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should say to a wicked man, Wouldest thou have true joy; come, I will show thee the way, though the beginning be hard, yet heaven is worth more than all; and thou shalt get greater joy in the end, than ever thou couldest procure here in that way thou wast careful to walk in.

This also serveth to reprove them who are already entered into the land of promise, discouraging others by their lamentations, sorrows, cast down countenance, and so forth ; whereas, Rejoice, again and again I say rejoice, saith the Apostle. I would have God's children in this case by their joy stir up the wicked men to spite them when he shall see how they rejoice, and what comfort they have, that in poverty they have always fulness of joy. Seeing then that in miseries they can go through with comfort, I would have them to make the wicked's teeth to gnash and water at their joy, that they might provoke them to enter the same way to God. It followeth, Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; where, before I come unto the last point, let us now briefly see,

What is here meant by a righteous man.

The prophet showeth in this, comparing it with the former, that these who before were called such as trusted in God, are here called righteous and upright; you see the same thing is meant by both, those who there were bidden to rejoice, are here bidden to triumph for joy. Now such as God's mercy compasseth about, those men who are here called upright of heart, these must rejoice.

Now some man may object and say, if no man be counted a wicked man, but he that (as I said before) distrusteth in God, this then is true, that that man, who findeth that he can trust in God, all his sins can do him no hurt. Therefore will some say, This is as sure, as sure may be, that by this means I may

have a little more liberty to sin. To which I answer, that that man who displeaseth God, cannot say that he trusteth in God, he that trusteth in God is upright of heart; and no man can find in his heart to trust in God, but only that man who is just and upright. So that if a man take liberty to sin, let him have recourse hitherto, and I will oppose him of mercy. The wicked

cannot trust in God, but are rebels against him. That man who will lead a life against God, that will be a rebel against him, is to be proclaimed of us a traitor, though he be loth to be called so; I say, that man who will not be broken of his impieties and lewdness, but settleth himself in a course against Almighty God, he is proclaimed traitor, and we so proclaim him by trumpet, so often as the word of God is read or preached. Now I ask that man, whether he can trust in God for his life? Is it possible that he who delighteth to displease God and cross him, should trust in him ?

Can a man trust bis enemy, with whom he is always at enmity, or at least an enemy to God, for he will never be quiet, but always have a fling at him? And so can this man, who hath this false heart, that hath not a full

purpose of heart to cleave unto him, can he trust unto him ? No, he cannot; and here this serveth to reprove the Papists, who, whatsoever show they make to keep the commandments, yet fail far in the performance thereof. For remember that which is set down in the commandments, I will show mercy unto thousands; but how are these thousands qualified ? They must love him and keep his commandments. Dost thou then love him ? But why, Sir, do you think I hate him? Well, let it be tried. “If you love me keep my commandments,” saith the apostle, let me know thy love by thy works. This is the point ; He that keepeth not the commandments of God, he cannot assure himself that God will be merciful unto him ; and the man that apprehendeth God's mercy it is not possible but he should keep his commandments, and love him, and in loving him fulfil his will. But, say the Papists, yet you say God's mercy is free, and God will pardon without works, and then (say they) if the case be so, what need I care how I live? May I for answer say thus, Love God, and do evil, if thou canst. I presume so much upon God's children, that I say it is impossible for them to do evil. He that hath truly apprehended the mercy of God, it is impossible (mark my meaning, I say not that it is impossible that this man should fall, stumble, or step out of his way) but it is impossible that he should lead the course of his life as formerly he did. Let him sin, I say, if he can: St. John saith he cannot sin, he cannot make sin his trade, and walk as before.

