris inclementiam, non patitur ut sint tum aperto capite: itaque etsi tum adversus τὸ ρ῾ητὸν hujus canonis forte faciunt non faciunt tamen adversus ejus mentem, et rationem qua nititur, consuetudinem nimirum civilem: nam tum apud eos ne supplices quidem caput forte aperire solent, aut inferiores coram superioribus, ob cœli, uti dixi, inclementiam stare.' Lud Capelli Spicilegium in 1 Cor. xi. 4. Compare however the whole passage, Sect. 1-15.


To teach thee that God attributes to place

No sanctity, if none be thither brought

By men who there frequent, or therein dwell. Paradise Lost, XI. 836.


Super populum tuum sit benedictio tua maxime. Tremell. The precatory form is not preserved in our authorized translation; thy blessing if upon thy people.


If God afterward gave or permitted this insurrection of episcopacy, it is to be feared he did it in his wrath, as he gave the Israelites a king.' Reason of Church Government urged against Prelaty. Prose Works, I. 101.


Yet, sacrilegious, to himself would take

That which to God alone of right belongs.

Paradise Regained III. 140.


In the hymn of our first parents, when

..... prompt eloquence

Flow'd from their lips in prose or numerous verse,

Milton says of the angels extolling their Maker,

..... ye behold him, and with songs

And choral symphonies, day without night,

Circle his throne rejoicing. Paradise Lost V. 161.


..... Thou know'st the magistrates

And princes of my country came in person,

Solicited, commanded, threaten'd, urg'd,

Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil duty

And of religion, press'd how just it was,

How honourable, how glorious to entrap

A common enemy, who had destroyed

Such numbers of our nation.....


..... At length that grounded maxim

So ripe and celebrated in the mouths

Of wisest men, that to the public good

Private respects must yield, with grave authority,

Took full possession of me, and prevail'd;

Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty so enjoin'd.

Sampson Agonistes, 850


..... How soon

Would height recal high thought, how soon unsay

What feign'd submission swore? ease would recant

Vows made in pain, as violent and void. Paradise Lost, IV. 94.


See the treatise Of true Religion, where after describing the twofold power, ecclesiastical and political, claimed by the Roman Catholics, Milton proceeds thus: 'Whether therefore it be fit or reasonable to tolerate men thus principled in religion towards the state, I submit it to the consideration of all magistrates, who are best able to provide for their own and the public safety. As for tolerating the exercise of their religion, supposing their state-activities not to be dangerous, I answer, that toleration is either public or private; and the exercise of their religion, as far as it is idolatrous, can be tolerated neither way: not publicly, without grievous and unsufferable scandal given to all conscientious beholders; not privately, without great offence to God, declared against all kind of idolatry, though secret. Ezek. viii. 7, 8..... Having shown thus, that popery, a being idolatrous, is not to be tolerated either in public or in private, it must now be thought how to remove it,' &c. &c. Prose Works, IV. 264.


'They will not go about to prove their idolatries by the word of God, but turn to shifts and evasions, and frivolous distinctions; idols they say are laymen's books, and a great means to stir up pious thoughts and devotion in the learnedest.' Ibid. IV. 266.


...That he may dispense with me, or thee,

Present in temples at idolatrous rites,

For some important cause, thou need'st not doubt.

Samson Agonistes. 1377.


Thus our Saviour in Paradise Regained, IV. 486.

..... what they can do as signs

Betok'ning, or ill boding, I contemn

As false portents, not sent from God, but thee:

compared with the words of Satan, v. 379, &c.

Now contrary, if I read aught in heav'n,

Or heav'n write aught of fate, by what the stars

Voluminous, or single characters,

In their conjunction met, give me to spell,

Sorrows and labours, opposition, hate,

Attends thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries,

Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death.

A kingdom they portend thee, but what kingdom,

Real or allegoric, I discern not.

