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Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1032


Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.'--[Psalm 93:5]

London, by B. W., for Benj. Alsop, at the Angel and Bible, in the

Poultrey. 1684.

from --











This is the most searching treatise that has ever fallen under

our notice. It is an invaluable guide to those sincere Christians,

who, under a sense of the infinite importance of the salvation of

an immortal soul, and of the deceitfulness of their hearts, sigh

and cry, "O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest

the reins (most secret thoughts) and the heart.' "Try MY reins and

my heart.' for it is deceitful above all things, and desperately

wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the

reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according

to the fruit of his doings.' He, in whose heart the Holy Spirit

has raised the solemn inquiry, What must I do to be saved?' flies

from his own estimate of himself, with distrust and fear, and

appeals to an infallible and unerring scrutiny. Search me, O God,

and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there

be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.'

Reader, are you desirous of having your hopes of pardon, and of

heaven, weighed in the unerring balances of the sanctuary; while

you are yet in a state of probation? Meditate and ponder over

this faithful little work. If accompanied by the Divine blessing,

it will test your faith and practice in the crucible and by the

fire of God's word. It is intended to turn your spirit inside

out--to lay bare every insidious enemy that may have crept in and

lie lurking in the walls of Mansoul. It exhibits sin in all its

hideous deformity, stript of its masquerade and disguises; so that

it appears, what it really is, the great enemy to human happiness.

It is calculated to stir up our pure minds to incessant vigilance,

lest we should wander upon tempting, but forbidden paths; and be

caught by Giant Despair, to become the object of his cruelty in

Doubting Castle.

This work was first published in 1684, in a pocket volume,

comprising nine sheets duodecimo; but became so rare, as to have

escaped the researches of Wilson, Whitefield, and other editors

of the collected works of Mr. Bunyan,--until about the year 1780,

when it was first re-published in an edition of his works, with

notes, by Mason and Ryland. The evident object of this treatise

was to aid Christian efforts, under the Divine blessing, in

stemming the torrent of iniquity, which, like an awful flood, was

overspreading this country. The moral and religious restraints,

which the government under the Commonwealth had imposed, were

dissolved by the accession of a debauched prince to the throne of

England; a prince who was bribed, to injure or destroy the best

interests of the country, by the voluptuous court of France. He

had taken refuge there from the storm; and had been defiled and

corrupted beyond ordinary conception. The king and his court were

surrounded by pimps, panders, courtesans, and flatterers. The

example of the court spread throughout the country--religion became

a jest and laughing-stock; and those who were not to be cajoled

out of their soul's eternal happiness--whose vital godliness

preserved them in the midst of such evil examples and allurements,

were persecuted with unrelenting rigour. The virtuous Lord

William Russel, and the illustrious Sydney, fell by the hands of

the executioner: John Hampden was fined forty thousand pounds.

The hand of God was stretched out. An awful pestilence carried

off nearly seventy thousand of the inhabitants of London. In the

following year, that rich and glorious city, with the cathedral--the

churches--public buildings-and warehouses, replenished with

merchandise--were reduced to ashes. The Dutch fleet sailed up the

Thames and threatened destruction to our navy, and even to the

government,--filling the court and country with terror. Still

profligacy reigned in the court and country--a fearful persecution

raged against all who refused to attend the church service. Thousands

perished in prison, and multitudes were condemned to expatriate

themselves. The timid and irresolute abandoned the faith,--desolation

spread over the church of God. At this time, at imminent risk, John

Bunyan not only fearlessly preached, but published his faithful

Advice to Sufferers;' which was immediately followed by this

important work, calling upon every one who named the name of

Christ, 'at all hazards, to depart from iniquity.' They were words

in season,' and were good,' like apples of gold in pictures of

silver.' (Prov. 25:11)

The contrast in public manners must have been painfully felt by

one, who had seen and enjoyed the general appearances, and doubtless

many real proofs of piety, which prevailed under the protectorate

of Cromwell. He was now called to witness the effects of open

and avowed wickedness among governors and nobles, by which the

fountains of iniquity were opened up, and a flood of immorality let

loose upon all classes; demoralizing the nation, and distressing

the church. It must have been difficult to form any thing like

an accurate estimate of the number of those who abandoned their

Christian profession. The immoral conduct of one bad man is more

conspicuous than the unobtrusive holiness of ninety-nine good men;

more especially, when a professor becomes profane. Thus Bunyan

argues, 'One black sheep is quickly espied among five hundred

white ones, and one mangey one will soon infect many. One also,

among the saints, that is not clean, is a blemish to the rest,

and as Solomon says, 'One sinner destroyeth much good.' p. 527. It

is more congenial to our fallen nature to notice, and be grieved

with, evil conduct, than it is to rejoice over that excellence

which may cast the observer into the shade; besides the jaundiced

fear that good works may arise from improper motives. These principles

equally applied to the state of society under the Presbyterian

government: but when the restoration to the old system took place,

so vast a change passed over society, like a pestilence, 'that sin,

through custom, became no sin. The superfluity of naughtiness,'

says Bunyan, 'is at this day become no sin with many.' p. 509.

'There are a good many professors now in England that have nothing

to distinguish them from the worst of men,' but their praying,

reading, hearing of sermons, baptism, church fellowship, and

breaking of bread. Separate them but from these, and every where

else they are as black as others, even in their whole life and

conversation.' p. 508. 'It is marvellous to me to see sin so high

amidst the swarms of professors that are found in every corner

of this land.' If the conduct of many professors were so vile, as

there can be no doubt but that it was, how gross must have been

that of the openly profane? It accounts for the wicked wit and

raillery of Hudibras, when so many professors threw off the mask

and gloried in their hypocrisy--Butler shut his eyes to the cruel

sufferings of thousands who perished in jails, the martyrs to the

sincerity of their faith and conduct. The falling away was indeed

great; and Bunyan, with all earnestness, warns his readers that,

'To depart from iniquity is to shun those examples, those beastly

examples to drunkenness--to whoredom--to swearing--to lying--to

stealing--to sabbath-breaking--to pride--to covetousness--to

deceit--to hypocrisy, that in every corner of the country present

themselves to men.' p. 517. 'O the fruits of repentance thick sown

by preachers, come up but thinly! Where are they found? Confession

of sin, shame for sin, amendment of life, restitution for cozening,

cheating, defrauding, beguiling thy neighbour,--where shall these

fruits of repentance be found? Repentance is the bitter pill,

without the sound working of which, base and sinful humour rest

unstirred, unpurged, undriven out of the soul.' p. 519.

'I would not be austere,' said Bunyan, 'but were wearing of gold,

putting on of apparel, dressing up houses, decking of children,

learning of compliments, boldness in women, lechery in men, wanton

behaviour, lascivious words, and tempting carriages, signs of

repentance; then I must say, the fruits of repentance swarm in our

land.' 'The tables of God's book are turned upside down. Love,

to their doctrine, is gone out of the country.' 'Love is gone, and

now coveting, pinching, griping, and such things, are in fashion;

now iniquity abounds instead of grace, in many that name the name

of Christ.' p. 529, 520. 'Alas! alas! there is a company of half

priests in the world; they dare not teach the people the whole

counsel of God, because they would condemn themselves, and their

manner of living in the world: where is that minister now to

be found, that dare say to his people, walk as you have me for

an example, or that dare say, what you see and hear to be in me,

do, and the God of peace shall be with you.' p. 520. Such was the

general character of the parish priests, after the black Bartholomew

Act had driven the pious and godly ministers from the parish

churches. It is almost a miracle that Bunyan escaped persecution

for his plain dealing. We cannot wonder, that under such teachers,

'Christians learned to be proud one of another, to be covetous,

to be treacherous, and false, to be cowardly in God's matters, to

be remiss and negligent in christian duties, one of another.' p.

525. A scandal was thus brought upon religion. 'Upon this I write

with a sigh; for never more than now. There is no place where the

professors of religion are, that is free from offence and scandal.

Iniquity is so entailed to religion, and baseness of life to the

naming the name of Christ, that 'All places are full of vomit and

filthiness.' 'Ah! Lord God, this is a lamentation, that a sore

disease is got into the church of God.' p. 529. It was a period

when a more awful plague raged as to morals and religion, than

that which, about the same time, had ravaged London with temporal

death--the plague of hypocrisy--of naming the name of Christ, and

still living in sin. 'Hypocrisies are of that nature, that they

spread themselves over the mind as the leprosy does over the body.

It gets in the pulpit, in conference, in closets, in communion of

saints, in faith, in love, in repentance, in zeal, in humility,

in alms, in the prison, and in all duties, and makes the whole a

loathsome stink in the nostrils of God.' p. 538 These licentious

times, in which we live, are full of iniquity.' p. 539. 'They change

one bad way for another, hopping, as the squirrel, from bough to

bough, but not willing to forsake the tree,--from drunkards to be

covetous, and from that to pride and lasciviousness--this is a grand

deceit, common, and almost a disease epidemical among professors.'

p. 532. 'The sins of our day are conspicuous and open as Sodom's

were; pride and covetousness, loathing of the gospel, and contemning

holiness, have covered the face of the nation.' p. 534. The infection

had spread into the households of professors. 'Bless me, saith a

servant, are those the religious people! Are these the servants

of God, where iniquity is made so much of, and is so highly

entertained! And now is his heart filled with prejudice against

all religion, or else he turns hypocrite like his master and

his mistress, wearing, as they, a cloak of religion to cover all

abroad, while all naked and shameful at home.' p. 536. 'He looked

for a house full of virtue, and behold nothing but spider-webs;

fair and plausible abroad, but like the sow in the mire at home.'

The immoral taint infected the young. '0! it is horrible to

behold how irreverently, how easily, and malapertly, children,

yea, professing children, at this day, carry it to their parents;

snapping and checking, curbing and rebuking of them, as if they

had received a dispensation from God to dishonour and disobey

parents.' p. 535. 'This day, a sea and deluge of iniquity has

drowned those that have a form of godliness. Now immorality shall,

with professors, be in fashion, be pleaded for, be loved and more

esteemed than holiness; even those that have a form of godliness,

hate the life and power thereof, yea, they despise them that are

good.' p. 543.

This melancholy picture of vice and profligacy was drawn by one

whose love of truth rendered him incapable of deceit or of

exaggeration. It was published at the time, and was unanswered,

because unanswerable. It was not painted from imagination by an

ascetic; but from life by an enlightened observer--not by the poor

preaching mechanic when incarcerated in a jail for his godliness;

but when his painful sufferings were past--when his Pilgrim,

produced by the folly of persecutors, had rendered him famous through

Europe--when his extraordinary pulpit talents were matured and

extensively known, so that thousands crowded to hear him preach--when

his labours were sought in London and in the country--when his

opportunities of observation had become extended far beyond most of

his fellow-ministers. The tale is as true as it is full of painful

interest. The causes of all this vice are perfectly apparent.

Whenever a government abuses its powers by interfering with divine

worship--by preferring one sect above all others; whether it be

Presbyterian, Independent, or Episcopalian--such a requiring the

things that are God's to be rendered unto Caesar, must be the

prolific source of persecution, hypocrisy, and consequent immorality

and profaneness. The impure process of immorality as checked by

the rival labours of all the sects to promote vital godliness.

Can we wonder that such a state of society was not long permitted

to exist? In three troublous years from the publication of this

book, the licentious monarch was swept away by death, not without

suspicion of violence, and his besotted popish successor fled to

die in exile. An enlightened monarch was placed upon the vacant

throne, and persecution was deprived of its tiger claws and teeth

by the act of toleration.

However interesting to the christian historian, and humbling to

human pride, the facts may be which are here disclosed; it was

not the author's intention thus to entertain his readers. No; this

invaluable tract has an object in view of far greater importance. It

is an earnest, affectionate, but pungent appeal to all professors

of every age, and nation, and sect, to the end of time. The

admonition of the text is to you, my reader, and to me; whether

we be rich or poor, ministers or ministered unto, it comes home

equally to every heart, from the mightiest potentate through

every grade of society to the poorest peasant. May the sound ever

reverberate in our ears and be engraven upon our hearts, 'Let

every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.'

The analysis of this book exhibits--How solemn a thing it is to name

the name of Christ, as the author and finisher of our faith--God

manifest in the flesh, to bear the curse for us, and to work out

our everlasting salvation. The hosts of heaven rejoice over the

penitent sinner ransomed from the pit of wrath. Is it possible for

the soul that has escaped eternal burnings--that has experienced

the bitterness and exceeding sinfulness of sin--that has felt the

misery of transgression--that has been brought up out of that deep

and horrible pit--to backslide and plunge again into misery, with

his eyes open to see the smoke of their torments ascending up

before him? Is it possible that he should heedlessly enter the

vortex, and be again drawn into wretchedness? Yes; it is alas too

true. Well may the Lord, by his prophet, use these striking words,

'Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid,

be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed

two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters,

and hewed out broken cisterns, that can hold no water.' (Jer.


The extreme folly of such conduct would render the fact almost

incredible, did we not too frequently witness it in others, and

feel it in our own hearts. This volume places these facts plainly

before us, and affectionately exhorts us to be watchful, and

diligently to inquire into the causes of such evil, and the remedies

which ought to be applied. It shews us the great varieties that

are found in the tempers and qualities of God's children, in words

calculated to make an indelible impression.

'But in this great house of God there will not only be golden and

silver Christians, but wooden and earthly ones. And if any man

purge himself from these [earthly ones], from their companies and

vices, he shall be a vessel to honour, sanctified, and meet for

the masters use, and prepared for every good work.' p. 518 Bunyan

earnestly cautions his readers to constant watchfulness, 'for sin

is one of the most quick and brisk things that are.' p. 515. And

jealousy over ourselves, lest our hearts should deceive us. 'The

young man in the gospel that cried to Christ to shew him the way

to life, had some love to his salvation; but it was not a love that

was strong as death, cruel as the grave, and hotter than coals of

juniper.' (Song 8:6) It cost nothing--no self denial, no sacrifice.

'Such will love as long as mouth and tongue can wag' will pray and

hear sermons, but will not cut off a darling lust; such deceive

their own souls. Some are allured but not changed: 'There is some

kind of musicalness in the word; when well handled and fingered

by a skilful preacher,' it has a momentary influence; 'they hear

thy words, but do them not.' (Eze. 33:30) Above all things, beware

of hypocrisy, for when it once enters, it spreads over the soul,

as the leprosy does over the body. p. 521. 'He is the same man,

though he has got a new mouth. p. 532. 'Many that shew like saints

abroad, yet act the part of devils when they are at home. Wicked

professors are practical atheists. 'The dirty life of a professor

lays stumbling blocks in the way of the blind.' p. 545. 'A professor

that hath not forsaken his iniquity, is like one that comes out

of the pest-house, among the whole, with his plaguey sores running

upon him. This is the man that hath the breath of a dragon;

he poisons the air round about him. This is the man that slays

his children, his kinsmen, his friend, and himself. They are the

devil's most stinking tail, with which he casts many a professor

into carnal delights, with their filthy conversations.' p. 530.

'Oh! the millstone that God will shortly hang about your necks, when

the time is come that you must be drowned in the sea and deluge

of God's wrath.' p. 530. Rather than thus rush upon Jehovah's

fiercest anger, 'Tell the world, if you will not depart from

iniquity, that Christ and you are parted, and that you have left

him to be embraced by them to whom iniquity is an abomination.'

p. 530. Thus faithfully and affectionately did Bunyan deal with

his hearers and readers. And he takes an occasion, now in his

maturer years, to confirm the sentiments which he had formerly

published in his 'Differences in Judgment about Water Baptism

no Bar to Communion.' 'It is strange to see at this day how,

notwithstanding, all the threatenings of God, men are wedded to

their own opinions, beyond what the law of grace and love will

admit. Here is a Presbyterian, here an Independent, here a Baptist,

so joined each man to his own opinion, that they cannot have that

communion one with another, as by the testament of the Lord Jesus

they are commanded and enjoined.' 'To help thee in this, keep thine

eye much upon thine own base self, be clothed with humility, and

prefer thy brother before thyself; and know that Christianity

lieth not in small matters, neither before God nor understanding

men.' I have often said in my heart, what is the reason that some

of the brethren should be so shy of holding communion with those,

every whit as good, if not better than themselves? Is it because

they think themselves unworthy of their holy fellowship? No,

verily; it is because they exalt themselves.' p.538. He goes on to

declare that the difficulties which sin and Satan place in the way

of the Christian pilgrim ought never to be concealed. Salvation is

to be worked out with fear and trembling. It is only by divine

aid, by dependence upon our heavenly Father, that it can be

accomplished. 'To depart from iniquity to the utmost degree of

requirement, is a copy too fair for mortal flesh exactly to imitate,

while we are in this world. But with good paper, good ink, and

a good pen, a skilful and willing man may go far.' p. 546, 547.

Mr. Ryland's note on the Christian's trials is, 'when the love of

sin is subdued in the conscience, then peace will flow in like a

river, God will be glorified, Christ exalted; and the happy soul,

under the teachings and influence of the all-wise, omnipotent

Spirit, will experience sweet peace and joy in believing.' Millions

of pilgrims have entered the celestial city, having fought their

way to glory; and then, while singing the conqueror's song, all

their troubles by the way must have appeared as sufferings but

for a moment, which worked out for them an eternal and exceeding

weight of glory, And then how blessed the song to him that hath

loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and made

us kings and priests unto our God. To him be glory and dominion

for ever and ever. Amen.--Geo. Offor.


 2011/1/26 16:24Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1032



When I write of justification before God from the dreadful curse

of the law; then I must speak of nothing but grace, Christ, the

promise, and faith. But when I speak of our justification before

men then I must join to these good works. For grace, Christ, and

faith, are things invisible, and so not to be seen by another,

otherwise than through a life that becomes so blessed a gospel as

has declared unto us the remission of our sins for the sake of

Jesus Christ. He then that would have forgiveness of sins, and so be

delivered from the curse of God, must believe in the righteousness

and blood of Christ: but he that would shew to his neighbours

that he hath truly received this mercy of God, must do it by good

works; for all things else to them is but talk: as for example,

a tree is known to be what it is, to wit, whether of this or that

kind, by its fruit. A tree it is, without fruit, but as long as

it so abideth, there is ministered occasion to doubt what manner

of tree it is.

A professor is a professor, though he hath no good works; but

that, as such, he is truly godly, he is foolish that so concludeth.

(Matt. 7:17,18; James 2:18) Not that works makes a man good; for

the fruit maketh not a good tree, it is the principle, to wit,

Faith, that makes a man good, and his works that shew him to be

so. (Matt. 7:16; Luke 6:44)

What then? why all professors that have not good works flowing

from their faith are naught; are bramble bushes; are 'nigh unto

cursing, whose end is to be burned.' (Heb. 6:8) For professors by

their fruitlessness declare that they are not of the planting of

God, nor the wheat, 'but tares and children of the wicked one.'

(Matt. 13:37, 38)

Not that faith needeth good works as an help to justification

before God. For in this matter faith will be ignorant of all good

works, except those done by the person of Christ. Here, then, the

good man 'worketh not, but believeth.' (Rom. 4:5). For he is not

now to carry to God, but to receive at his hand the matter of his

justification by faith; nor is the matter of his justification

before God ought else but the good deeds of another man, to wit,

Christ Jesus.

But is there, therefore, no need at all of good works, because a

man is justified before God without them? or can that be called

a justifying faith, that has not for its fruit good works? (Job

22:3; James 2:20, 26) Verily good works are necessary, though God

need them not; nor is that faith, as to justification with God,

worth a rush, that abideth alone, or without them.

There is, therefore, a twofold faith of Christ in the world, and

as to the notion of justifying righteousness, they both concur and

agree, but as to the manner of application, there they vastly differ.

The one, to wit, the non-saving faith, standeth in speculation

and naked knowledge of Christ, and so abideth idle: but the other

truly seeth and receives him, and so becometh fruitful. (John

1:12; Heb. 11:13; Rom. 10:16) And hence the true justifying faith

is said to receive, to embrace, to obey the Son of God, as tendered

in the gospel: by which expression is shewed both the nature of

justifying faith, in its actings in point of justification, and

also the cause of its being full of good works in the world. A

gift is not made mine by my seeing of it, or because I know the

nature of the thing so given; but then it is mine if I receive and

embrace it, yea, and as to the point in hand, if I yield myself

up to stand and fall by it. Now, he that shall not only see, but

receive, not only know, but embrace the Son of God, to be justified

by him, cannot but bring forth good works, because Christ who is

now received and embraced by faith, leavens and seasons the spirit

of this sinner, through his faith, to the making of him capable so

to be [justified].(Acts 15:9; Gen. 18:19; Heb. 11:11) Faith made

Sarah receive strength to conceive seed, and we are sanctified

through faith, which is in Christ. For faith hath joined Christ and

the soul together, and being so joined, the soul is one spirit

with him; not essentially, but in agreement and oneness of

design. Besides, when Christ is truly received and embraced to

the justifying of the sinner, in that man's heart he dwells by

his word and Spirit, through the same faith also. Now Christ by

his Spirit and word must needs season the soul he thus dwells in:

so then the soul being seasoned, it seasoneth the body; and body

and soul, the life and conversation.

We know it is not the seeing, but taking of a potion, that maketh

it work as it should, nor is the blood of Christ a purge to this

or that conscience, except received by faith. (Heb. 9:14)

Shall that then be counted right believing in Christ unto

justification, that amounts to no more than to an idle speculation,

or naked knowledge of him? shall that knowledge of him, I say,

be counted such, as only causes the soul to behold, but moveth it

not to good works? No, verily. For the true beholding of Jesus to

justification and life, changes from glory to glory. (2 Cor. 3:18)

Nor can that man that hath so believed, as that by his faith he

hath received and embraced Christ for life before God, be destitute

of good works: for, as I said, the word and Spirit comes also by

this faith, and dwells in the heart and conscience. Now, shall

a soul where the word and Spirit of Christ dwells, be a soul

without good works? Yea, shall a soul that has received the love,

the mercy, the kindness, grace and salvation of God through the

sorrows, tears, groans, cross, and cruel death of Christ, be yet

a fruitless tree! God forbid. This faith is as the salt which the

prophet cast into the spring of bitter water, it makes the soul

good and serviceable for ever. (2 Kings 2:19-22) If the receiving

of a temporal gift naturally tends to the making of us to move our

cap and knee, and binds us to be the servant of the giver, shall

we think that faith will leave him who by it has received Christ,

to be as unconcerned as a stock or stone, or that its utmost

excellency is to provoke the soul to a lip-labour, and to give

Christ a few fair words for his pains and grace, and so wrap up

the business? No, no; 'the love of Christ constraineth us' thus

to judge that it is but reasonable, since he gave his all for us,

that we should give our some for him. (2 Cor. 5:14,15)

Let no man, then, deceive himself, as he may and will if he takes

not heed with true notions, but examine himself concerning his

faith, to wit; Whether he hath any? and if some, Whether of that

kind that will turn to account in the day when God shall judge

the world.

I told you before that there is a twofold faith, and now I will

tell you that there are two sorts of good works; and a man may

be shrewdly guessed at with reference to his faith, even by the

works that he chooseth to be conversant in.

There are works that cost nothing, and works that are chargeable.

And observe it, the unsound faith will choose to itself the most

easy works it can find. For example, there is reading, praying,

hearing of sermons, baptism, breaking of bread, church fellowship,

preaching, and the like; and there is mortification of lusts,

charity, simplicity, open-heartedness, with a liberal hand to the

poor, and their like also. Now the unsound faith picks and chooses,

and takes and leaves, but the true faith does not so.

There are a great many professors now in England that have nothing

to distinguish them from the worst of men, but their praying,

reading, hearing of sermons, baptism, church-fellowship, and breaking

of bread. Separate them but from these, and everywhere else they

are as black as others, even in their whole life and conversation.

Thus they have chosen to them the most easy things to do them, but

love not to be conscionably found in the practice of the other;

a certain sign their faith is nought, and that these things, even

the things they are conversant in, are things attended to of them,

not for the ends for which God has appointed them, but to beguile

and undo themselves withal.

Praying, hearing, reading; for what are these things ordained,

but that we might by the godly use of them attain to more of the

knowledge of God, and be strengthened by his grace to serve him

better according to his moral law? Baptism, fellowship, and the

Lord's supper, are ordained for these ends also. But there is a

vast difference between using of these things, and a using of them

for these ends. A man may pray, yea pray for such things, had he

them, as would make him better in morals, without desire to be

better in morals, or love to the things he prays for. A man may

read and hear, not to learn to do, though to know; yea he may be

dead to doing moral goodness, and yet be great for reading and

hearing all his days. The people then among all professors that

are zealous of good works are the peculiar ones to Christ. (Titus

2:14) What has a man done that is baptized, if he pursues not

the ends for which that appointment was ordained. The like I say

of fellowship, of breaking of bread, etc.. For all these things

we should use to support our faith, to mortify the flesh, and

strengthen us to walk in newness of life by the rule of the moral

law. Nor can that man be esteemed holy whose life is tainted with

immoralities, let him be what he can in all things else. I am

of that man's mind as to practical righteousness, who said to

Christ upon this very question, 'Well, master, thou hast said the

truth;--for to love the Lord our God with all the heart, and with

all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the

strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all

whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.' (Mark 12:28-33) To love

my neighbour as myself, to do as I would be done unto, this is

the law and the prophets. And he that is altogether a stranger to

these things, how dwelleth the love of God in him; or how will he

manifest to another that his faith will save him?

