18. Iviii. 11.


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and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.' saith, pure, 'pure olive oil.' Ex. xxvii. 20. • Puro

frankincense.' Ex. xxx. 34. • Pure gold.' Ex. xxv. 11, 17. There is, besides this, another blessing that Pure blood of the grape,' De. xxxii. 14; and the like. comes to us by this living water, and that is, the So then, when he saith, he showed me a puro blessing of communion. All the warmth that we river of water of life,' it is as if he had said ho have in our communion, it is the warmth of the showed me a river of water that was all living, all Spirit: when a company of saints are gathered life, and had nothing in it but life. There was no together in the name of Christ, to perform any spir-death, or deadness, or flatness in it; or, as lie itual exercise, and their souls be edified, warmed, saith a little after, and there shall be no more and made glad therein, it is because this water, curse.' A pure river. There is not so much as a this river of water of life, has, in some of the streams grudge, or a piece of an upbraiding speech found thereof, run into that assembly. Je. xxxi. 12, 13. Then therein. There is in it nothing but heart, nothing are Christians like those that drink wine in bowls, but love, nothing but grace, nothing but life. merry and glad; for that they have drank into the “The gifts and calling of God are without repentSpirit, and had their souls refreshed with the sweet ance.' Ro. xi. 29. gales and strong wine thereof. This is the feast 2. PURE is sometimes set in opposition to show that Isaiah speaks of, when he saith, 'In this moun- or appearance; as where he says, “the stars are tain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people not pure.' Job xxv. 6. That is, not so without mixa feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, ture of darkness, as they seem to be: so again, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees * If thou wert pure and upright,' Job viii. 6: that is, well refined.' Is. xxv. 6. This is called in another as thou seemest to be, or as thou wouldst have us place, the communion of the Holy Ghost.' 2 Co. believe thou art. xiii. 14. Now he warmeth spirits, uniteth spirits, en- Now, take pure in this sense here, and then the lighteneth spirits; revives, cherisheth, quickeneth, meaning is, it is grace without deceit, without guile; strengtheneth graces; renews assurances, brings its show and its substance are the same; it has old comforts to mind, weakens lusts, emboldeneth nothing but substance in it; it is indeed what it and raiseth a spirit of faith, of love, of hope, of seems to be in bulk; it is a river in show and a

; prayer, and makes the Word a blessing, conference river indeed. It comes from God and from his a blessing, meditation a blessing, and duty very throne in appearance, and really it comes from his delightful to the soul. Without this water of life, very heart. communion is weak, flat, cold, dead, fruitless, life- The great fear of the tempted is, that there is less; there is nothing seen, felt, heard, or under- not so much grace in God, and that he is not so stood in a spiritual and heart-quickening way. free of it as some scriptures seem to import. But Now ordinances are burdensome, sins strong, faith this word pure is levelled against such objectious weak, hearts hard, and the faces of our souls dry, and objectors, for the destroying of their doubts, like the dry and parched grouud.

and the relieving of their souls. There is no fraud, This drink also revives us when tempted, when nor guile, nor fable in the business; for though sick, when persecuted, when in the dark, and when God is pleased to present us with his grace under we faint for thirst. The life of religion is this the notion of a river, it is not to delude our fancies water of life: where that runs, where that is re- thereby; but to give us some small illustration of ceived, and where things are done in this spirit, the exceeding riches of his grace, which as far, for there all things are well; the church thrifty, the quantity, outstrips the biggest rivers, as the most soul thrifty, graces thrifty, and all is well. And mighty mountain doth the least ant's egg or atom this hint I thought convenient to be given of this in the world. precious water of life, that is, with reference to the 3. But, again, this word Pure is set in opposition operative quality of it.

to that which is hurtful and destructive: 'I am [T'he other qualities of this water.]