These last words probably allude to the star, mentioned below, by which the birth of Christ, as 'King of the Jews,' was announced to the wise men.


'Some are ready to cry out, what shall then be done to blasphemy? Them I would first exhort not thus to terrify and pose the people with a Greek word; but to teach them better what it is, being a most usual and common word in that language to signify any slander, any malicious or evil speaking, whether against God or man, or any thing to good belonging Blasphemy , or evil speaking against God maliciously, is far from conscience in religion.' Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes. Prose Works, III. 324. 'Id esse blasphemiam quo tu pacto evinces? nisi si forte theologorum dictatis quibusvis contradicere, nunc primum blasphemia est credenda.' Auctoris pro se Defensio. Prose Works, V. 285.


'Such as these, indeed, were capitally punished by the law of Moses, as the only true heretics, idolaters, plain and open deserters of God and his known law.' Treatise of Civil Power, &c. III. 326.


.....'the body, with all the circumstances of place and time, were purified by the affections of the regenerate soul.' Of Reformation in England, Prose Works, I. 1. 'Tertius modus est adjunctorum quæ recipiuntur ad subjectum; quæ vulgo circumstantiæ nuncupantur, quia extra subjectum sunt. Hue tempus refertur.' Artis Logicæ plenior Institutio. IV. 224


Dr. William Ames, a Puritan divine in the time of James and Charles the First, and Professor of Divinity in the University of Franeker, a town of the Netherlands, in Friesland. It was partly from the work quoted above, and partly from The Abridgment of Christian Divinitie by Wolebius, that Milton, according to Phillips, compiled for the use of his pupils a system of divinity, which they wrote on Sundays at his dictation. An English translation of Ames's treatise was published by order of the House of Commons in 1642, under the title of The Marrow of Sacred Divinity, drawne out of the Holy Scriptures and the Interpreters thereof, and brought into method. It is divided into two books, of which the first, entitled On Faith in God, contains forty-one chapters, and the second, On Observance toward God, twenty-two. It is quite evident that Milton has frequently availed himself of this volume, both in the distribution of his subject and arrangement of the chapters, which frequently coincides with that of Ames, and in particular passages and applications of Scripture; though their opinions differ materially on several important points. The translation is very badly executed, as the version of the passage quoted in the text will show. "That rule therefore of interpreting the Scriptures which is wont to be delivered by some, is not universally true; that all those duties [are] morall and immutable, which have morall and immutable reasons joyned to them; except it be thus understood, that those duties doe follow upon those reasons, no special command coming betweene." Milton quotes in his Tetrachordon the definition of marriage given by Ames, and passes a just censure on it. See Prose Works, II. 141. The Treatise of Wollebius is also divided into two parts, On the Knowledge and on the Worship of God, the first comprised in thirty-six, and the second in fourteen chapters. The plan of the latter division is very similar to the corresponding portion of Milton's work, and not only the arguments, but even whole sentences are sometimes almost identically the same.


See Book I. Chap, xxvii. and the note in p. 90. To what is there said may be added the following passage from A Brief History of Moscovia. Milton is speaking of the Russian church. 'They hold the ten commandments not to concern them, saying that God gave them under the law, which Christ by his death on the cross had abrogated.' Prose Works, IV, 280.


'What but a vain shadow else is the abolition of those ordinances, that hand-writing nailed to the cross? What great purchase is this Christian liberty which Paul so often boasts of? His doctrine is, that he who eats or eats not, regards a day, or regards it not, may do either to the Lord.' Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing. Prose Works, 1. 327.


'It would be helpful to us if we might borrow such authority as the rhetoricians by patent may give us, with a kind of Promethean skill to shape and fashion this outward man into the similitude of a body.' Reason of Church Government urged against Prelaty. Prose Works, I. 133. 'Malui abs te decerpta transcribere, quæ tu Aristoteli, ut ignem Jovi Prometheus, ad eversionem monarcharum, et perniciem ipsius tuam, surripuisti.' Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio, V. 115.