Satan is afraid that men should hear of justification by Christ,

lest they should embrace it. But yet, if he can prevail with them

to keep fingers off, though they do hear and look on, and practise

lesser things, he can the better bear it; yea, he will labour

to make such professors bold to conclude they shall by that kind

of faith enjoy him, though by that they cannot embrace him, nor

lay hold of him. For he knows that how far soever a man engages

in a profession of Christ with a faith that looks on, but cannot

receive nor embrace him, that faith will leave him to nothing but

mistaken and disappointments at last.

The gospel comes to some in word only, and the faith of such stands

but in a verbal sound; but the apostle was resolved not to know

or take notice of such a faith. (1 Thess. 1:4, 5) 'For the kingdom

of God, saith he, 'is not in word, but in power.' (1 Cor. 1:18-20)'

He whose faith stands only in a saying, I believe, has his works

in bare words also, and as virtual is the one as the other, and

both insignificant enough. 'If a brother or sister be naked, and

destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in

peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not

those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone.' (James

2:15-17) This faith, therefore, Satan can allow, because it is

somewhat of kin to his own. (vs. 10)

Besides, what greater contempt can be cast upon Christ than by

such wordy professors is cast upon him? These are the men that by

practice say, the gospel is but an empty sound. Yet, the more they

profess, the louder they proclaim it thus to be, to his disgrace,

while they, not withstanding their profession of faith, hold and

maintain their league with the devil and sin. The Son of God was

manifest that he might destroy the works of the devil, but these

men profess his faith and keep these works alive in the world.

(1 John 3) Shall these pass for such as believe to the saving of

the soul? For a man to be content with this kind of faith, and to

look to go to salvation by it, what to God is a greater provocation?

The devil laugheth here, for he knows he has not lost his vassal

by such a faith as this, but that rather he hath made use of the

gospel, that glorious word of life, to secure his captive, through,

his presumption of the right faith, the faster in his shackles.

It is marvellous to me to see sin so high amidst the swarms of

professors that are found in every corner of this land. Nor can

any other reason be given for it, but because the gospel has lost

its wonted virtue, or because professors want faith therein. But

do you think it is because of the first? no, the word of our God

shall stand in its strength for ever; the faith of such therefore

is not right; they have for shields of gold, made themselves

shields of brass; or instead of the primitive faith, which was

of the operation of God, they have got to themselves a faith that

stands by the power, and in the wisdom of man. (2 Chron. 12:9, 10;

Col. 2:12; 1 Cor. 2:4, 5) And, to say no more to this, for what

is God so angry with this land, but for the sin of the professors

that dwell therein, while they have polluted his name with their

gifts, and with their idols? God, I say, has been provoked most

bitterly by us, while we have profaned his name, making use of

his name, his word, and ordinances, to serve ourselves, '0 Lord,

what wilt thou do to this land.' We are every one looking for

something; even for something that carrieth terror and dread in

the sound of its wings as it comes, though we know not the form

nor visage thereof.[1] One cries out, another has his hands upon

his loins, and a third is made mad with the sight of his eyes, and

with what his ears do hear. And as their faith hath served them

about justification, so it now serves them about repentance and

reformation: it can do nothing here neither; for though, as was

said, men cry out, and are with their hands upon their loins for

fear; yet, where is the church, the house, the man that stands in

the gap for the land, to turn away this wrath by repentance, and

amendment of life? Behold the Lord cometh forth out of his place,

and will come down and tread upon the places of the earth, and

the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be

cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured

down a steep place. But what is the cause of all this?--For the

transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house

of Israel. (Micah 1:5)

It is that that is observed by them that can make observation,

that all that God has done to us already has been ineffectual as

to cause that humility and reformation, by which his judgments

must be turned away. Repentance is rare this day, and yet without

doubt, that without which, things will grow worse and worse. As

for them that hope that God will save his people, though but from

temporal judgments, whether they repent and reform, or do otherwise,

I must leave them and their opinions together: this I have found,

that sometimes the repentance, even of the godly, has come too

late to divert such judgments. And, how some of the godly should

be so indulged as to be saved from punishment without repentance,

when the true and unfeigned repentance of others will not deliver

them, leaves me, I confess, in a wilderness! But that which is most

of all to be lamented is, that sin, through custom, is become no

sin. The superfluity of naughtiness is at this day become no sin

with many. Surely this was the case with Israel, else how could

they say when the prophets so bitterly denounced God's judgments

against them, 'Because we are innocent, surely his anger shall

turn from us.' (Jer. 2:35) When custom or bad example has taken

away the conscience of sin, it is a sign that [that] soul is in

a dangerous lethargy; and yet this is the condition of the most

that profess amongst us this day. But to leave this and to proceed.

As there is a twofold faith, two sorts of good works, and the like,

so there is also a twofold love to Christ; the one standing, or

stopping, in some passions of the mind and affections; the other

is that which breaks through all difficulties to the holy commandment

to do it. Of both these there is mention made in the scripture;

and though all true love begins at the heart, yet that love is

but little set by that breaks not through to practice. How many

are there in the world that seem to have the first, but how few

shew the second. The young man in the gospel, (Mark 10:17) did

by his running, kneeling, crying, inquiring, and entreating of

Christ, to shew him the way to life, shew that he had inward love

to Christ and his own salvation; but yet it was not a love that

was 'strong as death,' 'cruel as the grave,' and hotter than the

coals of juniper. (Song 8:6) It was a love that stopped in mind

and affection, but could not break out into practice. This kind

of love, if it be let alone, and not pressed to proceed till it

comes into a labouring practising of the commandment, will love

as long as you will, to wit, as long as mouth and tongue can wag;

but yet you shall not, by all your skill drive this love farther

than the mouth; 'for with their mouth they shew much love, but

their heart goeth after their covetousness.' (Ezek. 33:31)

Nor may this love be counted for that of the right kind, because

it is in the heart, for the heart knows how to dissemble about

love, as much as about other matters. This is feigned love, or

love that pretends to dear affections for Christ, but can bestow

no cost upon him. Of this kind of love the world is full at this

day, especially the professors of this age; but as I said, of

this the Lord Jesus makes little or no account, for that it hath

in it an essential defectiveness. Thus, therefore, Christ and his

servants describe the love that is true and of the right kind,

and that with reference to himself and church.

First, with reference to himself. 'If a man love me,' saith he,

'he will keep my words.' (John 14:23) And again, 'He that hath

my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.' And,

'He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings.' 'And the word

which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.' Behold

you now where Christ placeth a sign of love, it is not in word

nor in tongue, not in great and seemingly affectionate gestures,

but in a practical walking in the law of the Lord. Hence such,

and such only, are called the undefiled in the way. You know who

says, 'I am the way.' 'Blessed,' saith David, 'are the undefiled

in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.' (Ps. 119:1)

But here again the hypocrite will give us the slip by betaking

himself to exterior matters, as to his 'mint and anise and cummin.'

(Matt. 23:23) Still neglecting the more weighty matters of the

law, to wit, judgment, mercy, faith; or else to the significative

ordinances, still neglecting to do to all men as he would

they should do to him. But let such know that God never ordained

significative ordinances, such as baptism, the Lord's supper, or

the like, for the sake of water, or of bread and wine; nor yet

because he takes any delight that we are dipped in water, or eat

that bread; but they were ordained to minister to us by the aptness

of the elements, through our sincere partaking of them, further

knowledge of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and of

our death and resurrection by him to newness of life. Wherefore,

he that eateth and believeth not, and he that is baptized, and

is not dead to sin, and walketh not in newness of life, neither

keepeth these ordinances nor pleaseth God. Now to be dead to sin,

is to be dead to those things forbidden in the moral law. For sin

is the transgression of that, and it availeth not to vaunt that

I am a saint and under this or that significative ordinance, if

I live in' the transgression of the law.'(1 John 3:4) For I am

convicted of the law as a transgressor, and so concluded to be one

that loveth not Christ, though I make a noise of my obedience to

Christ, and of my partaking of his significative ordinances. The

Jews of old made a great noise with their significative ordinances,

while they lived in the breach of the moral law, but their practice

of significative ordinances could not save them from the judgment

and displeasure of their God. They could frequent the temple, keep

their feasts, slay their sacrifices, and be mighty apt about all

their significative things. But they loved idols, and lived in the

breach of the second table of the law: wherefore God cast them out

of his presence: hark what the prophet saith of them, (Amos 4:4)

'Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression;

and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after

three years: and offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven,

and proclaim and publish the free-will offerings: for this liketh

you, 0 ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God.' Thus, as I

said, the hypocrite gives us the slip; for when he heareth that

love is in the keeping of the commandments of God, then he betakes

him to the more external parts of worship, and neglecteth the more

weighty matters to the provoking of the God of Israel.

Second, As love to God is shewed by keeping of his commandments;

so love to my neighbour, is the keeping of the commandments of

God likewise. 'By this we know that we love the children of God,

when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love

of God,'--in us, both to God and man, 'that we keep his commandments:

and his commandments are not grievous.' (1 John 5:2, 3) He that

keepeth not God's commandments, loves neither God nor men.

Thus then we must learn to love one another. He that keepeth God's

commandment, doth to his brother what is right, for that is God's

commandment. He that keeps God's commandment, doth to his brother

even as he would be done unto himself, for that is God's commandment.

He that keeps God's commandment, shutteth not up his bowels of

compassion from him, for the contrary is his commandment. Further,

he that keepeth God's commandment sheweth his brother what he must

do to honour the Christ that he professeth, aright: therefore, he

that keeps the commandment, loves his brother. Yea, the keeping

of the commandment is loving the brethren.

But if all love, which we pretend to have one to another, were

tried by this one text, how much of that that we call so, would

be found to be nothing less? Preposterous are our spirits in all

things, nor can they be guided right, but by the word and Spirit

of God; the which, the good Lord grant unto us plentifully, that

we may do that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus

Christ our Lord. Yea, and that there may, by them, be wrought

sound repentance in us for all that hath been done by us amiss,

lest he give 'Jacob to the spoil, and Israel to the robbers;' for

that they have sinned against him by not walking in his ways, and

by not being obedient to his law. (Isa. 42:24)

Let me add, lest God doth not only punish us in the sight, and by

the hand of the wicked; but embolden them to say, it was God that

set them on; yea, lest they make those sins of ours, which we

have not repented of, not only their bye-word against us to after

generations, but the argument, one to another, of their justification

for all the evil that they shall be suffered to do unto us: saying,

when men shall ask them, 'Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto

this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?' (Deut.

29:24; 1 Kings 9:8; Jer. 22:8) 'Even because they have forsaken

the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, and walked not in

his ways.'



 2011/1/26 16:29Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1032




INIQUITY,--2 TIM. 2:19

TIMOTHY, unto whom this epistle was writ, was an evangelist, that

is, inferior to apostles and extra-ordinary prophets, and above

ordinary pastors and teachers. (2 Tim. 4:5; Eph. 4:11) And he

with the rest of those under his circumstances was to go with the

apostles hither and thither, to be disposed of by them as they saw

need, for the further edification of those who by the apostolical

ministry were converted to the faith: and hence it is, that Titus

was left at Crete, and that this Timothy was left at Ephesus. (1

Tim. 1:3) For they were to do a work for Christ in the world,

which the apostles were to begin, and leave upon their hands to

finish. Now when the apostles departed from places, and had left

these evangelists in their stead, usually there did arise some

bad spirits among those people, where these were left for the

furtherance of the faith. This is manifest by both the epistles

to Timothy, and also by that to Titus: wherefore Paul, upon whom

these two evangelists waited for the fulfilling of their ministry,

writeth unto them while they abode where he left them, concerning

those turbulent spirits which they met with, and to teach them how

yet further they ought to behave themselves in the house of God,

which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground

of truth. And to this purpose he gives them, severally, divers

instructions, as the judicious reader may easily understand, by

which he encourageth them to the prosecution of that service which

for Christ they had to do for those people where he had left them,

and also instructeth them how to carry it towards their disturbers,

which last he doth, not only doctrinally, but also by shewing

them, by his example and practice, what he would have them do.

This done, he laboureth to comfort Timothy with the remembrance

of the steadfastness of God's eternal decree of election, because

grounded on his foreknowledge; saying, though Hymeneus and Philetus

have erred from the faith, and, by their fall, have overthrown the

faith of some, 'Yet the foundation of God standeth sure, having

this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.' Now lest this

last hint should still encourage some to be remiss and carnally

secure, and foolish, as I suppose this doctrine abused, had

encouraged them to be before; therefore the apostle immediately

conjoineth to it this exhortation; 'And, let every one that nameth;

the name of Christ depart from iniquity.' Two truths strangely,

but necessarily joined together, because so apt to be severed by

the children of men; for many, under the pretence of their being

elected, neglect to pursue holiness; and many of them again that

pretend to be for holiness, quite exclude the doctrine and motives

that election gives thereto. Wherefore the apostle, that he might

set men's notions as to these things right, he joins these two

together, signifying thereby, that as electing love doth instate

a man in the blessing of eternal life; so holiness is the path

thereto; and, that he that refuseth to depart from iniquity shall

be dammed; notwithstanding he may think himself secured from hell

by the act of God's electing love. For election designeth men not

only to eternal glory, but to holiness of life, a means, thereto.

(Eph. 1:4, 5) And the manner of this connection of truth is the

more to be noted by us, because the apostle seems to conjoin[2]

them, in an holy heat of spirit, saying, 'The foundation of God

standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are

his.' And, 'let every one that shall but so much as name the name

of Christ, depart from iniquity;' or, as who should say, God will

be revenged upon them for all, or, notwithstanding, they appropriate

unto themselves the benefits of election.

In the text we have, FIRST, An exhortation. SECOND, The extension

of that exhortation. The exhortation is, That men depart from

iniquity. The extension of it is, to them, all of them, every

one of them that name the name of Christ. 'And let every one that

nameth the name of Christ, depart from iniquity.'


In the exhortation there are several things to be taken notice of,

because insinuated by the apostle. The first is, that iniquity is

a very dangerous and hurtful thing, as to the souls of sinners in

general; so to them that name the name of Christ.

First, Iniquity is a very dangerous and hurtful thing to men in

general; for it is that which did captivate the world at the

beginning, and that made it a bond-slave to the devil. It has also

done great hurt to mankind ever since. To instance a few things:

1. It is that which hath stupefied and besotted the powers of

men's souls, and made them even next to a beast and brute in all

matters supernatural heavenly. (2 Peter 2:12) For as the beast

minds nothing but his lusts and his belly, by nature, so man minds

nothing but things earthly, sensual, and devilish, by reason of


2. It has blinded and darkened the powers of the soul, so that

it can neither see where it is, nor which is the way out of this

besotted condition. (Eph. 4:18)

3. It has hardened the heart against God, and against all admonition

and counsel in the things of the gospel of Christ. (Rom. 2:5)

4. It has alienated the will, the mind, and affections, from the

choice of the things that should save it, and wrought them over

to an hearty delight in those things that naturally tend to drown

it in perdition and destruction. (Col. 1:21)

5. It has made man odious in God's eyes, it has provoked the

justice of God against him, and made him obnoxious to hell-fire.

(Ezek. 16:5)

6. Yea, it so holds him, so binds him, so reserves him to this,

that not he himself, nor yet all the angels of heaven, can deliver

him from this deplorable condition. (Prov. 5:22)

7. To say nothing of their pleasure and delight that it makes him

take in that way to hell in which he walketh. (Isa. 66:3; Prov.

7:22, 23) Never went fat ox so gamesomely to the shambles, nor

fool so merrily to the correction of the stocks, nor silly bird

so wantonly to the hidden net, as iniquity makes men go down her

steps to the pit of hell and damnation. O it is amazing, it is

astonishing to consider what hurt sin hath done to man, and into

how many dangers it has brought him; but let these few hints at

this time suffice as to this. I will now speak a word to the other

particular, namely,

Second, That as iniquity is dangerous and hurtful to the souls of

men in general, so it is to them that name the name of Christ. As

to the so and so naming of him, to that I shall speak by and by,

but at this time take it thus: That religiously name his name.

And I say iniquity is hurtful to them.

1. It plucks many a one of them from Christ and the religious

profession of him. I have even seen, that men who have devoutly and

religiously professed Jesus Christ, have been prevailed withal,

by iniquity, to cast him and the profession of his name quite

off, and to turn their backs upon him. 'Israel,' saith the prophet,

'hath cast off the thing that is good.' (Hosea 8:3) But why? 'Of

their silver and their gold have they made them idols.' The sin of

idolatry threw their hearts from God; their love to that iniquity

made them turn their backs upon him. Wherefore God complains,

that of forwardness to their iniquity, and through the prevalence

thereof, they had cast him behind their back. (Ezek. 23:35)

2. As it plucks many a professor from Christ, so it keeps many a

one from an effectual closing with him. How many are there that

religiously profess and make mention of the name of Christ, that

yet of love to, and by the interest that iniquity hath in their

affections, never close with him unto salvation, but are like

to them, of whom you read in Paul to Timothy, that they are ever

learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2

Tim. 3:1-7)

3. And concerning those that have indeed come to him, and that

have effectually closed with him, and that name his name to good

purpose; yet how hath iniquity hurt and abused many of them. (1.)

It has prevailed with God to hide his face from them, a thing more

bitter than death. (2.) It has prevailed with God to chastise, and

to afflict them sorely, a thing in which he taketh no pleasure.

(Lam 3:33) (3.) It has provoked God to give them over to the hand

of the enemy, and to deliver them to the tormentors. (Jer. 12:7;

Matt. 18:34) (4.) It hath brought them to question their interest

in Christ, and whether they ever had grace in their souls. (Psa.

31:22) (5.) And for those that have yet believed they were in his

favour, this iniquity hath driven them to fear that God would cast

them away, and take all his good things from them. (Psa. 51)

Yea, he that would know the hurt that iniquity hath done to them

that name the name of Christ, let him consider the cries, the sighs,

the tears, the bemoanings, the bewailings, the lamentations, the

sorrows, the confessions, the repentings and griefs wherewith they

have been attended, while they have complained that they have been

put in the stocks, laid in the dungeon, had their bones broken,

suffered the terrors of God, been distressed almost to distraction,

and have been fed with gravel, gall, wormwood, and with the water

of astonishment, for days, yea, years together. (Job 13:27; Psa.

6:6; Psa. 31:9, 10; Psa. 38:8; Psa. 60:3; Psa. 88; Psa. 116:3;

Jer. 8:14; Jer. 23:15; Jer. 31:18; Lam. 3:4, 16; Ezek. 4:16; 2

Cor. 12:21) By all which, and many more which might be mentioned,

it appears that iniquity is a dangerous and hurtful thing.



But I proceed, and come in the next place to the extension of the

exhortation, namely, that it reacheth to all those that name the

name of Christ. 'And let every one that nameth the name of Christ

depart from iniquity.'

To handle this a little, and to shew you what the apostle here

means by naming of the name of Christ: he meaneth not an irreligious

naming of that worthy name, nor those that name it irreligiously.

This is evident, because he passeth by their manner of naming of

it without the least reproof, the which he would not have done had

the fault been in their manner of naming of the name of Christ.

Now I say, if he intendeth not those that name the name of Christ

irreligiously, then, though the exhortation, 'let every one,' seems

to extend itself to all, and all manner of persons, that any ways

name the name of Christ, yet it is limited by this, to wit, that

rightly, religiously, or according to the way of the professors

of Christ, name his worthy name. And it must needs be so taken,

and that for these reasons:

First, For that, as I said before, the apostle taketh no notice of

their manner of naming of his name, so as to reprove any indecency

or unseemliness in their naming of him; wherefore he alloweth of

the manner of their naming of him.

Secondly, because the apostle's design in this exhortation was,

and is, that the naming of the name of Christ might be accompanied

with such a life of holiness as might put an additional lustre

upon that name whenever named in a religious way; but this cannot

be applied to every manner of naming the name of our Lord Jesus

Christ. For if a man shall name the name of Christ unduly, or

irreligiously, though he shall never so much therewithal depart

from iniquity, and be circumspect to the utmost in all civility

and morality, yet he answers not the apostle's end, which he seeks

by this his exhortation. For,

1. Suppose a man should name the name of Christ vainly, idly, in

vain mirth, wantonness, false or vain swearing, or the like, and

shall back this, his manner of naming the name of Christ, with

all manner of justness and uprightness of life, would this answer

the apostle's end in this his exhortation? Verily no; for this

manner of naming the name is worthy reprehension; 'Thou shalt

not take my name in vain,' or vainly make use thereof: and moral

goodness attending the so-naming of the name of Christ will do

more hurt than good. (Ex. 20)

2. There is a reproachful and scandalous naming of the name of

Christ, such as the Jews and Pharisees did accustom themselves

unto, as to call him Jesus, the deceiver; and Christ, in a way

of scorn and contempt. Nor were these men quite destitute of that

which put a lustre upon their opinions; for, said the Lord Christ

himself unto them, 'Ye indeed appear beautiful outward.' (Matt.


3. There is such a naming of the name of Christ as to make it

a cloak for false and dangerous errors: that men, by the use of

that name, and the putting of it upon such errors and delusions,

may put off their errors to others the better. 'Many shall come

in my name, to wit, with their delusions, presenting them, in my

name, to the world, and shall put them off, in my name, to the

destruction of the soul. (Matt. 24:5) Now, can any imagine that

the apostle should extend his exhortation to such, that they,

thus continuing to name the name of Christ, should depart from

iniquity. To what end should such be comprehended in this of

exhortation of his? to no purpose at all: for the more an erroneous

person, or a deceiver of souls, shall back his errors with a

life that is morally good, the more mischievous, dangerous, and

damnable is that man and his delusions; wherefore such a one is

not concerned in this exhortation.

4. There is a naming of the name of Christ magically, and after

the manner of exorcism, or, conjuration; as we read in the Acts of

the apostles. vagabond Jews, the exorcists, there say, 'We adjure

you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth.' (Acts 19:13-15) Thus they

called over them that had evil spirits, the name of the Lord

Jesus. But what if these should clothe this, their devilish art,

and devilish way, of using or naming of the name of the Lord

Jesus, with departing from iniquity, so as to commend their whole

life to by-standers, for such: as is morally good: what advantage

would Christ, or Paul, or the gospel, get thereby? verily none at

all; but rather damage and reproach, as will soon appear to any

man's reason, if it be considered that goodness of life, joined

to badness of principles is like the devil clothed in white, or

Satan transformed into an angel of light. And Paul was grieved

in his spirit, when the wench that had a spirit of divination did

acknowledge him to be the servant of the most high God, for he

knew it would nothing further, or help forward, the Lord's design,

but be rather an hinderance thereto. For when witches and devils

come once to commend, or make use of the name of Christ, Christ

and Paul like it not; therefore Paul's exhortation, which here

are presented with by the text, is not extended to any of the four

sorts aforenamed, but,

Third, To those upon whom his name is called, they should depart

from iniquity. I say those whom God has so far dignified, as to

put the name of Christ upon them. (Acts 15:17) And I will add, that

apply that name to themselves. And the reason is, because God is

now concerned. (ch. 11:26) God has changed thy name from Pagan to

Christian, and thou choosest to call thyself by that name, saying,

'I belong to Christ.' Now thou must depart from iniquity, for that

notice is taken of thee, both by heaven and earth, that thou art

become a disciple, and 'let every one that' so 'nameth the name

of Christ,' or that nameth it, being himself by God and himself

put under such circumstances as these, 'depart from iniquity.' (1

Peter 4:16)

Fourthly, It is spoken to those that name the name of Christ

either in the public or private worship of God, being themselves

professed worshippers of him; and the reason is, for that the

ordinances, as well as the name of God, is holy, and 'he will be

sanctified in them that come nigh him.' (Lev. 10:3) He therefore

that approacheth the presence of Christ in prayer, or any other

divine appointment, must take heed of regarding 'iniquity in

his heart.' (Psa. 66:18) Else the Lord will stop his ears to his

prayers, and will shut his eyes, and not take notice of such kind

of worship or worshippers.

Fifthly, Those that the apostle in this place exhorts to depart

from iniquity are such as have taken unto themselves the boldness

to say, that they are in him, abide in him, and consequently are

made partakers of the benefits that are in him. 'He that saith he

abideth in him, ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.'

(1 John 2:6) And the reason is, because Christ is a fruitful root,

and a free conveyer of sap into the branches; hence it is written,

that 'the trees of the Lord are full of sap.' (Psa. 104:16) So then,

he that nameth the name of Christ by way of applying to himself

his benefits, and as counting that he is found of God in him, and

so abideth, ought himself to walk even as he walked, that he may

give proof of what he saith to be true, by bearing forth before

men that similitude of righteousness that is in his root and stem:

for such as the stock or tree is, such let the branches be, but

that cannot be known but by the fruit: 'ye shall know them by

their fruit.' (Matt. 7:16) So then, he that thus shall name the

name of Christ, let him depart from iniquity: yea, let every such

man do so.