pure from the blood of all men,' that is, I have

hurt nobody. Ac. xx. 26. • The wisdom that is from Second. I shall come, in the next place, to speak above is first pure,' it is not hurtful. Ja, iii. 17. Do of it, as to the other descriptions which John doth you count them pure with the wicked balances ? give us of it. He says it is, First, pure; Second, how can that be, since they are hurtful? Mi. vi. 11. clear; Third, clear to a comparison: 'And ho Now take pure in this sense here, and then it showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as intimates, that the grace of God, and the doctrine crystal.'

of grace, is not a hurtful thing. It is not as wine (Firel. The purity of this water. ]

of an intoxicating nature. If a man be filled with 1. You read here that this water of life is PURE, it, it will do lim no harm, Ep. 5. 18. The best of that is, alone without mixture, for so sometimes the things that are of this world are some way that word pure is to be understood. As where it hurtful. Honey is hurtful. Pr. xxv. 16, 27. Wine is VOL. III.


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Pr. Xxx. 12.

hurtful. Pr. XI. 1. Silver and gold are hurtful, but that comes often upon them, and that instead of
grace is not hurtful. 1 Tim. vi. 10. Never did man bringing forth herbs meet for the dresser, bring
yet catch harm by the enjoyment and fulness of forth briers and thorns; and these are they who
the grace of God. There is no fear of excess or of are nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.
surfeiting here. Grace makes no man proud, no He. vi. 7, 8.
man wanton, no man haughty, no man careless or By this word PURE I understand sometimes the
negligent as to his duty that is incumbent upon chiefest good, the highest good. There are many
him, either from God or man: no, grace keeps a things that may be called good, but none of them
man low in his own eyes, humble, self-denying, are good as grace is good. All things indeed are
penitent, watchful, savoury in good things, charit- pure, that is, all creatures in themselves are good
able, and makes him kindly affectionated to the and serviceable to man, but they are not so good
brethren, pitiful and courteous to all men.

as grace. Ro. xiv. 20. Ge. i. 31.

There is a generation True, there are men in the world that abuse the that are pure,' that are good in their own eyes. grace of God, as some are said to turn it into wan

There are good men, good consciences, tonness and into lasciviousness. Jude 4. But this is, good works, good days, good angels, &c., but none not because grace has any such tendency, or for so good as grace, for it is grace that has made them that it worketh any such effect; but because such so. Grace, this water of life, therefore is good, men are themselves empty of grace, and have only superlatively good, good in the highest degree, for done as death and hell hath done with wisdom, that it makes all things good, and preserveth them heard the fame thereof with their ears.' Job xxviii. 22. good. And whatever it be that this water of life It is a dangerous thing for a man to have the no- washeth not, it is soil, and given to the curse, as tions of grace, while his heart is void of the spirit the prophet intimates where he saith, “But the and holy principles of grace; for such a man can miry places thereof, and the marshes thereof, do no other than abuse the grace of God. Alas, shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.' what can be expected of him that has nothing in Eze. xlvii. 1. him to teach him to manage that knowledge of But who understands this, who believes it? Its grace which he has, but his flesh, his lusts, and goodness is kept close from the fowls of the air. lustful passions ? Can these teach him to manage Men, most men, are ignorant of the goodness of it, his knowledge well? Will they not rather put nor do they care to inquire after the enjoyment of him upon all tricks, evasions, irreligious conse- this pure, this good water of life. The reason is, quences and conclusions, such as will serve to because though it is good in itself, good in the cherish sin ? What Judas did with Christ, that a highest degree, and that which makes all things graceless man will do with grace, even make it a good, yet it is not such a good as is suited to a stalking horse to his fleshly and vile designs; and carnal appetite. There is good; and there is suitrather than fail betray both it, and the profession able good. Now suitable good is of two sorts : of it, to the greatest enemies it has in the world. either such as is spiritual, or such as is temporal.