'They ought to know, or to remember, that not examples, but express commands oblige our obedience to God or man.' The likeliest Means to remove Hirelings, &c. III. 357.


'God delights not to make a drudge of virtue, whose actions must be all elective and unconstrained.' Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. Prose Works, II. 51.


'What would ye say now, grave fathers, if you should wake and see unworthy bishops, or rather, no bishops, but Egyptian task-masters of ceremonies, thrust purposely upon the groaning church, to the affliction and vexation of God's people?' Of Reformation in England, I. 13.


'As therefore the seventh day is not moral, but a convenient recourse of worship in fit season, whether seventh or other number —.' The Likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church. Prose Works, III. 367.


Several of these divines are elsewhere mentioned by Milton in terms of commendation. 'Bucer (whom our famous Dr. Rainolds was wont to prefer before Calvin) in his comment on Matthew, and in his second book of the kingdom of Christ... This book he wrote here in England, where he lived the greatest admired man.' Tetrachordon. Prose Works, II. 232. See also the address to the Parliament, prefixed to the Judgment of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce, 68-78. Peter Martyr is twice quoted with reference to the same subjects. Ibid. 67, 233. Musculus is also called 'a divine of no mean fame.' Ibid. 233. In proof of Milton's assertion that these divines agree with him on the subject of the sabbath, the following passages may be cited from their respective works. 'Sic de sabbatho. Quod septimo die, illa quæ a Judæis observatur numeratione, ab omni opere servili vacandum erat, præceptum legis externum fuit, solis Judæis, quibus datum exstitit, observandum, &c..... Hæc ergo ad nos pertinent, illa Judæis recte relinquuntur.' BUCER in sacra quatuor Evangelia Enarrat. Perpet. ad Matt. x. 9. 'Cæterum non dubium quin Domini Christi advento, quod cæremoniale hic [in sabbatho] erat, abolitum fuerit. Ipse enim veritas est, cujus præsentia figuræ omnes evanescunt... Ideo sublatam umbram fuisse rei futuræ alibi scribit apostolus; corpus exstare in Christo, hoc est, solidam veritatis substantiam, quam illo loco bene explicavit. Ea non uno die contenta est, sed toto vitæ nostræ cursu, donec penitus nobis-metipsis mortui, Dei vita impleamur. A Christianis ergo abesse debet superstitiosa dierum observatio,' &c. &c. CALVIN. Instit. Christian, cap. viii. Sect. 31. See also Comment. in quinque libros Mosis, nearly at the end of the preface to the remarks on the Mosaic law. 'Deinde quod locum Pauli Heb. iii. et iv. concernit, notandum est illud hodie non esse alligandum septimo diei, sed exigere a nobis perpetuam obedientiam verbo Dei præstandam. Est enim nobis perpetuus sabbathismus, quo coram Deo in spiritu comparentes, majestatem illius celebramus, cum adoratione invocamus, ac vocem illius audimus; verum hic sensus et modus iste mystici sabbathismi non excludit ecclesiasticorum conventuum usum, sicut hodie fanatici quidam homines somniant, ac seipsos una cum aliis ab ecclesiæ conventibus abducunt.' MUSCULUS, Comment. in Psalm. xcv. 8. 'Cum igitur sabbathum septimani diei typus fuerit, admonens populem et de suo officio, sive de pietate erga Deum, et de beneficio Dei erga populum per Christum præstando, una cum aliis cæremoniis, adventu Christi, per quem est impletum quod illa significabant, abrogatum est. Quod etiam Paulus testatur Col. ii.' 1 &c. &c. URSINUS, Tractat. Theolog. in expositione Quarti Præcepti. 'Christiani respondent Judæis... sabbathum abrogatum ratione cæremoniæ et geminæ circumstantiae, &c... deinde observatione septimi illius diei definiti. Quo modo appendix erat legis moralis, ad populum Judaicum solum pertinens.' GOMARUS, Oper. Theolog. in Explicatione Ep. ad Colossenses , cap. ii. PETER MARTYR, however, seems to hold a different opinion. 'Qui autem robustiori fide erant præditi, illi omnes dies perinde habuerunt. Dominicam tamen diem excipimus; pertinet enim ad decalogum, ut ex hebdomada integra unus dies divino cultui consecretur,' &c. Comment, in Ep. ad Romanos, cap. xiv.


