Acacia John Bunyan - Online Library

Discourse Upon

A N D - T H E
Wherein several great and weighty things are handled:
as, the nature of prayer, and of obedience to the law,
with how it obliges Christians, and wherein it consists.

Wherein is also shewed, the equally deplorable condition of the Pharisee,
or hypocritical and self-righteous man; and of the Publican, or sinner that lives in sin,
and in open violation of the Divine laws. Together with the way and method of God's
F R E E - G R A C E
in pardoning penitent sinners;
proving that He justifies them by imputing Christ's
righteousness to them.

By J O H N.B U N Y A N,

Edited by George Offor.


This important treatise unvails, in few but telling words, the nature of prayer,about which mankind has made most awful mistakes. Multitudes conceive that the heart-searchingGod can be influenced and propitiated by eloquent words and forms of prayer; whilstthe few, who are taught by the Holy Spirit, feel and know that the ardent desire,the aspirations, the fervent wishes of the mind, can alone be accepted by the Eternal;and even then only through the merits of the Redeemer.

The first edition appeared in 1635, and it soon became a very popular book. The useand application announced at the end do not appear to have been published, unlessthe author meant one of his later productions to answer that purpose. The twelfthedition has no date on the title page; to it is added Bunyan's last Sermon, and hisdying sayings,—"Licensed, Sept. 10th, 1688"; but this announcement hadbeen probably continued from some earlier edition. The number of cheap reprints ofthis little volume may account, in some measure, for the amazing errors which creptin and deformed the book; for with the exception of "Grace Abounding,""The Pilgrim," and "The Holy War," few books have been so carelesslyand disgracefully printed. For more than a century Bunyan has been represented assaying, "How did God deal with sinners before his righteousness was actuallyin being." In fact, no reader can conceive the mutilated state in which thisvaluable treatise has been published, unless by actual comparison with those printedbefore the author's decease. Some considerable omissions, doubtless, arose from politicalcauses. Bunyan died very shortly before the glorious revolution in 1688,—and in drawinga faithful portrait of a publican or tax gatherer, he supposed the country to beconquered by a foreign power. "Would it not be an insufferable thing? yea, didnot that man deserve hanging ten times over, that should, being a Dutchman, fallin with a French invader, and farm at his hands, those cruel and grievous taxations,which he, in barbarous wise, should at his conquest lay upon them; and exact andforce them to be paid with an over, and above of what is appointed." He goeson to argue, that if this would be a severe trial at the hand of a foreigner, howmuch more oppressive would it appear if exercised by a fellow countryman.

"If these things are intolerable, what shall we think of such men as shall jointo all this compliance with a foreign prince, to rob the church of God? yea, thatshall become a man in power under them, to wring out of the hand of a brother, hisestate; yea, his bread and livelihood." These paragraphs, and much more, wereomitted, probably, from a fear of giving offence to the new government, and, untilthe present edition, they had not been restored. In Bunyan's time, severe and awfulpersecutions fell upon the church of God in England, and he must have felt the utmostcompassion, mingled with deep abhorrence, for those emissaries of Satan, the Informers,who plundered mercilessly all who refused obedience to the order of common prayer.These men, aided by fanatic justices and clergymen, reduced many pious families tothe severest sufferings, while thousands fled to the wilds of America for that refugeamong men called savages, which was denied them by their much more savage countrymen.It is distressing to read the narrative, published in 1670, of those proceedingsin Bedford, while Bunyan was an inmate in its jail. The porters, charged to assistin carrying off the people's goods, ran away, saying, that "they would be hanged,drawn, and quartered, before they would assist in that work"; two of them weresent to gaol for thus refusing to aid in this severe enforcement of impious laws.

This populous town "was so thin of people that it looked more like a countryvillage than a corporation; and the shops being generally shut down, it seemed likea place visited with the pest, where usually is written upon the door—Lord, havemercy upon us." When in the presence of the justice the officers took all hisgoods from Thomas Arthur, he appealed to the humane feelings of the magistrate onbehalf of his children,—"Sir, shall my children starve," to which he replied,"yes, your children shall starve." All these bitter sufferings were inflictedfor worshipping God according to the directions of his holy word. Can we wonder thenthat Bunyan uses hard words. He felt that state hierarchies were anti-christian;their fruit declared that those who supported them by such cruelties were aliensand enemies to the church of Christ.

As a theological treatise, this of the Pharisee and Publican is invaluable. It isclear and perfectly intelligible to every candid and prayerful inquirer. When ourauthor is proving the impossibility of a sinner's recommending himself to the divinefavour by any imperfect good works of his own, he draws a vivid picture. A lord inviteshis friends to a sumptuous banquet, the provision is bountiful and in rich abundance,when some of the guests take a few mouldy crusts out of their pockets and lay themon their plates, lest the prince had not provided a sufficient repast for his friends;"would it not be a high affront to, a great contempt of, and a distrust in,the goodness of the Lord." We are bound to produce good works as a fruit offaith—a proof of love to him that hath redeemed us, but not to recommend us to hisfavour. The picture of such a feast drawn by John Bunyan must make upon every readera deep, a lasting, an indelible impression.

How bitter and how true is the irony, when the Pharisee is represented as saying,"I came to thy feast out of civility, but for thy dainties I need them not,I have enough of my own; I thank thee for thy kindness, but I am not as those thatstand in need of thy provisions, nor yet as this Publican." And how excellentis the reasoning and the Christian philosophy of that paragraph which was suppressedafter Bunyan's death. The language is bold and striking, but it exhibits the unvarnishedtruth; an inward change of nature is the only cause of good and acceptable works—goodor evil actions are but the evidences of our state by grace or by nature—they donot work that change or produce that state. It is a soul-humbling view of our stateof death by sin, or of life by the righteousness and obedience of Christ. Bunyan'strain of reasoning on Romans 5 is worthy of our profound consideration,—"Whenwe were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." What isa sinful man in himself, or in his approach to God, but as stubble fully dry in thepresence of a consuming fire, unless he is washed and cleansed by the atoning sacrificeof Jesus.

May the glorified spirit of Bunyan rejoice among the angels of heaven, over soulsconverted by the instrumentality of this solemn and searching treatise.



Courteous Reader,

I have made bold once again to present thee with some of my meditations; and theyare now about the PHARISEE and the PUBLICAN: Two men in whose condition the wholeworld is comprehended, both as to their state now, and condition at the judgment.

Wherefore in reading this little book thou must needs read thyself. I do not saythou must understand thy condition; for it is the gift of God must make thee do that.Howbeit, if God will bless it to thee, it may be a means to bring thee to see whosesteps thou art treading, and so at whose end thou art like to arrive.

And let me beg this at thy hand, now thou art about to read; reserve thy judgmentor sentence as to me, until thou hast passed through the discourse.

Justification is treated of here, and the way for men to be saved.

I have also O PUBLICAN here, as my skill hath served me, for thy encouragement, setbefore thee the Pharisee and the Publican in their colours, and shewed thee, thatthough the Publican seemed to be far behind, yet in running he got the prize fromthe lofty Pharisee. I say, Art thou a Pharisee? Here is a Pharisee for thee! Artthou a Publican? Here is a Publican for thee!

God give thee the Publican's heart, if thou art in the Publican's sins, that thoumayest partake with the Publican, of mercy.—So wisheth thy friend.




In the beginning of this chapter you read of the reason of the parable of the unjustjudge and the poor widow; namely, to encourage men to pray. He spake a parable toTHIS END, that men ought always to pray and not to faint. And a most sweet parablefor that purpose it is: For if through importunity, a poor widow-woman may prevailwith an unjust judge; and so consequently with an unmerciful and hard-hearted tyrant;how much more shall the poor, afflicted, distressed, and tempted people of God, prevailwith, and obtain mercy at the hands of a loving, just and merciful God? The unjustjudge would not hearken to, nor regard, the cry of the poor widow for a while: "Butafterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet becausethis widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she wearyme." Hark, saith Christ, "what the unjust judge saith. And shall not Godavenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him?" I tell you, that hewill avenge them speedily.

This is therefore a very comfortable parable to such of the saints, that are underhard usages by reason of evil men, their might, and tyranny. For by it we are taughtto believe and expect, that God, though for a while he seemeth not to regard, yetwill, in due time and season, arise and set such in safety from them that puff atthem. (Psa 12:5)

Let the good Christian pray always; let him pray and not faint at seeming delays;for if the widow by importunity prevailed with the unjust judge, how much more shallhe with his heavenly Father. "I tell you, [says Christ,] that he will avengethem speedily."

But now, forasmuch as this parable reacheth not (so directly) the poor publican inthe text, therefore our Lord begins again, and adds to that another parable, thisparable, which I have chosen for my text. By the which he designeth two things: First,The conviction of the proud and self-conceited Pharisee. Secondly, The raising upand healing of the cast down and dejected Publican. And observe it, as by the firstparable he chiefly designeth the relief of those that are under the hand of crueltyrants: So by this he designeth the relief of those that lie under the load andburden of a guilty and disquieted conscience.

This therefore is a parable that is full of singular comfort to such of the sinnersin the world, that are clogged with guilt, and a sense of sin; and that lie underthe apprehensions of, and that are driven to God by, the sense of the judgment, thatfor sin is due unto them.

In my handling of this text, I shall have respect to these things.

First, To the PERSONS in the text.

Secondly, To the CONDITION of the persons in the text.

Thirdly, To the CONCLUSION that Christ makes upon them both.

First, For the PERSONS. They were, as you see, far one from another in their ownapprehension of themselves; one good, the other bad; but yet in the judgment of thelaw, both alike, both the same, both sinners; for they both stood in need of merit.[1]True, the first mentioned did not see it, as the other poor sinner did; but thataltereth not the case. He that is in the judgment of the law a sinner, is in thejudgment of the law for sin condemned, though in his own judgment he be never sorighteous.

Men must not be judged, or justified, according to what themselves do think, butaccording to the verdict and sentence that cometh out of the mouth of God about them.[2]Now the sentence of God is, "They are all under sin - - There is none righteous,no, not one"(Rom 3): 'Tis no matter then what the Pharisee did think of himself,God by his word hath proclaimed him a sinner. A sinner, by reason of original sin.A sinner by reason of actual transgression. Personally therefore, with referenceto the true nature of their state, they both were sinners, and both by the law undercondemnation. True, the Publican's leprosy was outward; but the Pharisee's leprosywas inward: his heart, his soul, his spirit, was as foul, and had as much the plagueof sin, as had the other in his life or conversation.