And here I may say, though grace is pure, and That which is spiritual, is desired only of them not hurtful at all, yet one altogether carnal, sinful, that are spiritual; for temporal good will satisfy a and graceless, having to do with the doctrine of it, carnal mind. Now grace is a spiritual good; this by the force of his lusts which tamper with it, he river of grace is the goodness of spiritual good. It will unavoidably bring himself into the highest is the original life of all the grace in our souls. ruin thereby. An unwary man may destroy him- No marvel, then, if it be so little set by of those self by the best of things, not because there is in that are carnally minded. They will serve a horse, such things an aptness to destroy, but because of and nire will serve a sow; so things of this life the abuse and misuse of them. Some know the suit best with the men of this world ; for their way of life, the water of life, by knowledge that is appetite is gross and carnal, and they savour not naked and speculative only; and it had been better the things that be of the Spirit of God. for such if they had not known, than to know and natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit turn from what they know; than to know, and of God,' the things that be of this river of God; make that knowledge subservient to their lusts. for they are foolishness unto him: neither can be 2 Pe. ii. 20—22. Some receive the rain of God, and the know them, because they are spiritually discerned.' droppings of his clouds, because they continually 1 Co. ii. 14. This is the river of oil which the prosit under the means of his grace. But, alas! they phet speaks the river of SPIRIT.

Were it a receive it as stones receive showers, or as dung- river of gold and silver, there would be old fishing hills receive the rain; they either abide as hard on the banks thereof. But it is a river that runs stones still, or else return nothing to heaven for his like oil, saith the Lord God.' Eze. xxxii. 14. This mercy, but as the dunghills do, a company of stink rock pours us out “rivers of oil,' Job xxix. 6—*fresh ing fumes. These are they that drink in the rain oil,' Ps. xcii. 10—'soft oil,' Ps. Iv. 21—the oil of joy,'

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Is. Ixi. 3—'the oil of gladness,' Ps. xlv. 7—oil to anoint | I read of rivers that looked red as blood, that the head withal, Ec. ix. 8—oil to make the face to stank like the blood of a dead man, but this is no shine, Ps. civ. ló—oil by which thou wilt be made such river. Ex. vii. 19, 20. 2 Ki. iii 22, 23. I read of able to honour both God and man in some good rivers whose streams are like streams of brimmeasure as becomes thee, Ju. ix. 9.

stone, fiery streams, streams of burning pitch, but I might have enlarged upon this head, and have , this is none of them. Is. xxx. 27—33. Da. vii. 9–11. 18. showed you many more particulars wherein this xxxv. 9. There is a river' besides all these, clear term of pure might serve for the better setting and pleasant, the streams whereof shall make forth of the excellency of this water of life, but I glad the city of God.' Ps. xlvi. 4. shall proceed no further upon this, but will come to There are the waters that the doves love to sit that which remains.

by, because by the clearness of these streams they (Second. The clearness of this water of life.] can see their pretty selves, as in a glass. Ca. v. 12.

As this river of water of life is said to be pure, These are the streams where the doves wash so it is said to be CLEAR. • Ile shewed me a pure their eyes, and by which they solace themselves, river of water of life, clear.' This term has also and take great content. These streams are inits particular signification, and, therefore, ought to stead, as I said, of a looking-glass ; their clearbe heeded.

