Polhill - Houston-Packer Collection BT770 .P7 1675

PRECIOUS 1. CONSIDERED in its Nature, Workiir; and Growth, 73' bo' By Edward Polhill of raß ii skifffx, Etq; LONDON, Printed for Vonyas Cockerib' t ttle Atha in Cornhil near the Roy- al-Exchange, i 6 7 5.

To the CHRISTIAN Reader. HE that with ferious eyes looks on that dreadful fpe- acle, lapfed Angels lying in Chains of Darknefs for ever, and that for one Sin, may very well fiand and wonder at the Sal- vation. of Men ; in which worms are as it were An;elized and little lumps of corrupted duff are frfi refined by Grace, and then transfigured into Glory. The pure Orig ine of this great Work is no other than the Divine Grace and Love, which have fo fairly pourtraied and limned out them - A 2 fel 've.s

TO the Chrìftian Reader. felves upon every pieee of it,that all the Saints above and below may read the CháraEt`rs thereof ; and have reafon to cry out , Grace, Grace. Indeed heaven and Eattll t000uld ring with the Praifes of it, and Eternity it felf will be (hort enough to be- hold and admire it in. To coin- pafs this Glorious defign the Son of God left his Fathers Boforn, and appeared in our Flefh, to make a Robe for us of his own Righteoufnefs , and a Laver for us in his own Blood. Our Na- ture in -him is now in Heaven, and his Spirit is defeended to im- prefs his Image on us thereby to make us meet for that Bleffed Region, to fecure all to us. Hea- ven bath let down a great Char- ter in the precious Gofpel , in which we have a Map of Glory, and

To the Chrz flian Reader. and Eternal Life let before us;. to elevate our Souls , which are fparks of -Immortality, out of. the duff and rubbish of the Fall, And to fet them afpirin after the true Pleafures And Beatitudes which are above. That we may.not mi- flake our way, or faint in it, the holy. Spirit bath in the Gofpel drawn many lines of Holinefs and Comfort:There are pure Precepts to chalk our the Way to Heaven, and fweet Promifes to cordial us therein ; and to give us fome. Tapes of Heaven before we come there.. The great condition of this Sal vation which -ftreams down out of the fountain of Grace through the Blood of Chrift into the Evangelical Promifes, is no other than Faith. This is the Au- rora of Glory, Heaven and Eter -. nal Life dawn in it ; This, is the. Hypo-

To the Chrif ian Reader. klypof a f s of Things hoped for. It prefentiates the Celefrial Pa- radife, and in force fort fets the Believer by the rivers of Pleafures which are there: This receives all from Grace,and afcribes all to it, prompting the Believer to confefs touching his Spiritual Being and Working, By the Grace of God I am what I am, and by the Grace of God I do what I do. This u- nites to Chrifr, wraps up it felf in his Righteoufnefs, feafts on his precious Body and Blood unto Life Eternal, and furrenders up Heart and Life to the bleffed dint of his Spirit and Word. 'Walking on in holy Precepts it drinks Comfort out of Promifes, following hard after Holinefs it meets with Peace, fuch as paífes underftanding; overcoming earth with all its Troops of vanity, it afcends

To the Chriftian Reader. afcends and takes Heaven by vio- lence ; and renting off the dark veil of Time, it looks into Eter- nity, and afpires after that Plifs- making Vifon, which is the true Center of it. Where this Grace is, there the Gofpel is not in word only, but in power : The Truth Rands not meerly without in the letter, but is entertained within, and fprings up in the Heart as a feed of Immortal Happinefs. The Divine Excel- lencies of this noble Grace have drawn out my Thoughts in the enfuing Difcourfe now offered to publick view. The Errata's and Infirmities in it beg the Rea- ders kind Indulgence : And holy Truths therein call for a Pra &ical Improvement. If but any Mite may get into the Treafury, if any thing thereby may ..

To the Chriian Reader. may redound to the Glory of God, or profit of Men, it is enough ; and a fufficient re- compence for him, who is A Lover of Truth, Ecdn'. Pelyáll. P T'. E- E> > ) -7 .4. 11 11 1 .ei. pAg.7. ÿ. read Philofophers. p.49. 1.17. r. 'elopes. p. 68. 1. t t. Law-dangers. p. 84. 1.9. Chriíi as God is the ultitñate objeft of Faith. p.2 9.1. t. ishabnd. p. lo 1. 1.28. Grace. p.ti6. 1.1. beides thee. p.2.io.1.12. t' rr,rca.p.27o. iv;t?e%saT6-. p.273 die Apoitles. p.s-' 7 l.lall, belicíred. p.344. 1.31. Vine.

PRECIOUS FAIT. CHAP. I. Some general acceptions of the mord Faith in Scripture, premifed. Precious Faith de- faribed, and confidered in the general na.. tare of it, a it is a grace of the Holy Spirit. H E word [Faith] hath many ac -. ceptions in Scripture,among which I (hall touch upon force. Sometimes it imports the Go- ff el or objeh of Faith ; thus St. Paul preached the. faith, Gal. 1.23. that is, the :Gofpel,which is worthy to be fo called , .becaufe it is the great Engine, which lets down Gods faith to menand catches up mens faith to God. 1 Some-

ppaectouo Oaít . Sometimes it imports a dogmatical or Maori- cal Faith, which is an aWent to the word of God as true and infallible: thus the very devils be- lieve a God, and (which is more then many fin - ful worms do) they tremble, 3am.2. i9. Sometimes it imports a temporary Faith,which is but a dogmatical faith, budding and bloffom- ing with force tarts and joys in the things of God: thus the ftony ground received the word with joy, Mat. i 3.2 0. Sometimes it imports a miraculous Faith, which by a fpecial infin6 gives fach a touch up- on the power of God, as to produce wonderful effeas in nature ; a grain of this is enough to re- move mountains, Mat. 7.2 0. Sometimes it imports faving Faith, called by the Apoli le precious Faith, 2 Fet.r.r. Omitting the refl, I iihall fix my Difcourfe up- on this, and that upon a double account. Firl }, This precious faith virtually includes the refl. In Faith in the fide notion, there is only the Gofpel or objet ftanding alone by it fell, but in this faith the a6t and the objed are in fweet conjunction ; the foul is Gofpellized , and the Gofpel, which outwardly runs in the letter, is inwardly glorified in the believers heart. In dogmatical faith there is an affent to the truths of God, and fo there is in precious faith, but in a more eminent manner ; the hi-fi embracing the Gofpel only in its naked truth, and hiftory is but a dead and a cold notion, but the fecond embra cing the fame in its goodnefs and fpiritual myfle- ry, carries life and warmth in it : temporary faith