Secondly, As to their CONDITION. I do not mean by condition, so much a habit of mind,as the state that they had each of them put themselves into by that mind. The one,says the text, was a Pharisee, the other a Publican. A Pharisee: That is, one thathath chosen to himself such a course of life. A Publican: That is, one that hathchosen to himself such a course of life. These terms therefore shew, the divers coursesof life that they had put themselves into. The Pharisee, as he thought, had put himselfinto a condition for heaven and glory; but the Publican was for this world, and hislusts. Wherefore when the Pharisee stands in the temple, he boasteth of himself andgood condition; but condemneth the Publican, and bitterly inveigheth against him.But, as I said, their personal state by the law, was not at all changed. The Phariseemade himself never the better; the Publican also abode in his place. Indeed the Publicanis here found to recant, and repent of his condition; of the condition that he hadput himself into; and the Pharisee to boast of his: But the Publican's repentancewas not of himself, but of God; who can also, yea, and sometimes it is evident (Acts9), he doth make Pharisees also repent of that condition that they have chosen tobe in themselves. (Phil 3:3-8) The Pharisee, therefore in commending of himself,makes himself never the better. The Publican also, in condemning of himself, makeshimself never the worse. Nay, contrariwise, the Pharisee by commending of himselfmakes himself much the worse (verse 14). And the Publican, by condemning of himself,makes himself much the better. "I tell you, [says Christ] This man went downto his house justified rather than the other: For every one that exalteth himselfshall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

But, I say, as to men's commending of themselves, yea, though others should commendthem also, that availeth, to Godward, nothing at all. "For not he that commendethhimself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth." So then, men in "measuringthemselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."(2 Cor 10:18,12)

Now this was the way of the Pharisee, I am not, saith he, as other men; I am no extortioner,nor unjust, no adulterer, nor yet as this Publican.

TWO MEN WENT UP INTO THE TEMPLE TO PRAY. And they two, as I said, as opposite oneto the other, as any two men that ever went thither to pray. One of them was overrighteous, and the other wicked over much. Some would have thought, had they notby the word of Christ been otherwise described, that they had been both of the samereligion; for they both went up into the temple to pray; yea, both to pray, and thatat the same time, as if they did it by appointment, by agreement, but there was nosuch thing. The one was a Pharisee, the other a Publican; for so saith the afterwords: And therefore persons as opposite as light and darkness, as fire and water;I mean as to their apprehensions one of another. The Pharisee could not abide thePublican, nor could the Publican brook the Pharisee, and yet both went up into thetemple to pray. It is strange to see, and yet it is seen, that men cross in theirminds, cross in their principles, cross in their apprehensions; yea, and cross intheir prayers too, should yet meet together in the temple to pray.

TWO MEN, Men not of the middle sort, as afore is shewed; but two, and them too, pickedout of the best and worst that was: as shall now be a little more largely handled.Two men, a Pharisee and a Publican.

To be a Pharisee was in those days counted honourable for religion, and for holinessof life. A Pharisee was a man of esteem and repute among the Jews, though it is aterm of reproach with us. Else Paul would not as he did, and at such a time as hedid it, have said, "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee."(Acts 23:6, Phil 3:5) For now he stood upon his purgation and justification, especiallyit appears so by the place first named. And far be it from any to think, that Paulwould make use of a colour of wickedness, to save, thereby, himself from the furyof the people.

A Publican was in those days counted one of the vilest of men, as is manifest; becausewhen they are by the word, by way of discrimination, made mention of, they are rankedwith the most vile and base. Therefore they are joined with sinners. "He eatethand drinketh with publicans and sinners"; and with harlots. "The publicansand the harlots go into the kingdom of God." Yea, when our Lord Christ wouldhave the rebellious professor stigmatized to purpose, he saith: "Let him beunto thee as an heathen man, and a publican."

We therefore can make no judgment of men upon the outward appearance of them. Whowould have thought, but that the Pharisee had been a good man, for he was righteous;for he prayed. And who could have thought, that the other had been a good man? Forhe was a Publican: A man, by good men, and bad men, joined with the worst of men,to wit, with sinners, harlots, heathens.

The Pharisee was a sectarian; the Publican was an officer. The Pharisee even becausehe was a sectarian, was had the more in esteem; and the Publican because he was anofficer, was had the more in reproach. To speak a little to both these.

The Pharisee was a sectarian, one that deviated, that turned aside in his worshippingfrom the way of God, both in matter and manner of worship; for such an one I counta sectarian. That he turned aside from the matter, which is the rule of worship,to wit, the written word, it is evident; for Christ saith, That they rejected thecommandments of God, and made them of no effect, that they might keep their own traditions.(Mark 7:9-14) That they turned aside also as to their manner of worship, and becamesectarians there, is with no less authority asserted; For "all their works theydo for to be seen of men." (Acts 26:5, Matt 23:5)

Now this being none of the order or ordinance of Christ, and yet being chose by,and stuck to of these sort of men, and also made a singular and necessary part ofworship, became a sect, or bottom for these hypocritical factious men to adhere unto,and to make of others, disciples to themselves. And that they might be admired, andrendered venerable by the simple people to their fellows, they loved to go in longrobes; they loved to pray in markets, and in the corners of the streets; they shewedgreat zeal for the small things of the law, but had only great words for things thatwere substantial. "They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the bordersof their garments." (Matt 23:5)

When I say the Pharisee was a sectarian, I do not mean that every sectarian is aPharisee. There was the sect of the Herodians, and of the Alexandrians, of the Sadducees,with many others; but to be a Pharisee, was to be of the straitest sect: After themost straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee; that therefore of all thesects, was the most strait and strict. Therefore, saith he in another place, I was"taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers." (Acts22:3, 26:4- 6) And again, "Touching the law a Pharisee." (Phil 3:5) ThePharisees therefore did carry the bell,[3] and did wear the garland for religion;for he out-did, he went beyond all other sectarians in his day. He was the strictest,he was the most zealous; therefore Christ in his making of this parable, waveth allother sects then in being, and pitcheth upon the Pharisee as the man most meet, bywhose rejection he might shew forth, and demonstrate the riches of his mercy in itsextension to sinners: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee."The one such a brave man as you have heard.

The PUBLICAN also went up thither to pray. The Publican, I told you before, was anofficer. An officer that served the Romans and themselves too; for the Romans atthat time were possessors of the land of Jewry, the lot of Israel's inheritance,and the Emperor Tiberius Caesar placed over that land four governors, to wit, Pilate,Herod, Philip, and Lysanias (Luke 3:1); all these were Gentiles, heathens, infidels;and the Publicans were a sort of inferior men, to whom was let out to farm, and somen that were employed by these to gather up the taxes and customs, that the heathenshad laid upon the Jews to be paid to the emperor. (Luke 2:1, 3:12,13)

But they were a generation of men that were very injurious in the execution of theiroffice. They would exact and demand more than was due of the people; yea, and iftheir demands were denied, they would falsely accuse those that so denied them tothe governor, and by false accusation obtain the money of the people, and so wickedlyenrich themselves. (Luke 3:13, 19:2,8) This was therefore grievous to the Jews, whoalways counted themselves a free people, and could never abide to be in bondage toany. And this was something of the reason, that they were so generally, by all theJews, counted so vile and base, and reckoned among the worst of men, even as ourinformers and bum bailiffs are with us at this day.

But that which heightened the spirit of the people against them, and that made themso odious and filthy in their eyes, was for that, at least so I think, these Publicanswere not, as the other officers, aliens, heathens, and Gentiles, but men of theirown nation, Jews, and so the brethren of those that they so abused. Had they beenGentiles, it had not been to be wondered at; that they abused, accused and by falseaccusations peeled and wasted the people; for that cannot but be expected at thehands of aliens and strangers.

The Publican then was a Jew, a kind of a renegade Jew, that through the love thathe had to unjust gains, fell off in his affections from his brethren, adhered tothe Romans, and became a kind of servant to them against their brethren, farmingthe heathenish taxations at the hand of strangers, and exacting of them upon theirbrethren with much cruelty, falsehood, and extortion. And hence, as I said, it was,that to be a Publican, was to be so odious a thing, so vile a sinner, and so grievousa man in the eyes of the Jews. And would it not be an insufferable thing? Yea, didnot that man deserve hanging ten times over, that should, being a Dutchman, fallin with a French invader, and take place or farm at his hands, those cruel and grievoustaxations, which he in barbarous wise should at his conquest lay upon them; and exactand force them to be paid him with an over and above of what is appointed.[4] Whythis was the Publican, he was a Jew, and so should have abode with them, and havebeen content to share with his brethren in their calamities; but contrary to nature,to law, to religion, reason, and honesty, he fell in with the heathen, and took theadvantage of their tyranny, to pole, to peel,[5] to rob and impoverish his brethren.

But for proof that the Publican was a Jew.

1. They are, even then, when compared with, yet distinguished from the heathen; Lethim be to thee as an heathen man and a Publican (Matt 18), which two terms, I think,must not here be applied to one and the self-same man, as if the heathen was a Publican,or the Publican a heathen, but to men of two distinct nations; as that Publican andHarlot, is to be understood of sinners of both sexes. The Publican is not an harlot,for he is a man, &c. and such a man as has been described before. So by Publicansand Sinners, is meant Publicans, and such sinners as the Gentiles were; or such as,by the text, the Publican is distinguished from: Where the Pharisee saith he wasnot an extortioner, unjust, adulterer, or even as this Publican. Nor can he by HeathenMan, intend the person, and by the term Publican, the office or place of the heathenman; but by Publican is meant the renegade Jew, in such a place, &c. as is yetfurther manifest by that which follows. For,

2. Those Publicans, even every one of them that by name are made mention of in theNew Testament, have such names put upon them; yea, and other circumstances thereuntoannexed, as doth demonstrate them to be Jews. I remember the names of no more butthree, to wit, Matthew, Levi, and Zaccheus, and they were all Jews.