Be penitent, and for thy fault contrite;

But act not in thy own affliction, son;

Repent the sin; but if the punishment

Thou canst avoid, self-preservation bids:

Or th'execution leave to high disposal,

And let another hand, not thine, exact

Thy penal forfeit for thyself; perhaps

God will relent, and quit thee all his debt;

Whoever more approves, and more accepts,

(Best pleas'd with humble and filial submission)

Him who, imploring mercy, sues for life,

Than who, self-rigorous, chooses death as due;

Which argues over-just, and self-displeas'd

For self-offence, more than for God offended.

Sampson Agonistes, 502.


Abstinence in diet, says a biographer of Milton, was one of his favourite virtues, which he practised invariably through life, and availed himself of every opportunity to recommend in his writings. He is reported to have partaken rarely of wine or of any strong liquors. In his Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, the following passage occurs: 'How great a virtue is temperance, how much of moment through the whole life of man.' Yet God commits the managing so great a trust, without particular law or prescription, wholly to the demeanour of every grown man.' Prose Works, I. 290. Again, in Paradise Lost:

..... well observe

The rule of not too much, by temperance taught,

In what thou eat'st and drink'st, seeking from thence

Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,

Till many year? over thy head return. XI. 530.

See also Sampson Agonistes, 542, &c. and the second elegy to Deodati. In the Apology for Smetctymnuus, he vindicates himself with some indignation against the charge of being a sack-drinker, which one of his opponents had brought against him. He concludes his defence with the following sentence. 'For the readers [of the book in which the accusation appeared] if they can believe me, principally for those reasons which I have alleged, to be of life and purpose neither dishonest nor unchaste, they will be easily induced to think me sober both of wine and of word; but if I have been already successless in persuading them, all that 1 can further say will be but vain; arid it will be better thrift to save two tedious labors, mine of excusing, and theirs of needless hearing.' 1 Prose Works, I. 126.


Milton's habit of early rising is mentioned by all his biographers. In summer he rose at four, in winter at five; or if he remained in bed beyond these hours, he employed a person to read to him from the time of his awaking. He has left the following account of his mode of living during his early years in the Apology for Smectymnuus. 'Those morning haunts are where they should be, at home; not sleeping, or concocting the surfeits of an irregular feast, but up and stirring, in winter, often ere the sound of any bell awake men to labour or devotion; in summer as oft with the bird that first rouses, or not much tardier, to read good authors, or cause them to be read, till the attention be weary, or memory have its full fraught: then with useful and generous labours preserving the body's health and hardiness to render lightsome, clear, and not lumpish obedience to the mind, to the cause of religion, and our country's liberty, when it shall require firm hearts in sound bodies to stand and cover their stations, rather than to see the ruin of our protestation, and the inforcement of a slavish life.' Prose Works, I. 220.