For we are to observe the walking of a Christian and not his stumblings. We must look if, as Enoch did, he walk with God here. Then this is the point. That that man who hath apprehended Christ, by a true and lively faith, it is impossible he should haunt the same ways as before ; he may stumble in the way, but not finally fall. It is a good horse, which never stumbles or steps aside a little ; so that sin is not now his ordinary trade and walk, so that his sins may now rather be called stumblings than walks. Aye, but what is this to the walking ? may some say, We must not stumble to attain perfection, we must walk in all the commandments, as St. Luke reporteth of Zechariah and Elizabeth, who were said to walk in all the commandments of God. But did they never transgress? Yes verily; and therefore is their infidelity and spots registered: but this was but a stumbling in the way : they might be overtaken, but that was but a step beside the way; they delighted not in the breaking of any, therefore by the Holy Ghost they are called righteous. If then we would talk and discern of an upright and just man, let us look upon his walk, and not unto a few of his works, to the constant course of his life. A man that buildeth an hospital, is he therefore an honest man? No, I wis; but look unto the course of his life, and see if his face be set towards heaven that is a good man, and not to his fallings and stumblings. If a man fall in talk and the like, we say presently, O there is a wicked man surely; the wicked hypocrite will say so, but he that hath true understanding must remember that there are many enemies, rubs, and strong impediments in the way we go, he will have compassion. It is no wonder that we both still stumble and miss of our way. Be not then so ready for falls and slips of thy brethren rashly to judge them as hypocrites, but rather stay and inquire, what such a one's walk is, whether this manner of life be his trade or not, and then also let us judge in charity; for we know, the godly are not freed from sin in this life, only that sin should not reign and have dominion in their mortal bodies. It is not a few good actions, nor some heinous sins, that shall make me say, there is a wicked man ; but I will look to the ordinary course of his life and walk. Here then is the point, he that is born of God, sinneth not: no (as I said), to make a trade and an occupation of it. As sure as can be, if God hath loved thee, and bestowed faith upon thee, there is a seed thrown into thy heart which will not suffer thee to run into thy former courses. And therefore I say, the free apprehending of the mercy of God is so far from overturning holiness, that it is the true way of establishing of the same.

So what I pray you is the apostle's argument, to make a man offer up himself a living sacrifice ? “ Iu beseech you (saith he) brethren, by the mercies of God, offer up yourselves a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable serving of God.” Here is the motives, even the mercies of God. And I say this hath more force to work upon a good, kind heart, the consideration of God's mercy, than if heaven and hell and all were set open before them. This maketh them crucify their desires, abstain from pleasures, and the like, although there were no hell to affright them. For then the love of God, being shed abroad in our hearts compelleth us, causing our hearts to dissolve and melt in love and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Rejoice then all ye that are upright of heart. But now, because, in these last words of my text, he nameth and stirreth up chiefly those to rejoice,

Who are upright of heart.

Wherein they must not only be glad and rejoice, but also shout for joy, God herein manifesting his great love in our weakest endeavours. O but, may some man say, this is that whereby I am discouraged, that is the matter, I cannot joy. It is not so easy a matter to rejoice, be righteous, trust in the Lord, or have this upright heart. That is the matter that I cannot joy, because I am unprofitable, unrighteous, and come far short of such and such men, in whom we see many good fruits, themselves in their own sights being but barren trees, and therefore cannot rejoice. I answer, God looketh to the heart, and not to the works, he respecteth neither the number of the works. If yet thy heart be upright, though senseless, this must nourish the faith and hope in thee. Dost thou repine at thy evil deeds ? Doth thine heart love God? Doth thine heart resolve to be constant in his service, notwithstanding all lets ? Dost thou make a conscience of evil thoughts and strive to expel them, keeping a pure and an upright heart ? Dost thou grieve for what thou canst not do? Then I say, shout for joy. And remember all you fearful consciences, that, as faith and hope, which are the evidences of our life and salvation in the life to come, are here in this life; so even the fruits of our sanctity, which are the actions of faith and hope, they are not of outward things; but as faith and hope are of things unseen, even so the fruits of our sanctification, are all, or many times hid up from us in this life, where our life is hid with God in Christ. No wonder then thou want feeling, and a full evidence of these and these graces of sanctification.

u Romans, chap. 12. ver. 1.

. O but if thou hang upon Christ, and suck life out of him, yet is thy salvation most sure, and when the things believed and hoped for shall appear, then also shall the fulness of the fruits of thy sanctity be manifested. Then look only that thou keep a good heart, and for the rest remember, that is surely kept for thee, and thou art reserved for it, it is hid with Christ in God. At the furthest, when he who is thy life shall appear, then shall thy hunger be satisfied. Neither let the multitude of good works, which come from others, and which thou canst not perform, so much toss thee. It is not long prayers, frequenting of many sermons, giving alms to the poor, and any outward actions that can assure us of our blessedness. For though a man do many good things, many good works, yet are they no further pleasing unto God, nor evidences of grace, than as they proceed from a good heart. Hold this ground sure, if thy heart be good, thou art in a most blessed estate.

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