(1.) Matthew was a Jew, and the same Matthew was a Publican; yea, and also afterwardan apostle. He was a Jew, and wrote his gospel in Hebrew; He was an apostle, andis therefore found among the twelve. That he was a Publican too, is as evident byhis own words: For though Mark and Luke in their mentioning of his name and apostleship,do forbear to call him a Publican. (Mar 3:18, Luke 6:15) Yet when this Matthew comesto speak of himself, he calls himself Matthew the Publican (Matt 10:3), for I countthis the self-same Matthew that Mark and Luke maketh mention of, because I find noother Matthew among the apostles but he: Matthew the Publican, Matthew the man sodeep in apostasy, Matthew the man of that ill fame among his brethren. Love in Markand Luke, when they counted him among the apostles, did cover with silence this hisPublican state; and it is meet for Peter to call Paul his beloved brother, when Paulhimself shall call himself the chief of sinners; but faithfulness to the world, anda desire to be abased, that Christ thereby, and grace by him, might be advanced,made Matthew, in his evangelical writings, call himself by the name of Matthew thePublican. Nor has he lost thereby; for Christ again to exalt him, as he hath alsodone by the apostle Paul, hath set, by his special providence, the testimony thatthis Matthew hath given of his birth, life, death, doctrine, and miracles, in thefront of all the New Testament.

(2.) The next Publican that I find by the testament of Christ, made mention of byname, is Levi, another of the apostles of Jesus Christ. This Levi also, by the HolyGhost in holy writ, is called by the name of James. Not James the brother of John,for Zebedee was his father; but James the son of Alpheus. Now I take this Levi alsoto be another than Matthew; first, because Matthew is not called the son of Alpheus;and because Matthew and Levi, or James the son of Alpheus, are distinctly countedwhere the names of the apostles are mentioned (Matt 10:3), for two distinct persons:And that this Levi, or James the apostle was a Publican, as was the apostle Matthew,whom we mentioned before, is evident; for both Mark and Luke do count him such. First,Mark saith, Christ found him when he called him, as he also found Matthew, sittingat the receipt of custom; yea, Luke words it thus: "He went forth, and saw apublican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Followme." (Mark 2:14, Luke 5:27)

Now that this Levi, or James the son of Alpheus, was a Jew, his name doth well makemanifest. Besides, had there been among the apostles any more Gentiles save Simonthe Canaanite; or if this Levi James had been [one] here, I think the Holy Ghostwould, to distinguish him, have included him in the same discriminating characteras he did the other, when he called him Simon the Canaanite. (Matt 10:4)

Matthew, therefore, and Levi or James, were both Publicans, and, as I think, calledboth at the same time;[6] were both Publican-Jews, and made by grace the apostlesof Jesus Christ.

(3.) The next Publican that I find by name, made mention of in the testament of Christ,is one Zaccheus. And he was a chief Publican; yea, for ought I know, the master ofthem all. "There was a man, [saith Luke,] named Zaccheus, which was the chiefamong the Publicans, and he was rich." (Luke 19:2) This man, Christ saith, wasa son of Abraham, that is, as other Jews were; for he spake that to stop the mouthsof their Pharisaical cavillations. Besides, the Publican shewed himself to be suchan one, when under a supposition of wronging any man, he has respect to the Jewishlaw of restoring four-fold. (Exo 22:1, 2 Sam 12:6)

It is further manifest that he was a Jew, because Christ puts him among the lost;to wit, among the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Luke 19:8-10, Matt 15:24), forZaccheus was one that might properly be said to be lost, and that in the Jews account:Lost I say, and that not only in the most common sense, by reason of transgressionagainst the law, but for that he was an apostate Jew; not with reference to heathenishreligion, but as to heathenish, cruel, and barbarous actions; and therefore he was,as the other, by his brethren counted as bad as heathens, Gentiles, and harlots.But salvation is come to this house, saith Christ, and that notwithstanding his Publicanpractices, forasmuch as he also is the son of Abraham.

3. Again, Christ by the parable of the lost sheep, doth plainly intimate, that thePublican was a Jew. "Then drew near unto him all the Publicans and sinners forto hear him. And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners,and eateth with them." (Luke 15:1,2)

But by what answer doth Christ repel their objections? Why, he saith, "Whatman of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninetyand nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost until he find it?"Doth he not here, by the lost sheep, mean the poor Publican? Plenty of whom, whilehe preached this sermon, were there, as objects of the Pharisees" scorn; butof the pity and compassion of Jesus Christ! he did without doubt mean them. For,pray, what was the flock, and who Christ's sheep under the law, but the house andpeople of Israel? (Exo 34:30,31) So then, who could be the lost sheep of the houseof Israel, but such as was Matthew, James, Zaccheus, and their companions in their,and such like transgressions.

4. Besides, had not the Publican been of the Jews, how easy had it been for the Phariseesto have objected, that an impertinency was couched in that most excellent parableof the lost sheep? They might have said, We are offended, because thou receivestthe Publicans, and thou for vindication of thy practice, propoundest a parable oflost sheep; but they are the sinners of the house of Israel, and the Publicans arealiens and Gentiles. I say, How easily might they thus have objected? But they knewfull well, that the parable was pertinent, for that the Publicans were of the Jews,and not of the aliens. Yea, had they not been Jews, it cannot, it must not be thought,that Christ, in sum, should call them so; and yet he did do so, when he called themlost sheep.

Now that these Publicans were Jews, what follows, but that for this they were a greatdeal the more abominated of their brethren. And, as I have also hinted before, itis no marvel though they were; for a treacherous brother is worse than an open enemy.(Psa 55:12,13) For, if to be debauched in open and common transgressions is odious,how odious is it for a brother to be so? For a brother in nature and religion tobe so? I say again, if these things are intolerable, what shall we think of suchmen, as shall join to all this compliance with a foreign prince to rob the churchof God? Yea, that shall become a tenant, an officer, a man in power under them, toexact, force, and wring out of the hand of a brother his estate; yea, his bread andlivelihood. Add to all this, What shall we say to him that shall do for an enemyagainst a brother in a way of injury and wrong, more than in strictness of law theywere commanded by that same enemy to do? And yet all this they did, as both Johninsinuates, and Zaccheus confesses.[7]

The Pharisee therefore was not so good, but the Publican was as bad: Indeed, thePublican was a notorious wretch, one that had a way of transgressing by himself;one that could not be sufficiently condemned by the Jews, nor coupled with a vilerthan himself. 'Tis true, you find him here in the temple at prayer; not because heretained in his apostasy, conscience of the true religion, but God had awakened him,shewn him his sin, and bestowed upon him the grace of repentance, by which he wasnot only fetched back to the temple, and prayer, but to his God, and to the salvationof his soul.

The Pharisee, then, was a man of another complexion, and stood as to his own thoughtsof himself; yea, and in the thoughts of others also, upon the highest and betterground by far. The Publican was a notorious sinner; the Pharisee was a notoriousrighteous man. The Publican was a sinner out of the ordinary way of sinning; andthe Pharisee was a man for righteousness in a singular way also. The Publican pursuedhis villanies, and the Pharisee pursued his righteousness; and yet they both meetin the temple to pray. Yea, the Pharisee stuck to, and boasted in the law of God;but the Publican did forsake it, and hardened his heart against his way and people.

Thus diverse were they in their appearances; the Pharisee, very good; the Publican,very bad. But as to the law of God, which looked upon them with reference to thestate of their spirits, and the nature of their actions, by that they were both foundsinners; the Publican an open outside one, and the Pharisee a filthy inside one.This is evident, because the best of them was rejected, and the worst of them wasreceived to mercy. Mercy standeth not at the Publican's badness, nor is it enamouredwith the Pharisee's goodness: It suffereth not the law to take place on both, thoughit findeth them both in sin, but graciously embraceth the most unworthy, and leaveththe best to shift for himself. And good reason that both should be dealt with afterthis manner; to wit, that the word of grace should be justified upon the soul ofthe penitent, and that the other should stand or fall to that, which he had chosento be his master.

There are three things that follow upon this discourse.

[Conclusion.] 1. That the righteousness of man is not of any esteem with God, asto Justification. It is passed by as a thing of naughtiness, a thing not worth thetaking notice of. There was not so much as notice taken of the Pharisee's person,or prayer, because he came into the temple mantled up in his own good things.

[Conclusion.] 2. That the man that has nothing to commend him to God, but his owngood doings, shall never be in favour with him. This also is evident from the text:The Pharisee had his own righteousness, but had nothing else to commend him to God;and therefore could not by that obtain favour with God, but abode still a rejectedone, and in a state of condemnation.

[Conclusion.] 3. Wherefore, though we are bound by the law of charity to judge ofmen, according as in appearance they present themselves unto us: yet withal, to wit,though we do so judge, we must leave room for the judgment of God. Mercy may receivehim that we have doomed to hell, and justice may take hold on him, whom we have judgedto be bound up in the bundle of life. And both these things are apparent by the personsunder consideration.

We, like Joseph, are for setting of Manasseh before Ephraim; but God, like Jacob,puts his hands across, and lays his right hand upon the worst man's head, and hisleft hand upon the best, to the amazement and wonderment even of the best of men.(Gen 48:14)


"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the othera Publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, thatI am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican.I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess."[8]

In these words many things are worth the noting. As,

FIRST. THE PHARISEE'S DEFINITION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS; the which standeth in two things:1. In negatives. 2. In positives.

In negatives; to wit, what a man that is righteous must not be: I am no extortioner,no unjust man, no adulterer, nor yet as this Publican.

In positives; to wit, what a man that is righteous must be: I fast twice a week,I give tithes of all that I possess, &c.

That righteousness standeth in negative and positive holiness is true; but that thePharisee's definition is, notwithstanding, false, will be manifest by and by. ButI will first treat of righteousness in the general, because the text leadeth me toit.