Sixthly, This exhortation is spoken to them that name Christ as

their Sovereign Lord and King: let them 'depart from iniquity.'

'The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our

King; he will save us.' (Isa. 33:22) [These] are great words; and

as they cannot be spoken by every one, so they ought not to be

spoken lightly by them that can. Nor may he that claims so high a

privilege be but obedient, submissive, apt to learn, conscientiously

to put in practice what he hath learnt of his Judge, his Lawgiver,

and his King. Lest when some shall hear him say that Christ, by

name, is his Lawgiver and his King, and shall yet observe him to

do things evil, and to walk in ways that are not good, they shall

think evil, and speak so of his King; saying, Learnt you this of

Christ your King? or doth your King countenance you in ways that

are so bad? or, do you by thus and thus doing submit to the laws

of your king? yea, your King, his name and gospel shall bear the

burden of the evil, together with the shame thereof, if thou that

namest the name of Christ shalt not depart from iniquity.

Lastly, Whatever man he be that by his naming of the name of Christ

shall intimate that he hath any reverence of love to, or delight

in that Christ, whose name he nameth, that man should depart from

iniquity, not only for the reasons that are above mentioned, but

for those that may be named afterwards.

But having thus far opened the word, and shewed who and what manner

of man the apostle had in his eye, in this his exhortation, I

shall come, in the next place, to make some observations upon the

text. As,


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That it is incident to men to name the name of Christ religiously,

that is, rightly as to words and nations, and not to 'depart from

iniquity.' This was the occasion of this exhortation, for Paul saw

that there were some that did so; to wit, that named the name of

Christ well, as to words, but did not depart from iniquity. Some

such he also I found among them at Corinth, which made him say,

'Awake to righteousness, and sin not.' (1 Cor. 15:34) He found

such at Ephesus, and cries out to them most earnestly, saying,

'Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.' (Eph. 5:14)

For albeit they were professors of Christ, yet they lived too much

like those that were dead in trespasses and sins, This he also

found among the Hebrews, wherefore he saith to them, 'Let us lay

aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and

let us run with patience the race that is set before us.' (Heb.

12:1) These professors are easily beset with sin, yea, it did hang

upon them as weights to hinder them from making of that profession

of Christ, whose name they named, as beautiful as did become both

him and them.

In my discourse upon this subject, I must endeavour to shew you

two things. FIRST, What Paul means when he saith, 'depart from

iniquity.' SECONDLY, Why some, that as to words, rightly name the

name of Christ, do not 'depart from iniquity.'

The first of those doth need some explanation, because in some

sense even the best of saints cannot depart from sin, or iniquity.

1. Because as to the being of it, it is seated and rooted in their

flesh, and hath its dwelling there. Yea, it hath, and so will

have an abiding there, so long as man is on this side that state

of perfection, which is not to be enjoyed while we are in the

flesh: 'for in me, that is, in my flesh,' sin dwells, (Rom. 7:18)

nor doth any thing else but sin dwell there: 'for in me, that is,

in my flesh, said Paul, 'dwelleth no good thing:' therefore the

apostle must not be understood as if he intended to insinuate that

there was a possibility that the nature and being of sin could be

plucked up by the roots, and so cast clean away from us, as to

the very nature thereof. No, that will abide with us, for it hath

its dwelling in us.

2. And as they cannot depart from the nature, of it as such, that

is, as they cannot be rid of the being of sin, so neither can they

depart from the motions and stirrings of sin, no more than they

can stir from the motions or stirrings of their natural senses,

or of their natural reason: the motions of sin, which Paul also

calls the lusts thereof, will be where the nature and being of

sin is, because it is not dead; for that which liveth, what manner

of life soever it hath, will have motion according to the manner

of life which it hath; and sin being one of the most quick and

brisk things that are, it will also have its motions and lusts

accordingly. Hence Paul says, it lusts, and will lust, where it is

and dwells; though the very Spirit of God and the utmost diligence

of a Christian be also there to oppose it. (Rom. 6:12; Gal. 5:17)

3. Again, as the being and motions of sin will be with us, so also

will it in its endeavours. It will endeavour to overcome us, and

to make us captives to itself and to Satan; and these endeavours

will be with us. (Eph. 6:11, 12; 2 Cor. 10:5; Heb. 12:4) Nor can

we so depart from iniquity, as to be utterly rid of all sense and

feeling of what endeavours there are in sin and iniquity to be

master and lord, and reign. Sin will endeavour to defile the mind,

to defile the conscience, to defile the life and conversation;

and this endeavour, as endeavour, we cannot depart from; that is,

cause that it should not be in our flesh; for there it will be,

since sin in its being is there.

4. As the being, motions, and endeavours of sin will still abide

in our flesh, so consequently will its polluting fumes be upon us;

nor doth the apostle mean, when he bids us depart from iniquity,

that we should think that we can so be, or so do, in this life,

as that our being or doing should not smell of the strong scent

of sin. 'Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.'(

Job 14:4) 'We are all as an unclean thing, and' therefore 'all

our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.' (Isa. 64:6) The scent,

the smell, the rank and odious stink of sins abide upon, yea, and

will abide upon us, when most spiritual here, and upon our most

spiritual actions too, until they be taken away by Christ. Thus

far, therefore, we cannot be concerned in the exhortation. For

should Paul exhort us to depart from the being, motion, endeavour,

and polluting fumes and scent of sin--I mean so to depart from

them, as that there shall no such thing have place, or motion,

or striving, or scent in, or upon us--he would exhort us to that

which is altogether impossible for us to perform, yea, to perform

through that working of the Spirit of God, which is to be with

us and in us here. Yea, he must exhort us to that which be could

not perform himself. But such exhortations did not stand with the

wisdom of an apostle. Wherefore there is a certain meaning in this

exhortation, from the which if we swerve, we shall both wrong the

apostle and ourselves.

FIRST--Let us inquire then what Paul should mean, where he bids

them 'that name the name of Christ depart from iniquity.' And for

our better understanding of him, we must consider that there is

an iniquity that is inherent in us, and an iniquity that is apart,

and at a distance from us. Now if he means, as certainly he doth,

that they that name the name of Christ should depart from that

sin and iniquity that is in themselves; then, though he cannot

mean that we should separate that from our persons, for that is

impossible, yet he would have us,

First, Take off and withdraw our MINDS and AFFECTIONS therefrom.

And he tells us that they that are Christ's do so. 'And they that

are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and

lusts.' (Gal. 5:24) Sinful lusts and sinful motions our minds and

affections should depart from them. There are the affections and

lusts of sin; and there are the affections and lusts, or desires

of the soul; and again, there are the affections and lusts of the

new man in saints. Now this is that that the apostle would have,

to wit, that the affections and passions of our souls should not

choose but depart from the affections and lusts of our old man,

and should be renewed and made willing to be led by the Holy

Ghost from them. 'This I say,' says he, 'Walk in the Spirit, and

ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.' (ver. 16)

Wherefore, when he saith, depart from iniquity, if he means from

our own inherent iniquity, then he must mean thus, take your mind

and your affections off, carry your minds away from them, set

your minds and affections upon other objects, and let your minds

and affections be yielded up to the conduct of the word and Spirit

of God, 'Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye

should obey it in the lusts thereof.' (Rom. 6:12) Now a man, in

mind and affections, may depart from that which yet will not depart

from him; yea, a man in mind may depart from that which yet will

dwell in him as long as he lives.

For instance, there are many diseases that cleave to men, from

which, in their minds, they willingly depart. Yea, their greatest

disquietment is, that so bad a distemper will abide by them,

and might they but have their desire accomplished, they would be

as far therefrom as the ends of the earth are asunder, and while

they are found to continue together, the mind departs therefrom,

and is gone either to God or to physicians for help and deliverance

from it.

And thus it is with the saint, and should be with every one that

by way of profession nameth the name of Christ, he should depart

from his indwelling sin, with his mind. 'With his mind he should

serve the law of God.' (Rom. 7:25) And this is an excellent thing

to do, and can be done by none but such as are possessed with

an excellent spirit. Ah! to find a man that really departs from

himself, and that draweth the affections of the soul, from the

affections and lusts of his flesh is rare thing. (Ezek. 11:19-21)

The heart of the most of professors goeth after their detestable

lusts, and after their inward abominations. But such shall of

the flesh reap corruption,' notwithstanding they name the name of

Christ. (Gal. 6:8)

Sin is sweet to him that is nothing but flesh, or that can savour

nothing but what is of the flesh. (Job 20:12) Nor can it be that

be that is such should depart from himself, his sweet self. (Rom.

8:5-8) No, they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the

flesh; wherefore they that are in the flesh, though they profess

religion and name the name of Christ, cannot please God; for

such, instead of walking in and after the Spirit, have put the

stumbling-block of their iniquity before their faces, to hinder

their departing therefrom. (Ezek. 14:7, 8) nor will all their

inquiring of God, nor their seeking and praying to him, keep them

from stumbling and falling, and splitting themselves in sunder

upon the rocks and ruins that are provided for them, as a reward

of the evil of their doings. (Job 14:16) Yea, they shall

suck the poison of asps, and the viper's tongue shall slay them,

notwithstanding all their profession.

Question. But some may say, how shall I know that I do depart from

the iniquity of my flesh, from the iniquity that is in me.

Answer. I shall answer this question briefly thus:

(1.) How is iniquity in thine eye, when severed from the guilt

and punishment that attends it? Is it as separate from these,

beauteous, or ill-favoured? I ask thee how it looks, and how thou

likest it, suppose there were no guilt or punishment to attend

thy love to, or commission of it? For if in its own nature it be

desirable to thy mind, and only therefore shunned for fear of the

punishment that attends the commission of it, without doubt thou

art none of them that do depart from it; all that thou dost is,

thou shunnest the sin, not of abhorrence of the sin, but for fear

of the punishment that attends it. Like the thief that yet refuseth

to take away his neighbour's horse, not of hatred of theft, but

for fear of the gallows.

(2.) How dost thou like thyself, as considered possessed with a

body of sin, and as feeling and finding that sin worketh in thy

members? doth this yield thee inward pleasedness of mind, and a

kind of secret sweetness, or bow? for to be sure, where a sanctified

mind is, there is nothing more; odious in itself, nor that makes

a man so in his own eyes, as doth this sight, the sight of sin in

him, of the working of lust in him. (Job 42:6; Ezek. 16:63; Rom.

6:12) It is this that makes the good man ashamed, that makes him

blush, and that makes him abhor himself.

(3.) How look thy duties in thine eyes, I mean thy duties which

thou doest in the service of God? I say, how look the best of

these, the most warm and spiritual of these, since not one of them

can be performed, but they do catch the stain of sin, as coming

from thee? or art thou through the ignorance that is in thee as

[one] unacquainted with these things?

(4.) Why wouldst thou go to heaven? Is it because thou wouldst be

saved from hell, or because thou wouldst be freed from sin? I say,

wouldst thou go to heaven, because it is a place that is holy, or

because it is a place remote from the pains of hell? I ask again,

wherein dost thou think the blessedness of heaven consists? is

it in the holiness that is there, or in the freedom that is there

from hell? There is not a man alive but would go to heaven, that

he may be saved from hell: but how many would go thither that they

might be saved from the pleasures of sin, from the inward pleasure

of sin; of that I will be silent, though surely they are those

that are out of love with sin, and that do depart from iniquity.

Verily, my brethren, it is a great thing to depart from iniquity;

it is a great thing to have my will, my mind, and my affections

departing from it. But,

Second, As they that depart from iniquity withdraw their minds and

affections from the lusts and motions of it, so they depart also

from the OCCASIONS of it; there are occasions by which sin worketh

to bring forth the fruits thereof, and some seek those occasions.

(Rom. 14:13; 1 Tim. 5:4; Ex. 23:7; Prov. 5:8; 2 Tim. 2:16) But

he that hath set himself to depart from sin in himself, will not

seek occasions from abroad to do it. Such a man as will keep far

from an evil matter will not company with a person that pollutes

and defiles, nor will he come near the door of the adulteress's

house; he will shun profane and vain babbling, for fear of the

ungodliness that attends it; he will walk with wise men that he may

be wise, knowing that 'a companion of fools shall be destroyed.'

(Prov. 13:20)

Now there are occasions given and occasions taken to sin against

the Lord Jesus; but he that departeth from iniquity departeth from

them both. He is not for giving any occasion to others to sin; he

had rather wrong himself and put up with injuries done, than give

occasion to others to do iniquity; and as he is for giving none,

so neither is he for taking any: he is for partaking of no man's

sins, but for keeping of himself pure. (1 Tim. 5:22)

Third, To depart from iniquity, is to depart from it in those

EXAMPLES that are set before us thereto: occasions and examples

are sometimes the same, but there may be occasions to sin where

there are no examples thereto, and therefore in that they differ.

And to depart from iniquity is to shun and depart from those

examples, those beastly examples, that in every corner of the

country present themselves to men.

Examples to drunkenness; examples to whoredom; examples to

swearing, to lying, to stealing, to sabbath-breaking, to pride,

to covetousness, to deceit, to hypocrisy, and to what not, are

now-a-days common among men, and he that is to seek in this matter,

and that know not how to be expertly base, may have patterns and

examples thereto in every hole. But to depart from iniquity is

to depart from sinful examples, to shut the eyes at them, to turn

the back upon them, and to cry out to heaven for grace to be kept

in the path of life. And, 'Let every one that nameth the name of

Christ depart from iniquity.'

Fourth, To depart from iniquity is to depart from the ENTICINGS

of iniquity. There is that in iniquity that is of an enticing

nature. Its pleasures, profits, honours, delights, and sweetnesses

are enticing, and he that hankers after these is not departed nor

departing from iniquity. A man must be weaned from these things,

and must find some things somewhere else that are better than

these, else he cannot depart from iniquity.

Question. But some may say, I go from it and it follows me; I

reject it and it returns upon me; I have said it nay, a thousand

times, and yet it offereth itself and its deceits to me again,

what would you have me do?

Answer. I would answer thus; Departing from iniquity is not a

work of an hour, or a day, or a week, or a month, or a year; but

it is a work that will last thee thy lifetime, and there is the

greatness and difficulty of it: were it to be done presently, or

were the work to be quickly over, how many are there that would

be found to have departed from iniquity; but for that it is a work

of continuance, and not worth anything, unless men hold out to the

end, therefore it is that so few are found actors or overcomers

therein. Departing from iniquity, with many, is but like the

falling out of two neighbours, they hate one another for a while,

and then renew their old friendship again.

But again, since to depart from iniquity is a work of time--of all

thy time, no wonder if it dogs thee, and offereth to return upon

thee again and again; for THAT is mischievous, and seeks nothing

less than thy ruin: wherefore thou must, in the first place, take

it for granted that thus it will be and so cry the harder to God

for the continuing of his presence and grace upon thee in this

blessed work, that as thou hast begun to call upon the name of

the Lord Jesus, and begun to depart from iniquity, so thou mayest

have strength to do it to the last gasp of thy life.

And further, for that departing from iniquity is a kind of a

warfare with it, for iniquity will hang in thy flesh what it can,

and will not be easily kept under; therefore no marvel if thou

find it wearisome work, and that the thing that thou wouldest be

rid of, is so unwilling to let thee depart from it.

And since the work is so weighty, and that it makes thee to go

groaning on, I will for thy help give thee here a few things to

consider of: and [remember],

1. Remember that God sees thee, and has his eyes open upon thee,

even then when sin and temptation is lying at thee to give it some

entertainment. This was that that made Joseph depart from it, when

solicited to embrace it by a very powerful argument. (Gen. 34:6-7)

2. Remember that God's wrath burns against it, and that he will

surely be revenged on it, and on all that give it entertainment.

This made Job afraid to countenance it, and put him upon departing

from it; 'For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by

reason of his highness I could not endure.' (Job 31:23)

3. Remember the mischiefs that it has done to those that have

embraced it, and what distress it has brought upon others. This

made the whole congregation of Israel tremble to think that any

of their brethren should give countenance to it. (Josh. 22:16-18)

4. Remember what Christ hath suffered by it, that he might deliver

us from the power of it. This made Paul so heartily to depart from

it, and wish all Christians to do so as well as he. (2 Cor. 5:14)

5. Remember that those that are now in hell-fire went thither

for that they loved iniquity, and would not depart from it. (Psa.

9:17; 11:6)

6. Remember that a profession is not worth a pin, if they that

make it do not depart from iniquity. (James 2:16, 17)

7. Remember that thy death-bed will be very uneasy to thee, if

thy conscience at that day shall be clogged with the guilt of thy

iniquity. (Hosea 7:13, 14)

8. Remember that at the judgment-day Christ will say to those,

Depart from me, that have not here departed from their sin and

iniquity. (Luke 13:27; Matt. 25:41)

Lastly, Remember well, and think much upon what a blessed reward

the Son of God will give unto them at that day that have joined

to their profession of faith in him a holy and blessed conversation.

Having thus briefly showed you these things, I shall come in the

next place,

SECOND, To show you, why some, that as to words rightly name the

name of Christ, do not depart from iniquity. That it is incident

to men to name the name of Christ religiously, and not to depart

from iniquity, I have proved already, and now I must show you why

it is so, and the reasons are of three sorts:

First, Some profess him, yet have not saving faith in him, nor

yet received grace from him. That some profess him that have not

faith in him, nor received grace from him, I will make appear

first; and then that they do not depart from iniquity, shall be

shown afterwards.

That the first is true consider, Christ says to his disciples,

'There are some of you that believe not.' And again, 'For Jesus

knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who

should betray him.' (John 4:64) Now if they believe not, they have

none of his grace in them; for faith is the first and head grace,

the beginning and leading grace; he, therefore, that is destitute

of that is empty of all the rest. Besides, other scriptures also

confirm this truth. James calls I some of the professors of Christ

that were in his day vain or empty men. (James 2:20) That is, men

void of grace. And the apostle suggesteth in the very words below

the text, that as in God's house there are golden and silver saints,

so there are also earthy and wooden ones. For 'in a great house'

as God's is, 'are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also

of wood and of earth, and some to honour, and some to dishonour.'

(2 Tim 2:20) That is, some for heaven and some for hell. (Rom 9:


Now they are these wooden and earthy professors that he aimeth

at in the text; to wit, that they should depart from iniquity, or

else their profession would do them no good, and these also that

he despaireth of in the next words, saying, But in this great

house of God there will not only be golden and silver Christians,

but wooden and earthly ones: And if any man purge himself from

these, from these men's companies, and from these men's vices, he

shall be a vessel to honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's

use, and prepared to every good work. From all which it is

gathered that there are some that name the name of Christ in a

way of profession, that have neither faith nor grace in them, and

so, consequently, that do not depart from iniquity. For,

These want that principle, that holy and blessed principle, that

should induce them thereunto; to wit, the great and principal

graces of the Spirit, and they are four.

1. As I have said, they want FAITH, that heart-purifying grace,

for the heart is purified by faith. (Acts 15:9) I have showed you

already that departing from iniquity must be with the mind and

affections, or with the heart. But how can that be, where the

heart is not sanctified and made holy? For, an unsanctified mind

cannot depart from iniquity, no more than the Ethiopian can change

his skin. (Jer. 13:3) But nothing can purify the heart but faith.

Therefore nothing can make a professor depart from iniquity where

faith is wanting. So then, when men professedly name the name of

Christ without having holy faith in him, they still abide by their

iniquity; they depart not from their iniquity, but rather make

of their profession a cloak for their iniquity, for their malice,

and for their covetousness, and the like. (1 Thess 2:15; 1 Peter

2:16) It is not profession, but faith, that bringeth God and the

soul together; and as long as God and the soul are at a distance,

whatever profession is made, there is not a departing, not

an heart-departing from iniquity. Wherefore to these professors

James writeth thus, 'Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh

to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts,

ye double-minded.' (James 4:8) Men, far from God, cannot think

reverently of him, nor so speak and profess him, as standeth with

the nature of gospel religion; wherefore God saith, draw near

hither, that is by faith; and again, 'let them come near, then

let them speak,' then let them profess. (Isa 41:1) Without faith

a man cannot please God, because he cannot without it stand before

him in the spotless righteousness of Christ, nor yet depart from

iniquity, and live a holy life. (Heb 11:6)

There are three things in faith, that directly tend to make a man

depart from iniquity. (l.) It apprehendeth the truth of the being

and greatness of God, and so it aweth the spirit of a man. (2.) It

apprehendeth the love of this God in Christ, and so it conquereth

and overcometh the spirit of a man. (3.) It apprehendeth the

sweetness and blessedness of the nature of the Godhead, and thence

persuadeth the soul to desire here, communion with him, that it

may be holy, and the enjoyment of him, when this world is ended,

that it may be happy in, and by him, for ever.

But without faith these things cannot be apprehended, and therefore

those that want it, whatever; their profession is, they will not

depart from iniquity.

2. [They want REPENTANCE.] Repentance is another of the great

and principal graces which the Holy Ghost worketh in the heart.

Wherefore, without this also there can be no departing from iniquity.

It is in vain to expect it of any man, let his profession be never

so stately and great, if he is a stranger to sound repentance. How

many are there in our day, since the gospel is grown so common,

that catch up a notion of good things and from that notion make

a profession of the name of Christ, get into churches, and obtain

the title of a brother, a saint, a member of a gospel congregation,

that have clean escaped repentance. I say, they have catched up

a notion of good things, and have through that adventured to name

the name of Christ, quite forgetting to take repentance with them.

Repentance should be, and is one of the first steps into the true

gospel profession. (Mark 1:15; Prov 3:7; 16:6) But some know nothing

of it, until they come to the end of all, and their repentance

will do them no good. Repentance is not but where the true fear

of God is; yea, the fear of God is one ground of repentance.

Repentance is the scouring grace, it is that which purges. Repentance

is, as I may call it, that bitter pill without the taking, and

sound working of which, base and sinful humours will rest unstirred,

unpurged, undriven out of the soul. Can repentance be where godly

sorrow is not? or can repentance be where the fruits of repentance

are not? O the fruits of repentance, thick sown by preachers, but

it comes up but thinly! (Mark 1:4,5; Rom 6:21; Jer 7:3,5) Where

shall the fruits of repentance be found? Confession of sin is one

fruit of repentance; shame for sin is another fruit of repentance;

amendment of life is another fruit of repentance; restitution

for couzening, cheating, defrauding, beguiling thy neighbour, is

another fruit of repentance. (Luke 19:5-8) Yea, if you would see

the fruits of repentance as described by the Holy Ghost, and put

together for the further conviction and shame of the impenitent

professor, look into the second epistle to the Corinthians, 12:9-11.

But this is a day that was never read of, a day wherein conversion

is frequent without repentance; such a conversion as it is, and

therefore doth the church of God now swarm with them that religiously

name the name of Christ, and yet depart not from iniquity. Alas!

all houses, all tables, all shops, have hanging up in them the

sign of the want of repentance. (Eccl 7:27,28) To say nothing of

the talk, of the beds and the backs of most that profess, by which

of these is it that one of a thousand for men; and for women,

one of ten thousand, do show that they have repentance? No marvel

then that the name of Christ is so frequently mentioned there,

where iniquity dwells, yea, reigns, and that with the consent of

the mind.

I would not be austere, but were wearing of gold, putting on of

apparel, dressing up houses, decking of children, learning of

compliments, boldness in women, lechery in men, wanton behaviour,

lascivious words, and tempting carriages, signs of repentance;

then I must say, the fruits of repentance swarm in our land; but

if these be none of the fruits of repentance then, O, the multitude

of professors, that religiously name the name of Christ, and do

not depart from iniquity.[3] But,

3. [They want LOVE.] Love is another of those great and principal

graces which the Holy Ghost worketh in the heart; wherefore let

profession be never so high, yet if love be wanting there, to be

sure such professors 'depart not from iniquity,' (1 Cor 13) Hence

all profession, and subjecting to profession, are counted nothing,

where love is not. Love is counted a most infallible sign that a

man is in a state of salvation. 'He that loveth dwells in God, is

born of God, and knoweth him.' (1 John 4:7,16,21) Love divideth

itself, to God, and to my neighbour. Love to God is, that we

keep his sayings, his commandments, his laws. 'If a man love me,'

saith Christ, 'he will keep my words;--and he that loveth me not,

keepeth not my sayings.' (John 14:23,24) For this is the love of

God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not

grievous.' (1 John 5:3) So then, that professor that hath not love,

cannot depart from iniquity. (l.) Where no love is, men cannot

be tender of the name of God, they are not afflicted because men

keep not God's law. (Psa 119:136; 1 Col 13:5) (2.) Where no love

is, men cannot deny themselves of that which otherwise they might

lawfully do, lest the weak should fall, and the world be destroyed.