ness presents us with an opportunity of seeing our 1. Clear is set in opposition to dark; therefore own features. As in fair waters a man may see some are said to be clear as the sun.' Ca. vi. 10. And the body of the sun, and of the moon, and of the again, the light shall not be clear nor dark.' Zec. stars, and the very body of heaven ; so he that xiv. 6. In both these places, clear is to be taken for stands upon the bank of this river, and that light, daylight, sunlight; for, indeed, it is never washeth his eyes with this water, may see the Son day nor sunshine with the soul, until the streams of of God, the stars of God, the glory of God, and the this river of water of life come gliding to our doors, habitation that God has prepared for his people. into our houses, into our hearts. Hence the be. And are not these pleasant sights? is not this exginning of conversion is called illumination. He. x. 32. cellent water? has not this river pleasant streams? Yea, the coming of this river of water of life unto 3. Clear is set in opposition to dirty water and us is called the day-spring from on high, through the muddiness. I read of some waters that are fouled tender mercy of our God. Lu. i. 78. It is also called with the feet of beasts, and with the feet of men, the dawning of the day. 2 Pe. i. 19. And hence, yea, and deep waters too. Yea, saith God to again, these men unto whom this river of water of some, ye have drunk of the deep waters,' and life comes not, are said to be dark, darkness. “Ye have fouled “the residue with your feet;' and were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in again, · As for my flock, they eat that which ye the Lord.' Ep.v.8. Wherefore, this water is like have trodden with your feet, and they drink that Jonathan's boney; it hath a faculty to open the which ye have fouled with your feet.' Eze. xxxiv. 18, 19. eyes, to make them that sit in darkness see a great These waters are doctrines contained in the text, light. 1 Sa. xiv. 27. Mat. iv. 16. The light of the know-muddied and dirtied by the false glosses and slutledge of the glory of God in the faith of Jesus tish opinions of erroneous judgments, of which the Christ ; 'God, who commanded the light to shine poor sheep have been made to drink. And, verily, out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give this is apparent enough by the very colour and the light;' the Spirit that enlighteneth and giveth hue of those poor souls; for though the truth of the light, ‘of the knowledge of the glory of God God was in them, yet the very stain of tradition in the face of Jesus Christ.' 2 Co. iv. 6. This river and superstition might be also seen in their scales. casteth beams where it goes, like the beams of the For as the fish of the river receive, by being there, sun; it shines, it casts out rays of glory unto those the changeable colours of the waters, so profesthat drink thereof. The streams of this grace were sors, what doctrine they hear and drink, do look they that overtook Saul when he was going to Da- like that. If their doctrines are muddy, their mascus; they were the waters of this flood that notions are muddy; if their doctrines are bloody, compassed him round about. And if you will be their notions and tempers are bloody: but if their lieve him, he saith this light from heaven was a doctrines are clear, so are their notions, for their great light, a light above the brightness of the doctrine has given them a clear understanding of sun, a light that did by the glory of it make dark things.? to him all the things in the world. Ac. ix. 3; xxii. 6;

This is an excellent commentary upon that part of the

Pilgrim's Progress which describes Christiana and her com2. CLEAR is set in opposition to that which is not pany at the foot of the hill Difficulty. Greatheart points out pleasing. For to be clear is to be pleasant. Hence the spring at which Christiau was refreshed before he began it is said, “truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant world, to join in church fellowship, allegorically represented

the arduous ascent which led him, in defiance of a persecuting thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.' Ec. xi 7. I by the house Beautiful — When Christian drank it was clear

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Xxvi. 13.


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Now, here we have a river of water of life that cation, and are willing to be searched and sounded is clear-clear without dirt and mud-clear with to the bottom by those that have a desire to underout the human inventions and muddy conceptions take that work. So this river of water of life in of unsanctified and uninstructed judgments; yea, the fountain, and in the streams thereof, offer hiere you have a river the streams whereof lie themselves to the consideration and conscience of open to all in the church, so that they need not all men. To this end how often doth God, the those instruments of conveyance that are foul, and head of this river, and he out of whose throne it that use to make water stink, if they receive it to proceeds, call upon men to challenge lim, if they bring it to them that have need.