First then, A Man that is righteous, must have negative holiness; that is, he mustnot live in actual transgressions: He must not be an extortioner, unjust, an adulterer,or, as the Publican was. And this the apostle intends, when he saith, "Fleefornication (2 Tim 2:22), flee also youthful lusts (1 Cor 6:18), flee from idolatry"(1 Cor 10:14), and "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1 John5:21) For it is a vain thing to talk of righteousness, and that ourselves are righteous,when every observer shall find us in actual transgression. Yea, though a man shallmix his want of negative holiness, with some good actions, that will not make hima righteous man. As suppose, a man that is a swearer, a drunkard, an adulterer, orthe like, should, notwithstanding this, be open handed to the poor, be a greaterexecutor of justice in his place, be exact in his buying, selling, keep touch withhis promise and with his friend, or the like. These things, yea, many more such,cannot make him a righteous man; for the beginning of righteousness is yet wantingin him, which is this negative holiness: For except a man shall leave off to do evilhe cannot be a righteous man. Negative holiness is therefore of absolute necessityto make one in one's self a righteous man. This therefore condemns them, that countit sufficient if a man have some actions that in themselves, and by virtue of thecommand are good, to make him a righteous man, though negative holiness is wanting.This is as saying to the wicked, Thou art righteous, and a perverting of the rightway of the Lord. Negative holiness therefore must be in a man before he can be accountedrighteous.

Second. As negative holiness is required to declare one a righteous man; so alsopositive holiness must be joined therewith, or the man is unrighteous still. Forit is not what a man is not, but what a man does, that declares him a righteous man.Suppose a man be no thief, no liar, no unjust man; or, as the Pharisee saith, noextortioner, no adulterer, &c., this will not make him a righteous man. But theremust be joined to these, holy and good actions, before he can be declared a righteousman. Wherefore, as the apostle, when he pressed the Christians to righteousness,did put them first upon negative holiness, so he joineth thereto an exhortation topositive holiness; knowing, that where positive holiness is wanting, all the negativeholiness in the whole world cannot declare a man a righteous man. When thereforehe had said, "But thou, O man of God, flee these things," (sins and wickedness)he adds, "and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience,meekness." (1 Tim 6:11) Here Timothy is exhorted to negative holiness, whenhe is bid to flee sin. Here also he is exhorted to positive holiness, when he isbid to follow after righteousness, &c., for righteousness can neither stand innegative nor positive holiness, as severed one from another. That man then, and thatman only, is, as to actions a righteous man, that hath left off to do evil, and hathlearnt to do well (Isa 1:16,17), that hath cast off the works of darkness, and puton the armour of light. Flee also youthful lusts, (said Paul,) but follow righteousness,faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Tim2:22)

The Pharisee therefore, as to the general description of righteousness, made hisdefinition right; but as to his person and personal righteousness, he made his definitionwrong. I do not mean, he defined his own righteousness wrong; but I mean, his definitionof true righteousness, which standeth in negative and positive holiness, he madeto stoop to justify his own righteousness, and therein he played the hypocrite inhis prayer: For although it is true righteousness, that standeth in negative andpositive holiness; yet that is not true righteousness, that standeth but in somepieces and ragged remnants of negative and positive righteousness. If then the Phariseewould in his definition of personal righteousness, have proved his own righteousnessto be good, he must have proved, that both his negative and positive holiness hadbeen universal: to wit, that he had left off to act in any wickedness, and that hehad given up himself to the duty enjoined in every commandment. For so the righteousman is described (Job 1:8), As it is also said of Zacharias and Elizabeth his wife,"they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinancesof the Lord blameless." (Luke 1:6) Here the perfection, that is, the universalityof their negative holiness is implied, and the universality of their positive holinessis expressed: They walked in all the commandments of the Lord; but that they couldnot do, if they had lived in any unrighteous thing or way. They walked in all blamelessly,that is, sincerely with upright hearts. The Pharisee's righteousness therefore, evenby his own implied definition of righteousness, was not good, as is manifest thesetwo ways.

1. His negative holiness was not universal.

2. His positive holiness was rather criminal[9] than moral.

1. His negative holiness was not universal. He saith indeed, he was not an extortioner,nor unjust, no adulterer, nor yet as this Publican: but now of these expressionsapart, nor all, if put together, do prove him to be perfect as to negative holiness;that is, they do not prove him, should it be granted, that he was as holy with thiskind of holiness, as himself of himself had testified. For, (1.) What though he wasno extortioner, he might yet be a covetous man. (Luke 16:14)

(2.) What though, as to dealing, he was not unjust to others, yet he wanted honestyto do justice to his own soul. (Luke 16:15)

(3.) What, though he was free from the act of adultery, he might yet be made guiltyby an adulterous eye, against which the Pharisee did not watch, of which the Phariseedid not take cognizance. (Matt 5:28)

(4.) What, though he was not like the Publican, yet he was like, yea, was a downrighthypocrite; he wanted in those things wherein he boasted himself, sincerity; but withoutsincerity no action can be good, or accounted of God as righteous. The Pharisee therefore,notwithstanding his boasts, was deficient in his righteousness, though he would fainhave shrouded it under the right definition thereof.

2. Nor doth his positive holiness help him at all, forasmuch as it is grounded mostly,if not altogether, in ceremonial holiness. Nay, I will recollect myself, it was groundedpartly in ceremonial, and partly in superstitious holiness, if there be such a thingas superstitious holiness in the world, this paying of tithes was ceremonial, suchas came in and went out with the typical priesthood. But what is that to positiveholiness, when it was but a small pittance by the by. Had the Pharisee argued plainlyand honestly; I mean, had he so dealt with that law, by which now he sought to bejustified, he should have brought forth positive righteousness in morals, and shouldhave said and proved it too, that, as he was no wicked man with reference to theact of wickedness, he was indeed a righteous man in acts of moral virtues. He should,I say, have proved himself a true lover of God, no superstitious one, but a sincereworshipper of him; for this is contained in the first table (Exo 20), and is so insum expounded by the Lord Christ himself. (Mark 12:30) He should also in the nextplace have proved himself truly kind, compassionate, liberal, and full of love andcharity to his neighbour; for that is the sum of the second table, as our Lord alsodoth expound it, saying, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Mark12:31)

True, he says, he did them no hurt; but did he do them good? To do no hurt is onething; and to do good, is another; and it is possible for a man to do neither hurtnor good to his neighbour. What then, Is he a righteous man because he hath donehim no hurt? No verily; unless, to his power, he hath also done him good.

It is therefore a very fallacious and deceitful arguing of the Pharisee, thus tospeak before God in his prayer: I am righteous, because I have not hurt my neighbour,and because I have acted in ceremonial duties. Nor will that help him at all to say,he gave TITHES of all that he possessed. It had been more modest to say, that hehad paid them; for they, being commanded, were a due debt; nor could they go beforeGod for a free gift, because by the commandment they were made a payment; but proudmen and hypocrites, love so to word it both with God and man, as at least to imply,that they are more forward to do, than God's commandment is to require them to do.

The second part of his positive holiness was superstitious; for God hath appointedno such set fasts, neither more nor less, but just twice a week: I fast twice a week.Ay, but who did command thee to do so;[10] commanded to fast when occasion requiredif thou wast, but that thou shouldest have any occasion to do so as thou doest, otherthan by thy being put upon it by a superstitious and erroneous conscience, doth not,nor canst thou make to appear. This part therefore of this positive righteousness,was positive superstition, an abuse of God's law, and a gratification of thy ownerroneous conscience. Hitherto therefore, thou art defective in thy so seeminglybrave and glorious righteousness.

Yet this let me say in commendation of the Pharisee: In my conscience he was betterthan many of our English Christians; for many of them are so far off from being atall partakers of positive righteousness, that all their ministers, bibles, good books,good sermons, nor yet God's judgments, can persuade them to become so much as negativelyholy, that is, to leave off evil.

SECOND.—The second thing that I take notice of in this prayer of the Pharisee, is,HIS MANNER OF DELIVERY, as he stood praying in the temple. "God, I thank thee[said he] that I am not as other men are." He seemed to be at this time, inmore than an ordinary frame, while now he stood in the presence of the divine majesty:for a prayer made up of praise, is a prayer of the highest order, and is most likethe way of them that are now in a state beyond prayer. Praise is the work of heaven;but we see here, that an hypocrite may get into that vein, even while an hypocrite,and while on earth below. Nor do I think that this prayer of his was a premeditatedstinted form, but a prayer extempore, made on a sudden, according to what he felt,thought, or understood of himself.

Here therefore, we may see, that even prayer, as well as other acts of religiousworship, may be performed in great hypocrisy; although, I think, that to performprayer in hypocrisy, is one of the most daring sins that are committed by the sonsof men. For by prayer, above all duties, is our most direct, and immediate personalapproach into the presence of God: and as there is an uttering of things before him,especially a giving of him thanks for things received, or a begging, that such andsuch things might be bestowed upon me. But now to do these things in hypocrisy, and'tis easy to do them so, when we go up into the temple to pray, must needs be intolerablewickedness, and it argueth infinite patience in God, that he should let such as doso, arise alive from their knees, or that he should suffer them to go away from theplace where they stand, without some token or mark of his wrath upon them. I alsoobserve, That this extempore prayer of the Pharisee, was performed by himself, orin the strength of his own natural parts; for so the text implieth, "The Pharisee,"saith the text, "stood and prayed thus with himself," with himself, orby himself, and may signify, either that he spoke softly, or that he made this prayerby reason of his natural parts. "I will pray with the Spirit," said Paul.(1 Cor 14:15) The Pharisee prayed with himself, said Christ. It is at this day wonderfulcommon, for men to pray extempore also. To pray by a book, by a premeditated setform, is now out of fashion. He is counted no body now, that cannot at any time,at a minute's warning, make a prayer of half an hour long.

I am not against extempore prayer, for I believe it to be the best kind of praying;but yet I am jealous, that there are a great many such prayers made, especially inpulpits and public meetings, without the breathing of the Holy Ghost in them: Forif a Pharisee of old could do so, Why may not a Pharisee do the same now? Wit, andreason, and notion is now screwed up to a very great height; nor do men want words,or fancies, or pride, to make them do this thing. Great is the formality of religionthis day, and little the power thereof. Now where there is a great form and littlepower, and such there was also among the Jews, in the time of our Saviour Jesus Christ,there men are most strangely under the temptation to be hypocrites; for nothing dothso properly and directly oppose hypocrisy, as the power and glory of the things weprofess. And so on the contrary, nothing is a greater temptation to hypocrisy, thana form of knowledge of things without the savour thereof. Nor can much of the powerand savour of the things of the gospel be seen at this day upon professors, I speaknot now of all, if their notions and conversations be compared together. How proud,how covetous, how like the world in garb and guise, in words and actions, are mostof the great professors of this our day! But when they come to divine worship, especiallyto pray, by their words and carriages there, one would almost judge them to be angelsin heaven. But such things must be done in hypocrisy, as also the Pharisee's were.