(Rom 14:15) (3.) Where love to God is, there is hatred against

iniquity; 'ye that love the Lord, hate evil.' (Psa. 97:10)

A man cannot love God that loves not holiness; he loves not holiness

that loves not God's word; he loves not God's word that doth not

do it. It is a common thing to find men partial in God's law,

setting much by small things, and neglecting the weightier matters,

paying tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin, and neglecting the

weightier matters. These turn the tables of God's book upside

down; making little laws of great ones; and great ones of little

ones; counting half an hour's bodily service better than a moral

life. Love! love is gone out of the country; love to the doctrine

of the first table, love to the doctrine of the second table. O

how many professors, in God's eyes, are accounted of no more than

sounding brass, for want of this ornament, love! (1 Cor 13)

To speak nothing of the first table, where is he that hath his

love manifested by the second? where are they that feed the hungry

and clothe the naked, and send portions to them, for whom nothing

is prepared? Where is Paul that would not eat meat while the world

standeth, lest he made his brother offend? (1 Cor 8:13) Where is

Dorcas, with her garments she used to make for the widow, and for

the fatherless? (Acts 9:36-39) Yea, where is that rich man that,

to his power, durst say as Job does? as recorded in Job 30:25;

31:13,32. Love! love is gone, and now coveting, pinching, griping,

and such things are in fashion: now iniquity abounds, instead of

grace, in many that name the name, of Christ. They want love, and

therefore cannot depart from iniquity.[4]

4. [They want HOPE.] Hope is another of those great and principal

graces, which the Holy Ghost worketh in the heart, and without

which, let a man be never so high in profession, and so open in

naming the name of Christ, he cannot depart from iniquity. As was

said before of faith, so we say now of hope. 'And every man that

hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.' (1

John 3:3) Here is that excellent office, or rather effect of hope

made manifest, it purifieth, it cleanseth a man; it makes him make

the Lord Jesus his example, as well as his Saviour. He purifieth

himself even as he is pure; to wit, in soul, in body, in spirit,

in life and conversation. Hope of life, eternal by Christ, makes

a man purify himself in obeying the truth through the Spirit.

Hope to be with Christ hereafter, will make me strive to believe

him here. Hope of being with angels then, will make a man strive

to live like an angel here. Alas! alas! there is a company of

half-priests in the world, and they cannot, they dare not teach

the people the whole counsel of God, because in so doing they

will condemn themselves and their manner of living in the world;

where is that minister now to be found that dare say to his people,

Look on me, and walk as you have me for an example? or that dare

say, What you see and hear to be in me, do, 'and the God of peace

shall be with you ?' (Phil 3:17; 4:9) These men had hope and hope

purified them to an example, till they became patterns to others.

Is not this now far off from some professors in the world? Are

they purified, are they clean that name the name of Christ? are

they weaned from that milk, and drawn from the breasts? No, nor

their profession is not attended with grace; they name the name

of Christ; well, but they do not depart from iniquity. Let a man

believe a lie, and according to the reality of his belief, such

will his obedience be; let a man hope for that for which he hath

no ground to hope, yet his hope will work with him according to

the power thereof; and yet we have a generation of men that profess

the blessed gospel, which yieldeth the most substantial ground for

faith and hope; yea, we have a company of men that will be naming

the name of Christ, which is the sweetest, the most taking, and

desirable name that is named among the sons of men, and for all

that, this gospel, this worthy name, nor yet their naming of it,

doth make them depart from iniquity. But what's the reason? why,

they have taken up a profession, but want the grace of Christ; the

faith, the repentance, the love and hope of the gospel. No marvel

then, if they abide among the wooden sort of professors: no marvel

then, though the iniquity of their heels still follows them, and

that it droppeth from them wherever they go. But so much for the

first reason, why men do name the name of Christ and yet do not

depart from iniquity.

Second, The second reason, why some that name the name of Christ,

depart not from iniquity, is, for that, though they rest not in

bare notions, as those forementioned, yet they take up as they,

short of the saving grace of God. There are bare notions, there

are common workings, and there is a work that is saving, and that

will do the soul good to eternity.

1. There are bare notions, and they that have them are such unto

whom the gospel comes IN WORD ONLY. (1 Thess 1:5; 1 Cor 4:19,20)

Such whose religion stands in word only, and is not attended with

a power suitable; that is, there goeth not along with the word, a

power sufficient to subdue, and work over the heart to a cordial

and gracious close with that word that comes to them. Yet such is

the noise and sound of the word, that they are willing to become

professors thereof; there is some kind of musicalness in it,

especially when well handled and fingered by a skilful preacher.

And lo, saith God unto such preachers, when their auditory is made

up of such kind of hearers, 'And lo, thou art unto them as a very

lovely song,' or as one that sings a song of loves, 'of one that

hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for

they hear thy words but they do them not.' (Eze. 33:30-32)

2. But then, besides these, there is another sort, and they go

further than these. For to them the word came, not in word only,

but also in POWER: though not in that or in such a power as is

sufficient absolutely against all attempts whatsoever to bring the

soul to glory. Of these we read in several places; to wit, that

they have tasted of the powers of the world to come; but not so

as to bring them safe to glory. Yet thus far they go. (1.) They

attain light or illumination, to see much of their state by nature

with. (Heb 6:4) (2.) This light standeth not in bare speculation,

but lets fall upon the conscience convincing arguments to the

bowing and humbling of the spirit. (1 Kings 21:27-29) (3.) They

submit to these convictions, and reform, and may for a time not only

come out from them that live in error, but escape the pollutions

of the world, by the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

(2 Peter 2:18-20; Gal 3:4; 4:20) (4.) Yea, so powerful will this

dispensation be, that it will prevail with them to do and suffer

many things for the vindication of the truth of that gospel which

they profess. For the word will be sweet unto them. Christ, the

gift of God, will be relished by them. (Heb 6:4,5) The powers of

the world to come will be in them. Some workings of the Holy Ghost

will be in them. And joy, which is as oil to the wheels, will be

with their souls. (Luke 8:13)

Thus, I say, it is with some professors, who yet cannot be said

to depart from iniquity, that is, for all ado, because the things

that now are upon them, abide with them but awhile. 'For awhile

they believe: they rejoice in the light for a season.' (Luke

8:13, John 5:35, 2 Peter 2:21) So they clean escape from them,

who live in error for a little, or awhile; and after that return

to their old course, and are again entangled with their iniquities

and overcome. This is called, 'A turning with the dog to his own

vomit again, and with the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in

the mire.' And some of these are set forth by this and such like

sayings, 'When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh

through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none. Then he saith,

I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he

is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth

he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than

himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of

that man is worse than the first.' (Matt 12:44,45)

Now the causes of this declension, returning, or falling away

again into iniquity, are many.

First [Cause of falling away.] One is for that this work, this

work of power that they have been made partakers of, has not

been thorough enough upon all the powers of their souls. Their

understandings, their judgments and consciences have been dealt

with, but the power of God has not been upon their wills and

minds, and affections, rightly to subdue them to the grace of the

gospel. (Psa. 110:3) Indeed there seems to be subjection of the

will, and an overruling of the mind, and affections also, else

they could not for a time lay aside their iniquity, come off from

the pollutions of the world, and for a season rejoice in the world

and be pleased with the light thereof. But we may consider, that

this may be, not for that a sound work of God hath passed upon these

powers of the soul, but that rather this was by reason of those

reflex acts, that the understanding now enlightened, the judgment

now informed, and the conscience now convinced, had upon these

other powers of the soul. And I the rather think it so, because

willingness, mindfulness of, and affection for, this gospel, lasted

no longer than the light shined in their understandings, or than

the things were relished by their judgment and conscience. So that

when the light of their candle went out, and when the taste of

this sugar-plum was out of their mouth, their wills and affections,

not being possessed with the fear of God, they returned again to

their course, and went away as before with iniquity.

Nor do I by anything here discoursed, lay blame or fault at the

door of God. For,

1. He is a free agent to do what he pleaseth, and may, if he please,

refuse to give anything, or if he gives something, why may he not

give what he pleases also? He may give special grace to one, and

that which is not so to another: he may open Balaam's eyes, (Num.

24:3) and open Lydia'a heart; (Acts 16:14) he may give some but

a taste, and cause some to eat abundantly. (Heb. 6; Songs 5:1)

He may suffer some to fall away, and keep others, by his power,

through faith unto salvation.

2. Besides, God's withdrawing, to wit, of those common workings,

if they were withdrawn without, a cause given--which yet I

question--yet why may they not be withdrawn from these, as well

as from his own peculiar ones. He knows but little, that doth

not know that God ofttimes hides his face from his own, and also

withdraws from them the light and great influences of the Holy

Ghost: and turns them over, at least in their own apprehensions,

to the ungodly, and to fallen angels for their chastisement, or

trial; or instruction, &c.

3. And why may not God, since these rebels had such working with

them, as that their minds, by their understanding, their will and

affections; by their judgment and consciences were somewhat taken

and allured, cause a withdrawing of these for trial, and to see

if they would cry after him to return.

But we will let these things pass, and call you again to remembrance

of what is in hand: we are now shewing that there be them that

name the name of Christ, 'that yet depart not from iniquity,' and

in shewing the cause of their not so doing, one was for that the

gospel came to them in word only; and the other was, for that

though it came to others in power, yet not in power, or in that

power, that effectually keepeth some to salvation. Upon this

second reason I now am, and am shewing how it comes to pass that

they that are under the power of the things that we have afore

discoursed, should notwithstanding that, return to their vomit

again. One cause of this declension, or going back to iniquity,

I have just now touched upon, and we have some more behind.

Second [Cause of falling away.] Therefore such persons upon the

withdrawing of those influences that at present are mighty upon

them, do forthwith; forget, both what they had, and what work it

made upon them. Straightway they forget what manner of men they

were. It is said of Israel, they sang his praises, they soon forgot

his word. So these they forget.

1. They forget what light and what conviction they had.

2. They forget what sorrow for sin they had.

3. They forget what tastes of Christ and his word they had.

4. They forget what joy and comfort they had.

5. They forget how fair for heaven they were.

6. And they forget how cleansed once they were.

'They have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins.'

(2 Peter 1:9) Now forgetfulness makes things that are past as

nothing; and if so, then it can lay no obligations upon the mind,

to engage it to the delight of them, and to the enjoying of them,

no not in the thoughts of them, as if they were remembered by us.

Forgetfulness is a very dangerous thing: it makes preaching vain,

profession vain, faith vain, and all to no purpose. (1 Cor. 15:1,

2) Such profession is but a dream, and the professors but as

dreamers: all vanishes in the morning. This made Paul so caution

the Corinthians, that they forgot not the preaching; and the author

to the Hebrews, so earnestly calls them, in their back-sliding,

back to the remembrance of former days, and to the recollecting

of what it was that then had made them so willingly endure their

great fight of affliction. (Heb. 10:32, 33)

Forgetfulness, I say, makes things nothing; it makes us as if

things had never been; and so takes away from the soul one great

means of stay, support, and encouragement; when choice David was

dejected, the remembrance of the hill Hermon was his stay; when

he was to go out against Goliah, the remembrance of the lion and

the bear was his support: so when those that have had the power

of the things of God upon them, can think of this; when they are

withdrawn, it will, even the thinking of it, have some kind of

operation upon the soul. And therefore you shall find, that the

recovering of a backslider usually begins at the remembrance of

former things. 'Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,

and repent, and do the first works.' (Rev. 2:5)

It is marvellous to see how some men are captivated with this

forgetfulness. Those that sometimes have prayed, cried, groaned,

and sighed, for eternal life; those that sometimes thought no

pains too much, no way too far, no hazards too great to run, for

eternal life; those who sometimes were captivated with the word,

and with the comforts and joy thereof, and that, had it been

possible, could have pulled out their eyes, and have given them to

a gospel minister, so dear and sweet were the good tidings which

they brought to such. (Gen. 4:14, 15) I say it is marvellous to

see how such men are captivated with the forgetfulness of this.

They are as if they never had been those men; they are as if they

had never had such things; or, as if they never had thought about

them. Yea, they are strange, and carry it strangely to all those

that still are under the power of that word, and of that mighty

band by which sometimes themselves were guided.

Should one say to some, Art not thou the man that I once saw crying

under a sermon, that I once, heard cry out, What must I do to

be saved? and, that some time ago I heard speak well of the holy

word of God? how askew will they look upon one; or if they will

acknowledge that such things were with them once, they do it more

like images and rejected ghosts, than men. They look as if they

were blasted, withered, cast out, and dried to powder, and now

fit for nothing but to be cast into the fire, and burned. (John

15:6) The godliness from which they are departed, and the iniquity

unto which again they have joined themselves, has so altered, so

metamorphosed and changed their heart, and mind, and ways. This

therefore as the second thing which shews why some that have been

under something of the power of things,[5] are again with iniquity

entangled and overcome.

Third [Cause of falling away.] Another thing that makes these

enlightened ones, that they continue not to depart from iniquity,

is the persecution that always attends the word: for persecution

always attends the word, that of the tongue, or that of the sword.

Now these men that were once enlightened, though they cannot

remember what they were themselves, yet Satan helps them to think

that their neighbours remember what they were: and having now

lost the savour, the sense of what they once had, and sinned away

that Spirit that brought it to them, they grow weak; yea are above

all men the most unable to stand up, to abide the shock and trial,

that for their profession is coming upon them. Wherefore, by and

by they are offended; to wit, with their own profession, and call

themselves an hundred fools, for being so heedless, so witless, and

unwary, to mind God's holy things in such a time and day. (Matt.

4:16, 17; Luke 8:13) Then they bethink with themselves, how to

make an honourable retreat, which they suppose they usually do,

by finding fault, first with their own unadvisedness, and of the

over-persuasiveness of others; they also now begin to say farewell

conscience, yea, God and heaven and all, and join in confederacy

with the world again. Thus are they in fear, where no fear is;

and the sound of a shaken leaf doth chase them. And there are four

things that are the cause of this.

1. For that not withstanding the former power that attended the

word to their hearts, their hearts did still abide as hard as

a rock, there was no true and sound breaking, nor softening in

that; wherefore there the word wanted depth of earth, as our Lord

is pleased to call it; and anon when the sun was up, that which

remained was presently scorched, and so withered away.

2. Notwithstanding what they had sometimes enjoyed, yet the grace

of the fear of God was wanting in them. (Eccl. 7:16-18) So wanting

that, what should hinder but that they should return to go as

they came, and leave Christ, the gospel, and the people of God to

shift as well as they can for themselves.

3. All that they enjoyed did not estrange their hearts from their

lusts, though when they were in the power of things, they were

deader to them than formerly; I say than formerly. (Psa. 78:30,

36, 37) And it is even with such, as with them, who are for a time

taken off from what yet they love, by some new employ in which

they are engaged. Saul went out to look for David to kill him,

but when he came at Naioth, in Ramah, the Spirit of God came upon

him, and he prophesied. (1 Sam. 19:18, 24) But this lasted but

for a while. Saul soon returned to his old envy against the holy

man again.

4. It comes upon them even of judgment and wrath, for since they

so soon give way to sin, and forget, God suffereth them to fall

into the fear of men, and to force their hearts to comply with bad

things,--even as Judas and Demas did,--till they are swallowed up

of that gulph, into which the ungodly descend. 'As for such as

turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth

with the workers of iniquity.' (Psa. 125:5)

When once God is angry with a people, he can deal with them, he

can give them up to those lusts in judgment, that they will not

be separated from by mercy. Yea, he can make a way for his anger

to overtake them that have made a way, by the deceits of their

hearts, to go a-whoring from under him.

And these are the causes why those that were once enlightened, and

have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to

come, return with the dog to his own vomit again; and so, though

they have or do name the name of Christ, yet depart not from


Third, A third reason, why they that name the name of Christ do not

depart from iniquity, may be, because GRACE IS WEAK and CORRUPTION

STRONG. I speak now of them that are truly gracious; for as those

that never had nothing but notion, did never at all depart from

iniquity: and as those that never had saving grace, though common

workings were with them, do but a little depart from iniquity; so

those that yet have the grace of God in them, in truth, do not,

as they should, depart from iniquity; wherefore the exhortation is

as much to them as it is to any body else; 'and let them that name

the name of Christ,' with gracious lips, 'depart from iniquity.'

For though there is a great difference betwixt these and the two

sorts that I mentioned before,--these having the true principles of

holiness in them, but the other nothing thereof,--yet they, even

they, also have need of this exhortation; for they do not, as

they should, 'depart from iniquity.' Their graces, as I said, are

weak, and that is the reason thereof.


 2011/1/26 16:34Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1032


That these do not depart from iniquity, as they should, is clear.

1. For that their highest acts of holiness are tainted therewith,

and made imperfect thereby. (Isa. 64:6; Psa. 143:2; Heb. 12:15;

Matt. 6:23) This is manifest, because they still are afraid to

shew themselves before God in their own works, and because they

betake them for acceptation with God, to the priestly office of

Christ, and pray by him, 'forgive us our trespasses.'

2. This is clear also, because we are, while in this world, nowhere

by the word said to have attained to the mark and point of absolute

perfection; but are bid to grow, to follow on, to press forward,

and to perfect holiness in the fear of God. (2 Peter 3:18; Heb.

6:12; Phil. 3:12-14; 2 Cor. 7:1) Yea, the best of us all, even

the apostles and prophets, have not only made it manifest by their

imperfections, that as yet they have not departed from iniquity as

they should; but they have confessed, and denied not, that they

were yet in the pursuit of righteousness, and had not already


3. This is clear also, for that the righteousness, by the which the

best of saints are justified in the sight of God, is a righteousness

of another, not their own; the righteousness of another man, for

that there is not any upon earth that doth good and sins not.

And what need we pray, 'forgive us our trespasses,' approach God

in the perfections of another, and be bid 'to perfect holiness,'

if we had already attained, or were already perfect, or were so

departed from iniquity as we should.

4. Alas, the complaints of God concerning this matter, doth

sufficiently testify the truth of what I say. When God came to his

people in Egypt, and bid them forsake the idols of Egypt, they did

not. But they rebelled against me, says he, and would not hearken

unto me; they did not, every man, cast away the abominations of

his eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Well, he

saved them out of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness,

and said to them there, Obey my laws, and my commandments; but

the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness, they

walked not in my statutes, they despised my judgments. Well, then

he had them from the wilderness to Canaan, and then said to them,

Keep my laws. (Eze. 20) But when he had brought them into the

land, then they also polluted themselves, and sinned, against him

as before. Again, when God brought them out of captivity, both

they, and every thing that they did, was unclean. (Hag. 2:14)

To be short, what says Paul in the seventh to the Romans? what

says James in the third chapter of his epistle? (ch. 3:2) And what

says John in his first epistle, and first chapter? (1 John 1:9)

Do they not all confess, though themselves were apostles, and so

for grace and gifts beyond any that breathe in this world, that

sin and iniquity was yet with them; and so consequently, that

there was not as yet that departing by them therefrom, as there

should. And the reason, as I have said, is, because grace is weak,

weak in the beat and most strong of the saints of God. Hence the

greatest saints use to complain, when much assaulted with corruptions,

or attended with very hard service for God, of their weakness and

insufficiency, as to a completeness of doing the will of God.

(1.) Moses, when God did but bid him nourish and succour Israel in

the wilderness, and carry them in his bosom, as the nursing-father

beareth the sucking child, was stricken with such fear of

miscarrying, through the weakness of his graces and the power of

his corruptions, that he cried to God, saying, 'I am not able to

bear all this people alone, because it too heavy for me. And if

thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand,--and

let me not see my wretchedness.' (Num. 11:14, 15)

(2.) Job, when he was, for a proof of his integrity, to be exercised

a while with some of the judgments of God, cries out, in a sense

of his weakness to bear them, and to go through as he should, 'Is

my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?' And

again, 'Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over

me? Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? And wilt thou pursue

the dry stubble?' (Job 6:12; 8:12; 13:25)

(3.) So Daniel, when he was but to stand and talk with the angel,

how weak did he find himself; 'There remained,' saith he, 'no

strength in me;' and, '0 my Lord, by the vision my sorrows are

turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the

servant of this my Lord talk with this my Lord? for as for me,

straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there

breath left in me.' (Dan. 10) Some may say, but this is natural

weakness. But I ask, how came nature to be so weak, but through

sin? the remains whereof abiding still upon the best of saints,

make them, not withstanding their graces, incapable to do any

thing as they should.

(4.) Paul, a man of men, who had so much grace, revelation of

grace and communion with Christ, that sometimes he knew not whether

he was in or out of the body, and yet you find him making bitter

complaint of the weakness of his grace, and of the power of his

corruptions. 'I am carnal,' saith he, and what I hate that do

I. 'How to perform that which is good I find not;' 'when I would

do good evil is present with me.' 'But I see another law in my

members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into

captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members.' '0 wretched

man that I am,' &c. What complaints, what confessions, what bewailing

of weakness is here? And what need was there of any of this, if

Paul could, as he would, have departed from iniquity? (Rom. 8)

I have instanced in these four men, because as to failings and

miscarriages they are as free--by what the holy record saith--as

any four of whose lives you shall read in all the Bible; but you

see that they were too weak to do good and depart from iniquity

as they would.

Grace may be said to be weak, either when a lower or less degree

thereof is compared with a higher and greater degree of the same;

or it may be said to be weak when, in what degree of it you will,

it shall be engaged by, or engage itself against sin, &c.

There are degrees of grace in the world, some have less, and some

bigger measures thereof, and according to the measure of grace

received, so is a Christian capable of action. He that has little,

acts but weakly; he that has much, acts more strongly; and he

of the saints that has most, acteth best of all: but yet none of

these three can act so as they should and would, and, consequently,

so depart from iniquity as is their duty. Witness those four that

I mentioned but now, for they are among the first-rate of saints,

yet you see what they did, and hear what they said.

Sin is a mighty tyrant; it is also installed in our flesh, and

has moreover that in it which suiteth with whatever is sensual in

us. The flesh relisheth it well, though the spirit of the Christian

is against it.

Sin is an active beast, and will not admit that the soul should

attempt to put forth itself in any good thing, without opposition

and contradiction. 'When I should do good evil is present with


Sin is of a polluting and defiling nature, and what grace soever

it toucheth it staineth, and in staining makes it weaker, than

were it not so defiled it would be. Besides, not a grace, nor an

act of grace in the soul can escape untouched.

Unbelief stands ready to annoy faith in the grace, as well as in

the act of faith.

Hardness of heart will not let love so affectionately and

sympathisingly act as it should.

Sense and reason being polluted will not let hope be so steadfastly

fixed upon unseen things as it should.

Pride will not let us be so humble as we ought, nor self so self

denying. Passion often interrupts our patience, and angry motions

our meekness. By these, and more that might be named, it appears

that sin is in us, opposeth our graces, and letteth[7] them from

acting as they should; and because this sin has part of ourself

in its possession, therefore though our more noble part be utterly

against it, yet we depart not from it as we should.

God chargeth Moses with rash and unadvised words, and so he doth

Job also: Daniel did wear the name of an idol god, and Paul freely

confesseth himself unfirm. (Num. 20:12; Psa. 106:32; Job 38:2;

Job 42:6; Dan. 4:8; Rom. 7:24)

Nor may what hath now been said be applied to those that are weak

in faith, and so in every other grace; for the strongest grace

when acted as well as we can, cannot cause that we depart from

iniquity as we should. (l.) Because the strongest grace cannot

act without opposition. (2.) Because we that are the actors are

lame, infirm, and made weak by sin that dwells in us. (3.) Because

grace and a state of grace is not that wherein the perfection

designed for us doth lie, for that is in another world. (a.) This

is a place to act faith in. (b.) This is a place to labour and

travel in. (c.) This is a place to fight and wrestle in. (d.) This

is a place to be tried in.

And therefore this is no place of perfection, and consequently no

place where God's people can depart from iniquity as they should.

Now there is a twofold way of departing from iniquity. I. One is

when the mind is set against it, and withdrawn from the love and

liking of it. II. The other is when the practice of it is shunned

by the whole man.

I. The first of these ways, the saints, though they truly do depart

from iniquity, yet depart not from it as they should. (1.) Their

understanding sees not the utmost baseness that is in it. (2.) Their

judgment is not informed about the vileness of it to perfection.

(3.) The conscience has not yet been convinced of all the evil that

is in it. Then, (a.) How should the soul abhor it as it should?

(b.) How should the desires depart from it with that fervency as

they should? (c.) And the will and affections so turn away from

it as they should?

II. Second, As to the shunning of the acts of sin, there we also

come wonderful short.

We shun not the sins of others as we should. This is made appear,

(1.) For that we shun not the company of base men as we should.

(2.) Nor shun or refuse to imitate them in their evil, as we should.

How easily are good men persuaded to comply with bad men's ways.

Yea, Jehoshaphat himself said to Ahab, that base one: Behold, 'I

am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.'

(1 Kings 22:4) Joseph could learn in Pharaoh's court, to 'swear

by Pharaoh's life.' (Gen. 42:15, 16) Peter also, when dissembling,

was in fashion among the people, could learn to dissemble likewise.

(Gal. 2:11-14)

We shun not our own sins or the sine of our own company as we

should. Christians learn to be proud one of another, to be covetous

one of another, to be treacherous and false one of another,

to be cowardly in God's matters one of another, to be remiss and

negligent in christian duties one of another.