- Ple UMW . Aití}. faith bath fome joys in the things of God,but precious faith bath the fame in a more excellent way ; the former is but a flafh and away,a flow- er without a root,the Gofpel is not radicated in him,but lies as it were upon the furface of his heart : Jefus Chrift is not entirely received by him, but by parcels only;hence a little form of perfecution blows off all the bloffoms of his joy, but the latter is a thing of a higher excellency and permanency. In the true believer the Go- fpel is intimately rooted,and Chrifl impartially received,even crofs and all : Hence fuck an one can joy in tribulations,and under oflielions wait for confolations. Miraculous faith can work wonders,and fo can precious too:the firft works wonders in the body of nature,by a touch upon Almighty power, and the fecond works won- ders in the fouls of men, by a touch upon Al- mighty grace. A grain of this can remove fpiri- tuai mountains,mountains of guiltinefs off from the Confcience, mountains of hardnefs off from the Will, and mountains of earthinefs off from the Affections : outward miracles in the Chur- ches infancy followed believers for a while, Mark r6. 17. but inward miracles are ever found in them ; and no wonder, for the exceed- ing greatnefiof Gods power is unto them that be- lieve, Epb. r.19. Secondly, This precious faith doth compleat the noblefr inftina in man ; I paean, that natu- ral pulfe which he hath after happinefs. All men would be happy, but none ever hit upon it till faith carne. The Pagans by natural light E z have

322eeíotio_ Foíti1. have fame knowledge of God, the fupreain good, but the only accefs to him is by faith. The Philofophers, whole profeffion was the flu- dy of wifdom, and whofe lamp of reafon burn- ed brighter then others, were no better then De civit at. the blind Sodomites, unable to find the door of Dei./. 19. happinefs. Hence, as St. Aultin relates out of c. t Varrn, the Philofophers might be divided into two hundred eighty eight Sees about the chief good, which faith can indubitably immediately point at. Some Philofophers placed mans hap - pinefs in pleafures, which yet are but the fad .. transformations of men into bruits. Some in honours, which yet are but great fervituder, which made the Noble Charles the fife weep o-' ver his Son, upon whofe fhoulders, at his re- tire out of the world, he left the burden of a Crown. Some in riches, which yet aye but thorns choaking that precious feed of the word, which would grow up (if embraced) into life eternal. Others,which were better marks-men, in moral virtues, yet even thefe (as a learned man obferves) are but circa res humans, their fphear is but humane convert ; and they do not (as faith) elevate the foul into a conjunction with God, which is the only true happinefs. When the Apofile in his Catalogue of graces (which miniver an entrance into the everlafling kingdom) puts in temperance and patience, 2 Pet.r.6. he fpeaks of them as Graces, not as meer moral virtues, but as Chriftianized by Faith, which in that place is fet in the van. But waving the Pagan world , let us come to the

131eciott Pitt). the Chriftian. There the way of life is clearly manifefted ; yet none, void of faith, ever trod a right fiep in it, nay, nor fpiritually difcerned it,unto them that are without all things are in pa- rables, Mark 4.r r. to the unbeliever, thoùgh never fo great a Scholar, Chrifl and grace and heaven are but as it were -in parables. The Kohathites (whofe name,as a learned man ob- ferves, is derived from ftupidity) carried the holy things covered, and fo do all the unrege- nerate Rabbies in the Church, till faith waken them,out of the ftuporcf the fall: they difcern not fpiritually the beatitude objectively expofed to view in the Gofpel, till faith draw off the nail from their hearts, but as foon as that is done, the way into the holy of Holies is mani- feft, and paffable, and fo the noble inlfind af- ter happinefs receives a compleature. Now this precious faith, being precious in the leali minim of it, may be conlidered either in its 1ìrfi and loweft meafure, or in its fruits and glori- ous progreffes. In its hi-fi and loweft meafure, it is the very condition of the Gofpel, and puts a man by virtue thereof into a flate of falvati- on; whofoever believeth, even with the leafl degree of precious faith, (hall be faved. I (hall therefore firft treat of it according to the lewefl ineafure, which hath falvation entailed on it, and then proceed to the progref es and fruits thereof ; and according to the loweft meafure, it may be thus defcribed. Precious Faith is a grace of the holy Spirit, whereby the heart fu- pernaturally illuminated, Both fo believe the te- B 3 fiimonn

Plectouo . äítí?. Jlimony of God in the facred Scriptures, as irk a way of trait or dependance to refign andyield up it f if unto Jefrs Chrift as Mediator, and in, and through him unto God, according to his word. In general, it is a grace of the holy Spirit : in fpe- cial, there is in it, firft afupernatural illumina- tion, which is as the womb of the morning, in which this child of light is conceived, and then (which is the .firft -born of that light) there is a belief of the teJtimony of God: and lafily (which makes up the total firm of this grace) there is a dependant yielding or refignation of the foul unto the Mediator, and through him to God, according to the word. I ihall in order treat of all thefe, and fo unfold the defcription at large. The firft thing is, in generali faith is a grace of the holy Spirit. The famous Sr. Auftin once let drop a firange word : It is faid (faith he) God worketh all in all, but not, he believeth all in al' ; therefore, that we believe, is our own but that we work good, it is Gods, who giveth the holy Spirit to believers ; but the good man foon 4uj. Re_ called it back again, Profe&'o non dicerem, truly Ira-J.44 I Jhould not have faid it, if I had then known rc.23. faith to be the gift of God. The Pelagian of old underfiood by grace only, their own free- will, and the Gofpel- doEtrine ; hence that im- pious fàying of theirs refuted by St. Auftin, à Deo habemus, quod homines litmus, à nobis ip- fs, quod jufti fumus : faith with them was but the ifhue of their own free -will, and it is no o- ther with the Socinians.Peccatum originis (faith the RacovianCatechilrn)nul+'u a prorfas elt,gaeare ,nec