The Pharisee stood and prayed THUS WITH HIMSELF.

And, in that it is said, "he prayed with himself"; it may signify, thathe went in his prayer no further than his sense and reason, feeling and carnal apprehensionswent. True, Christian prayer ofttimes leaves sense and reason, feeling, and carnalapprehensions behind it, and it goeth forth with faith, hope, and desires to knowwhat at present we are ignorant of, and that unto which our sense, feeling, reason,&c., are strangers. The apostle indeed doth say, "I will pray with the understanding"(1 Cor 14:15), but then it must be taken for an understanding spiritually enlightened.I say, it must be so understood, because the natural understanding, properly as such,receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God when offered, and therefore cannotpray for them; for they to such, are foolish things. (1 Cor 2:14)

Now a spiritually enlightened understanding may be officious in prayer these ways.

1. As it has received conviction of the truth of the being of the things that areof the Spirit of God; For to receive conviction of the truth and being of such things,comes from the Spirit of God, not from the law, sense, or reason. (1 Cor 2:10-12)Now the understanding having, by the Holy Ghost, received conviction of the truthof the being of such things, draweth out the heart to cry in prayer to God for them.Therefore he saith, he would pray with the understanding.

2. A spiritually enlightened understanding, hath also received by the Holy Ghost,conviction of the excellency and glory of the things that are of the Spirit of God,and so enflameth the heart with more fervent desires in this duty of prayer; forthere is a supernatural excellency in the things that are of the Spirit; "Butif the ministration of death, [to which the Pharisee adhered] written and engravenin stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly beholdthe face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:How shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious. For if the ministrationof condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceedin glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, byreason of the glory that excelleth." (2 Cor 3:7- 10) And the Spirit of God sheweth,at best, some things of that excellent glory of them to the understanding that itenlighteneth. (Eph 1:17-19)

3. The spiritually enlightened understanding hath also thereby received knowledge,that these excellent supernatural things of the Spirit, are given by covenant inChrist to those that love God, that are beloved of him. "Now we have received,[says Paul] not the Spirit of the world, [that the Pharisee had] but the Spirit whichis of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."(1 Cor 2:12) And this knowledge, that the things of the Spirit of God are freelygiven to us of God, puts yet a greater edge, more vigour, and yet further confidenceinto the heart to ask for what is mine by gift, by a free gift of God in his Son.[11]But all these things the poor Pharisee was an utter stranger to; he knew not theSpirit, nor the things of the Spirit, and therefore must neglect faith, judgment,and the love of God (Matt 23:23, Luke 11:42), and follow himself, and himself only,as to his sense, feeling, reason, and carnal imagination in prayer.

He stood and prayed thus WITH HIMSELF. He prayed thus, talking to himself; for soalso it may, I think, be understood. It is said of the unjust judge, "he saidwithin himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man," &c. (Luke 18:4)That is, he said it to himself. So the Pharisee is said to pray with himself. Godand the Pharisee were not together, there was only the Pharisee and himself. Paulknew not what to pray for without the Holy Ghost joined himself with him, spake withhim and helped him with groans unutterable. But the Pharisee had no need of that,it was enough that HE and HIMSELF were together at this work; for he thought withoutdoubting that he and himself together could do. How many times have I heard ancientmen, and ancient women, at it, with themselves, when all alone in some private room,or in some solitary path; and in their chat, they have been sometimes reasoning,sometimes chiding, sometimes pleading, sometimes praying, and sometimes singing;but yet all has been done by themselves when all alone: But yet so done, as one thathas not seen them, must needs have concluded, that they were talking, singing, andpraying with company, when all that they said, they did it with themselves, and hadneither auditor nor regarder.

So the Pharisee was at it with himself, he and himself performed, at this time, theduty of prayer. Now I observe, that usually when men do speak to, or with themselves,they greatly strive to please themselves: Therefore it is said, there is a man, That"flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful."(Psa 36:2) He flattereth himself in his own way, according as his sense and carnalreason dictates to him; and he might do it as well in prayer, as in any other way.Some men will so hear sermons, and apply them that they may please themselves: Andsome men will pray, but will refuse such words and thoughts in prayer as will notplease themselves.

Oh, how many men speak all that they speak in prayer, rather to themselves, or totheir auditory, than to God that dwelleth in heaven! And this I take to be the manner,I mean something of the manner of the Pharisee's praying. Indeed, he made mentionof God, as also others do; but he prayed with himself to himself, in his own spirit,and to his own pleasing, as the matter of his prayer doth manifest. For was it notpleasant to this hypocrite, think you, to speak thus well of himself at this time?doubtless it was. Also children and fools are of the same temper with hypocritesas to this; they also love without ground, as the Pharisee, to flatter themselvesin their own eyes. But not he that commendeth himself is approved.

God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers,or even as this Publican, &c.

Thus he begins his prayer; and it is, as was hinted before, a prayer of the higheststrain. For to make a prayer all of thanksgiving, and to urge in that prayer, thecause of that thanksgiving, is the highest manner of praying, and seems to be donein the strongest faith, &c., in the greatest sense of things. And such was thePharisee's prayer, only he wanted substantial ground for his thanksgiving; to wit,he wanted proof of that he said, "he was not as other men were," excepthe had meant, as he did not, that he was even of the worst sort of men: For eventhe best of men by nature, and the worst, are all alike. "What, then? are webetter than they?" said Paul, "No, in no wise." (Rom 3:9) So then,he failed in the ground of his thankfulness, and therefore his thankfulness was groundedon an untruth, and so became feigned, and self-flattering, and could not be acceptablewith the God of heaven.

Besides, in this high prayer of the Pharisee, he fathered that upon God which hecould by no means own; to wit, that his being so good as he thought himself to be,was through distinguishing love and favour of God, "God, I thank thee, thatI am not as other men are." I thank thee, that thou hast made me better thanothers. I thank thee that my condition is so good, and that I am so far advancedabove my neighbour.


First, That the Pharisees and hypocrites, do not love to count themselves sinners,when they stand before God. They choose rather to commend themselves before him forvirtuous and holy persons, sometimes saying, and oftener thinking, that they aremore righteous than others. Yea, it seems by the word, to be natural, hereditary,and so common for hypocrites to trust to themselves that they are righteous, andthen to condemn others; this is the foundation upon which this very parable is built:"He spake this parable, [saith Luke] unto certain which trusted in themselvesthat they were righteous"; or that they were so, "and despised others."(verse 9)

I say, hypocrites love not to think of their sins, when they stand in the presenceof God; but rather to muster up, and to present him with their several good deeds,and to venture a standing or falling by them.

Second, This carriage of the Pharisee before God informs us, that moral virtues,and the ground of them, which is the law, if trusted to, blinds the mind of man,that he cannot for them perceive the way to happiness. While Moses is read, and hislaw, and the righteousness thereof trusted to, the vail is upon their heart. "Foruntil this day, [said Paul] remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading ofthe old testament, which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, whenMoses is read, the vail is upon their heart." (2 Cor 3:14,15) And this is thereason that so many moral men, that are adorned with civil and moral righteousness,are yet so ignorant of themselves, and the way of life by Christ.

The law of works, and the righteousness of the flesh, which is

the righteousness of the law, blinds their minds, shuts up their eyes, and causeththem to miss of the righteousness that they are so hotly in the pursuit of. Theirminds were blinded, saith the text: Whose minds? Why those that adhered to, thatstood by, and that sought righteousness of the law. Now,

The Pharisee was such an one, he rested in the law, he made his boasts of God, andtrusted to himself that he was righteous; And all this proceeded of that blindnessand ignorance that the law had possessed his mind withal; for it is not granted tothe law to be the ministration of life and light, but to be the ministration of death,when it speaks; and of darkness, when trusted unto, that the Son of God might havethe pre-eminence in all things: Therefore 'tis said, "When the heart shall turnto him, the vail shall be taken away." (2 Cor 3:16)

Third, We may see by this prayer, the strength of vain confidence; it will emboldena man to stand in a lie before God; it will embolden a man to trust to himself andto what he hath done; yea, to plead his own goodness instead of God's mercy beforehim. For the Pharisee was not only a man that justified himself before men, but onethat justified himself before God. And what was the cause of his so justifying ofhimself before God; but that vain confidence that he had in himself and his works,which were both a cheat and a lie to himself. But, I say, the boldness of the manwas wonderful, for he stood to the lie that was in his right hand, and pleaded thegoodness of it before him. But, besides these things, there are four things morethat are couched in this prayer of the Pharisee.

Fourth, By this prayer the Pharisee doth appropriate to himself conversion, he challengethit to himself and to his fellows. I am not, saith he, as other men; that is, in unconversion,in a state of sin, wrath, and death. And this must be his meaning; for the religionof the Pharisee was not grounded upon any particular natural privilege. I mean notsingly, not only upon that, but upon a falling in with those principles, notions,opinions, decrees, traditions, and doctrines that they taught distinct from the trueand holy doctrines of the prophets. And they made to themselves disciples by suchdoctrine, men, that they could captivate by those principles, laws, doctrines, andtraditions: And therefore such are said to be of the sect of the Pharisees; thatis, the scholars, and disciples of them, converted to them and to their doctrine.Oh! it is easy for souls to appropriate conversion to themselves, that know not whatconversion is. It is easy, I say, for men to lay conversion to God, on a legal, orceremonial, or delusive bottom, on such a bottom that will sink under the burdenthat is laid upon it; on such a bottom that will not stand when it is brought underthe touch-stone of God, nor against the rain, wind, and floods that are ordainedto put it to the trial, whether it is true or false. The Pharisee here stands upona supposed conversion to God; "I am not as other men"; but both he, andhis conversion are rejected by the sequel of the parable: "That which is highlyesteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:15) That is,that conversion, that men, as men, flatter themselves that they have, is such. Butthe Pharisee will be a converted man, he will have more to shew for heaven than hisneighbour, "I am not as other men are"; to wit, in a state of sin and condemnation,but in a state of conversion and salvation. But see how grievously this sect, thisreligion beguiled men. It made them two-fold worse the children of hell than theywere before: And than their teachers were (Matt 23:15), that is, their doctrine begatsuch blindness, such vain confidence, and groundless boldness in their disciples,as to involve them in that conceit of conversion that was false, and so if trustedto, damnable.