Besides, if I should go about to shew here, how Christians will

hide iniquity, as David. (2 Sam. 12:12) How they will excuse it,

as did Aaron. (Ex. 32:22-24) How they will plead for it, as did

the men of the city of Joash for Baal. (Jud. 6:29-31) and the like,

I might soon make it abundantly appear, that Christians do not

depart from iniquity as they should; and therefore the exhortation

stands; good, and of use to the best of saints on earth, that

they and every of them 'should depart from iniquity.' Yea, the

observation also that they do not do it as they should, doth still

stand good against us.

Wherefore, as it is true in those that have nothing but notion,

and that it is true in those that are wrought upon, but not

effectually, so it is true upon those that are truly gracious;

observation proves it, fears of damnation prove it, the outcry

of the world proves it, and the confession of the best men proves



I come now to another observation with which I will present you,

and that is this, namely, that every one that in way of profession and

religion names the name of Christ, 'SHOULD DEPART from iniquity.'

I say, that every one that in a way of profession and religion,

'nameth the name of Christ, should depart from iniquity.' This

truth needs more practice than proof. For I think there are none

that have either scripture or reason by them, but will freely

consent to this.

Nor is there any thing ambiguous in the observation, that we need

now to stand upon the explaining of. For,

What iniquity is, who knows not?

That it cleaves to the best, who knows not?

That it is disgraceful to profession, who knows not? and therefore

that it ought to be departed from, who knows not?

But because the motives in particular may not be so much considered

as they ought, and because it is Satan's design to tempt us to

be unholy, and to keep iniquity and the professing man together;

therefore I will in this place spend some arguments upon you that

profess, and in a way of profession do name the name of Christ,

that you depart from iniquity; to wit, both in the inward thought

and in the outward practice of it. And those arguments shall

be of four sorts, some respecting Christ, some his Father, some

ourselves, and some the world.

First, [Arguments that respect CHRIST.]

First, The Christ, whom you profess, whose name you name, and

whose disciples you pretend to be, is holy. 'Be ye holy, for I

am holy,' (1 Peter 1:16) This is natural to our discourse; for if

Christ be holy, and if we profess him, and in professing of him,

declare that we are his disciples, we ought therefore to depart

from iniquity, that we may shew the truth of our profession to

the world.

Second, They that thus name the name of Christ should depart from

iniquity, because this Christ, whose name we name, is loving. Those

that have a loving master, a master that is continually extending

his love unto his servants, should be forward in doing of his

will, that thereby they may shew their sense, and acceptation of

the love of their master. Why, this is his will, 'that we depart

from iniquity, that we throw sin away; that we fly every appearance

of evil.' (1 Thess. 5:22; Heb. 7:26)

Third, They that thus name the name of Christ should depart from

iniquity, because of the honour and reputation of their Lord. It

is a disparagement to Christ, that any of his servants, and that

any that name his name, should yet abide by, and continue with,

iniquity. 'A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master:

if then I be a Father, where is mine honour? and if I be a Master,

where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts, unto you, O priests,

that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy

name?' (Mal. 1:6)

Fourth, They that name the name of Christ should depart from iniquity,

because of his name, that his name may not be evil spoken of by

men; for our holiness puts a lustre and a beauty upon the name

of Christ, and our not departing from iniquity draws a cloud upon

it. Wherefore we ought to depart from iniquity, that the name of

the Lord Jesus may be glorified, and not reproached through us.

Fifth, They that name the name of Christ should depart from iniquity,

because of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. That the gospel of

our Lord Jesus Christ, which they profess, may not be evil spoken

of by our neighbours. The gospel is called holy, therefore let them

be holy that profess it. (2 Peter 2:21) The which they can by no

means be, if they depart not from iniquity. Men cannot serve the

designs of the gospel, and their own worldly and fleshly designs.

But they that profess the name of Christ, they should be tender

of his gospel, that they keep that in good esteem and reputation

in the world. The which they can by no means do, unless they depart

from iniquity.

Sixth, They that name the name of Christ should depart from iniquity,

because the very profession of that name is holy. The profession

is an holy profession. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the

Lord; the vessels, that is, the profession, for by that is as it

were carried about the name and gospel of Jesus Christ. We must

therefore lay aside all iniquity, and superfluity of naughtiness,

and do as persons professing godliness, as professing a profession,

that Christ is the priest of, yea the high-priest of 1 Thess.

2:30; Heb. 3:3. It is a reproach to any man to be but a bungler

at his profession, to be but a sloven in his profession. And

it is the honour of a man to be excellent in the managing of his

profession. Christians should be excellent in the management of

their profession, and should make that which is good in itself,

good to the church and to the world, by a sweet and cleanly managing

of it.

Seventh, They that profess the name of Christ, or that name it

religiously, should to their utmost depart from iniquity, because of

the church of Christ which is holy. He that religiously professeth

the name of Christ, has put himself into the church of Christ,

though not into a particular one, yet into the universal one. Now

that is holy. What agreement then hath the temple of God with idols?

Ay, or any pillar, or post, or pin, or member of that temple. (2

Cor. 6:16) One black sheep is quickly espied among five hundred

white ones, and one mangey one will soon affect many. One also

among the saints, that is not clean, is a blemish to the rest,

and, as Solomon says, 'one sinner destroyeth much good.' (Eccl.


Eighth, They that profess the name of Christ, or that name that

name religiously, should depart from iniquity, because of the

ordinances of Christ, for they are holy. (Ex. 30:17-31) Men of

old before they went in to meddle with holy things, were to wash

their hands and their feet in a vessel prepared for that purpose.

Now since they that name that name religiously do also meddle with

Christ's appointments, they must also wash and be clean; cleanse

your hands ye sinners, if you mean to meddle with Christ in his

appointment; wash lest God cut you off for your not departing from


Ninth, They that name the name of Christ religiously should depart

from iniquity, because of Christ's observers. There are many that

keep their eye upon Christ, and that watch for an opportunity to

speak against him, even through the sides of those that profess

him. 'Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again

of many in Israel; and for a sign that shall be spoken against.'

(Luke 2:34) Some take occasion to speak against him, because of

the meanness of his person; here some again speak against him,

because of the plainness of his doctrine; also some speak against

him, because of the meanness of his followers; and some speak

against him, because of the evil deeds of some that profess him.

But if he that gives just occasion of offence to the least of the

saints had better be drowned in the sea with a mill-stone about

his neck; what think you shall his judgment be, who, through his

mingling of his profession of Christ's name with a wicked life

shall tempt or provoke men to speak against Christ?


 2011/1/26 16:36Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1032


SECOND, I come now to those arguments that respect GOD THE FATHER.

First, Then, they that profess the name of Christ should depart

from iniquity; because of God the Father, because God the Father

has made Christ to be to us what he is; to wit, the Apostle and

high-priest of our profession. 'He that honoureth not the Son,

honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.' (1 Cor. 1:30;

John 5:23; 15:8) Nor can the Father be honoured by us, but by our

departing from iniquity. All our talk and profession of Christ,

adds no glory to his Father, who has made him our King, and

Priest, and Prophet, if it be not joined to an holy conversation.

Wherefore, if you profess the name of Christ, and would hold the

word in hand, that you have believed in him, depart from iniquity,

for the Father's sake that hath sent him.

Second, As it is the Father which hath made Christ to us what he

is; so it is the Father who hath called us to partake of Christ

and all his benefits. 'Wherefore we must depart from iniquity

that profess the name of Christ, that we may glorify him for his

call.' (1 Cor. 1:9; Heb. 3:1) He has called us to the fellowship

of his Son Jesus Christ; that is, to partake of all that good

that is in him, as Mediator, and to be done by him for those that

trust in him. Nor had we ever come out of a cursed and condemned

condition, to Christ, for life and blessedness, but by the call

of the Father; 'For it is not of works, but of him that calleth.'

(Rom. 9:11) Now since he has called us to this privilege--even

us whom he has called--and left others in their sins to perish by

his judgments, it is meet we should depart from iniquity. (Heb.

3:1; 2 Peter 1:2, 3) Especially since the call by which he called

us is heavenly, and holy, and because he has not only called us

to glory, but to virtue.

Third, We that religiously name the name of Christ, should depart

from iniquity, because God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

has commanded us to do. Wherefore gird up the loins of your minds,

be sober, and hope to the ene for the grace that is to be brought

unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children,

not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in your

ignorance; but as he that has called you is holy, so be ye holy

in all manner of conversation: because it is written, 'Be ye holy,

as I am holy.'

Fourth, They that religiously name the name of Christ should depart

from iniquity, that they may answer the end for which they are

called to profess his name. The Father has, therefore, called them

to profess his name, that they might be trees of righteousness, the

planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Dost thou then

profess the name of Christ: bring forth those fruits that become

that holy profession, that you may be called 'trees of righteousness,'

and that God may be glorified for and by your professed subjection

to the gospel of his Son. (Isa. 61:3)

Fifth, They that name--as afore--the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

should depart from iniquity, that they may shew to the world

the nature and power of those graces, which God the Father has

bestowed upon them that do religiously name the name of Christ.

And the rather, because he that religiously nameth that name,

declareth even by his so naming of him, that he has received grace

of the Father, to enable him so to do. Now he cannot declare this

by deeds, unless he depart from iniquity; and his declaring of it

by words alone, signifies little to God or man. (Titus 1:16)

Sixth, We therefore that religiously name the name of Christ, should

also depart from iniquity, because the Spirit of the Father will

else be grieved. (Eph. 4:30) The countenancing of iniquity, the not

departing therefrom, will grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by which

you 'are sealed to the day of redemption;' and that is a sin of

a higher nature that men commonly are aware of. He that grieveth

the Spirit of God shall smart for it here, or in hell, or both.

And that Spirit that sometimes did illuminate, teach, and instruct

them, can keep silence, can cause darkness, can withdraw itself,

and suffer the soul to sin more and more; and this last is the

very judgment of judgments. He that grieves the Spirit, quenches

it; and he that quenches it, vexes it; add he that vexes it,

sets it against himself, and tempts it to hasten destruction upon

himself. (1 Thess. 5:19) Wherefore take heed, professors, I say

take heed, you that religiously name the name of Christ, that you

meddle not with iniquity, that you tempt not the Spirit of the Lord

to do such things against you, whose beginnings are dreadful, and

whose end in working of judgments is unsearchable. (Isa. 63:10;

Acts 5:9) A man knows not whither he is going, nor where he shall

stop, that is but entering into temptation; nor whether he shall

ever turn back, or go out at the gap that is right before him. He

that has begun to grieve the Holy Ghost, may be suffered to go on

until he has sinned that sin which is called the sin against the

Holy Ghost. And if God shall once give thee up to that, then thou

art in the iron cage, out of which there is neither deliverance

nor redemption. Let every one, therefore, that nameth the name of

Christ, depart from iniquity, upon this second consideration.

THIRD, In the next place, I come now to those arguments that do

respect THYSELF.

First, Those that religiously name the name of Christ should,

must, depart from iniquity, because else our profession of him is

but a lie. 'If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk

in darkness, we lie.' (I John 1:6) 'And walk in darkness;' that

is, and walk in iniquity, and depart not from a life that is

according to the course of this world. 'He that saith, I know him,

and heepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not

in him.' (ch. 2:4) The truth that he professes to know, and that

he saith he hath experience of, is not in him. Every man that

nameth the name of Christ is not therefore a man of God, nor is

the word in every man's mouth, truth, though he makes profession

of that worthy name. (1 Kings 17:24) It is then truth in him,

and to others with reference to him, when his mouth and his life

shall agree. (Rev. 2:2, 9; 3:9) Men may say they are apostles,

and be liars: they may say they are Jews, that is, Christians, and

lie, and be liars, and lie in so saying. Now this is the highest

kind of lying, and certainly must therefore work the saddest sort

of effects. Thus man's best things are lies. His very saying, I

know him, I have fellowship with him, I am a Jew, a Christian, is

a lie. His life giveth his mouth the lie: and all knowing men are

sure he lies. 1. He lies unto God: he speaks lies in the presence,

and to the very face of God. Now this is a daring thing: I know

their lies, saith he; and shall he not recompense for this? See

Acts 5:4; Rev. 21:8, 27; 22:15. and take heed. I speak to you that

religiously name the name of Christ, and yet do not depart from

iniquity. 2. He lies unto men; every knowing man; every man that

is able to judge of the tree by the fruit, knows that that man

is a liar, and that his whole profession as to himself is a lie,

if he doth not depart from iniquity. Thus Paul called the slow

bellies,[8] the unsound professors among the Cretians, liars.

They were so in his eyes, for that their profession of the name

of Christ was not seconded with such a life as became a people

professing godliness. (Titus 1:12-16) They did not depart from

iniquity. But again, 3. Such a man is a liar to his own soul.

Whatever such an one promiseth to himself, his soul will find it

a lie. There be many in the world that profess the name of Christ,

and consequently promise their soul the enjoyment of that good,

that indeed is wrapt up in him, but they will certainly be mistaken

hereabout, and with the greatest terror will find it so, when they

shall hear that direful sentence, 'Depart from me, all ye workers

of iniquity.' (Luke 8:27) Christ is resolved that the loose-lived

professor shall not stand in the judgment, nor any such sinners

in the congregation of the righteous. They have lied to God, to

men, and to themselves; but Jesus then will not lie unto them: he

will plainly tell them that he hath not known them, and that they

shall not abide in his presence. But,

Second, Those that religiously name the name of Christ should

depart from iniquity, else, as they are liars in their profession,

so they are self deceivers. I told you but now such lie to themselves,

and so consequently they deceive themselves. 'But be ye doers of

the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your ownselves.' (John

1:22) It is a sad thing for a man, in and about eternal things,

to prove a deceiver of others; but for a man to deceive himself,

his ownself of eternal life, this is saddest of all; yet there

is in man a propenseness so to do. Hence the apostle says, be not

deceived, and let no man deceive himself. And again, verse 26,

'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.'

These words, 'but deceiveth his own heart,' I have much mused about:

for they seem to me to be spoken to show how bold and prodigiously

desperate some men are, who yet religiously name the name of Christ:

desperate, I say, at self deceiving. He deceiveth his own heart;

he otherwise persuadeth it, than of its ownself it would go:

ordinarily men are said to be deceived by their hearts, but here

is a man that is said to deceive his own heart, flattering it off

from the scent and dread of those convictions, that by the Word,

sometimes it hath been under: persuading of it that there needs

no such strictness of life be added to a profession of faith in

Christ, as by the gospel is called for: or that since Christ has

died for us, and rose again, and since salvation is alone in him,

we need not be so concerned, or be so strict to matter how we

live. This man is a self deceiver; he deceives his own heart. Self

deceiving, and that about spiritual and eternal things, especially

when men do it willingly, is one of the most unnatural, unreasonable,

and unaccountable actions in the world. 1. It is one of the most

unnatural actions; for here a man seeks his own ruin, and privily

lurks for his own life. (Prov. 1:18) We all cry out against him

that murders his children, his wife, or his own body, and condemn

him to be one of those that has forgot the rules and love of

nature. But behold the man under consideration is engaged in such

designs as will terminate in his own destruction: he deceiveth

his own soul. 2. This is also the most unreasonable act; there

can no cause, nor crumb of cause that has the least spark or dram

of reason, or of anything that looks like reason, be shown why a

man should deceive himself, and bereave his soul of eternal life.

Therefore, 3. Such men are usually passed over with astonishment

and silence. 'Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this! and be horribly

afraid, for my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken

me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns,

broken cisterns, that can hold no water.' (Jer. 2:11-13)

But, above all this, as to this head, is the most amazing place,

where it is said, that the self deceiver makes his self deceiving his

sport: 'Sporting themselves with their own deceivings.' (2 Peter

2:13) These are a people far gone, to be sure, that are arrived

to such a height of negligence, carelessness, wantonness, and

desperateness of spirit, as to take pleasure in, and make a sport

of, that which will assuredly deceive them for ever. But this

is the fruit of professing of Christ, and of not departing from

iniquity. The wisdom and judgment of God is such, as to give such

over to the sporting of themselves in their own deceivings.

FOURTH. [Those arguments that respect THE WORLD.]

First, Those that religiously name the name of Christ should depart

from iniquity, because of the scandal that will else assuredly

come upon religion, and the things of religion, through them.

Upon this head I may begin to write with a sigh, for never more

of this kind than now! There is no place, where the professors

of religion are, that is clean and free from offence and scandal.

Iniquity is so entailed to religion, and baseness of life to the

naming of the name of Christ, that one may say of the professors

of this age, as it was said of them of old, 'All tables are full

of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.' (Isa.

28:8) Where are they even amongst those that strive for the rule,

that mind it at all, when it pinches upon their lusts, their

pride, avarice, and wantonness? Are not, now-a-days, the bulk of

professors like those that 'strain at a gnat and swallow a camel?'

(Matt. 23:24) Yea, do not professors teach the wicked ones to be

wicked? (Jer. 2:33) Ah! Lord God, this is a lamentation, and will

be for a lamentation. What a sore disease is now got into the

church of God, that the generality of professors should walk with


No fashion, no vanity, no profuseness, and yet no niggardliness,

but is found among professors. They pinch the poor, and nip from

them their due, to maintain their own pride and vanity. I shall

not need to instance particulars; for from the rich to the poor,

from the pastor to the people, from the master to his man, and

from the mistress to her maiden, all are guilty of scandal, and

of reproaching, by their lives, the name of the Lord; for they

profess, and name that worthy name of Christ, but are not as they

should be, departed from iniquity.

1. Hence the name of God is polluted and reproached, even till

God is weary and cries out, 'Pollute ye my name no more with your

gifts and with your idols.' (Eze. 20:39) O do not pollute my name,

says God; rather leave off profession, and go every one to his

wickedness. Tell the world, if you will not depart from iniquity,

that Christ and you are parted, and that you have left him, to

be embraced by them to whom iniquity is an abomination. It would

far better secure the name of God from scandal and reproach, than

for you to name the name of Christ, and yet not to depart from

iniquity. Then, though you sin, as now you do, the poor world would

not cry out, Ay, this is your religion! Then they would not have

occasion to vilify religion because of you, since you tell them

that Christ and you are parted. But,

2. If you will not leave off to name the name of Christ, nor yet

depart from iniquity, you also scandal the sincere professors

of religion, and that is a grievous thing. There are a people in

the world that have made it their business, ever since they knew

Christ, to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of flesh and

spirit, and that desire to perfect holiness in the fear of God;

and you scandalous professors mixing yourselves with them, 'make

their gold look dim.' (Lam. 4:1) You are spots and blemishes to

them; Jude 12, you are an evil mixing itself with their good, and

a scandal to their holy profession. (2 Peter 2:13) You are they

that make the heart of the righteous sad, whom God would not have,

sad; you are they that offend his little ones. Oh! the millstone

that God will shortly hang about your necks, when the time is come

that you must be drowned in the sea and deluge of God's wrath.

3. If you will not leave off to name the name of Christ, nor yet

depart from iniquity, you continue to extend your scandal also

to the word and doctrine of God. They that name the name of Jesus

religiously, should so carry it in the world, that they might

adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour; but thou that professest

and yet departest not from iniquity, thou causest the name and

doctrine which thou professest to be blasphemed and reproached by

the men of this world; and that is a sad thing, a thing that will

bring so heavy a load upon thee, when God shall open thine eyes,

and he will open them either here or in hell-fire, that thou wilt

repent it with great bitterness of soul. (1 Tim. 6:1) The Lord smite

thee to the making of thee sensible to thy shame and conversion,

if it be his blessed will. Amen! But,

4. If thou wilt not leave off to name the name of Christ, nor yet

depart from iniquity, thou wilt bring reproach, scorn, and contempt

upon thyself. For 'sin is a reproach to any people.' (Prov.

14:34). (1.) These are they that God will hold in great contempt

and scorn. (Isa. 1) (2.) These are they that his people shall

have in great contempt. 'Therefore,' saith he, 'have I also made

you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye

have not kept my ways,' but have lifted up the face against my

law.[9] (Mal. 2:9; Jer. 25:9, 18) 3. Such shall also be contemned

and had in derision of the men of this world. They shall be

a hissing, a bye-word, a taunt, and a reproach among all people.

'For them that honour me,' saith God, 'I will honour, and they

that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. (1 Sam. 2:30) I remember

that Philpot used to tell the Papists that they danced with their

buttocks uncovered, in a net,[10] because of the evil of their

ways; (Isa. 20:4) and the Lord bids professors have a care, 'that

the shame of thy nakedness do not appear,' or lest they walk

naked, and their shame be discovered. For those professors that

depart not from iniquity, however they think of themselves, their

nakedness is seen of others: and if it be a shame to the modest

to have their nakedness seen of others, what bold and brazen brows

have they who are not ashamed to show their nakedness, yea, the

very shame of it, to all that dwell about them? And yet thus doth

every one that religiously names the name of Christ, and yet doth

not depart from iniquity.

Second, Those that religiously name the name of Christ, and do

not depart from iniquity, they are the cause of the perishing of

many. 'Woe,' saith Christ, 'unto the world because of offences,'

(Matt. 18:7). And again, 'Woe to that man by whom the offence

cometh!' These are they that cause many to stumble at sin, and

fall into hell. Hark, you that are such, what God says to you: 'Ye

have caused many to stumble at the law,' and at religion. (Mal.

2:8) Men that are for taking of occasion you give it them; men

that would enter into the kingdom, you puzzle and confound them

with your iniquity, while you name the name of Christ, and do not

depart therefrom. One sinner destroyeth much good; these are the

men that encourage the vile to be yet more vile; these be the

men that quench weak desires in others; and these be the men that

tempt the ignorant to harden themselves against their own salvation.

A professor that hath not forsaken his iniquity, is like one that

comes out of the pest-house, among the whole, with his plague

sores running upon him. This is the man that hath the breath of a

dragon, he poisons the air round about him. This is the man that

lays his children, his kinsmen, his friend, and himself. What shall

I say? A man that nameth the name of Christ, and that departeth

not from iniquity, to whom may he be compared? The Pharisees, for

that they professed religion, but walked not answerable thereto,

unto what doth Christ compare them but to serpents and vipers?

What does he call them but hypocrites, whited walls, painted

sepulchres, fools, and blind? and tells them that they made men more

the children of hell than they were before. (Matt. 23) Wherefore

such an one cannot go out of the world by himself: for as he gave

occasion of scandal when he was in the world, so is he the cause

of the damnation of many. 'The fruit of the righteous is a tree

of life.' (Prov. 11:30) But what is the fruit of the wicked, of

the professors that are wicked? why, not to perish alone in their

iniquity. (Job 22:20) These, as the dragon, draw many of the stars

of heaven, and cast them to the earth with their most stinking

tail. (Rev. 12:4) Cast many a professor into earthly and carnal

delights, with their most filthy conversations.

The apostle did use to weep when he spake of these professors,

such offence he knew they were and would be in the world. (Acts

20:30; Phil 3:18, 19) These are the chief of the engines of Satan,

with these he worketh wonders. One Baalam, one Jeroboam, one Ahab;

O how many fish bring such to Satan's net! These are the tares that

he strives to sow among the wheat, for he knows they are mischief

to it. 'Wherefore, let every one that nameth the name of Christ

depart from iniquity.'

Fifth, Those that religiously name the name of Christ, and do not

depart from iniquity, how will they die; and how will they look

that man in the face, unto the profession of whose name they have

entailed an unrighteous conversation? Or do they think that he

doth not know what they have done, or that they may take him off

with a few cries and wringing of hands, when he is on the throne

to do judgment against transgressors? Oh! it had been better they

had not known, had not professed; yea, better they had never been

born; for as Christ said of Judas, so may it be said of these,

it had been good for that man if he had never been born; and as

Christ says it had been good, so Peter says it had been better. (Mark

14:21; 2 Peter 2:20, 21) Good they had not been born, and better

they had not known and made profession of the name of Christ.


 2011/1/26 16:37Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1032


But perhaps some may ask me,



First, I answer first, in general, those that religiously profess

the name of Christ, must depart from ALL iniquity. They should

lay aside every weight; they should fly 'all appearance of evil.'

(Heb 12:2; 1 Thess. 5:22) Many there be that are willing to part

with some sins, some pleasures, some unjust profits, if they may

be saved; but this selling of all, parting with all, forsaking of

all, is a very hard chapter.

And yet the Lord Jesus lays it there, saying so likewise,

'whosoever he be of you,' of any of you that professeth my name,

'that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.'