The same enemy of Milton who was alluded to in a preceding page as charging him with intemperance in drinking, also accuses him of licentiousness, and of frequenting 'play-houses and the bordelloes'. The, imputation is thus repelled: 'Having had the doctrine of Holy Scripture, unfolding those chaste and high mysteries, with timeliest care infused, that the body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body, thus also I argued to my self, that if unchastity in a woman, whom St. Paul terms the glory of man, be such a scandal and dishonour, then certainly in a man, who is both the image and glory of God, it must, though commonly not so thought, be much more deflowering and dishonourable; in that he sins both against his own body, which is the perfecter sex, and his own glory, which is in the woman; and that which is worst, against the image and glory of God, which is in himself. Nor did I slumber over that place expressing such harsh rewards of ever accompanying the Lamb, with those celestial songs to others inapprehensible, but not to those who were not defiled with women, which doubtless means fornication, for marriage must not be called a defilement. Thus large I have purposely been, that if I have been justly taxed with this crime, it may come upon me, after all this my confession, with a ten fold shame; but if I have hitherto deserved no such opprobrious word or suspicion, I may hereby engage myself now openly to the faithful observation of what I have professed.' Apology for Smectymnuus. Prose Works, I. 226. See also the noble passage in Comus; 418-475.


This distinction is well illustrated in the character of Samson, throughout the drama which bears that name.


But ye will say, these (the prophets) had immediate warrant from God to be thus bitter; and I say, so much the plainlier is it proved, that there may be a sanctified bitterness against the enemies of truth.' Apology for Smectymnuus. Prose Works, I. 232.


... Aside the devil turn'd

For envy, yet with jealous leer malign

Ey'd them askance. Paradise Lost, IV. 502.

I reck not, so it light well aim'd,

Since higher I fall short, on him who next

Provokes my envy, this new favourite

Of Heaven, this man of clay. IX. 173.


... Th' unjust the just hath slain,

For envy that his brother's offering found

From Heav'n acceptance. XI. 455.


A scrupulous attention is paid throughout Paradise Lost to this duty and inferiors are generally represented as showing their respect to person ages of superior dignity in the manner here mentioned. Thus it is said of the fallen angels worshipping Satan:

... Towards him they bend

With awful reverence prone. II. 477.

Of the holy angels in heaven:

... Lowly reverent

Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground

With solemn adoration down they cast

Their crowns. III. 349.

Of the angels stationed to guard Paradise, at the appearance of Raphael:

... To his state

And to his message high in honour rise,

For on some message high they guessed him bound. V. 288.

Of Adam in presence of Raphael:

... Though not aw'd,

Yet with submiss approach and rev'rence meek,

As to superior nature bowing low,

Thus said. Ibid. 353.

Of the Messiah when leaving the Father to go against the rebel angels

... He o'er his sceptre bowing, rose

From the right hand of glory where he sat. VI. 746.

Of Eve before the tree of knowledge:

From the tree her step she turn'd;

But first low reverence done, as to the Pow'r

That dwelt within. IX. 834.

Thus also in his early poem of Arcades:

-The great mistress of yon princely shrine,

Whom with low reverence I adore as mine. 36.


'Dissimulavit enim, sod sine mendacio, et pia fraude intercepit Jahel hostem Domini, quam rem Spiritus Sanctus probat, infra cap. v, 4.' Junius in loc.


This appears to be a favourite allusion with Milton.

... All these, upwhirl'd aloft,

Fly o'er the backside of the world far off

Into a Limbo large and broad, since call'd

The Paradise of Fools. Paradise Lost. III. 493.

'That mysterious iniquity, provoked and troubled at the first entrance of reformation, sought out new Limboes and new Hells wherein they might include out books also within the number of their damned.' Aereopagitica Prose Works, I. 295. To which may be added Apology for Smectymus, Ibid. 262. Te Deum has a snatch in it of limbus patrum; as if Christ had not 'opened the kingdom of heaven, before he had over come the sharpness of death.'


Richardson says that Milton 'had a gravity in his temper, not melancholy, or not till the latter part of his life, not sour, morose, or ill-natured; but a certain severity of mind, a mind not condescending to little things.' Remarks, p. xv. 'In his whole deportment,' says Symmons, 'there was visible a certain dignity of mind, and a something of conscious superiority, which could not at all times be suppressed or wholly with drawn from observation. His temper was grave, without any taint of melancholy.' Vol. VII. p. 512.