Ptectoüo iTAftb. 7 nee liberum arbitrium vitiare potuit, there was not fo much as a bruife of free -will in the fall ; we have a free power of our own to believe,but what faith the Scripture ? Vnto you ixceeía;o it it gratuitoufly given to believe, Phil. I. 29. and faith is called the Spirit of Faith, 2 Cor. . 13. becaufe it is not from our own fpirit ; and in exprefs terms, the grace of God, Atli r r. 23 it lodges in mans heart, as a beam ofthat eter- nal grace which is in Gods : and to make this clear I (hall offer three things. Firfi, This precious faith is a thing above the natural faculty of man. There is in man a natu- ral faith or believingfaculty , and the very Phi - ofophers would call for it from their Scholars; but as it is in the fall of a houfe, not this or that beam falls, but all comes down at once : fo it was in the fall of man, not this or that natural faculty fell, but all together , and among the reif, the believing faculty fell alfo : hence as it lyes in the duff and rubbith of the fall, it centers in the creature, and without the elevation of grace, it can in no wife lift up it felf to God and Chrift. We are begotten again to a lively hope by the refurreEtion of jefus Chrift faith the Apoftle, r Pet. r.3. Obferve, there muft be a touch from Chrift in glory, or elfe there will be no elevation ; Chrift muff fall apprehend us, Phil.3.1_2. or elfe our believing faculty is but as a dead hand , unable to apprehend him. Secondly, This precious faith is a thing a- bove moral virtue. There is a vafl difference B 4 be-

101ctfouo fact!). between moral virtues and fpiritual graces: the feeds of moral virtues are found in lapfed na- ture, but of fpiritual graces there are none at all in it , nothing but a . naked capacity. Moral virtues do from thòfe natural feeds bud and fpring forth into being under the common in- fluence of the fpirit, but fpiritual graces, not being feeded in nature, are meer infufìons or creations ; the feed of God mull drop down from heaven into the heart, or elfe thefe can- not exill:hence the Apòflle in contradiflintion to the virtues of men calls them the virtues of God, a Pet.2.9. fuch a thing is faith, of a no- bler extra ion then all the moral virtues in the world. thirdly, This precious Faith advances both our natural faculties and our moral virtues. It advances our natural faculties, and fo (news it Pelf what it is : grace is nature elevated above it felf, a reafon with an heavenly light in it, a will with an holy law in it, and affections as it were upon the wings of Angels, (oaring into the upper world. After fuch fort doth faith elevate the humane faculties:when faith comes, God fhines into the heart, and then the Rea - fon, which before had a cloud on it, fparkles out as a pearl in the Sun -beams ; the day -liar is up in the heart, and whileft others live by candlelight, the believer bath the Sun ; then the will which lay in its lulls as a llave in its chains, is fet upon. the wheel and made free indeed , then the affe Iions, which convened among the tombs of the creatures, are no lon- ger

PPztctougi 2aitb. ger here, but are rifen zwith Chrifl to, rely the things above. Moreover, it advances moral virtues alfo , it grafts them upon a nobler flock , they are no longer meer bloffoms of reafon, but fruits of the fpirit. Jof phus re- lating the patience of the Maccabees under the torments of the bloody Antiochaas, cryes up, Reafon, Reafon, as if that were the rock upon which they flood ; but fure, he fpeaks below them, a greater then reafon was there, even faith, as the Apoflle afferts , fhb. i r. 3 5. a higher fpirit then their own ailed in their pa- tience, and elevated it above meer morality. Again , meer moral virtues , iffuing meerly out of our own reafon , are apt to breed a moth of pride and vain felf- reflection : here we find the Moralift crowing after a flrange rate, Beate vite caufa & ftrmamentum eft, fibi fidere, turpe eft Deos fatigare quid votis opus Senec. ef-? fác to felicem,- .:xurge te..dignum fame Ef'tfr3i. Deo, as if he would have no other happinefs but what was of his own making ; but when Faith comes, off go the plumes of pride, and humility is as a vail over all the moral vir- tues. I live in temperance and juflice (faith the believing Moralift) yet not I, but Chrift liveth in me. Add hereunto meer moral virtues in their intention , rife no higher then their own level of humanity ; but when faith comes, there is a pearl in the head, a pure intention in each of them towards the glory of God : he that before was temperate to himfelf, jufl to others, and patient to neccilit, is now all there

ro Mcich.A. dim. Y t. Pbilo foph. liNectouç fait. thefe to God ; Feci Deo is the Motto of every moral aft. To conclude , what fweet and íirong motives Faith adds unto moral virtues , may appear in the famous infiance of Juffus Lipfius , that great humaniti and admirer of Morality, who in his lati ficknefs, being told by one prefent, that he might now fetch much comfort from the Stoical Philofophers, made this anfwer, Illa Punt va- na, Domine 7efu da mihi patientiam Chri- ffianam, thole are but vain things, Lord le- fts, give me a Chriffian patience. Thus much touching Faith in general. CHAP. R

I$ c(ioUo . attw C H A P. II. Of the fpecial nature of Faith, and here of Spiritual Illumination, the fill ingre- dient therein. What it is , with the necety thereof unto Faith , demon frated. H E next thing is to confider Faith in its fpecial nature ; and here the fir ti thing in order, is fupernatural ilr'umination : touch- ing which, I [hall firft thew what that is, and then demonftrate the neceflity of it to Faith. And firft, what it is, it is God fhining into the heart, and lighting our candle, to make us dif- cern divine things in a fpiritual way. It is an il- lumination above nature fubjeaively , and not objeaively only; it is a thing above reafon and all its improvements made upon external ob- jeas ; reafon may be taken in a double pofture, either fitting with the glafs of the creatures be- fore it, and fo it is meerly the light of nature, or elfe fitting with the glafs of the Scriptures before it, and fo it is a notional knowledge of Divinity ; but this fupernatural light is above reafon in both thefe poftures : Firfr, take rea- fon with the creature -glafs before it, and this fupernatural light is much above it. And here I might [hew, how much the Scripture-glafs excells that of the creature: the divine words there