(Luke 14:33) Christ by this text requireth more of them that are

his than to forsake all iniquity. Wherefore, to be sure, every

sin is included. No less than universal obedience will prove a

man sincere. A divided heart is a faulty one. (Hosea 10:2) He that

forsaketh not every sin is partial in the law, nor can he have

respect to all God's commandments. (Job 20:13; John 14:21-24)

There can be no true love to Christ where there are reserves; he

that will hide any one sin in his bosom, or that will keep it,

as the phrase is, under his tongue, is a secret enemy to Jesus

Christ. He loveth not Christ that keepeth not his sayings. To halt

between two is nought, and no man can serve two masters. Christ

is a master, and sin is a master; yea, and masters are they so

opposite, that he that at all shall cleave to the one shall by the

other be counted his enemy. If sin at all be countenanced, Christ

counts himself despised. What man would count himself beloved

of his wife that knows she hath a bosom for another? 'Thou shalt

not be for another man' saith he, 'so will I be for thee.' (Hosea

3:3) Would the king count him a loyal subject who would hide in

his house, nourish in his bed, and feed at his table, one that

implacably hateth and seeketh to murder his majesty? Why, sin is

such an enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore, as kings command

that traitors be delivered up to justice, so Christ commands

that we depart from iniquity. 'Take away all iniquity,' is a good

prayer, and to 'resist unto blood, striving against sin,' is a

good warfare, and he that brings 'every thought to the obedience

of Christ' gets a brave victory. (Hosea 14:2; Heb. 12:4; 2 Cor.

10:5) Grace leaveneth the whole soul, and so consequently all the

parts thereof. Now where the whole is leavened, the taste must

needs be the same throughout. Grace leaves no power, faculty, or

passion of the soul unsanctified, wherefore there is no corner in

a sanctified soul where sin may hide his head, to find rest and

abode without control. Consequently, he that has a harbour for

this or that sin, and that can find a hiding-place and an abode

for it in his heart, is no Christian man. Let them then that

christianly name the name of Christ, make it manifest that they

do not do it feignedly, by departing from iniquity. But,

Second, And more particularly, they that name the name of Christ,

as above, let them depart from their CONSTITUTION-SIN, or, if you

will, the sin that their temper most inclines them to. Every man

is not alike inclined to the same sin, but some to one and some

to another. Now let the man that professes the name of Christ

religiously, consider with himself, unto what sin or vanity am

I most inclined; Is it pride? Is it covetousness? Is it fleshly

lusts? And let him labour, by all means, to leave off and depart

from that. This is that which David called his own iniquity, and

saith, 'I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from

mine iniquity.' (Psa. 18:23) Rightly are these two put together,

for it is not possible that he should be an upright man that indulgeth

or countenanceth his constitution-sin; but on the contrary, he

that keeps himself from that will be upright as to all the rest;

and the reason is, because if a man has that grace, as to trample

upon and mortify his darling, his bosom, his only sin, he will

more easily and more heartily abhor and fly the rest.

And, indeed, if a man will depart from iniquity, he must depart

from his darling sin first; for as long as that is entertained,

the others, at least those that are most suiting with that darling,

will always be haunting of him. There is a man that, has such and

such haunt his house, and spend his substance, and would be rid

of them, but cannot; but now, let him rid himself of that, for

the sake of which they haunt his house, and then he shall with

case be rid of them. Thus it is with sin. There is a man that is

plagued with many sins, perhaps because he embraceth one: well,

let him turn that one out of doors, and that is the way to be rid

of the rest. Keep thee from thy darling, thy bosom, thy constitution-sin.

Motives to prevail with thee to fall in with this exhortation,

are several.

1. There can no great change appear in thee, make what profession

of Christ thou wilt, unless thou cast away thy bosom sin. A man's

constitution-sin is, as I may call it, his visible sin; it is that

by which his neighbours know him and describe him, whether it be

pride, covetousness, lightness, or the like. Now if these abide

with thee, though thou shouldest be much reformed in thy notions,

and in other parts of thy life, yet say thy neighbours, he is the

same man still; his faith has not saved him from his darling; he

was proud afore, and is proud still; was covetous afore, and is

covetous still; was light and wanton afore, and is so still. He

is the same man, though he has got a new mouth. But now, if thy

constitution-sin be parted with, if thy darling be cast away, thy

conversion is apparent, it is seen of all, for the casting away of

that is death to the rest, and ordinarily makes a change throughout.

2. So long as thy constitution-sin remains, as winked at by thee,

so long thou art an hypocrite before God, let thy profession be

what it will; also, when conscience shall awake and be commanded

to speak to thee plainly what thou art, it will tell thee so, to

thy no little vexation and perplexity.

3. Besides, do what thou canst, so long as thou remainest thus thou

wilt be of a scandalous life. No honour is brought to religion by

such. But,

Again, As they that name the name of Christ 'should depart from

their constitution-sin, so they should depart from the sins

of other men's tempers also. Much harm among professors is done

by each others' sins. There is a man that has clean escaped from

those who live in error, has shaken off the carnal world and the

men thereof, and is come among professors; but, behold, there also

he meeteth with wicked men, with men that have not departed from

iniquity; and there he is entangled. This is a sad thing, and yet

so it is. I doubt there are some in the world, I mean professors,

that will curse the day that ever they were acquainted with some

professors. There are professors that are defilers, professors

that are 'wicked men,' professors of whom a wicked man may learn

to sin. (Jer. 5:26; 2:33) Take heed of these, lest, having fled

from thine own sins, thou shouldest be taken with the sins of

others. 'Be not partakers of other men's sins,' is the counsel

and caution that Paul giveth to Timothy, if he would keep himself

pure. (1 Tim. 5:22)

4. Dost thou profess the name of Christ, and dost thou pretend

to be a man departing from iniquity? Then take heed thou dost not

deceive thyself, by changing one bad way of sinning for another

bad way of sinning. This was a trick that Israel played of old; for

when God's prophets followed them hard with demands of repentance

and reformation, then they would 'gad about to change their ways.'

(Jer. 2:36) But, behold, they would not change a bad way for a

good, but one bad way for another, hopping, as the squirrel, from

bough to bough, but not willing to forsake the tree. Hence they

were said to return, but not to the Most High. Take heed, I say,

of this. Many leave off to be drunkards, and fall in with covetousness.

Many fall off from covetousness to pride and lasciviousness: take

heed of this. (Hosea 7:16) This is a grand deceit, and a common one

too, a deceit of a long standing, and almost a disease epidemical

among professors.

Many times men change their darling sins, as some change their

wives and servants: that which would serve for such an one this

year may not serve to be so for the year ensuing. Hypocrisy would

do awhile ago, but now debauchery. Profaneness would do when

profaneness was in fashion, but now a deceitful profession. Take

heed, professor, that thou dost not throw away thy old darling

sin for a new one. Men's tempers alter. Youth is for pride and

wantonness; middle age for cunning and craft; old age for the world

and covetousness. Take heed, therefore, of deceit in this thing.

5. Dost thou profess the name of Christ, and dost thou pretend

to be a man departing from iniquity? take heed, lest thy departing

from iniquity should be but for a time. Some do depart from

iniquity, as persons in wrangling fits depart from one another;

to wit, for a time, but when the quarrel is over, by means of some

intercessor, they are reconciled again. O! Satan is the intercessor

between the soul and sin, and though the breach between these two

may seem to be irreconcilable; yea, though the soul hath sworn

it will never give countenance to so vile a thing as sin is more;

yet he can tell how to make up this difference, and to fetch them

back to their vomit again, who, one would have thought, had quite

escaped his sins, and been gone. (2 Peter 2:18-22) Take heed,

therefore, O professor. For there is danger of this, and the height

of danger lies in it; and I think that Satan, to do this thing,

makes use of those sins again, to begin this rejoinder, which he

findeth most suitable to the temper and constitution of the sinner.

These are, as I may call them, the master sins; they suit, they

jump with the temper of the soul. These, as the little end of the

wedge, enter with ease, and so make way for those that come after,

with which Satan knows he can rend the soul in pieces. Wherefore,

6. To help this, take heed of parleying with thy sins again, when

once thou hast departed from them: sin has a smooth tongue; if

thou hearken to its enchanting language, ten thousand to one but

thou art entangled. See the saying of the wise man, 'with her

much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of

her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an

ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the

stocks.' (Prov. 7:21, 22) He heard her charm, and by hearing is

noosed, and led away to her house, which is the way to hell, 'going

down to the chambers of death.'(ver. 27) Take heed, therefore,

of listening to the charms wherewith sin enchanteth the soul. In

this, be like the deaf adder, stop thine ear, plug it up to sin,

and let it only be open to hear the words of God.

Third, Let them that name the name of Christ depart from the iniquity

of THE TIMES. There are sins that may be called the iniquity of

the day. It was thus in Noah's day, it was thus in Lot's day, and

it was thus in Christ's day--I mean, in the days of his flesh:

and it is a famous thing for professors to keep themselves from

the iniquities of the times. Here lay Noah's excellency, here lay

Lot's excellency, and here will lie thy excellency, if thou keep

thyself from the iniquity of this day. Keep or 'save yourselves

from this untoward generation,' is seasonable counsel, (Acts

2:40) but taken of but few; the sin of the time, or day, being as

a strong current or stream that drives all before it. Hence Noah

and Lot were found, as it were, alone, in the practice of this

excellent piece of righteousness in their generation. Hence it is

said of Noah, that he 'was a just man, and perfect in his generations.'

(Gen. 6:9) And again, the Lord said unto Noah, 'Come thou and all

thy house into the ark, for thee have I seen righteous before me,

in this generation.' The meaning is, he kept himself clear of the

sin of his day, or of the generation among which he lived. (Gen.


The same I say of Lot, he kept himself from the sin of Sodom; and

hence Peter cries him up for such a righteous man. 'Just Lot,'

saith he, 'that righteous man,' whose righteous soul was vexed

with the filthy conversation of the wicked. Mark, 'a just man,'

'a righteous man,' 'his righteous soul,' &c. But how obtained

he this character? Why, he abhorred the sin of his time, he fell

not in with the sin of the people, but was afflicted and vexed

thereabout; yea, it was to him a daily burden. 'For that righteous

man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous

soul from day to day, with their unlawful deeds. So David, 'I

beheld,' saith he, 'the transgressors, and was grieved, because

they kept not thy word.' (Psa. 119:158) The sin of the times is to

God the worst of sins; and to fall in with the sin of the times is

counted as the highest of transgressions. Consequently, to keep

from them, though a man should, through infirmity, be guilty of

others, yet he is accounted upright. And hence it is, I think, that

David was called a man after God's own heart; to wit, because he

served his own generation by the will of God; or, as the margent

reads, after he had, in his own age, served the will of God.

(Acts 13) By the sin of the times, Satan, as it were, set up his

standard in defiance to God; seeking then to cause his name, in

a signal way, to be dishonoured, and that by the professors of

that age. And hence it is that the Lord doth manifest such wrath

against his people that are guilty of the common sin of their

day, and that he shews such special favour to them that abstain

therefrom. Was there no more, think you, but Noah, in his generation,

that feared God? Yes, several, no doubt; but he was the man that

kept clear of the sin of his day, therefore he and his family

must be partakers of God's deliverance; the other must die before,

and not be permitted to the mercy of the ark, nor to see the new

world with Noah. Unbelief was the sin of the day when Israel was

going from Egypt to Canaan; therefore all that were guilty of that

transgression must be denied to go in to see that good land, yea,

though it were Moses himself. 'And the Lord spake unto Moses and

Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of

the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation

into the land which I have given them.' (Num. 20:12)

The sin of the day is an high transgression; from the which, because

Caleb and Joshua, kept then selves, God kept them from all the

blasting plagues that overtook all the rest, and gave them the land

which he had promised to their fathers. 'But my servant Caleb,

because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me

fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his

seed shall possess it.' (Num. 14:24) Idolatry was the sin of the

day just before Israel were carried captive into Babylon. Now

those of the priests that went astray then, even they say, God

shall bear their iniquity. 'But the priests, the Levites, the sons

of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children

of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near unto me, to

minister unto me; and they shall stand before me, to offer unto me

the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God. They shall enter into

my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister

unto me, and they shall keep my charge.' (Ezek. 44:15, 16)

Great complaints have we now among professors, of deadness in

duties, barrenness of the ministry, and of the withdrawing of God

from his people; but I can tell you a cause of all this, namely,

the sin of the day is got into the church of God, and has defiled

that holy place. This is the ground and cause of all these things;

nor is it like to be otherwise, till the cause shall be removed.

If any should ask me what are the sins of our day, I would say

they are conspicuous, they are open, they are declared as Sodom's

were. (Isa. 3:9) They that have embraced them, are not ashamed of

them; yea, they have got the boldness to plead for them, and to

count them their enemies that seek to reform them. All tables are

full of vomit and filthiness. And for pride and covetousness, for

loathing of the gospel, and contemning holiness, as these have

covered the face of the nation, as they have infected most of them

that now name the name of Christ.

And I say again, when you find out a professor that is not horribly

tainted with some of these things, I exclude not the ministers

nor their families, let him be as a beacon upon a hill, or as an

ensign in our land. But says one, Would you have us singular? and

says another, Would you have us make ourselves ridiculous? and

says a third, Such and such, more godly-wise than we, do so. But

I answer, if God has made you singular, and called you to grace,

that is singular; and bid you walk in ways that are singular,

and diverse from the ways of all others. Yea, if to depart from

iniquity will make you ridiculous, if to be holy in all manner

of conversation will make you ridiculous, then be contented to be

counted so. As for the godly-wise you speak of, let them manifest

themselves to be such by departing from iniquity. I am sure that

their being tainted with sins of the day, will not prove them

godly-wise. 'Behold, I have taught you,' said Moses, 'statute and

judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me; that ye should

do so in the land whither you go to possess it. Keep therefore,

and do them, for this is your wisdom, and your understanding in

the sight of the nations, which shall hear of all these statutes,

and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding

people.' Here then is wisdom, and this is that that manifesteth a

people to be, understanding, and godly-wise, even the keeping of

the commandments of God. And why follow the apish fashions of the

world? Hath the God of wisdom set them on foot among us? or is

it because the devil and wicked men, the inventors of these vain

toys, have outwitted the law of God? 'what nation is there so

great, who hath God so nigh unto them' as his people have, and as

he 'is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation

is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous,

as all this law,' said Moses, which I set before you this day?'

(Deut. 4:5-8) This then is that which declareth us to be godly-wise,

when we keep our soul diligently to the holy words of God; and

fit not only our tongues and lips, but also our lives thereto.

Fourth, But again, let them that name the name of Christ depart

from the iniquity, that is, as I may call it, from FAMILY INIQUITY.

There is a house iniquity; an iniquity that loves not to walk

abroad, but to harbour within doors. This the holy man David was

aware of, therefore he said that he would behave himself 'wisely,

in a perfect way;' yea, saith he, 'I will walk within my house

with a perfect heart.' (Psa. 101:2)

Now this house iniquity standeth in these things. (l.) In domestic

broils and quarrels. (2.) In domestic chamberings and wantonness.

(3.) In domestic misorders of children and servants.

1. For house broils and quarrels, it is an iniquity to be departed

from, whether it be betwixt husband and wife, or otherwise. This,

as I said, is an iniquity that loves not to walk abroad, but yet

it is an horrible plague within doors. And, many that shew like

saints abroad, yet act the part of devils when they are at home,

by giving way to this house iniquity; by cherishing of this house

iniquity. This iniquity meeteth the man and his wife at the very

threshold of the door, and will not suffer them to enter, no not

with one foot into the house in peace, but how far this is from

walking together as heirs of the grace of life, is easy to be

determined. Men should carry it in love to their wives, as Christ

doth to his church; and wives should carry it to their husbands,

as the church ought to carry it to her Saviour. (Eph. 5:21-28;

1 Peter 3:7) And until each relation be managed with respect to

these things, this house iniquity will be cherished there. O! God

sees within doors as well as without, and will judge too for the

iniquity of the house as well as for that more open.

2. As house iniquity standeth in domestic broils and contentions;

so it also standeth in chamberings and wantonness. (Rom. 13:13)

Wherefore the apostle putteth them both together, saying, 'not

in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.' This

chambering and wantonness is of a more general extent, being

entertained by all, insomuch, that sometimes from the head to

the foot all are horribly guilty. But, 'it is a shame to speak of

those things that are done of some in secret;' for 'through the

lusts of their own hearts, they dishonour their own bodies between

themselves,' 'working that which is unseemly,' (Eph. 5:12; Rom.

1:24, 27) to their ignominy and contempt, if not with their fellows

et with God, who sees them, for the darkness hideth not from him.'

(Psa. 139:12) It was for this kind of iniquity with other, that

God told Eli that he would 'judge his house for ever.' (1 Sam.

3:13) also the words that follow are to be trembled at, that say,

'The iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice

nor offering for ever.' (ver. 14) Such an evil thing is house

iniquity in the eyes of the God that is above.

3. As domestic iniquity standeth in these, so also in the

disorders of children and servants. Children's unlawful carriages

to their parents is a great house iniquity; yea, and a common one

too. (2 Tim. 3:2, 3) Disobedience to parents is one of the sins

of the last days. O! it is horrible to behold how irreverently,

how irrespectively, how saucily and malapertly, children, yea,

professing children, at this day, carry it to their parents;

snapping, and checking, curbing and rebuking of them, as if they

had never received their beings by them, or had never been beholden

to them for bringing of them up; yea, as if the relation was lost,

or as if they had received a dispensation from God to dishonour

and disobey parents.

I will add, that this sin reigns in little and great, for not only

the small and young, but men, are disobedient to their parent; and

indeed, this is the sin with a shame, that men shall be disobedient

to parents; the sin of the last times, that men shall be 'disobedient

to parents,' and 'without natural affection.' Where now-a-days

shall we see children that are come to men and women's estate,

carry it as by the word they are bound, to their aged and worn-out

parents? I say, where is the honour they should put upon them?

who speaks to their aged parents with that due regard to that

relation, to their age, to their worn-out condition, as becomes

them? Is it not common now-a-days, for parents to be brought into

bondage and servitude by their children? For parents to be under,

and children above; for parents to be debased, and children

to lord it over them. Nor doth this sin go alone in the families

where it is; no, those men are lovers of their ownselves; covetous,

boasters, proud, blasphemous, that are disobedient to their parents.

This is that the prophet means, when he saith, 'The child shall

behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against

the honourable.' (Isa. 3:5) This is a common sin, and a crying

sin, and to their shame be it spoken that are guilty; a sin that

makes men vile to a high degree, and yet it is the sin of professors.

But behold how the apostle brands them; he saith, such have but

'a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof,' and bids

the godly shut them out of their fellowship. (1 Tim. 3:5) This sin

also is, I fear, grown to such a height in some, as to make them

weary of their parents, and of doing their duty to them. Yea,

I wish that some are not 'murderers of fathers and mothers,' by

their thoughts, while they secretly long after, and desire their

death, that the inheritance may be theirs, and that they may be

delivered from obedience to their parents.(1 Tim. 1:9) This is a

sin in the house, in the family, a sin that is kept in hugger-mugger,

close; but God sees it, and hath declared his dislike against it,

by an implicit threatening, to cut them off that are guilty of it.

(Eph. 5:1-5) Let them then that name the name of Christ, depart

from this iniquity.

Disorders of servants is also an house iniquity, and to be departed

from by the godly. 'He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within

my, house;' said David; and 'he that telleth lies shall not tarry

in my sight.' (Psa. 101:7) One of the rarities in Solomon's house,

and which the queen of Sheba was so taken with, was the goodly

order of his servants. (2 Chron. 9:4)

Some of the disorders of servants are to be imputed to the governors

of families, and some to the servants themselves. Those that are

to be imputed to the governors of families, are such as these:

(1.) When the servant learns his vileness of his master, or of

her mistress. (2.) When servants are countenanced by the master

against the mistress; or by the mistress against the master; or

when in opposition to either, they shall be made equals in things.

(3.) When the extravagancies of servants are not discountenanced

and rebuked by their superiors, and the contrary taught them by

word and life.

Those to be imputed to the servants themselves are: (1.) Their

want of reverence to their superiors. (2.) Their backbiting and

slandering of them. (3.) Their unfaithfulness in serving of them.

(4.) Their murmuring at their lawful commands, &c.

From all these domestic iniquities, let every one depart that

religiously nameth the name of Christ. And before I leave this

head, let me, to enforce my exhortation, urge upon you a few

considerations to work with you yet further to depart from these

house iniquities.

Consider 1. A man's house, and his carriage there, doth more bespeak

the nature and temper of his mind, than all public profession.

If I were to judge of a man for my life, I would not judge of

him by his open profession, but by his domestic behaviours. Open

profession is like a man's best cloak, the which is worn by him

when he walketh abroad, and with many is made but little use of

at home. But now what a man is at home, that he is indeed. There

is abroad, my behaviour to my friends, and customers, my outward

honesty in dealing and avoiding gross sins. There is at home, my

house, my closet, my heart; and my house, my closet, shew most

what I am: though not to the world, yet to my family, and to

angels. And a good report from those most near, and most capable

of advantage to judge, is like to be truer than to have it only

from that which is gotten by my observers abroad. The outside of

the platter and cup may look well, when within they may be full

of excess. (Matt. 23:25-28) The outward shew and profession may

be tolerable, when within doors may be bad enough. I and my house

'will serve the Lord,' is the character of a godly man. (Josh.


Consider 2. As the best judgment is made upon a man from his house,

so that man is like to have the approbation of God for good, that

is faithful in all his house. 'I know Abraham,' says God, 'that he

will command his children, and his household after him, and they

shall keep the way of the Lord.' (Gen. 18:15) To make religion

and the power of godliness the chief of my designs at home, among

those among whom God by a special hand has placed me, is that which

is pleasing to God, and that obtaineth a good report of him. But

to pass these, and to come to other things.

Consider 3. A master of a family, and mistress of the same, are

those that are entrusted of God with those under their tuition

and care, to be brought up for him, be they children or servants.

This is plain from the text last mentioned; wherefore here is

a charge committed to thee of God. Look to it, and consider with

thyself, whether thou hast done such duty and service for God in

this matter, as, setting common frailties aside, thou canst with

good conscience lift up thy face unto God; the which to be sure

thou canst by no means do, if iniquity, to the utmost, be not

banished out of thy house.

Consider 4. And will it not be a sad complaint that thy servant

shall take up against thee, before the Judge at the last day, that

he learnt the way to destruction in thy house, who art a professor.

Servants, though themselves be carnal, expect, when they come

into the house of professors, that there they shall see religion

in its spangling colours; but behold, when he enters thy door, he

finds sin and wickedness there. There is pride instead of humility,

and height and raillery[11] instead of meekness and holiness of

mind. He looked for a house full of virtue, and behold nothing

but spider-webs; fair and plausible abroad, but like the sow in

the mire at home. Bless me, saith such a servant, are these the

religious people! Are these the servants of God, where iniquity

is made so much of, and is so highly entertained! And now is his

heart filled with prejudice against all religion, or else he turns

hypocrite like his master and his mistress, wearing, as they, a

cloak of religion to cover all abroad, while all naked and shameful

at home. But perhaps thy heart is so hard, and thy mind so united

to the pleasing of thy vile affections, that thou wilt say, 'What

care I for my servant? I took him to do my work, not to train him

up in religion. Well, suppose the soul of thy servant be thus little

worth in thine eyes; yet what wilt thou say for thy children, who

behold all thy ways, and are as capable of drinking up the poison

of thy footsteps, as the swine is of drinking up swill: I say,

what wilt thou do for them? Children will learn to be naught of

parents, of professing parents soonest of all. They will be tempted

to think all that they do is right. I say, what wilt thou say to

this? Or art thou like the ostrich whom God hath deprived of wisdom,

and has hardened her heart against her young? (Job 39:13-17) Will

it please thee when thou shalt see that thou hast brought forth

children to the murderer? or when thou shalt hear them cry, I

learnt to go on in the paths of sin by the carriages of professing

parents.[12] (Heb. 9:13) If it was counted of old a sad thing for

a man to bring forth children to the sword, as Ephraim did, what

will it be for a man to bring up children for hell and damnation?


Fifth, Let those that name the name of Christ depart from the

iniquity of THEIR CLOSET. This may be called part of the iniquity

of the house; but because it is not public, but as a retired part,

therefore I put it here by itself. There are many closets sins

that professors may be guilty of, and from which they have need

to depart. As,

1. There is the pride of a library, that is, the study or closet,

and I doubt this sin and iniquity to this day is with many great

professors, and in my judgment it is thus manifested. (l.) When

men secretly please themselves to think it is known what a stock

of books they have, or when they take more pleasure in the number

of, than the matter contained in, their books. (2.) When they

buy books rather to make up a number than to learn to be good and

godly men thereby. (3.) When, though they own their books to be

good and godly, yet they will not conform thereto.

This is an iniquity now on foot in this land, and ought to be

departed from. It is better to have no books, and depart from

iniquity, than to have a thousand, and not to be bettered in my

soul thereby.

2. There is an iniquity that attends the closet, which I may call

by the name of vacancy. When men have a closet to talk of, not to

pray in; a closet to look upon, not to bow before God in: a closet

to lay up gold in, but not to mourn in for the sins of my life;

a closet that could it speak, would say, My owner is seldom here

upon his knees before the God of heaven; seldom here humbling

himself for the iniquity of his heart, or to thank God for the

mercies of his life.

3. Then also a man is guilty of closet-iniquity, when though he

doth not utterly live in the neglect of duty, he formally, carnally,

and without reverence, and godly fear, performs it. Also, when he

asketh God for that which he cannot abide should be given him, or

when he prayeth for that in his closet, that he cannot abide in

his house, nor in his life.