Compare on this head, and with the three next paragraphs, the following passages from Symmons. 'Of this great man the manners are universally allowed to have been affable and graceful, the conversation cheerful, instructive and engaging. His youngest daughter ... affirmed that 'he was delightful company; the life of the conversation, not only on account of his flow of subject, but of his unaffected cheerfulneis and civility.' Isaac Vossius describes him as 'comem afabilem, multisque aliis? praeditum virtutibus.' Burmann. Syll. III. 618. So also N. Heiusius; 'Virum esse miti comique ingenio aiunt, quique aliam non habuisse se cansam profitetur Scribonium acerbe insectandi, quam quod ille et viros e maximis celeberrimisque multos nihil benignius, exceperit, et quod in universam Anglorum gentem conviciis atrocissimis injurius valde fuerit.' Burmann. Syll. III. 276. Salmasius is here alluded to under the name of Scribonius.


εὐτραπελία 'Nomen medium, proprie significat concinnam mutationem, et intra virtutes morales ah Aristotele numeratur, urbanitas. Sed in Novo Testamento in malam partem usurpatur pro scurrilitate. Eam vocem pro scurrilitate apostolus posuit, quod plerumque qui urbanitatem affectant, a medio virtutis aberrantes, ad scurrilitatem declinent. Qua in significatione etiam Pindarus poeta Graecam vocem usurpasse legitur. Itaque recte noster interpres scurrililatem vertit'. Estius in locum. See Leigh's Critica Sacra, Seblenser, Wetstein, Eisner, and Macknight.


'The Spirit of God, who is purity itself, when he would reprove any fault severely, or but relate things done or said with indignation by others, abstains not from some words not civil at other times to be spoken, &c. &c...... whereas God, who is the author both of purity and eloquence, chose this phrase as fittest in that vehement character wherein he spake, otherwise that plain word might have easily been foreborne: which the masoreths and rabbinical scholiasts not well attending, have often used to blur the margent with Keri instead of Ketiv, and gave us this inpulse rule out of their Talmud, 'that all words which in the law are written obscenely, must be changed to more civil words;' fools, who would teach men to read more decently than God thought good to write.' Apology for Smectymuus. Prose Works, I. 233. 'Ask a Talmudist what ails the modesty of his marginal Keri, that Moses and all the prophets cannot persuade him to pronounce the textual Ketiv. Areopagitica, Ibid. 300. 'Tu fortasse, ut sunt fere hypocritae, verbis tetrici, rebus obscoeni, ne ipsum quidem Mosen ista noxa immunem abs te dimiseris; cum alibi saepius, tum etiam ubi Phineae hasta qua parte mulierm transfixerit, si qua fides Hebraeis aperte narrat... Non te Salomonis Euphemismi censorum, non prophetarum scripta tuam turpiculi immo nonnunquem plane obscoeni censuram effugerint, quoties Masorethis et Rabbnia, pro eo quod diserte scriptum est, suum libet Keri adscribere. Ad me quod attinet, fateor malle uno cum sacris scriptoribus εὐθυ᾽ρ῾ρήμονα quem cum futilibus Rabbinis εὐσχήμονα. Auctoris pro se Defensio. V.299


'Usury, so much as is permitted by the magistrate, and demanded with common equity, is neither against the word of God, nor the rule or charity; as hath been often discussed by men of eminent learning and judgement.' Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, Prose Works, II. 24.


My author and disposer, what thou bidd'st

Unargu'd I obey; so God ordains;

God is thy law, thou mine. Paradise Lost, IV. 635.

Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey

Before his voice, or was she made thy guide,

Superior, or but equal, that to her

Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place

Wherein God set thee above her made of thee

And for thee, whose perfection far excelled

Hers in all real dignity. X. 145.

... To thy husband's will

Thine shall submit; lie over thee shall rule. Ibid. 195.

See also Tetrachordon: 'But St. Paul ends the controversy that indelible character of priority which God crowned him with.' Prose Works, II. 121, 122.