can, with any evil or misdoing towards them, either 4. By clear we sometimes understand purga- by presence or doctrine; hence he says, ' Put me tion; or that a thing has purged itself, or is purged in remembrance; let us plead together; declare from those soils and imputations of evil wherewith thou,' if thou canst, 'that thou mayest be justisometimes they have been charged. • Then thoufied,' and I condemned. Is. xliii. 26. So again : shalt be clear from this my oath;' or, How shall . What iniquity have your fathers found in me, we clear ourselves?' Ge. xxiv. 8–14 ; xliv. 16. Something that they are gone far from me, and have walked of this sense may be in the text; for if men are after vanity, and are become vain ?' Je. il. 5. So not afraid to charge God with folly, which is inti-Christ: • Which of you convinceth me of sin?' mated by that thou mightest be clear when thou Ju. viii. 46. And. If I have spoken evil, bear witness judgest,' Ps. li. 4, will they, think you, be afraid to of the evil.' Jn. xviii. 23. So Paul: We have reimpute evil to his Word, and grace, and Spirit? nounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walkNo, verily; they are bold enough at this work. ing in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God Nay, more than this, even from the foundation of deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth the world, men have cast slanders upon, and im- commending ourselves to every man's conscience puted base things unto the blessed grace of the in the sight of God.'2 Co. iv. 2. All these sengospel. But not to look so far back. Paul was tences are chiefly to be applied to doctrine, and so one of the pipes through which God conveyed this are, as it were, an offer to any, if they cai), to grace to the world ; and what was he counted for find a speck, or a spot, or a wrinkle, or any such his so doing, but a pestilent fellow, and a mover thing in this river of water of life. of sedition - throughout the world.' Ac. xxiv. 5, 6. Some men fly from it as from a bear; and some But, behold, no imputation can stick on the grace are afraid to drink of it, for fear it should be poison of God—not stick long; for that, like honey, will unto them. Some, again, dare not take it because purge itself of what filtha is put upon it, and of all it is not mixed, and as they, poor souls, imagine, bad imputations of evil men's springs, and rivers qualified and made toothsome by a little of that are of a self-purging quality, Now, here we have which is called the wisdom of this world. Thus to do with a river-a river of water of life ; but a -a

one shucks, another shrinks, and another will river more slandered than ever did Naaman the none of God. Meanwhile, whoso shall please to Syrian slander the waters of Israel in preferring look into this river shall find it harmless and clear; those of Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, yea, offering itself to the consciences of all men to beyond them. 2 Ki. v. 10–12. But behold now, at make trial if it be not the only chief good, the last, wlien all the world have done what they can, only necessary waters, the only profitable, for the and cast what reproaches and slanders upon it health of the soul, of all the things that are in they are able, it is a river pure and clear. It has the world, and as clear of mischief as is the sun purged itself before kings—it has purged itself of spots. before princes and judges, and all the Naamans in [Third.This river is clear to the most perfect the world ; it is still a river-a river of water of comparison.] life—a river of water of life CLEAR.

As John saw this river pure and clear, so ho 5. By clear we sometimes understand purity saw it clear to a comparison. Clear to the best of manifest, or innocency and goodness made known. comparisons, clear as crystal Crystal is a very • In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear stone, as clear as the clearest glass, if not CLEAR in this matter,' 2 Co. vii. 11. That is, you clearer; one may see far into it, yea, through it; have made it appear, and stand upon your justifi- it is without those spots, and streaks, and smirches

that are in other precious stones. Wherefore, and good, but now it is dirty; and with the feet of some that when he saith that this river is clear as crystal, it are not desirous that pilgrims should here quench their thirst.' After the writing of the first part, and before that of the is as if God should say, Look, sinners, look to the second, the Act of Uniformity had spread its baleful influence bottom of these my crystal streams. I have heard over England. To use Bunyan's words—The Romish beasts have corrupted the doctrine by treading it down with their 2 "Shuck,' to shake; obsolete as a verb, but retained as a feet, and have muddied this water with their own dirt and noun to designate the pea-shell, after the peas have been shouk tilthiness.'—(See Holy City.) -Ed.

ont.- Ep.





of some seas that are so pure and clear, that a he is here that he sinks, or that he is in danger man may see to the bottom though they may be of being drowned in mud or mire. forty feet deep. I know this river of water of life 3. The bottom of all is, as I said, that we miglit is a deep river; but though it is said to be deep, be saved, saved by grace, and I will add, 'through it is not said we can see no bottom. Indeed, as to the redemption that is in Christ.' This is still the wideness of it, it is said to be such as that it better and better. We read that, when Israel cannot be passed over; but I say, it is nowhere came over Jordan, the feet of the priests that did said that we cannot see to the bottom; nay, the bear the ark stood on firm ground in the bottom, comparison implies that a man with good eyes and that they set up great stones for a memorial may see to the bottom. It is clear, as clear as thereof. Jos. iii. 17; iv. 1—3. But had Jordan so good crystal. So, then, we will a little look down to a bottom as has this most blessed river of water of the bottom, and see, through these crystal streams, life, or were the stones that Israel took out thence what is at the bottom of all.