I2 letíoti .iattO. there out -thine the Sun, out -weigh the earth, out -vye all the treafiires, and out - relifh all the fweetneffes in nature. God is more glorious in the Scripture- robes, then in all the vilìble world: his chariot in the word is ftatelier then that in the clouds. Evangelical light is a richer garment upon him then meer natural ; in the creature there is but a print or footflep of God, but in the Scripture there is his very image and refemblance. Alfo, which is a confequent on the former, this fupernatural light, having the purer glafs, is of a fir greater latitude then weer reafon: it fpreads it fell many myfte- ries, which never entred into natural reafon, but were hid from ages in the divine mind, it takes a view of thofe rare Evangelical pearls which were never digged out of reafons mine, but dropt down from heaven unto the fons of men : But, becaufe the comparifon of thefe two lights as to their outward glaffes and lati- tudes is not fo pertinent, I íhá11 compare them as to their inward natures, and only in fuch things as both of them extend unto , and a vail difference will appear between them. Firf, Reafon is a far lower light then that of Faith: in natural light Reafon is the very facul- ty , but in fupernatural it is but a capacity : God mull thine into the heart, there mull be light upon light, fupernatural upon natural, or elk there is no faith. David prays, open or (as the original hath it) reveal thou mine eyes, Pfal. a r; t S.-There is in faith, a revelation of eyes, and not of ob}eds only ; the Apoflle fpealts of

lpgctatto said). of being renewed in the very pirit of the mind, Epb.4..23.the rational fpirit is the candle of the Lord, but unlefs it be new lighted it is too dim lince the fall to believe the things of God. Secondly, Reafon is a far weaker light then thit of Faith. It is a light thining in darknefs, and after all its glimmerings, it leaves but a foolifh heart and vain imaginations, Eom.I. 21. it is as a little fpark in an ocean of reigning corruptions , and thefe keep the heart from taking tire with the love of thofe excellencies which are known by nature. The Gentiles knew *. God, but they did not like to have him in their knowledge, Rom.I.2 8. millions of unruly lulls, like the Eons of Belial about Lots honk , befet this natural light, and keep it as it were in pri- fon ; thus the Apofile, they withheld it in íín- righteoufneß, Rom. I. 18. and it is too weak tv break out of this prifon, and fhew'it fif pra- cically : I (hall give Tome inflances hereof. All Nations in all climates and through all ages, have. confpired together to confefs a Deity Confcience within bears witnefs to him, and fo do all the . creatures without alto ; on® would wonder therefore that ever Idolatry thould get footing in the world,but what faith the Apo tle, they changed the trath of God into a lye? and the glory of the incorruptible one into a corruptible image, Kor.1.2 3.25. there were flore of abo- minable idols among them; no doubt natural light gave its fecret- vote for God, but it was but the vote of a poor prifoner altogether in!ig_ niticant,

r nettvuo San. nificant,it was not ftrong enough to make them own God in his own world. Again , reafon and nature fay, that God muff be worfhipped with the heart, and that a pure heart, purâ mente colendur, was the old verle, in fuo cuiq; confecrandus elf petiore, faid Seneca. God hath not zb,mv oixksepv, a more proper place upon earth then a pure heart , faith Hierocles ; O divine Paying, next door to that of our Savi- our, blfed are the pure in heart, for they (hall fie God. But after all this, can this natural light work a dram of true fan6ity or holinefs in the heart ? No, the very Schoolmen them- felves (who ever give nature her due with an overplus) will not fay fo, only they fay, faci- enti quad in f eft, Deus revelabit Chriffum & largietur gratiam. Well,if this hypothefis(which I am not now to difpute) were true, can there be an inftance given among all the Pagans from the morning of the world till this day, of any one man who by the right ufe of naturals ar- rived at true grace ? If fo, what will become of that in the Apostle ? Who bath called us with an holy calling; not according to our works, but according to his own purpofe and grace, 2 Tim. I. 9. If not, O what a poor weak light is this of nature ? and how long and univerfàlly a pri- fonei hath it been ? indeed true fandíty or ho- linefs is never found without humility ; but touching that, there is no footfiep nor fhadow of commendation in all the Pagan writers, faith the learned Amyraldus it is not fo much as a virtue among them:on the contrary f o ,o4vxia, great-

plufauo fait!). greatnefs of foul is reckoned among Aril/or/es virtues. Well then might Erafinus his San(ie Socrates have been fpared. Notable is that of St. Bernard, fame (faith he) whileJt they go a- 442.190. 2.1 bout to make Plato a Cbri(fian, prove themfelves heathens. Again, becaufe pof ably the light of reafon may be weakeft in the concerns of Reli- gion , I fhall inflance in other things. Doth not nature and reafon plead for all things of common honefty and humanity, and yet in the Laws of Lycurgus, which were of high renown, and commended even by the Oracle of Apollo, and which (as Plutarch relates) Lycurgus took fingular pleafure to fee put in ure, even as God rejoyced to fee the world move and turn about: I fay in thefe there are fuch obfcenities and in- humanities as would put any one to the blufh to fee them in Flory ; what elfè are the dancing of maids naked, and throwing weak children into a pit of water, fpoken of by Plutarch ? well might the Lacedemonian.r have fpared the Temple and Sacrifices to their Law - giver, un- lefs he had been truer to the Law of Nature. Again, is not felf- prefervation an intimate and natural imprefs in the heart of man > it is not fcripta fed nata Lex, faid the Orator ; and yet thisingraven Law was not ftrong enough, no not in a grave and noble Cato, to keep him from murdering himfelf, and tearing out his own bowels ; and over this unnatural aCt Seneca founds a triumph, as being a noble and heroi- cal contempt of death it fell, -brat, that (word of his, which was yet pure from the blood of others, j'S