4. Then also a man is guilty of closet-iniquity, when he desireth

that the sound of the devotion he doth there, may be heard by them

without in the house, the street, or of those that dwell by; for

a closet is only for the man and God to do things in secretly.

(Matt. 6:6)

These things let the professor beware of, lest he add to his

iniquity, sin, until he and it comes to be loathsome. The closet

is by God appointed for men to wait upon him in, and to do it

without hypocrisy; to wait there for his mind and his will, and

also for grace to perform it. And how can a man that went last

time out of his closet to be naught, have the face to come thither

again? If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear

my prayer; and if so, then he will not meet me in my closet; and

if so, then I shall quickly be weary thereof, being left to myself,

and the vanity of my mind.

It is a great thing to be a closet Christian, and to hold it; he

must be a close Christian, that will be a closet Christian. When

I say a closet Christian, I mean one that is so in the hidden part,

and that also walks with God. Many there be that profess Christ

who do oftener, in London[13] frequent the coffee-house than

their closet; and that sooner in a morning run to make bargains

than to pray unto God, and begin the day with him. But for thee,

who professest the name of Christ, do thou depart from all these

things; do thou make conscience of reading and practising; do thou

follow after righteousness; do thou make conscience of beginning

the day with God; for he that begins it not with him will hardly

end it with him; he that runs from God in the morning will hardly

find him at the close of the day; nor will he that begins with

the world and the vanities thereof, in the first place, be very

capable of walking with God all the day after. It is he that

finds God in his closet that will carry the savour of him into

his house, his shop, and his more open conversation. When Moses

had been with God in the mount his face shone, he brought of that

glory into the camp. (Exo. 34)

Sixth, I add again, let those that name the name of Christ depart

from the iniquity THAT CLEAVETH TO OPINIONS. This is a sad age

for that; let opinions in themselves be never so good, never so

necessary, never so innocent, yet there are spirits in the world

that will entail iniquity to them, and will make the vanity so

inseparable with the opinion, that it is almost impossible with

some to take in the opinion and leave out the iniquity, that by

the craft and subtility of Satan is joined thereto. Nor is this

a thing new, and of yesterday; it has been thus almost in all

ages of the church of God, and that not only in things small and

indifferent, but in things fundamental and most substantial. I

need instance in none other for proof thereof, but the doctrine

of faith and holiness. If faith be preached as that which is

absolutely necessary to justification, then faith fantastical, and

looseness and remissness in life, with some, are joined therewith.

If holiness of life be preached as necessary to salvation, then

(they say that) faith is undervalued, and set below its place, and

works as to justification, with God set up and made co-partners

with Christ's merits in the remission of sins. Thus iniquity

joineth itself with the great and most substantial truths of the

gospel, and it is hard to receive any good opinion whatever, but

iniquity will join itself thereto. (Eph. 5:12, 13) Wicked spirits

do not only tempt men to transgress the moral law, but do present

themselves in heavenly things, working there, and labouring in them,

to wrest the judgment, and turn the understanding and conscience

awry in those high and most important things. Wherefore, I say,

we must be the more watchful and careful lest we be abused in our

notions and best principles, by the iniquities that join themselves


It is strange to see at this day how, not withstanding all the

threatenings of God, men are wedded to their own opinions, beyond

what the law of grace and love will admit. Here is a Presbyter,

here is an Independent, and a Baptist, so joined each man to his own

opinion, that they cannot have that communion one with another,

as by the testament of the Lord Jesus they are commanded and

enjoined. What is the cause? Is the truth? No? God is the author

of no confusion in the church of God. (1 Cor. 14:33) It is, then,

because every man, makes too much of his own opinion, abounds too

much in his own sense, and takes not care to separate his opinion

from the iniquity that cleaveth thereto. That this confusion is

in the church of Christ, I am of Paul, I of Apollos, I of Cephas,

and I of Christ, is too manifest. But what unbecoming language

is this for the children of the same father, members of the same

body, and heirs of the same glory, to be accustomed to? Whether

is it pride, or hypocrisy, or ignorance, or self, or the devil,

or the jesuit, or all these jointly working with the church, that

makes and maintains these names of distinction? This distinction

and want of love, this contempt of one another, those base and

undervaluing thoughts of brethren, will be better seen, to the

shame and confusion of some, in the judgment.

In the meantime, I advise thee with whom I am at this time concerned,

to take heed of this mixture, this sinful mixture of truth and

iniquity together; and to help thee in this thing, keep thine eye

much upon thine own base self, labour also to be sensible of the

imperfections that cleave to thy best performances, be clothed

with humility, and prefer thy brother before thyself; and know that

Christianity lieth not in small matters, neither before God, nor

understanding men. And it would be well if those that so stickle

by their private and unscriptural notions, which only is iniquity

cleaving to truth,--I say, it would be well if such were more

sound in faith and morals, and if by their lives they gave better

conviction to the world that the truth and grace of Christ is in


Sometimes so much iniquity is mixed with good opinions, that it

prevails, not only to hurt men in this world, but to drown them

in misery everlasting. It was good that the Jews did own and allow

the ceremonies of the law, but since the iniquity that joined itself

thereto did prevail with them to make those ceremonies copartners

with Christ in those matters that pertained to Christ alone,

therefore they perished in them. The Galatians also, with many of

the Corinthians, had like to have been overthrown by these things.

Take heed, therefore, of that iniquity that seeketh to steal with

the truth into thy heart, thy judgment, and understanding.

Nor doth one iniquity come without another; they are linked

together, and come by companies, and therefore usually they that

are superstitious in one thing, are corrupted in several other.

The more a man stands upon his points[14] to justify himself and

to condemn his holy brethren, the more danger he is in of being

overcome of diverse evils. And it is the wisdom of God to let

it be so, that flesh might not glory in his presence. 'His soul,

which is lifted up,' (Hab. 2:4) to wit, with his good doings,

with his order and methods in religion, 'his soul is not upright

in him.' I have often said in my heart, What is the reason that

some of the brethren should be so shy of holding communion with

those every whit us good, if not better than themselves? Is it

because they think themselves unworthy of their holy fellowship?

No, verily; it is because they exalt themselves, they are leavened

with some iniquity that hath mixed itself with some good opinions

that they hold, and therefore it is that they say to others,

'Stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou.'

(Isa. 65:5) But what is the sentence of God concerning those? Why,

these are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

Wherefore, as I said before, so I say now again, take heed of the

iniquity that cleaveth to good opinions; the which thou wilt in

nowise be able to shun unless thou be clothed with humility.[15]


Seventh, Let them that name the name of Christ depart from HYPOCRISIES.

This exhortation is as the first, general; for hypocrisies are

of that nature, that they spread themselves as the leprosy of the

body, all over; not the faculties of the soul only, but all the

duties of a man. So that here is a great iniquity to be parted

from, an over-spreading iniquity. This sin will get into all thy

profession, into every whit of it, and will make the whole of it

a loathsome stink in the nostrils of God. Hypocrisy will be in

the pulpit, in conference, in closets, in communion of saints,

in faith, in love, in repentance, in zeal, in humility, in alms,

in the prison, and in all duties. (Ezek. 8:12; Mal. 2:2; Matt.

6:2; 8:20, 21; 23:15; Luke 12:1, 2; 20:19, 20; 1 Cor. 13:3; 2

Cor. 6:6; Col. 2:23; 2 Tim. 1:5) So that here is, for the keeping

of thy soul upright and sincere, more than ordinary diligence to

be used. Hypocrisy is one of the most abominable of iniquities.

It is a sin that dares it with God. It is a sin that saith God

is ignorant, or that he delighteth in iniquity. It is a sin that

flattereth, that dissembleth, that offereth to hold God, as it were,

fair in hand, about that which is neither purposed nor intended.

It is also a sin that puts a man upon studying and contriving to

beguile and deceive his neighbour as to the bent and intent of

the heart, and also as to the cause and end of actions. It is a

sin that persuadeth a man to make a show of civility, morality,

or Christian religion, as a cloak, a pretence, a guise to deceive

withal. It will make a man preach for a place and praise, rather

than to glorify God and save souls; it will put a man upon talking,

that he may be commended; it will make a man, when he is at prayer

in his closet, strive to be heard without doors; it will make a

man ask for that he desireth not, and show zeal in duties, when

his heart is as cold, as senseless, and as much without savour

as a clod; it will make a man pray to be seen and heard of men,

rather than to be heard of God; it will make a man strive to weep

when he repenteth not, and to pretend much friendship when he doth

not love; it will make a man pretend to experience and sanctification

when he has none, and to faith and sincerity when he knows not

what they are. There is opposed to this sin simplicity, innocency,

and godly sincerity, without which three graces thou wilt be a

hypocrite, let thy notions, thy knowledge, thy profession, and

commendations from others, be what they will.

Helps against this sin there are many, some of which I shall now

present thee with. (Psa. 16:2; 21:2; Luke 16:15). 1. Believe that

God's eye is always upon thy heart, to observe all the ways, all

the turnings and windings of it. 2. Believe that he observeth all

thy ways and marks thy actions. 'The ways of man are before the

eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.' (Prov. 5:21)

3. Believe that there is a day of judgment a-coming, and that

then all things shall be revealed and discovered as they are. 'For

there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid

that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in

darkness shall be heard in the light, and that which ye have spoken

in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the house-tops.'

(Luke 22:2,3) 4. Believe that a hypocrite, with the cunning and

shrouds for his hypocrisy, can go unseen no further than the grave,

nor can he longer flatter himself with thoughts of life. For 'the

triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite

but for a moment. Though his excellency mount up to the heavens,

and his head reach unto the clouds; yet he shall perish for ever,

like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is

he? He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found; yea, he

shall be chased away as a vision of the night.' (Job 20:5-8) 5.

Believe that God will not spare a hypocrite in the judgment, no,

nor punish him neither with ordinary damnation; but as they have

here sinned in a way by themselves, so there they shall receive

greater damnation. (Luke 20:47)

Of all sins, the sin of hypocrisy bespeaks a man most in love with

some lust, because he dissembleth both with God and man to keep


For a conclusion upon this sevenfold answer to the question above

propounded, let me advise those that are tender of the name of

Christ, to have regard to these things.

Advice First, as well acquainted with the Word, and with the general

rules of holiness; to wit, with the moral law; the want of this

is a cause of much unholiness of conversation. These licentious

and evil times wherein we live are full of iniquity; nor can we,

though we never so much love God, do our duty, as we are enjoined,

if we do not know it. The law is cast behind the back of many, when

it should be carried in the hand and heart, that we might do it,

to the end [that] the gospel which we profess might be glorified

in the world. Let then the law be with thee to love it, and do it

in the spirit of the gospel, that thou be not unfruitful in thy

life. Let the law, I say, be with thee, not as it comes from

Moses, but from Christ; for though thou art set free from the law

as a covenant of life, yet thou still art under the law to Christ;

and it is to be received by thee as out of his hand, to be a rule

for thy conversation in the world. (1 Cor. 9:18) What then thou

art about to do, do it or leave it undone, as thou shalt find it

approved or forbidden by the law. And when ought shall come into

thy mind to be done, and thou art at a stand, and at a loss about

the lawfulness or unlawfulness thereof, then betake thyself to

the law of thy God, which is in thy hand, and ask if this thing

be good or to be avoided. If this were practised by professors,

there would not be so much iniquity found in their beds, their

houses, their shops, and their conversations, as there is.

Advice Second, As thou must be careful to find out the lawfulness

or unlawfulness of a thing before thou puttest forth thy hand

thereto, so thou must also consider again whether that which is

lawful is expedient. A thing may be lawful in itself, and may yet

be unlawful to thee; to wit, if there be an inconveniency, or an

inexpediency attending the doing of it. 'All things are lawful

unto me,' says the apostle, 'but all things are not expedient;

all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.' (1 Cor.

6:12; 10:23) This then thou must consider, and this also thou must



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But this is a hard lesson, and impossible to be done, except thou

art addicted to self-denial; for this text, and so the practice

of what is contained therein, has respect chiefly to another, to

wit, to thy neighbour, and his advantage and edification; and it

supposeth, yea, enjoineth thee, if thou wilt depart from iniquity,

to forbear also some things that are lawful, and consequently

profitable to thee, for the sake of, and of love to, thy neighbour.

But how little of this is found among men? Where is the man that

will forbear some lawful things, for fear of hurting the weak

thereby? Alas! how many are there that this day profess, that

will not forbear palpable wickedness; no, though the salvation of

their own souls are endangered thereby; and how then should these

forbear things that are lawful, even of godly tenderness to the

weakness of their neighbour?

Thus much have I thought good to speak in answer to this question,

What iniquity should we depart from that religiously name the name

of Christ? And now we will make some use of what hath been spoken.

USE FIRST. And the first shall be a use of examination. Art thou

a professor? Dost thou religiously name the name of Christ? If

so, I ask, dost thou, according to the exhortation here, 'Depart

from iniqnity?' I say, examine thyself about this matter, and be

thou faithful in this work, for the deceit in this will fall upon

thine own pate. Deceive thyself thou mayest, but beguile God thou

shalt not. 'Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever

a man soweth, that shall he also reap.' (Gal. 6:7) Wherefore

let no man deceive himself, either in professing while he lives

viciously, or in examining whether his profession of this name, and

his life, and conversation, do answer one another. What departing

from iniquity is, I have already showed in the former part of this

book; wherefore I shall not here handle that point farther, only

press upon thee the necessity of this exhortation, and the danger

of the not doing of it faithfully. The necessity of it is urged,

First, From the deceitfulness of man's heart which will flatter

him with promises of peace and life, both now and hereafter, though

he live in iniquity while he professeth the name of Christ. For

there are that say in their hearts, or that have their hearts say

unto them, 'I shall have peace though I walk in the imagination

of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst.' (Deut. 29:19) And

what will become of them that so do, you may see by that which

followeth in the text. The heart therefore is not to be trusted,

for it will promise a man peace in the way of death and damnation.

I doubt not but many are under this fearful judgment to this day.

What means else their quietness of mind, their peace and boasts

of heaven and glory, though every step they take, as to life and

conversation, is an apparent step to hell and damnation, 'The

heart is deceitful.' (Jer. 17:9) and, 'He that trusteth in his

own heart is a fool.' (Prov. 28:26) These sayings were not written

without a cause. Let as many, therefore, as would examine themselves

about this matter, have a jealous eye over their own heart, and

take heed of being beguiled thereby; let them mix hearty prayer

with this matter unto God, that he will help them to be faithful

to themselves in this so great a matter; yea, let them compare

their lives with the holy commandment, and judge by that rather

than by the fleshly fondness that men naturally are apt to have

for, and of, their own actions; for by the verdict of the Word

thou must stand and fall, both now, at death, and in the day of

judgment. Take heed, therefore, of thy heart, thy carnal heart,

when thou goest into thy life, to make a search for iniquity.

Take the Word with thee, and by the Word do thou examine thyself.

(John 12:48)

Second, It is urged from the cunning of Satan. Wouldest thou

examine thyself faithfully as to this thing, then take heed of

the flatteries of the devil: can he help it, thou shalt never find

out the iniquity of thy heels. He will labour to blind thy mind,

to harden thy heart, to put such virtuous names upon thy foulest

vices, that thou shalt never, unless thou stoppest thine ear to

him, after a godly sort, truly examine and try thy ways, according

as thou art commanded. (Lam. 3:40; 2 Cor. 13:5) Wherefore take

heed of him, for he will be ready at thy side when thou goest

about this work. Now for thy help in this matter, set God, the

holy God, the all-seeing God, the sin--revenging God, before thine

eyes; 'for our God is a consuming fire.' (Heb. 12:29) And believe

that he hath pitched his eyes upon thy heart; also that 'he pondereth

all thy goings,' and that thy judgment, as to thy faithfulness,

or unfaithfulness, in this work, must proceed out of the mouth of

God. (Prov. 5:21; 21:2) This will be thy help in this thing, that

is, if thou usest it faithfully; also this will be thy hindrance,

if thou shalt neglect it, and suffer thyself to be abused by the


Third, It is urged from the dangerousness of the latter days.

Wouldst thou examine thyself, then make not the lives of others

any rule to thee in this matter. It is prophesied long ago, by

Christ and by Paul, concerning the latter times, 'that iniquity

shall abound, and be very high among professors.' (Matt. 24:12; 2

Tim. 3:1-8) Therefore it will be a rare thing to find an exemplary

life among professors. Wherefore cease from man, and learn of the

Word, try thyself by the Word, receive conviction from the Word;

and to take off thyself from taking of encouragement from others,

set the judgment before thine eyes, and that account that God will

demand of thee then; and know that it will be but a poor excuse

of thee to say, Lord, such a one doth so, did so, would do so:

and they professed, &c. Whether thou wilt hear me or not, I know

not, yet this I know, 'If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for

thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.' (Prov.


Let me then, to press this use further upon thee, show thee in

a few particulars the danger of not doing of it, that is, of not

departing from iniquity, since thou professest.

Danger 1. The iniquity that cleaveth to men that profess, if they

cast it not away, but countenance it, will a11 prove nettles and

briars to them; and I will assure thee, yea, thou knowest, that

nettles and thorns will sting and scratch but ill-favouredly. 'I

went,' saith Solomon, 'by the field of the slothful, and by the

vineyard of the man void of understanding. And lo, it was all

grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof,

and the stone wall thereof was broken down.' (Prov. 24:30, 31)

Suppose a man were, after work all day, to be turned into a bed of

nettles at night: or after a man had been about such a business,

should be rewarded with chastisements of briars and thorns: this

would for work be but little help, relief, or comfort to him; why

this is the reward of a wicked man, of a wicked professor from

God; nettles and thorns are to cover over the face of his vineyard,

his field, his profession, and that at the last of all; for this

covering over the face of his vineyard, with nettles and thorns,

is to show what fruit the slovenly, slothful, careless professor,

will reap out; of his profession, when reaping time shall come.

Nor can he whose vineyard, whose profession is covered over with

these nettles and thorns of iniquity, escape being afflicted with

them in his conscience: for look as they cover the face of his

vineyard through his sloth now, so will they cover the face of his

conscience, in the day of judgment. For profession and conscience

cannot be separated long; if a man then shall make profession without

conscience of God's honour in his conversation, his profession

and conscience will meet in the day of his visitation. Nor will

he, whose condition this shall be, be able to ward off the guilt

and sting of a slothful and bad conversation, from covering the

face of his conscience, by retaining in his profession the name

of Jesus Christ: for naming and professing of the name of Christ

will, instead of salving such a conscience, put venom, sting, and

keenness into those nettles and thorns, that then shall be spread

over the face of such consciences. This will be worse than was

that cold wet cloth that Hazael took and spread over the face of

Benhadad, that he died. (2 Kings 8:15) This will sting worse, tear

worse, torment worse, kill worse. Therefore look to it!

Danger 2. Nor may men shift this danger by their own neglect of

inquiring into the truth of their separation from iniquity, for

that God himself will search them. I search the reins and the

heart, saith he, 'to give unto every one of you according to your

works.' (Rev. 2:23)

There are many that wear the name of Christ for a cloak, and so

make their advantages by their iniquity; but Christ, at death

and judgment, will rend this cloak from off such shoulders, then

shall they walk naked, yea, the shame of their nakedness shall

then appear. Now since no man can escape the search of God, and

so, not his judgment; it will be thy wisdom to search thine own

ways, and to prevent judgment by judging of thyself.

Danger 3. Christ will deny those to be his that do not depart

from iniquity, though they shall name his name among the rest of

his people. 'Depart from me,' saith he, 'all you that departed

not from iniquity.' (Luke 13:25-27) Yea, they that shall name his

name religiously, and not depart from iniquity, are denied by him

all along. 1. He alloweth them not now to call him Lord. 'And why

call ye me Lord, Lord,' saith he, 'and do not, the things which I

say?' (Luke 6:46) He cannot abide to be reputed the Lord of those

that presume to profess his name, and do not depart from iniquity.

(Ezek. 20:39) The reason is, for that such do but profane his

name, and stave others off from falling in love with him and his

ways. Hence he says again 'Behold, I have sworn by my great name,

saith the Lord, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth

of any man of Judah.' (Jer. 44:26; Rom. 2:24) 2. He regardeth not

their prayers. 'If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not

hear' my prayer. (Psa. 66:18) And if so, then whatever thou hast

at the hand of God, thou hast it, not in mercy, but in judgment,

and to work out farther thine everlasting misery. 3. He will not

regard their soul, but at the last day will cast it from him, as

a thing abhorred by him. As is evidently seen by that thirteenth

of Luke, but now noted above.

Wherefore, from these few hints, thou, whoever thou art, mayest

well perceive what a horrible thing it is to make a profession

of the name of Christ, and not to depart from iniquity. Therefore

let me exhort thee again to examine thyself, if thou hast, and

dost--since thou professest that name--depart from iniquity.

And here I would distinguish, for there is two parts in iniquity,

to wit, the guilt and filth. As for the guilt that is contracted

by iniquity, I persuade myself, no man who knows it, needs to

be bid to desire to depart from that; nay, I do believe that the

worst devil in hell would depart from his guilt, if he could,

and might: but this is it, to wit, to depart from the sweet, the

pleasure, and profit of iniquity. There are that call evil good,

iniquity good, and that of professors too: this is that to be

departed from, and these are they that are exhorted to forsake

it upon the pains and penalties before threatened. Therefore, as

I said, let such look to it, that they examine themselves if they

depart from iniquity.

And come, now thou art going about this work, let me help thee

in this matter. I. Ask thy heart, What evil dost thou see in sin?

II. How sick art thou of sin? III. What means dust thou use to

mortify thy sins? IV. How much hast thou been grieved to see others

break God's law, and to find temptations in thyself to do it?

I. For the first, There is a soul-polluting evil in iniquity.

There is a God-provoking evil in iniquity.

There is a soul-damning evil in iniquity. And until thou comest

experimentally to know these things, thou wilt have neither list,

nor will, to depart from iniquity.

II. For the second. I mean not sick with guilt, for so the damned

in hell are sick, but I mean sick of the filth, and polluting

nature of it. Thus was Moses sick of sin, thus Jabez was sick of

sin, and thus was Paul sick of sin. (Num. 11:14, 15; 1 Chron. 4:9,

10; Rom. 7:14; 2 Cor. 5:1-3; Phil. 3:10-14)

III. For the third. You know that those that are sensible of a

sickness, will look out after the means to be recovered; there is

a means also for this disease, and dost thou know what that means

is, and hast thou indeed a desire to it? yea, couldest thou be

willing even now to partake of the means that would help thee to

that means, that can cure thee of this disease? there are no means

can cure a man that is sick of sin, but glory; and the means to

come by that is Christ, and to go out of this world by the faith

of him. There is no grace can cure this disease; yes, grace doth

rather increase it; for the more grace any man has, the more is he

sick of sin; the greater an offence is iniquity to him. So then,

there is nothing can cure this disease, but glory: but immortal

glory. And dost thou desire this medicine? and doth God testify

that thy desire is true, not feigned? (2 Cor. 5:4) I know that

there are many things that do make some even wish to die: but the

question is not whether thou dost wish to die: for death can cure

many diseases: but is this that that moveth thee to desire to

depart: to wit, that thou mightest be rid, quite rid, and stripped

of a body of death, because nothing on this side the grave

can rid thee and strip thee of it. And is hope, that this day is

approaching, a reviving cordial to thee? and doth the hope of this

strike arrows into the heart of thy lusts, and draw off thy mind

and affections yet farther from iniquity.

IV. To the fourth. How much hast thou been grieved to see others

break God's law, and to find temptations in thyself to do it? 'I

beheld the transgressors, and was grieved,' said David, 'because

men kept not thy word.' (Psa. 119:158) The same also had Paul,

because of that body of sin and death which was in him. Professor,

I beseech thee be thou serious about this thing because it will

be found, when God comes to judge, that those that profess Christ,

and yet abide with their iniquity, are but wooden, earthy professors,

and none of the silver or golden ones: and so, consequently, such

as shall be vessels, not to honour, but to dishonour; not to glory,

but to shame.

USE SECOND. My next shall be a use of terror. Has God commanded

by the mouth of his holy apostles and prophets, that those that

name the name of Christ should depart from iniquity: then what

will become of those that rebel against his Word. Where the word

of a king is, there is power; and if the wrath of a king be as

the roaring of a lion, what is, and what will be the wrath of God,

when with violence it falls upon the head of the wicked?

Sirs, I beseech you consider this, namely, that the man that

professeth the name of Christ, and yet liveth a wicked life, is

the greatest enemy that God has in the world, and, consequently,

one that God, in a way most eminent, will set his face against.

Hence he threateneth such so hotly, saying, 'And the destruction

of the transgressors and of the sinner shall be together,' and

that 'they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.' (Isa. 1:28;

33:14) But what sinners are these? why, the sinners in Zion, the

hypocrites in the church. So again the Lord shall 'purge out from

among you the rebels, and them that transgress against him.' (Ezek.