'Nevertheless, as I find that Grotius on this place hath observed, the Christian emperors, Theodosius the second, and Justinian, men of high wisdom and reputed piety, decreed it to be a divorcive fornication, if the wife attempted either against the knowledge, or obstinately against the will of her husband, such things as gave open suspicion of adulterizing, as the wilful haunting of feasts, and invitations with men not of her near kindred, the lying forth of her house without probable cause, the frequenting of theatres against her husband's mind,' &c. Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, II. 45.


It will he remembered that Milton was reproached by his enemies with having been a schoolmaster. In the Transposer Rehearsed, written by R. Leigh, Oxon. 1673, 12mo. he is called a Latin Secretary and an English Schoolmaster, p. 128. and Salmasius in his posthumous reply to the 'Defence of the People of England,' describes him as 'ludimagister in schola triviali Londinensi.' Newton and Symmons have vindicated him from this crime with more seriousness than the charge seems to deserve.


Milton, when speaking of his mother, particularly notices her charitable disposition. 'Londini sum natus..... matre probatissima, et eleemosynis per viciniam potissimum nota.' Defensio Secunda pro Populo Anglicano. Prose Works, V. 230.


Definiendo enim explicat, nequis errare et opiniones hinc stolidas aucupari possit, qui sint magistrate potestatis hujus ministri, et quam ob causam subjectos esse nos hortetur; 'Magistratus non sunt timori bonis operibus, sed malis; boni a potestale hac laudem adipiscentur; magistratus minister est Dei nostro bono dalus; non frustra gladium gerit, vindex ad iram ei qui malum facit.'' Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio. Prose Works, V. 87.


See on this and the following paragraph the treatise On Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes, throughout. Again, in the History of Britain: 'While they taught compulsion without convincement, which not long before they complained of as executed unchristianly against themselves, these intents are clear to have been no better than antichristian; setting up a spiritual tyranny by a secular power, to the advancing of their own authority above the magistrate, whom they would have made their executioner to punish church-delinquencies, whereof civil laws have no cognizance.' Prose Works, IV. 84. This was one of the paragraphs omitted for political reasons in all the early editions of the History of Britain. It appeared first in the collection of Milton's Works published in 2 vols. folio, 1733.


'Why did he lay restraints, and force enlargements upon our consciences in things for which we were to answer God only and the church.' God bids us be subject for conscience sake, that is, as to a magistrate, and in the laws, not usurping over spiritual things, as Lucifer beyond his sphere. Answer to Eikon Basilike. Prose Works, III. 34.


'Neither God nor nature put civil power into the hand's of any whomsoever, but to a lawful end, and commands our obedience to the authority of law only, not to the tyrannical force of any person.' Answer to Eikon Basilike. Prose Works, III. 52. 'Que autem potestas, qui magistratus, contraria his facit, neque ilia, neque hic, a Deo proprie ordinatus est. Unde neque tali vel potestati vel maeristratui subjectio debetur aut praecipitur, neque nos prudenter obsistere prohibemur.' Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio. V. 88.


This is a remarkable passage, considering the prominent part taken by the author not only against the monarchy, but against the monarch himself. It is evident that his experience of the miseries caused by the civil disturbances of those evil times had taught him that a regard to the general good might sometimes render a temporary sacrifice of abstract rights not inconsistent with the sincerest love of political or religious liberty.


For Milton's opinion of the value of the Scriptures as teachers of political wisdom, see Paradise Regained, IV. 353.

Their orators thou then extoll'st, as those,

The top of eloquence, statists indeed,

And lovers of their country, as may seem;

But herein to our prophets far beneath,

As men divinely taught, and better teaching

The solid rules of civil government

In their majestic unaffected style

Than all the oratory of Greece and Rome.

In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt

What makes a nation happy, and keeps it so,

What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat;

These only with our law best form a king.

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