ContraÎul. ;Pelag.l.4. c.3. Plecíouo Pak others, might let out his own ; but hear the cenfure of St. Auflin , Vtrum obfecro Cato ille patientiâ an impatientiâ fi peremit ? non enim h ec fecifet, nifi viEforiam Ca:faris impatienter tu- lifet, and in another place, non erat honef as turpia prxcavenî, fed infirmitas adverfa non fu- f inens, it was but a proud impatience, and mi- ferable -trampling upon the Law of Nature : Moreover the light of reafon doth really pro- duce many moral virtues ; and yet in thefe wherein its greateft ftrength lyeth , it is too weak to elevate any one of them to the glory of the great Creator ; therefore, as St. Auffin hath obferved, the whole body of Pagan vir- tues, for want of a Tingle eye at that great end, is full of darknefs. Thus much of the weak- nefs of reafon : on the other fide, the light of faith hath a great deal of ftrength in it; this will not, cannot, be commonly imprifoned , it is an holy unction, and at 1aí1 will be uppermoff, it is a mighty Engine whereby the holy Spirit lifts the heart up into belief and refignation ; a thing of high birth and great aaivity, being born of God and overcoming the world, z job. 5.4. and becaufe the light of reafon was not able to bear up the interefi of God among men, this fupernatural light came to do it. In the pri- mitive Church, whileft this fhined clear, there were no fuch things as outward Idols or Ima- ges ; afterwards, upon the declenfion thereof, thofe things crept in by degrees, firft into ban - ners and then into Churches, and there, firft for inftrudion, only, and afterwards for adora- tion;

Peciouo .aít%. tion ; yet neverthelefs this holy fpark fhewed it felf in fome, as in Epiphanies his cutting the vail, and Serenus his breaking the Images, and divers others abhorrency of Idolatry ; and what this fupernatural light doth in Churches against outward Idols, that it doth in hearts a- gainft inward : it will allow no Idol to hand in the fecret place, not an Afhteroth of riches, not a Venus of pleafure, not a Baal, a ruling lord- ing lull in the heart, every indulged luft (lands upon the unilluminated and unrefigned will ; and, after Faith bath purified the heart, it muff give way for God to fet up his Throne there : that pure heart which the Philofophers talk of at random, as a Geographer of a terra incogni- ta, faith plainly difcovers, and praSically ope- rates. Thofe dithonefties and inhumanities which reafon could not keep out of Laws, faith calls away from private Chriftians, as the com- mon mire and dirt of a wicked world : thofe moral virtues which reafon could not elevate to the Creators glory, faith fpiritualizes by a pure intention towards it. Thirdly, The light of reafon is at a greater diftance from God then that of Faith, and fo doth not fee him fo clearly in the works of cre- ation and providence as that doth. And firfi for creation, though it be a clear glafs of the eternal power and Godhead, yet the Philofo- phers, as fo many Babel- builders, are miferably confounded in their language about it. Males fetches all things out of water, as if that were the univerfal fountain. 4naximener out of air, C as

P2ecíaugi ,faítij. as if by the rarefaiion and condenfation there- of all were produced. Hippafus and Heracli- tus held, that all things came out of a primi- tive fire or light, which by its death or extin- ¿tion generated all. Democritus and Epicurus affirmed, that the world was made by chance; a lucky concburfe of atomes framed it as it is. Pythagoras would have all things generated out of numbers, and the harmony thereof. Ari- f otle, the Prince of Peri patetickt, afferted the world to be eternal. Plato attributed eternity only to the matter and before him Anaxctgo- ras was the raft, who added a mind to matter, farng, Omnia fimul erant, delude acceffit mens, eaque compofitit. O dark and confufèd Laby- rinth of opinions ! How or which way {hall a man extricate himfelf without faith ? By faith we underftand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, Heb. ; I.3. If Faith do but open its eyes upon the fiat Chapter of Genefis, the Creation, which before was dark as the Chaos, is all clear as the light. The believer fees God in èvery creature, not only in the great Regions of Heaven and Earth, but alto in the leaf( Atoms or particles of nature. lam, is difcovered wherever there is any thing of Be- ing : And as for Providence, reafon hath not been much clearer among the Pbilofophers touching it, then touching creation. AriJtotle holding the world to be eternally from God by emanation, as light- from the Sun, muli alto hold its continuance to be in the fame manner, and without any voluntary ad;fuch as Providence is.

PP /cctouo j a tD. is. God (faith he) is the firfl Mover, he moves the heavens and thole other bodies fubalternate- ly; fo God is the univerfal caufe, and all the wheels in nature move under . him > only con- tingent things, which are not within the chain of natural caufality, `teem according to Ariffotie not to be adminiared by God.. Epicurus, who makes the world tO - confifl of a fortuitous con= court of infinite etit Atoms, Owns no Provi- dence at all : God will not break his refs 211 ferene tranquility with any mundane affairs,and indeed in reafon a world made by chance muff be fo governed. The Stoicks in Read of Provi- dence brought in a Fate, or abfolute nece(Iïty, refulting out of a feries or connexion of caufes, . and binding God himfelf as well as other things. Plutarch relating how Timoleon was ftrangely delivered from two murderers, iirflead of ac- knowledging a Providence, wonders at the ar- tifice of Fortune. Nay, meer reafon is apt to vilifie the great works of God : thus force laid that Moir, in Head of dividing the Sea, did but take the advantage of a low Tyde to carry the.I'aelites over the wallies, when it was low water. But when the light of faith comes, the hand of God is feen in every thing, not only in the great moments of nature, but even in the fall of#arrotrs and numbring of hairs. Thus far of Reafon with the Creature -glafs before it ; but to go on. Secondly, Take reafon with the Scripture- glafs before it, and this fupernatural light is yet above it. And here I mull firft admit what C a reafon. -J