20:38) 'All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which

say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.' (Amos 9:10) For

though such do think that by professing of the name of Christ,

they shall prevent their going down to hell, yet they shall go

down thither, with those that have lived openly wicked and profane:

Egypt, and Judah, the circumcised with them that are not, for it

is not a profession of faith that can save them. (Jer. 9:26) 'Whom

dost thou pass in beauty,' saith God? wherein art thou bettered by

the profession, than the wicked? 'go down, and be thou laid with

the uncircumcised.' (Ezek. 32:19)

This in general; but more particularly, the wrath of God manifesteth

itself against such kind of professors. In that the gospel and

means of salvation shall not be effectual for their salvation, but

that it shall work rather quite contrary effects. It shall bring

forth, as I said, quite contrary effects. (2 Cor. 2:15, 16) As,

First, The preaching of the Word shall be to such the savour of

death unto death, and that is a fearful thing.

Second, Yea Christ Jesus himself shall be so far off from being

a savour unto them, that he shall be a snare, a trap and a gin to

catch them by the heel withal; that they may go and fall backward,

and be broken, and snared, and taken.' (Isa. 8:14, 15; 28:13)

Third, The Lord also will choose out such delusions, or such as will

best suit with the workings of their flesh, as will effectually bring

them down, with the bullocks and with the bulls to the slaughter:

yea, he will lead such forth with the workers of iniquity. (Isa.

66:3, 4; Psa. 125:5)

Fourth, Such, above all, lie open to the sin against the Holy Ghost,

that unpardonable sin, that must never be forgiven. For alas, it

is not the poor ignorant world, but the enlightened professor that

committeth the sin that shall never be forgiven.

I say, it is one enlightened, one that has tasted the good word

of God, and something of the powers of the world to come. (Heb.

6:4; 1 John 5:16) It is one that was counted a brother, that was

with us in our profession: it is such an one that is in danger

of committing of that most black and bloody sin. But yet all and

every one of those that are such are not in danger of this; but

those among these that take pleasure in unrighteousness, and that

rather than they will lose that pleasure, will commit it presumptuously.

Presumptuously, that is, against light, against convictions, against

warnings, against mercies. Or thus, a presumptuous sin is such

an one as is committed in the face of the command, in a desperate

venturing to run the hazard, or in a presuming upon the mercy of

God, through Christ, to be saved not withstanding: this is a leading

sin to that which is unpardonable, and will be found with such

professors; that do hanker after iniquity. I say, it is designed

by the devil, and suffered by the just judgment of God, to catch

and overthrow the loose and carnal gospellers. And hence it is

that David cries unto God, that he would hold him back from these

sort of sins. 'Cleanse thou me from secret faults,' says he. And

then adds, 'Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins;

let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and

I shall be innocent from the great transgression.' (Psa. 19:12,


If there were any dread of God, or of his word, in the hearts of

the men of this generation, the consideration of this one test is

enough to shake them in pieces: I speak of those that name the name

of Christ, but do not depart from iniquity. But the word of God

must be fulfilled; in the last days iniquity must abound; wherefore

these days will be perilous and dangerous to professors. 'In the

last days perilous times shall come, for men shall be lovers of

their ownselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient

to parents, unthankful, unholy.' (2 Tim. 3:1, 2; Matt. 24:12)

I do the oftener harp upon this test at this time, because it is

a prediction of what shall be in the latter days, to wit, what

a sea and deluge of iniquity shall in the latter days overspread

and drown those that then shall have a form of godliness, and of

religion. So that this day is more dangerous than were the days

that have been before us. Now iniquity, even immorality, shall

with professors be in fashion, be pleaded for, be loved and more

esteemed than holiness itself. Now godliness and self denial shall

be little set by; even those very men that have a form of godliness

hate the life and power thereof; yea, they shall despise them that

are good. Now therefore ministers must not think that what they

say of the doctrine of self denial among professors, will be

much, if at all regarded. I say, regarded, so as to be loved and

put in practice by them that name the name of Christ. For the strong

hold that iniquity shall have of their affections will cause that

but little effectualness to this end will be found to attend the

preaching of the Word unto them.

But what will these kind of men do, when God that is just, God

that is holy, and God that is strong to execute his word, shall

call them to an account for these things?

Now some may say, But what shall we do to depart from iniquity?

I answer,

1. Labour to see the odiousness and unprofitableness thereof, which

thou mayest do by the true knowledge of the excellent nature of

the holiness of God. For until thou seest a beauty in holiness,

thou canst not see odiousness in sin and iniquity. Danger thou

mayest see in sin before, but odiousness thou canst not.

2. Be much in the consideration of the power, justice, and

faithfulness of God to revenge himself on the workers of iniquity.

3. Be much in the consideration of the greatness and worth of thy


4. Be often asking of thyself what true profit did I ever get by

the commission of any sin.

5. Bring thy last day often to thy bedside.

6. Be often thinking of the cries and roarings of the damned in


7. Be often considering the lastingness of the torments of hell.

8. Be often thinking what would those that are now in hell give

that they might live their lives over again.

9. Consider often of the frailty of thy life, and that there is

no repentance to be found in the grave, whither thou goest.

10. Consider that hell is a doleful place, and that the devils

are but uncomfortable companions.

11. Again, consider together with those how the patience of God

has been abused by thee; yea, how all his attributes have been

despised by thee, who art a professor, that does not depart from


13. Moreover, I would ask with what face thou canst look the Lord

Jesus in the face, whose name thou hast profaned by thine iniquity?

13. Also, how thou wilt look on those that are truly godly, whose

hearts thou has grieved, while they have beheld the dirt and dung

that hath cloven to thee and to thy profession.

14. But especially consider with thyself how thou wilt bear,

together with thine own, the guilt, of the damnation of others.

For as I have often said, a professor, if he perishes, seldom

perishes alone, but casteth others down to hell with himself. The

reason is, because others, both weak professors and carnal men,

are spectators and observers of his ways; yea, and will presume

also to follow him especially in evil courses, concluding that he

is right. We read that the tail of the dragon, or that the dragon

by his tail, did draw and cast down abundance of the stars of

heaven to the earth. (Rev. 12:4; Isa. 9:14, 15) The tail! 'The

prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.' The prophet that

speaketh lies, either by opinion or practice, he is the tail, the

dragons's tail, the serpentine tail of the devil. (Isa. 9:14, 15)

And so in his order, every professor that by his iniquity draweth

both himself and others to hell, he is the tail. The tail, says

the Holy Ghost, draws them down; draws down even the stars of

heaven; but whither doth he draw them? The answer is, from heaven,

the throne of God, to earth, the seat of the dragon; for he is

the god of this world. The professor then that is dishonourable

in his profession, he is the tail. 'The ancient and honourable, he

is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.'

Nor can Satan work such exploits by any, as he can by unrighteous

professors. These he useth in his hand, as the giant useth his

club; he, as it were, drives all before him with it. It is said

of Behemoth, that 'he moveth his tail like a cedar.' (Job 40:7)

Behemoth is a type of the devil, but behold how he handleth his

tail, even as if a man should swing about a cedar. (Rev. 9:10,

19) This is spoken to shew the hurtfulness of the tail, as it is

also said in another place. Better no professor than a wicked

professor. Better open profane than a hypocritical namer of the

name of Christ; and less hurt shall such an one do to his own

soul, to the poor ignorant world, to the name of Christ, and to

the church of God.

Let professors, therefore, take heed to themselves, that they

join to their naming of the name of Christ an holy and godly

conversation; for away they must go else with the workers of

iniquity to the pit, with more guilt, and bigger load, and more

torment by far than others, But,

USE THIRD. My next word shall be to those that desire to be true,

sincere professors of the name of Christ.

First, Do you bless God, for that he has put not only his name

into your lips, but grace into your hearts, that thereby that

profession which thou makest of him may be seasoned with that

salt. 'Every sacrifice shall be seasoned with salt.' (Mark 9:49)

Now naming of the name of Christ is a sacrifice, and a sacrifice

acceptable, when the salt of the covenant of thy God is not

lacking, but mixed therewith. (Heb. 13:15; Lev. 2:13) Therefore

I say, since God has put his name into thy mouth to profess the

same, and grace into thy heart to season that profession with

such carriage, such behaviour, such life, and such conversation

as doth become the same, thou hast great cause to thank God. A man

into whose mouth God has put the name of Christ to profess it, is

as a man that is to act his part upon a stage in the market place;

if he doth it well, he brings praise both to his master and himself;

but if he doth it ill, both are brought into contempt. No greater

praise can by man be brought to God, than by joining to the

profession of the name of Christ a fruitful life and conversation.

'Herein,' saith Christ, 'is my Father glorified, that ye bear

much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.' (John 15:8) Fruitful

lives God expecteth of all that profess the name of Christ. And

let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Bless God, therefore, if he hath kept thee from blotting and

blemishing of thy profession; if thy conversation has not been

stained with the blots and evils of the times. What thou feelest,

fightest with, and groanest under, by reason of the working

of thine inward corruptions, with that I meddle not; nor is thy

conversation the worse for that, if thou keepest them from breaking

out. Thou also shalt be counted holy unto God, through Christ, if

thou be of an upright conversation; though plagued every day with

the working of thine own corruption.

Ad God's grace is the salt of saints, so saints are the salt of

God. The one is the salt of God in the heart, and the other is the

salt of God in the world. 'Ye are the salt of the earth:' (Matt.

5:13) that is the salt of God in the earth. For the earth would

be wholly corrupt, and would altogether stink, if professors were

not in it. But now if the professor, which is the salt, shall indeed

lose his savour, and hath nothing in his conversation to season

that part of the earth, in which God has placed him, wherewith

shall it be seasoned? The place where he dwells, as well as his

profession, will both stink odiously in the nostrils of the Lord,

and so both come to ruin and desolation.

Indeed, as I have shewed, the professor will come to the worst of

it; for that God doth deny further to give him salt. 'If the salt

have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?' (Luke 14:34)

Wherewith shall the salt be salted? with nothing. Therefore it

is thenceforth good for nothing. No, not for the dunghill, but to

be cast out, and trodden under foot of men. 'He that hath ears to

hear let him hear.'

How much, therefore, is the tender-hearted, and he that laboureth

to beautify his profession with a gospel conversation, bound to

bless God for the salt of his grace, by the which his heart is

seasoned, and from his heart, his conversation.

Second, As such Christians should bless God, so let them watch,

let them still watch, let them still watch and pray, watch against

Satan, and pray yet for more grace, that they may yet more and

more beautify their profession of the worthy name of Christ with

a suitable conversation. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his

garment; that is, his conversation clean, nor is there anything,

save the overthrowing of our faith, that Satan seeketh more to

destroy. He knows holiness in them that rightly, as to doctrine,

name the name of Christ, is a maul and destruction to his kingdom,

an allurement to the ignorant, and a cutting off those occasions

to stumble, that by the dirty life of a professor is laid in the

way of the blind. (Lev. 19:14) He knows that holiness of lives,

when they shine in those that profess the name of Christ, doth

cut off his lies that he seeketh to make the world believe, and

slanders that he seeketh to fasten upon the professors of the

gospel. Wherefore, as you have begun to glorify God in your body

and in your spirit, which are God's; so I beseech you do it more

and more.

Third, To this end, shun those professors that are loose of life

and conversation: 'From such withdraw thyself,' saith Paul, and

follow 'righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call

on the Lord out of a pure heart.' (1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 2:22) If a

man, if a good man takes not good heed to himself, he shall soon

bring his soul into a snare. Loose professors are defilers and

corrupters; a man shall get nothing but a blot by having company

with them. (Isa. 1:4) Besides, as a man shall get a blot by having

much to do with such; so let him beware that his heart learn none

of their ways. Let thy company be the excellent in the earth even

those that are excellent for knowledge and conversation. 'He that

walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools

shall be destroyed.'

Be content to be counted singular, for so thou shalt, if thou

shalt follow after righteousness, &., in good earnest; for holiness

is a rare thing now in the world. I told thee before that it is

foretold by the Word, that in the last days perilous times shall

come, and that men shall walk after their own lusts; yea, professors,

to their destruction. Nor will it be easy to keep thyself therefrom.

But even as when the pestilence is come into a place, it infecteth

and casteth down the healthful; so the iniquity of the last times

will infest and pollute the godly. I mean the generality of them.

Were but our times duly compared with those that went before,

we should see that which now we are ignorant of. Did we but look

back to the Puritans, but especially to those that, but a little

before them, suffered for the word of God, in the Marian days, we

should see another life than is now among men, another manner of

conversation than now is among professors. But, I say, predictions

and prophecies must be fulfilled; and since the Word says plainly,

that 'in the last days there shall come scoffers, walking after

their own lusts,' (2 Peter 3:17) and since the Christians shall

be endangered thereby, let us look to it, that we acquit ourselves

like men, seeing we know these things before; 'lest we, being led

away with the error of the wicked, fall from our own steadfastness.'

Singularity in godliness, if it be in godliness, no man should

be ashamed of. For that is no more than to be more godly, than

to walk more humbly with God than others; and, for my part, I had

rather be a pattern and example of piety. I had rather that my

life should be instructing to the saints, and condemning to the

world, with Noah and Lot, than to hazard myself among the multitude

of the drossy.

I know that many professors will fall short of eternal life, and

my judgment tells me, that they will be of the slovenly sort of

professors that so do. And for my part, I had rather run with the

foremost and win the prize, than come behind, and lose that, and

my labour, and all. 'If a man also strive for masteries, yet is he

not crowned, except he strive lawfully.' And when men have said

all they can, they are the truly redeemed 'that are zealous of

good works.' (1 Cor. 9:24; 2 Tim. 2:4, 5; Titus 2:14)

Not that works do save us, but faith, which layeth hold on Christ's

righteousness for justification, sanctifies the heart, and makes

men desirous to live in this world, to the glory of that Christ

who died in this world to save us from death.

For my part I doubt of the faith of many, and fear that it will

prove no better at the day of God than will the faith of devils.

For that it standeth in bare speculation, and is without life and

soul to that which is good. Where is the man that walketh with

his cross upon his shoulder? Where is the man that is zealous of

moral holiness? Indeed, for those things that have nothing of the

cross of the purse, or of the cross of the belly, or of the cross

of the back, or of the cross of the vanity of household affairs;

for those things, I find we have many, and those, very busy

sticklers; but otherwise, the cross, self denial, charity, purity

in life and conversation, is almost quite out of doors among

professors. But, man of God, do thou be singular as to these and

as to their conversation. 'Be not ye therefore partakers with them,'

(Eph. 5:7), in any of their ways, but keep thy soul diligently;

for if damage happeneth to thee, thou alone must bear it.

But he that will depart from iniquity must be well fortified

with faith, and patience, and the love of God; for iniquity has

its beauty spots and its advantages attending on it; hence it is

compared to a woman, for it allureth greatly. (Zech. 5:7) Wherefore,

I say, he that will depart therefrom had need have faith, that

being it which will help him to see beyond it, and that will shew

him more in things that are invisible, that can be found in sin,

were it ten thousand times more entangling than it is. (2 Cor.

4:18) He has need of patience also to hold out in this work of

departing from iniquity. For, indeed, to depart from that, is to

draw my mind off from that, which will follow me with continual

solicitations. Samson withstood his Delilah for a while, but she

got the mastery of him at the last; why so? Because he wanted

patience, he grew angry and was vexed, and could withstand her

solicitation no longer. (Judges 16:15-17) Many there be also, that

can well enough be contented to shut sin out of doors for a while;

but because sin has much fair speech, therefore it overcomes at

last. (Prov. 7:21) For sin and iniquity will not be easily said

nay; it is like her of whom you read--she has a whore's forehead,

and refuses to be ashamed. (Jer. 3:3) Wherefore, departing from

iniquity is a work for length, as long as life shall last. A work

did I say? It is a war; a continual combat; wherefore he that will

adventure to set upon this work must needs be armed with faith

and patience, a daily exercise he will find himself put upon by

the continual attempts of iniquity to be putting forth itself.

(Matt. 24:13; Rev. 3:10) This is called an enduring to the end, a

continuing in the word of Christ and also a keeping of the word of

his patience. But what man in the world can do this whose heart

is not seasoned with the love of God and the love of Christ?

Therefore, he that will exercise himself in this work must be

often considering of the love of God to him in Christ; for the

more sense, or apprehension, a man shall have of that, the more

easy and pleasant will this work be to him: yea, though the doing

thereof should cost him his heart's blood. 'Thy loving-kindness is

before mine eyes,' says David, 'and I have walked in thy truth.'

(Psa. 26:3) Nothing like the sense, sight, or belief of that, to

the man of God, to make him depart from iniquity.

But what shall I do, I cannot depart therefrom as I should?

Keep thine eye upon all thy shortnesses, or upon all thy failures,

for that that is profitable for thee. 1. The sight of this will

make thee base in thine own eyes. 2. It will give thee occasion

to see the need and excellency of repentance. 3. It will put

thee upon prayer to God for help and pardon. 4. It will make thee

weary of this world. 5. It will make grace to persevere the more

desirable in thine eyes.

Also, it will help thee in the things which follow:--l. It will

make thee see the need of Christ's righteousness. 2. It will make

thee see the need of Christ's intercession. 3. It will make thee

see thy need of Christ's advocateship. 4. It will make thee see the

riches of God's patience. 5. And it will make heaven and eternal

life the sweeter to thee when thou comest there.

But to the question. Get more grace, for the more grace thou hast

the further is thine heart set off of iniquity, the more, also, set

against it, and the better able to depart from it when it cometh

to thee, tempteth thee, and entreats thee for entertainment. Now

the way to have more grace is to have more knowledge of Christ,

and to pray more fervently in his name; also, to subject thy soul

and thy lusts, with all thy power, to the authority of that grace

thou hast, and to judge and condemn thyself most heartily before

God, for every secret inclination that thou findest in thy flesh

to sinward.

The improvement of what thou hast is that, as I may say, by which

God judges how thou wouldest use, if thou had it, more; and according

to that so shalt thou have, or not have, a farther measure. He that

is faithful in that which is least is faithful, and will be so,

also in much; and he that is unjust in the least, is, and will

be, unjust also in much. I know Christ speaks here about the

unrighteous mammon, but the same may be applied also unto the

thing in hand. (Luke 16:10-12)

And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's,

who will commit unto you that which is your own? That is a remarkable

place to this purpose in the Revelation--'Behold,' saith he, 'I

have set before thee an open door,' that thou mayest have what thou

wilt, as was also said to the improving woman of Canaan, 'and no

man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept

my word, and hast not denied my name.' (Rev. 3:8; Matt. 15:28)

A good improvement of what we have of the grace of God at present

pleases God, and engages him to give us more; but an ill improvement

of what we at present have will not do so. 'To him that hath,'

that hath an heart to improve what he hath, to him shall be given;

but to him that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which

he hath.' (Matt. 25:24-30) Well, weigh the place and you shall find

it so.

I know that to depart from iniquity so as is required, that is,

to the utmost degree of the requirement, no man can, for it is

a copy too fair for mortal flesh exactly to imitate while we are

in this world. But with good paper, good ink, and a good pen,

a skilful and willing man may go far. And it is well for thee if

thy complaint be sincere, to wit, that thou art troubled that thou

canst not forsake iniquity as thou shouldest; for God accepteth of

thy design and desire, and it is counted by him as thy kindness.

(Prov. 19:22) But if thy complaint in this matter be true, thou

wilt not rest nor content thyself in thy complaints, but wilt,

as he that is truly hungry or greatly burdened useth all lawful

means to satisfy his hunger and to ease himself of his burden,

use all thy skill and power to mortify and keep them under, by

the word of God. Nor can it otherwise be but that such a man must

be a growing man. 'Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth

it, that it may bring forth more fruit' (John 15:2) Such a man

shall not be a stumbling in religion, nor a scandal to it, in

his calling; but shall, according to God's ordinary way with his

people, be a fruitful and flourishing bough.

And I would to God this were the sickness of all them that profess

in this nation; for then should we soon have a new leaf turned over

in most corners of this nation; then would graciousness of heart,

and life, and conversation be more prized, more sought after,

and better improved and practised than it is; yea, then would the

throats of ungodly men be better stopt, and their mouths faster

shut up, as to their reproaching of religion, than they are.

A Christian man must be the object of the envy of the world; but

it is better, if the will of God be so, that we be reproached

for well-doing than for evil. (1 Peter 2:3) If we be reproached

for evil-doing, it is our shame; but if for well-doing, it is our

glory. If we be reproached for our sins, God cannot vindicate

us; but if we be reproached for a virtuous life, God himself is

concerned, will espouse our quarrel, and, in his good time, will

shew our foes our righteousness, and put them to shame and silence.

Briefly, a godly life annexed to faith in Christ is so necessary,

that a man that professes the name of Christ is worse than a beast

without it.

But thou wilt say unto me, Why do men profess the name of Christ

that love not to depart from iniquity? I answer, there are

many reasons for it. 1. The preaching of the gospel, and so the

publication of the name of Christ, is musical and very taking to

the children of men. A Saviour! a Redeemer! a loving, sin-pardoning

Jesus! what better words can come from man? what better melody

can be heard? 'Son of man,' said God to the prophet, 'Lo, thou

art unto them as a very lovely song'; or, as a song of loves, 'of

one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument.'

(Ezek. 33:32) The gospel is a most melodious note and sweet tune to

any that are not prepossessed with slander, reproach, and enmity

against the professors of it. Now, its melodious notes being

so sweet, no marvel if it entangle some even of them that yet

will not depart from iniquity to take up and profess so lovely a

profession. But,

2. There are a generation of men that are and have been frightened

with the law, and terrified with fears of perishing for their sins,

but yet have not grace to leave them. Now, when the sound of the

gospel shall reach such men's ears, because there is by that made

public the willingness of Christ to die for sin, and of God to

forgive them for his sake; therefore they presently receive and

profess those notions as the only ones that can rid them from their

frights and terrors, falsely resting themselves content with that

faith thereof which standeth in naked knowledge; yea, liking of

that faith best that will stand with their pride, covetousness,

and lechery, never desiring to hear of practical holiness, because

it will disturb them; wherefore they usually cast dirt at such,

calling them legal preachers.

3. Here also is a design of Satan set on foot; for these carnal

gospellers are his tares, the children of the wicked one; those

that he hath sowed among the wheat of purpose, if possible, that

that might be rooted up by beholding and learning to be vile and

filthy of them. (Matt. 13:36-43)

4. Another cause hereof is this, the hypocrites that begin to

profess find as bad as themselves already in a profession of this

worthy name; and, think they, these do so and so, and, therefore,

so will I.

5. This comes to pass, also, through the righteous judgment of

God, who, through the anger that he has conceived against some

men for their sins, will lift them up to heaven before he casts

them down to hell, that their fall may be the greater and their

punishment the more intolerable. (Matt. 11:20-24) I have now done

when I have read to you my text over again--'And, let every one

that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.'


1. How clearly is here portrayed the wretched state of this country

towards the close of the reign of Charles II. It is the natural

eloquence of one whose very thoughts were governed by scriptural

expressions. The martyrdoms of Essex, of Russel, and of Sydney--the

uncertainty of the life of a debauched monarch, with the gloomy

prospect of a popish successor, filled the country with dismal


2. This is a solemn truth, which ought ever to be recollected when

studying the mysteries of electing love. Election is as much to

a holy life as it is to eternal glory.-ED.

3. How much is it to be feared that some towering professors,

upon impartial self-examination, will find upon themselves some

of these black spots; all of which are utterly inconsistent with

that humility which is the proper and only becoming garb of a


4. Selfishness is the great enemy to happiness. A heart steeled

against all, naturally brings upon itself the hostility of all.

Love to the Redeemer, for emancipation from that great curse, is

the only antidote to selfishness.--ED.

5. 'Power of things;' the influence of convictions and hopes named

in the six divisions on the preceding page.--ED.

6. Plato says that some men are impotent by reason of sin; but

Christianity alone develops the awful fact, that sin has poisoned

our nature, and that its effects are felt in the holiest of saints.

The reference to the experience of Paul in Romans 8 is conclusive

of the fact.--ED.

7. 'Letteth;' hindereth or obstructeth: now obsolete.--ED.

8. 'Slow bellies;' gluttons, drunkards, slothful, idle, eating

the bread of others without working.--ED.

9. Margin.

10. Fox 1st edit., p. 1432.

11. 'Raillery;' jesting, merriment.

12. A Christian parent has peculiar and solemn duties to perform,

in addition to those of every other class of Christians. This ought

to lead him perpetually to seek wisdom from his heavenly Father;

and in such close communion he becomes as peculiarly blessed as

he is burthened.--ED.

13. Bunyan was in the habit of visiting London, the seat of

government, and doubtless saw a sad change in the conduct of many

professors, under a profligate monarch, to what it had been under

the pious protector.--ED

14. 'His points;' an heraldic term, expressive of the exact position

of the various bearing on the shield--a scrupulous or superstitious

niceness as to points of doctrine.--ED.

15. These are faithful words, giving offence to bigots of every

sect. The church of England excluded all from her communion except

conformists--Independents held no fellowship with Baptists, nor

Baptists with Independents. Happily, Christians are coming to

their senses. The Test Act is repealed--nor dare we now call that

unclean which God has cleansed.--ED.



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