like this 'tried stone,' this sure foundation ?' Is. 1. Then the bottom of all is, ' that we might xxviii. 16. O the throne! this river comes out of the be saved.' Jn. v. 34. • These things I say,' saith throne, and we are saved by grace through the Christ, that ye might be saved ;' and, again, 1 redemption that is in him. We read that there is am come that you might have life, and that you a city that has foundations; grace is one, Christ might have it more abundantly.' In. x. 10. This is another, and the truth of all the prophets and the bottom of this great river of water of life, and apostles, as to their true doctrine, another, &c. He. of its proceeding from the throne of God and of xi. 10. And again, all these are the very

bottom of the Lamb: it is that we might be saved; it is that this goodly river of the water of life. Ep. ii. 19, 20. we might live. What a good bottom is here! 4. There is another thing to be seen at the botwhat a sound bottom is here! But few deep rivers tom of this holy river, and that is, the glory of have a good bottom. Mud is at the bottom of God; we are saved, saved by grace, saved by most waters in the world; even the sea itself, grace through the redemption that is in Christ to when it worketh, casts up mire and dirt, and so the praise and glory of God. And what a good do the hearts of sinners; but the bottom of this bottom is here. Grace will not fail, Christ has grace of God, and of the Spirit and Word thereof, been sufficiently tried, and God will not lose his is that we might be saved, consequently a very glory. Therefore they that drink of this river good bottom.

shall doubtless be saved ; to wit, they that drink 2. As the bottom of all is, that we may be of it of a spiritual appetite to it. And thus much saved,' so that we may be saved by grace, and for the explication of the text. this is a bottom sounder and sounder, Our salvation might have been laid upon a more difficult

(THE APPLICATION OF THE WHOLE.] bottom than this. It might have been laid on our works. God might have laid it there, and have I now come to make some use of the whole. been just, or he might have left us to have laid it You know our discourse has been at this time where we would; and then, to be sure, we had of the water of life, of its quantity, head-spring, laid it there, and so had made but a muddy bottom and quality; and I have showed you that its to have gone upon to life. But now, this river of nature is excellent, its quantity abundant, its headwater of life, it has a better bottom; the water of spring glorious, and its quality singularly good. life is as clear as crystal, look down to the bottom First. Let this, then, in the first place, be a and see, we are justified freely by his grace.' provocation to us to be more free in making use of this

• By grace ye are saved,' there is the water. There are many, now-a-days, that are for bottom. Ep. ii. 5, 8.

inventing of waters, to drink for the health of the Now, grace, as I have showed you, is a firm body; and to allure those that are ill to buy, they bottom to stand on; it is of grace that life inight will praise their waters beyond their worth. Yea, be sure. Ro. iv. 16.

Surely David was not here, or and if they be helpful to one person in a hundred, surely this was not the river that he spake of when they make as if they could cure every one. Well, he said, I sink in deep mire, where there is no here you have the great Physician himself, with his standing : I am come into deep waters, where the water, and he calls it the water of life, water of floods overflow me. Deliver me out of the mire, and life for the soul: this water is probatum est. It let me not sink.' Ps. Ixix. 2, 14. I say, to be sure has been proved times without number; it never this could not be the river. No, David was now fails but where it is not taken. Ac. xxvi. 18. L. v. 4, 5. straggled out of the way, was tumbled into some No disease comes amiss to it; it cures blindness, pit, or into some muddy and dirty hole; for as for this river it has a good bottom, a bottom of sal- used in advertising medical prescriptions, in Buuyau's tinc.

1 Probatum est—is proved—a scrap of Latin commonly vation by grace, and a man needs not cry out when -Ed.

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Ro. iii. 24.

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