20 plcctauO ,1aftí. reafon under the influence of a common bleffing can do ; and then Phew, how much fuperna- tural light Booth tranfcend it. Reafon under the influence of a common bleffing may attain a rich furniture of humane learning, and fo perufing the -holy -Scriptures, may underfiand them by Tongues critically, and by School- divinity di- flintly, and by Logick in the confequences and connexions, and by fliflory in forne Propheti- cal parts, and by Rhetorick in the tropes and figures, and by Comments in the abfirufe and difficult places ; and confequently it may ga- ther in a great notion of Divinity, much larger in the extent and latitude thereof then the knowledge of many true believers. Yet after all this notional knowledge attained, there is in the meanefl true believer an higher and diviner light, a thing above meer reafon and noti- on and this I (hall demonftrate feveral ways. Firfl The light of reafon with all its ac- quired notions is not a light as yet congruous to the things of God, which are fpiritually dif- cerned only by a fupernatural light. To make out this, it will be worth our while to confider that famous place, i Cor. 2. where the Apoltie clearly diflinguithing two forts of men, the na-, turai man and the #iritual ; and two forts of ftirits the #irit of man making the natural man, and the j irit of God making the fpiritual man; and two forts of objets, the things of man, which are the line of knowledge to the natural man endued with an humane fpirit,and the

10 c íouo Satt%. 21 the things of God, which are the line of know- ledge to the fpiritual man endued with the fpi- rit of God ; Pofitively lays down this 7hefis, the natural man 4roxrxis úvSprewe-, the foully man, or the man that bath only a rational foul, receiveth not A O, as a full vef el is not capable of the things of the fpirit of God, for they are foolifhneßunto him, neither can he know them, becaufe they are ffiiritually difcerned ver. z'4. In this Thefts the Apoftle by the 4s9xrxós, or foully man, doth not mean a fenfual man, who hash defloured his reafon with fenfual indulgen- ces, for then lie would not have diftinguiíhed between the natural man and the fpiritual, but between the fenfual man and the rational ; nei- ther would he have difiinguifhed between the fpirit of man and the fpirit of God, but be- tween the fpirit of man or reafon drowned in fenfual pleafares, and the fpirit of man or rea- fon keeping its flation and juft authority over the fenfual appetite ; neither doth the Apoftle here mean a natural or rational man fitting in Pagan darknefs , without the Gofpel, for he faith, the natural man receiveth not the things of God, which imports an offer of the Gofpcl to him, and he receiveth them not, becaufe they ars foolifhneß.to him: which they could not be, if altogether unknown ; and (faith he) he cannot ,know them, why ? not'becaufe they are not ex- ternally propound (which is the Pagans cafe) but becaufe they are fpirituaUy &fcerned : But theApoítle here meaneth by the natural or foully man, a man of reafon, and that never forfeited C 3 by

2.2 ectot10 ffatft.. by fenfual Tufts, and a man of reafon with the Gofpel fèt;be .ore him and fo his conclufion is this, 4 mIh ofreaf n with the Gofel before him, cannot receive or know the things of God. But you will fay, if this be fo, how can a man of reafon with the- Gofpel before him, arriveatfo great a notion of Divinity, as is before admit- ted ? _Ianfwer, the key to open tiis is in the Text; the natural man cannot know the things of God, beptsfi they are j iritualy difcerned. A man by reafon and its furniture of learning may in the perufal,of,the. holy Scriptures gather up a world of notions, and fo know the things of God notionally ; but he knows them not jJiri taialy, and by confequence not congruously to their fpiritual nature. I or the opening of this, we mull confider, that there is in the hoar Scriptures fomething humane, or which tnayb, inventoried among the things of man, as the letters and words Made up of them,; and fen, tences made up of words ; not as if .thefewere not dilated exa lly by God hirrifelf, but that they are common to humane and profane Au, thors : I mean,not for the diet inenefs of the mat - ter, but for the phrafcs and .forms of fpeech. And there is in them fomething Divine, or which mutt be computed among the things of Cod, as the myfleries and fpiritual things them- felves, which are reprefented by thofe words and phrafes. I may illuftrate this diftindion farther by that of our Saviour, If i,,have told you earthly things, and you believe them not bow Pall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things, ]ohm

nPCÍDto Nit!). 23 oó.3.12. I pray, what earthly things did our Saviour tell them ? was not he there preaching on that divine Theme of Regeneration ? Very true, but Chrift fpake to them of Regeneration under the fhadow of a birth and a wind, and not according to the heavenly and fpiritual na- ture thereof in it felf. Thus the words and pbrafes in Scripture, being of common ufe, are as it were humane types and fhgdows, but the myfteries and fpiritual things themfelvcs are altogether divine. Now to apply this diflin -' &ion, reafon improved, reaching to the things of man as its proper line, may know the words and fentences in Scripture, and fo gather up a great notion of Divinity : But, unlefs inlightned by the holy Spirit, which fearcheth the things of God, it goeth not beyond its own line, it knows not JJiritual things ffiritualÿ. Reafon without the light of faith, Take it in a lea, at a Sacrifice, and it faw the type only, and not Cbrijl in it. Take it in a Chriftian at the holy Supper, and it fees only the outward elements, and difcerns not the Lords body. Take it in the greatelt Rabbi fitting with the Scriptures before him, and it fees them only in the (hell or letter, and not in the myftery. And no wonder, for even in common Sciences it may be fo ; a man may confirue and know the Gram- mar of a principle in Euclide, and yet be igno- rant of the Mathematical fenfe of it; much more in divine truths may a man be fpiritually igno- rant, who knows a great deal literally. There- fore all Scholars may do well in their fiudies tó C 4, do

24 191ectoUo ,TAlt j. do as Zuinglists did,who having arrived at Arts and Tongues, yet in the reading of the holy Scriptures , looked up to heaven. As for the great Dolor the holy Spirit, when he comes in fupernatural illumination, then we know the things of God, not by our own fpirit but Gods, the very fame fpirit which breaths in the Scrip- tures, [hines in the heart. Hence fpiritual things are difcerned fpiritually, by a light congruous to their nature ; the fpirit glorifies and (hews forth Christ, as the expreffion is, john 16.14. Holy truths are as it were transfigured and [hewn forth in glory,which before were feen but in the fleíh or weaknefs of the Letter; the Deity íparkles out in the beauty and fpiritual luftre of Scripture -myf cries, which before only appeared in the humanity of words and phrafes. Now heaven opens,and free-grace paffes before us, the fecret of the Lord is with w, and we are of his Privy Councel. This is the firfr and funda- .damental difference, Reafcn with all its acqui- red notions is not a light congruous to fpiritual things, but the light of Faith is : Out of this all the other are derived. Secondly, Meer Reafon digging in the Letter of Scripture,arrives but at notions and [hadows of knowledg, and though thefe be as the fands on the fea fh ore,they are but a form of1Z,nowledg, $om.2.2o. but when the light of faith comes, there is found wijdom,Prov.3.21. or,as the origi- nal word is, effence; a thing which can no more be made up of meer notions,,then a body can of Thadows. Faith is the fubftance orr fiibfftence, of things