Fifth, By these words, we find the Pharisee, not only appropriating conversion tohimself, but rejoicing in that conversion: "God, I thank thee," saith he,"that I am not as other men"; which saying of his, gives us to see thathe gloried in his conversion; he made no doubt at all of his state, but lived inthe joy of the safety that he supposed his soul by his conversion to be in. Oh! thanksto God, says he, I am not in the state of sin, death, and damnation, as the unjust,and this Publican is. But a strong delusion! to trust to the spider's web, and tothink, that a few of the most fine of the works of the flesh, would be sufficientto bear up the soul in, at, and under the judgment of God. "There is a generationthat are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness."(Prov 30:12) This text can be so fitly applied to none, as to the Pharisee, and tothose that tread in the Pharisee's steps, and that are swallowed up with is conceits,and with the glory of his own righteousness.

So again, "There is a way [a way to heaven] which seemeth right unto a man,but the end thereof are the ways of death," (Prov 14:12) This also is fulfilledin these kind of men; at the end of their way is death and hell, notwithstandingtheir confidence in the goodness of their state.

Again, "There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing." (Prov 13:7)What can be more plain from all these texts, than that some men, that are out ofthe way think themselves in it; and that some men think themselves clean that areyet in their filthiness; and that think themselves rich for the next world, and yetare poor, and miserable, and wretched, and blind, and naked.[12] Thus the poor, blind,naked, hypocritical Pharisee thought of himself, when God threatened to abase him:Yea, he thought himself thus, and joyed therein, when indeed he was going down tothe chambers of death.

Sixth, by these words, the Pharisee seems to put the goodness of his condition uponthe goodness of God. I am not as other men are, and I thank God for it. God, saithhe, I thank thee that I am not as other men are. He thanked God when God had donenothing for him. He thanked God, when the way that he was in was not of Gods prescribing,but of his own inventing. So the persecutor thanks God that he was put into thatway of roguery that the devil had put him into, when he fell to rending and tearingof the church of God: "Whose possessors slay them, [saith the prophet,] andhold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the Lord, forI am rich." (Zech 11:5) I remember that Luther used to say, "In the nameof God begins all mischief." All must be fathered upon God: the Pharisee's conversionmust be fathered upon God; the right or rather the villany of the outrageous persecutionagainst God's people, must be fathered upon God. God, "I thank thee," andblessed be God, must be the burthen of the heretic's song. So again, the free-willer,he will ascribe all to God; the quaker, the ranter, the socinian, &c. will ascribeall to God. "God, I thank thee," is in every man's mouth, and must be entailedto every error, delusion, and damnable doctrine that is in the world: But the nameof God, and their doctrine, worship, and way, hangeth together, much as doth it andthe Pharisee's doctrine; that is to say, nothing at all; for God hath not proposedtheir principles, nor doth he own them, nor hath he commanded them, nor doth he conveyby them the least grace or mercy to them; but rather rejecteth them, and holdeththem for his enemies, and for the destroyers of the world.

Seventh, We come in the next place to the ground of all this; and that is, to whatthe Pharisee had attained. To wit, that he was no extortioner, no unjust man, noadulterer, nor even as this Publican, and for that he fasted twice a week, and paidtithes of all that he possessed. So that you see he pretendeth to a double foundationfor his salvation, a moral and a ceremonial one; but both very lean, weak, and feeble:For the first of his foundations, what is it more, if all be true that he saith,but a being removed a few inches from the vilest men in their vilest actions, a veryslender matter to build my confidence for heaven upon.

And for the second part of his ground for life, what is it but a couple of ceremonies,if so good. The first is questioned as a thing not founded in God's law; and thesecond is such, as is of the remotest sort of ceremonies, that teach and preach theLord Jesus. But suppose them to be the best, and his conformity to them the thoroughest,they never were ordained to get to heaven by, and so are become but a sandy foundation.But anything will serve some men for a foundation and support for their souls, andto build their hopes of heaven upon. I am not a drunkard, says one, nor a liar, nora swearer, nor a thief, and therefore, I thank God, I have hopes of heaven and glory.I am not an extortioner, nor an adulterer, nor unjust, nor yet as this Publican;and therefore do hope I shall go to heaven. Alas! poor men! will your being furnishedwith these things, save you from the thundering claps and vehement batteries, thatthe wrath of God will make upon sin and sinners in the day that shall burn like anoven? No, no, nothing at that day can shroud a man from the hot rebukes of that vengeance,but the very righteousness of God, which is not the righteousness of the law, howeverchristened, named, or garnished with all those gew- gaws that men's heads and fanciescan invent, for that is but the righteousness of man.


But, O thou blind Pharisee, since thou art so confident that thy state is good, andthy righteousness is that that will stand, when it shall be tried with fire (1 Cor3:13), let me now reason with thee of righteousness. My terror shall not make theeafraid; I am not God, but a man as thou art, we both are formed out of the clay.

First, Prithee when didst thou begin to be righteous? Was it before or after thouhadst been a sinner? Not afore, I dare say; but if after, then the sins that thoupollutedst thyself withal before, have made thee uncapable of acting legal righteousness.For sin, where it is, pollutes, defiles, and makes vile the whole man; thereforethou canst not by after acts of obedience make thyself just in the sight of thatGod thou pretended now to stand praying unto. Indeed, thou mayest cover thy dirt,and paint thy sepulchre; for that acts of after obedience will do, though sin hasgone before. But Pharisee, God can see through the white of this wall, even to thedirt that is within: God also can see through the paint and garnish of thy beauteoussepulchre, to the dead men's bones that are within; nor can any of thy most holyduties, nor all, when put together, blind the eye of the all-seeing majesty frombeholding all the uncleanness of thy soul.[13] (Matt 23:27) Stand not therefore sostoutly to it, now thou art before God; sin is with thee, and judgment and justiceis before him. It becomes thee, therefore, rather to despise and abhor this lifeof thy hand, and to count all thy doings but dross and dung, and to be content tobe justified with another's righteousness instead of thine own. This is the way tobe secured. I say, blind Pharisee, this is the way to be secured from the wrath whichis to come.

There is nothing more certain than this, that as to justification from the curseof the law, God has rejected man's righteousness, for the weakness and unprofitablenessthereof; and hath accepted in the room of that glorious righteousness of his Son;because indeed, that, and that only, is universal, perfect, and equal with his justiceand holiness. This is in a manner the contents of the whole bible, and thereforemust needs be most certainly true. Now then, Mr. Pharisee, methinks, what if thoudidst this, and that while thou art at thy prayers; to wit, cast in they mind whatdoth God love most, and the resolve will be at hand. The BEST righteousness, surelythe BEST righteousness; for that thy reason will tell thee: This done, even whilethou art at thy devotion, ask thyself again, But WHO has the best righteousness?And that resolve will be at hand also; to wit, he that in person is equal with God;and that is his Son Jesus Christ. He that is separate from sinners, and made higherthan the heavens; and that is his Son Jesus Christ. He that did no sin, nor had anyguile found in his mouth; and there never was any such HE in all the world but theSon of God, Jesus Christ.

Now Pharisee, when thou hast done this, then as thou art in thy devotion, ask again,But what is this best righteousness, the righteousness of Christ, to do? And theanswer will be ready. It is to be made by an act of the sovereign grace of God overto the sinner, that shall dare to trust thereto for justification from the curseof the law. He is made unto us of God, righteousness. (1 Cor 1:30) "He hathmade him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousnessof God in him." (2 Cor 5:21) "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousnessto every one that believeth." (Rom 10:4)

This done, and concluded on, then turn again Pharisee, and say thus with thyself;Is it most safe for me to trust in this righteousness of God? This righteousnessof God-man, this righteousness of Christ? Certainly it is. Since, by the text, itis counted the best, and that which best pleaseth God; since it is that which Godhath appointed, that sinners shall be justified withal. For in the Lord have we righteousnessif we believe: And, in the Lord we are justified, and do glory. (Isa 45:24,25)

Nay Pharisee, suppose thine own righteousness should be as long, as broad, as high,as deep, as perfect, as good, even every way as good, as the righteousness of Christ.Yet since God has chosen by Christ, to reconcile us to himself, canst thou attemptto seek by thine own righteousness to reconcile thyself to God, and not be guiltyof attempting, at least, to confront this righteousness of Christ before God. Yea,to dare with it, yea, to challenge by it, acceptance of thy person contrary to God'sdesign.

Suppose, that when the king has chosen one to be judge in the land, and has determinedthat he shall be judge in all cases, and that by his verdict every man's judgmentshall stand. I say, suppose, after this another should arise, and of his own headresolve to do his own business himself. Now, though he should be every whit as ableas the judge of the king's appointing to do it; yea, and suppose he should do itas justly and righteously too, yet his making of himself a judge, would be an affrontto the king, and an act of rebellion, and so a transgression worthy of punishment.

Why Pharisee, God hath appointed, that by the righteousness of his Son, and by thatrighteousness only, men shall be justified in his sight from the curse of the law.Wherefore, take heed, and at thy peril, whatever thy righteousness is, confront notthe righteousness of Christ therewith. I say, bring it not in, let it not plead forthee at the bar of God, nor do thou plead for that in his court of justice; for thoucanst not do that and be innocent. If he trusts to his righteousness, he hath sinned,says Ezekiel. Mark the text, "When I shall say to the righteous, that he shallsurely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnessesshall not be remembered: but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall diefor it." (Chron 33:13)

Observer a few things from this text, and they are these that follow.

First, Here is a righteous man; a man, with whom we do not hear that the God of heavenfinds fault.

Secondly, Here is a promise made to this man, that "he shall surely live";but on THIS condition, that he trusts not to his own righteousness. Whence it ismanifest, that the promise of life to this righteous man, is not for the sake ofhis righteousness, but for the sake of something else, to wit, the righteousnessof Christ.