1leciauo fait!). things hoped for,Heb.i i.i.without it,notions and literal knowledge have no hypofa fis in the heart; the fpiritual world is as it were loft ; God and Chrift and Heaven, are but notions : But as foon as faith comes and makes the day -break in the heart,the fpiritual world fubfìfts afrefh. God is God,and Chriftis Chrift,and Heaven is Hea- ven to the foul,all of them are reallized by faith; there is agoodtreafure in the heart,far more fub- ílantial then Arts and Tongues and School-noti- ons can make. thirdly,Reafon with its notions arrives but at a knowledge f al fly f called, for it knows not the things ofGod as they are propofed to be known; thofe things are propofed to be known not as meer notions,but as pracical things : to be in the firft place chofen,loved, embraced and pra- ifed, but it knows them only notionally and not praihically.That knowledge,whileft materi- ally true,hath a fecret lye in it;thus the Apoftie, He that faith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandements, is a lyar,and the truth is: not in bim, ¡Job. 2.4. 'Tis not in him in, a "pratical way,fo as to ballance the will and affedtions with the excellency of the things_ known ;but as loon as faith comes, thofe things axe known as they are propofed to be known as pra ±ical things to be improved in heart and life.The fupernatural light digefts truths into blood and fpirits, and turns myfteries into godlincfs. It knows Law and Gofpel in their true tendency,which is holi- nefs;not to be holy is to blaít and prophane the meaning of both. Fourthly,

26 Pzetíauo Fourthly, the meér notional knowledge ac- quired by reafon bath no Jiritual life orfinf in it,it bath no life in it weer notions are but a dead faith,but faith is a living notion. In an un- believer the notions are all dead, affording no pulfe of holy affetions,or motion of true obedi ence,they are all buried in a grave of corruption and covered in the duff of earthly things í But as foon as faith comes,there is a refurre6fion in the foul,the notions before dead now wake out of the duft,and rife in life and power every truth lives in the heart, and fprings up into the new - creature.This fupernatural knowledge is a zt ell - ffring of life, Prov. i 6.22. and all the vital ads of grace ffream from thence. Nay, as our Saviour tells us,it is life eternal, john r7.3. heaven loth dawn and appear in it.Meer notional knowledg hath no fpiritual fente in it ; the unregenerate man with 411 his notions, lies as a man in a Le- thárgÿ,never feeling the weight of fin and wrath, though heavier then` rocks and mountains ; nor indeed favouring the fweetnefs of Chrift and grace, though infinitely out- relifhing àll the things in nature.But as foon as faith comes,there are all the fenfes of the inward manta féeing the fut of righteoufneft an: hearing thefweet'charms of Gofiel- grace,a finelling the odours of Chr'ijt,and the holy unelion, a taifing horn good and gracious the Lord ii,and a touching and handling the word of /ife.The Learned Anatomifts curioufly pry 'in to the head to find out the commune Senf rium, where all the fpecies and images of fenfible things meet together. In the fpiritual man faith is an

Plecinaoaitt. an univerfal fenfe, taking in all the fpecies and images of heavenly things into the heart. The learned Junius with all his notions,coming into a poorCountrymans houfe,and hearing him dif court warmly and feelingly of Chrift, immedi- ately thought that Religion was more then a no- tion ; and thereupon reflefing on ,himfelf, was turned unto God,and no doubt found by expe- rience, that faith was much fuller of life and fenfe then meer notion. Fifthly,T he meer notional knowledge gathe- red in by reafon puffeth up,as if force of the Ser- pents poifon were in it,it blows up the heart in- to proud reflexes. Bonaventure to keep his mind from fwelling, ufed to fweep rooms and waílh veffels. I fuppofe it was, left his School-notions fliould fwell, and make a tumor in, his heart.But the light of faith is an humbling thing.If it enter in within the vail, and fee God on b,5 'Throne, it vies out as the Prophet Ifaiah, Wo i1 me, I am 2qtdone.:If it fly up to Sinai, angl fenfe the 611114 dors and lightnings of the fiery :Law, itputsthe "fOu1 into a trembling fit.If it gfi 4 pilgrimage to Gßlvary,and there take a view ofChrift crucifi- ed,it is greatly abafive, bowing the heart down under the confcience of fin. If it look inwardly into the heart,and there fee the filthy and natty corruptions in every corner, it will far more humble then Bonaventures fweeping and waPning.And the reafon of this difference is,meer notions are but the progeny and iflfne of our own reafon,and therefore we are apt to be fond and fall a cockling of them. But fupernatural light

28 Plectows Saíttj. light comes from above, and is ufhered in with a kind of majefty, and therefore humbles and makes us fall down and fay,God ii in it ofei truth. Sixthly, The meerly notional knowledge is but fuperficial,a flafh and away,a light tag., filch as was in thole Apoftates,Heb.6.5.a word fown but unrooted, fuch as that in the flony ground, Mat. 13. 21. But the light of faith is another thing,it is truth in the hidden part;, Pfal.51. 6. mifdom entring into the heart, Prov. 2.10. and a word ingrafted or innaturalized in the mied, Jam.r.2 r. As an appendix to this difference, I may add another ; meer notions, being but fu perticial things floating in the brain, do noefo eftabli(h the heart in Religion,as that fupernatú ral light which intimately mixes it felf with the heart.Hence many Princes and Grandees of the Letter have been fick with it telledual bottles; and fhamefully reeled up and dówn in Articles of Faith. Some (tumbling in the mire of grofs Pelagianifin, and others rowling in the ditch of foul-Socinianifm with them Chrifts Deity is butfomnium 4thanafii, and originahfin but A guffini figmentum,fuch horrid fpui igTroni'lear'n. ed mouths bath been made on the glory of Re -' ligion.And no wonder,for the notionalitt ivatït's thatlove of thetruth,whieb is an antidote againfl: errors,and that pure conf fence, which is the Ca- binet of Divine myfteries. On the other hand, fupernatural light is a more eftablifhing thing: the Apo &le -calls it se; imux orísews, the firmament offaith,Col.2.5.all the heavenly truths are there as fo many fixed flars in their Orb.Gerfon relates this