1. Not for the sake of his own righteousness. This is evident, because we are admitted,yea, commanded, to trust in the righteousness that saveth us. The righteousness ofGod is unto all, and upon all that believe; that is, trust in it, and trust to itfor justification. Now therefore, if thy righteousness, when most perfect, couldsave thee, thou mightest, yea oughtest most boldly to trust therein. But since thouart forbidden to trust to it, it is evident it cannot save, nor is it for the sakeof that, that the righteous man is saved. (Rom 3:21, 22)

2. But for the sake of something else; to wit, for the sake of the righteousnessof Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through theforbearance of God. "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, thathe might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus." (Rom 3:26)See also Philippians 3:7-9.

"If he trusts to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnessshall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed [in trustingto his own righteousness] he shall die for it."

Note hence further.

1. That there is more virtue in one sin to destroy, than in all thy righteousnessto save thee alive. If he trust, if he trust never so little, if he do at all trustto his own righteousness, all his righteousness shall be forgotten; and by, and for,and in, the sin that he hath committed in trusting to it, he shall die.

2. Take notice also, that there are more damnable sins than those that are againstthe moral law. By which of the ten commandments is trusting to our own righteousnessforbidden? Yet it is a sin. It is a sin therefore forbidden by the gospel, and isincluded, lurketh close in, yea, is the, or a root of unbelief itself; "He thatbelieveth not shall be damned." But he that trusteth in his own righteousnessdoth not believe, neither in the truth or sufficiency of the righteousness of Christto save him, therefore he shall be damned.

But how is it manifest, that he that trusteth to his own righteousness, doth it througha doubt, or unbelief of the truth or sufficiency of the righteousness of Christ?

I answer, Because, even because he trusteth to his own. A man will never willinglychoose to trust to the worst of helps, when he believes there is a better as near,and to be had as soon, and that too, upon as easy, if not more easy terms. If hethat trusteth to his own righteousness for life, did believe, that there is indeedsuch a thing as the righteousness of Christ to justify; and that this righteousnessof Christ has in it ALL sufficiency to do that blessed work, be sure he would choosethat, thereon to lay, lean, and venture his soul, that he saw was the best, and mostsufficient to save; especially when he saw also, (and see that he must, when he seesthe righteousness of Christ) to wit, that that is to be obtained as soon, becauseas near, and to be had on as easy terms; nay, upon easier than may man's own righteousness.I say, he would sooner choose it, because of the weight of salvation, of the worthof salvation, and of the fearful sorrow, that to eternity will overtake him, thatin this thing shall miscarry. It is for heaven, it is to escape hell, wrath, anddamnation, saith the soul; and therefore I will, I must, I dare not but choose that,and that only, that I believe to be the best and most sufficient help in so greata concern, as soul-concern is. So then he that trusteth to his own righteousness,does it of unbelief of the sufficiency of the righteousness of Christ to save him.

Wherefore this sin of trusting to his own righteousness is a most high and damningtransgression: because it contemneth the righteousness of Christ, which is the onlyrighteousness that is sufficient to save from the curse of the law. It also disalloweththe design of heaven, and the excellency of the mystery of the wisdom of God, indesigning this way of salvation for man. What shall I say, It also seeketh to robGod of the honour of the salvation of man. It seeketh to take the crown from thehead of Christ, and to set it upon the hypocrite's head; therefore, no marvel, thatthis one sin be of that weight, virtue and power, as to sink that man and his righteousnessinto hell, that leaneth thereon, or that trusteth unto it.

But Pharisee, I need not talk thus unto thee, for thou art not the man that haththat righteousness, that God findeth not fault withal; nor is it to be found, butwith him that is ordained to be the Saviour of mankind; nor is there any such onebesides Jesus, who is called Christ. Thy righteousness is a poor pittance, a serap:nay, not so good as a serap of righteousness. Thine own confession makes thee partialin the law; for here, in the midst of thy boasts, thou hast not, because thou canstnot say, thou hast fulfilled all righteousness. What madness then has brought theeinto the temple, there in audacious manner to stand and vaunt before God; saying,"God, I thank thee, I am not as other men are."

Dost thou not know, that he that breaks one, breaks all the commandments of God;and consequently, that he that keeps not all, keeps none at all of the commandmentsof God. Say I this of myself? saith not the scriptures the same? "For whosoevershall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."(James 2:10) Be confounded then, be confounded.

Dost thou know the God with whom now thou hast to do? He is a God that cannot, no,that cannot, as he is just, accept of an half righteousness for a whole; nor of alame righteousness for a sound; nor of a sick righteousness for a well and healthyone. (Mal 1:8) And if so, how should he then accept of that which is not righteousness?I say, how should he accept of that which is none at all, save an hypocritical andfeigned one, for thine is only such. And if Christ said, when you have done all,say, "We are unprofitable," How camest thou to say before thou hadst doneone thing well, I am better, more righteous than other men?

Didst thou believe, when thou saidst it, That God knew thy heart? Hadst thou saidthis to the Publican, it had been a high and rampant expression; but to say thisbefore God, to the face of God, when he knew that thou wast vile, and a sinner fromthe womb, and from the conception, spoils all. It was spoken to put a check to thyarrogancy, when Christ said, "Ye are they which justify yourselves before me;but God knoweth your hearts." (Luke 16:15)

Hast thou taken notice of this, that God judgeth the fruit by the heart from whenceit comes? "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth thatwhich is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forththat which is evil." (Luke 6:45) Nor can it be otherwise concluded, but thatthou art an evil man, and so that all thy supposed good is nought but badness. Forthat thou hast made it to stand in the room of Jesus, and hast dared to commend thyselfto the living God thereby: For thou hast trusted in thy shadow of righteousness,and committed iniquity. Thy sin hath melted away thy righteousness, and turned itto nothing but dross; or, if you will, to the early dew, like to which it goeth away,and so can by no means do thee good, when thou shalt stand in need of salvation andeternal life of God.

But further, thou sayest thou art righteous, but they are but vain words. Knowestthou not that thy zeal, which is the life of thy righteousness, is preposterous inmany things. What else means thy madness, and the rage thereof, against men as goodas thyself. True, thy being ignorant that they are good, may save thee from the commissionof the sin that is unpardonable, but it will never keep thee from spot in God's sight,but will make both thee and thy righteousness culpable.

Paul, who was once as brave a Pharisee as thou canst be, calleth much of that zeal,which he in that estate was possessed with, and lived in the exercise of, madness;yea, exceeding madness (Acts 26:9-11, Phil 3:5,6), and of the same sort is much ofthine, and it must be so; for a lawyer, a man for the law, and that resteth in it,must be a persecutor; yea, a persecutor of righteous men, and that of zeal to God;because by the law is begat, through the weakness that it meeteth with in thee, sourness,bitterness of spirit, and anger against him that rightfully condemneth thee of folly,for choosing to trust to thine own righteousness, when a better is provided of Godto save us. (Gal 4:28-31) Thy righteousness therefore is deficient; yea, thy zealfor the law, and the men of the law, has joined madness with thy moral virtues, andmade thy righteousness unrighteousness; How then canst thou be upright before theLord?

Further, Has not the pride of thy spirit in this hot-headed zeal for thy Pharisaicalnotions, run thee upon thinking that thou art able to do more than God hath enjoinedthee, and so able to make thyself more righteous, than God requireth thou shouldestbe. What else is the use of thy adding of laws to God's laws, precepts to God's precepts,and traditions to God's appointments? (Mark 7:8) Nay, hast thou not by thus doing,condemned the law of want of perfection, and so the God that gave it, of want ofwisdom, and faithfulness to himself and thee?

Nay, I say again, hath not thy thus doing charged God with being ignorant of knowing,what rules there needed to be imposed on his creatures to make their obedience complete?And doth not this apish madness of thine intimate, moreover, that if thou hadst notstept in with the bundle of thy traditions, righteousness had been imperfect, notthrough man's weakness, but through impediment in God, or in his ministering rulesof righteousness unto us.

Now, when thou hast thought on these things fairly, answer thyself in these few questions:Is not this arrogancy? Is not this blasphemy? Is not this to condemn God, that thoumightest be righteous? And dost thou think, this is, indeed, the way to be righteous?

But again, what means thy preferring of thine own rules, laws, statues, ordinancesand appointments, before the rules, laws, statutes and appointments of God? Thinkestthou this to be right? Whither will thy zeal, thy pride, and thy folly carry thee?Is there more reason, more equity, more holiness in thy traditions, than in the holy,and just, and good commandments of God? (Rom 7:12) Why then, I say, dost thou rejectthe commandment of God, to keep thine own tradition? Yea, Why dost thou rage, andrail, and cry out when men keep not thy law, or the rule of thine order, and traditionof thine elders; and yet shut thine eyes, or wink with them, when thou thyself shaltlive in the breach of the law of God? Yea, why wilt thou condemn men, when they keepnot thy law, but study for an excuse, yea, plead for them that live in the breachof God's (Mark 7:10-13) Will this go for righteousness in the day of God Almighty?Nay rather, will not this, like a millstone about thy neck, drown thee in the deepsof hell? Oh, the blindness, the madness, the pride, and spite, that dwells in thehearts of these pretended righteous men.

Again, What kind of righteousness of thine, is this, that standeth in a misplacing,and so consequently in a misesteeming of God's commands? Some thou settest too high,and some too low; as in the text, thou hast set a ceremony above faith, above love,and above hope in the mercy of God: When, as it is evident, the things last mentioned,are the things of the first rate, the weightier matters. (Matt 23:23)

Again, Thou hast preferred the gold above the temple that sanctifieth the gold, andthe gift upon the altar, above the altar that sanctifies the gift. (Matt 23:17)

I say again, What kind of righteousness shall this be called? What back will sucha suit of apparel fit, that is set together just cross and thwart to what it shouldbe? Just as if the sleeves should be sewed upon the pocket-holes, and the pocketsset on where the sleeves should stand. Nor can other righteousness proceed wherea wrong judgment precedeth it.