neciotlo fait& this fiory,A man vexed with doubts in Articles of Faith,at laft came to fuch a certainty in them, that he no more doubted of them then of his own life ; and this he had (faith he) Non ex ra- tione aut demonftratione, fed ex humiliatione ac admirabili quâdam Dei illuminatione àmontibus £terns. All grace,b ecaufe divine,hath an eftabli- íhing property,and among the reft, fo hath the light of faith, becaufe it comes from the eternal mountains. Seventhly,Meer notions are very apt to fume up into niceties and vain curiofities. A famous inftance of this we have in the School -men, whole books are the fpiders houfe,made of cob- webs and fine fubtleties, and thofe fpun up into the Palace of the celeflial King,and there faftned upon the ineffables of God and the facred Tri- nity, as if thefe might be wrapped up in the quiddities of reafon and Philofophy ; infomuch as a learned Divine, ftartled at this audacious vanity,faith,he reads the School -men about fuch things,as he hears men fwear or take Gods name in vain,even feldom,unwillingly,and with lior- ror.And thedearned Capito,who profeffed Scho- laftical Divinity,was loonweary thereof,becaufe there is fubtilitatis multum, utilitatk parum, found therein. But fupernatural light doth not vapor upwards into niceties and curious que- ¡lions, but influence downwards into the will and aífe6tions.It brings the day of power into the heart,and makes a willing people,the holy unEci- on drops from the head to the heart,and fets all on a flame with love to God and Christ and hea- venly

ieumen 1pieciaao f ait j. verily things: wifdom fpeaks excellent things,' Prov.8.6. or, as the original is, it fpeaks princes or princely things,holy things are fuch in them - felves.But when they are taken in by faith, they have a mighty power in the foul: Gods com- mand to Abraham, entring by faith, wrought down into his will, and he offered up his Ifa- ack,. Gods warning to Noah, entring by faith, wrought down into his fear,and he prepared an ArkT he word works eiët7uabÿ in them that be- lieve, filling the inward man with holy affetti- ons,and the outward with holy fruits. I thall conclude this difference with an excellent firmly of a worthy. Divine ; A child and a man come into a corn field together, the child falls in love with the blue and red weeds,but the man is for the folid corn : a man of meer notions falls in lave with curiofities,and fine f eculations,but a man of fupernatural light is for the fpiritual and pralli- cal truths in Scripture ; thefe are the corn his foul mull live upon, whilef1 the other are but gaieties, and for a thew. Thus far I have fpoken,what this fupernatus- ral light is. I thall now proceed to thew that it is requifite to faith : and this will appear in the particulars following. Firft,Unlefs a man know that God is,he can- not believe ; how can he reli on the teilimony of him, whom he knows not, to have a being ? This propoíition,Deus eft, is according to Aqui- nac,the preamble of faith : Nay, in the Apoille, it is the firf fundamental faith,He that cometh to God,muft believe that he ,Heb. i i.6.But you will fay,

P2ccíouo JFaítb. fay,What need fupernatural light for this ? Na- ture and Reafon make this known , and indeed they do fo,but fo weakly, as not to raife up any one faculty in fallen man untoGod his Creator. Never did natural light fo fhew a God, as to raife up his love out of this vain world, nor as to raife up his faith out of creature - confidences unto God.W herefore this firft principle mull be feen by a fupernaturaI light, which is indeed a middle kind of light,between the light of glory above,and the light of nature below : It fees the invifible one,not as the bleffed Saints fee him in the heavenly vifion, nor as the meerNaturalifts fee him by the glimmerings ofreafon, but in a middle way of gracious illumination. This our Saviour calls eternal life, Job. 17. 3. heaven dawns in it,and nature is ifulîrated by it. Secondly,As the firft ilep of knowledge in or- der to faith,is Deus eft ; fo the fecond is, Deus verax,God is true,yea truth it Pelf, and the firfi archetypal truth,his teftimony is infallible, and all his words Tea and Amen. llnlefs this be known,a man cannot believe him as a God; the believer feti to his feal,that God ii true. nd,if he did not know ir, his Peal would be to a blank: and though natural light reveal the truth and ve- racity of God ; yet,as I Paid before,weakly,and therefore fupernatural is required. Thirdly, The third flep of knowledge in or- der to faith,isDeus dixit, feurevelavit,God bath fpoken or revealed hirnfelf in the Scriptures. Thefe are the very words and teflimony of God himfelf. If a man do know that God is, and is true,

3 3 nCCtOU# iTaitb. true, yet unlefs he know that God hath fpoken in the word,that there is his very teftimony,he cannot believe.Should we ask a man,why do you believe that jefhs Chrifl is the Redeemer of the world ? it would be no rational anfwer for him to fay,I believe it,becaufeGod is true: No,though God be the hill infinite truth,yetunlefs he fpeak and tefiifìe fo much, it cannot be believed upon his teflimony or authority , the only fatisfa6o- ry anfwer is this ,I believe it,becaufe God, who is true,hath fpoken and revealed it.It is necefl'ary to faith,to know the holyScriptures to be the word and teflimony of God ; that God fpeaks and reveals himfelf in them, and this cannot be known without fupernatural light. To explain which,I (hall lay down two things. Firft, There are in the holy Scriptures cer- tain xerníeia or internal marks, whereby it may be known,that the Scriptures are the word and teflimony of God. Secondly, Thefe xelpferx or internal marks cannot be known without fupernatural light. Firff,There are in the holy Scriptures certain marks or chara&ers whereby they reveal them- felves to be the very word of God, even as the Sun manifefls it felf by its own light. There is a Maje/ty in the fide ; what book or writing ever run in fuch a !train, as thus faith theLord ?where before it was there ever any univerfal Law made unto all mankind , Kings and beggars without diftinecion ? who ever before comman- ded obedience upon pain of eternal torments in another world, or allured obedience with pro- miles