This misplacing of God's laws cannot, I say, but produce misshaped and misplacedobedience. It indeed produceth a monster, an ill-shapened thing, a mole, a mouse,a pig, all which are things unclean, and an abomination to the Lord. For see, saithhe, if thou wilt be making, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewedto thee in the mount. Set faith, where faith should stand, a moral, where a moralshould stand; and a ceremony, where a ceremony should stand; for this turning ofthings upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: And wilt thou call thisthy righteousness; yea, wilt thou stand in this, plead for this, and venture an eternalconcern in such a piece of linsey-woolsey as this? O fools, and blind!

But further, let us come a little closer to the point. O blind Pharisee. Thou standestto thy righteousness, what dost thou mean? Wouldest thou have MERCY for thy righteousness,or JUSTICE for thy righteousness?

[FIRST MERCY.] If mercy, what mercy? Temporal things God giveth to the unthankfuland unholy; nor doth he use to SELL the world to man for righteousness. The earthhath he GIVEN to the children of men. But this is not the thing; thou wouldest haveeternal mercy for thy righteousness; thou wouldest have God think upon what an holy,what a good, what a righteous man thou art, and hast been. But Christ died not forthe good and righteous, nor did he come to call such to the banquet, that grace hathprepared for the world. "I came not," I am not come, saith Christ, "tocall the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mark 2:27, Rom 5) Yet thisis thy plea; Lord God, I am a righteous man, therefore grant me mercy, and a sharein thy heavenly kingdom. What else dost thou mean, when thou sayest, "God Ithank thee, that I am not as other men are?" Why dost thou rejoice, why artthou glad that thou art more righteous, if indeed thou art, than thy neighbour, ifit is not because thou thinkest, that thou hast got the start of, the better of thyneighbour, with reference to mercy; and that by thy righteousness thou hast insinuatedthyself into God's affections, and procured an interest in his eternal favour. But,

What, What hast thou done by thy righteousness? I say, What hast thou given to Godthereby? And what hath he received of thy hand? Perhaps thou wilt say, righteousnesspleaseth God: But I answer no, not thine, with respect to justification from thecurse of the law, unless it be as perfect, as the justice it is yielded to, and asthe law that doth command it. But thine is not such a righteousness: no, thine isspeckled, thine is spotted, thine makes thee to look like a speckled bird in hiseye-sight.

Thy righteousness has added iniquity, to thy iniquity, because it has kept thee froma belief of thy need of repentance, and because it has emboldened thee to thrustthyself audaciously into the presence of God, and made thee there, even before hisholy eyes, which are so pure, that they cannot look on iniquity (Hab 1:13), to vaunt,boast, and brag of thyself, and of thy tottering, ragged, stinking uncleanness; forall our righteousnesses are as menstruous rags, because they flow from a thing, aheart, a man that is unclean. But,

Again, Wouldest thou have mercy for thy righteousness? For who wouldest thou haveit; for another, or for thyself? If for another, and it is most proper, that a righteousman should intercede for another by his righteousness, rather than for himself, thenthou thrusteth Christ out of his place and office, and makest thyself to be a saviourin his stead; for a mediator there is already, even a mediator between God and man,and he is the man Christ Jesus. There is therefore no need of thine interceding bythy righteousness for the acceptation of any unto justification from the curse.

But dost thou plead by thy righteousness, for mercy for thyself? Why, in so doingthou impliest,

First, That thy righteousness can prevail with God, more than can thy sins. I say,that thy righteousness can prevail with God, to preserve thee from death, more thanthy sins can prevail with him to condemn thee to it. And if so, what follows? butthat thy righteousness is more, and has been done in a fuller spirit than ever werethy sins: but thus to insinuate is to insinuate a lie; for there is no man, but whilehe is a sinner, sinneth with a more full spirit, than any good man can act righteousnesswithal.

A sinner when he sinneth, he doth it with all his heart, and with all his mind, andwith all his soul, and with all his strength; nor hath he in his ordinary courseany thing that bindeth. But with a good man it is not so; all, and every whit ofhimself, neither is, nor can be, in every good duty that he doth. For when he woulddo good evil is present with him. And again, "The flesh lusteth against theSpirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other,so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Gal 5:17)

Now if a good man cannot do good things with that wholeness and oneness of soul,with that oneness and universalness of mind, as a wicked man doth sin with, thenis his sin heavier to weigh him down to hell, than is his righteousness to buoy himup to the heavens.

And again, I say, if the righteousness of a good man comes short of his sin, bothin number, weight and measure, as it doth, for a good man shrinks and quakes at thethoughts of God's entering into judgment with him (Psa 143:2), then is his iniquitymore than his righteousness. And I say again, if the sin of one that is truly gracious,and so of one that hath the best of principles, is heavier and mightier to destroyhim, than is his righteousness to save him, how can it be, that the Pharisee, thatis not gracious, but a mere carnal man, somewhat reformed and painted over with afew, lean, and lousy formalities, should with his empty, partial, hypocritical righteousness,counterpoise his great, mighty, and weighty sins, that have cleaved to him in everystate and condition of his, to make him odious in the sight of God?

Second. Dost thou plead by thy righteousness for mercy for thyself? Why in so doingthou impliest, that mercy thou deservedst; and that is next door to, or almost asmuch as to say, God oweth me what I ask for.[14] The best that can be put upon it,is, thou seekest security from the direful curse of God, as it were by the worksof the law, and to be sure betwixt Christ and the law, thou wilt drop into hell.(Rom 9:31-33) For he that seeks for mercy, as it were, and but as it were, by theworks of the law, doth not altogether trust thereto. Nor doth he that seeks for thatrighteousness, that should save him, as it were, by the works of the law, seek itonly, wholly and solely at the hands of mercy. So then, to seek for that that shouldsave thee, neither at the hands of the law, nor at the hands of mercy, is, to besure, to seek it where it is not to be found; for there is no medium betwixt therighteousness of the law, and the mercy of God. Thou must have it either at the doorof the law, or at the door of grace. But sayest thou, I am for having of it at thehands of both. I will trust solely to neither. I love to have two strings to my bow.If one of them, as you think, can help me by itself, my reason tells me, that bothcan help me better. Therefore will I be righteous, and good, and will seek by mygoodness to be commended to the mercy of God: for surely, he that hath somethingof his own to ingratiate himself into the favour of his prince withal, shall soonerobtain his mercy and favour, than one that comes to him as stript of all good.

I answer, But there are not two ways to heaven, not two living ways; there is onenew and living way, which Christ hath consecrated for us through the vail, that isto say, his flesh; and besides that one, there is no more. (Heb 10:19-24) Why thendost thou talk of two strings to thy bow? What became of him that had, and wouldhave, two stools to sit on? Yea, the text says plainly, that therefore they obtainednot righteousness, because they sought it not by faith, but, as it were, by the worksof the law. See here, they are disowned by the gospel, because they sought it notby faith; that is, by faith only. Again, the law, and the righteousness thereof,flies from them, nor could they attain it, though they followed after it, becausethey sought it not by faith.

Mercy then is to be found alone in Jesus Christ! Again, the righteousness of thelaw is to be obtained only by faith of Jesus Christ: that is, in the Son of God isthe righteousness of the law to be found; for he, by his obedience to his Father,is become the end of the law for righteousness. And for the sake of his legal righteousness,which is also called the righteousness of God, because it was God in the flesh ofthe Lord Jesus that did accomplish it, is mercy and grace from God extended, to whoeverdependeth by faith upon God by this Jesus his righteousness for it. And hence itis, that we so often read, that this Jesus is the way to the Father: That God, forChrist's sake, forgiveth us: That by the obedience of one, many are made righteousor justified: And that through this man, is preached to us the forgiveness of sins;and that by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which they couldnot be justified by the law of Moses.

Now, though I here do make mention of righteousness and mercy, yet I hold there isbut one way, to wit, to eternal life; which way, as I said, is Jesus Christ; forhe is the new, the only new, and living way to the Father of mercies, for mercy tomake me capable of abiding with him in the heavens for ever and ever.

But sayest thou, I will be righteous in myself that I may have wherewith to commendme to God, when I go to him for mercy?

I answer, But thou blind Pharisee; I tell thee thou hast no understanding of God'sdesign by the gospel; which is, not to advance man's righteousness, as thou dreamest;but to advance the righteousness of his Son, and his grace by him. Indeed, if God'sdesign by the gospel was to exalt and advance man's righteousness, then that whichthou hast said, would be to the purpose. For what greater dignity can be put uponman's righteousness, than to admit it?

I say then, for God to admit it, to be an advocate, an intercessor, a mediator; forall these is that which prevaileth with God to shew me mercy. But this God neverthought of, much less could he thus design by the gospel: for the text runs flatagainst it. Not of works, not of works of righteousness, which we have done; notof works, lest any man should boast, saying, Well, I may thank my own good life formercy. It was partly for the sake of mine own good deeds that I obtained mercy tobe in heaven and glory. Shall this be the burden of the song of heaven? Or is thisthat which is composed by that glittering heavenly host, and which we have read ofin the holy book of God! No, no, that song runs upon other feet, standeth in farbetter strains, being composed of far higher, and truly heavenly matter: For Godhas "predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace,wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption throughhis blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." (Eph1:5-7) And it is requisite, that the song be framed accordingly; wherefore he saith,that the heavenly song runs thus: "Thou art worthy to take the book, and toopen the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood,out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto ourGod kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth." (Rev 5:9,10)

He saith not that they have redeemed, or helped to redeem and deliver themselves;but that the Lamb, the Lamb that was slain; the Lamb only was he that had redeemedthem. Nor, saith he, that they had made themselves kings and priests unto God tooffer any oblation, sacrifice, or offering whatsoever; but that the same Lamb hadmade them such. For they, as is insinuated by the text, were in, among, one with,and no better, than the kindreds, tongues, nations, and people of the earth. Better!No, in no wise, saith Paul (Rom 3:9), therefore their separation from them was ofmere mercy, free grace, good will, and distinguishing love: not for, or because of,works of righteousness which any of them have done; no, they were all alike. Butthese, because beloved, when in their blood, according to Ezekiel 16 were separatedby free grace. And as another scripture hath it, redeemed from the earth, and fromamong men by blood. (Rev 14:3,4) Wherefore deliverance from the ireful wrath of God,must not, neither in whole, nor in part, be ascribed to the whole law, or to allthe righteousness that comes by it; but to the Lamb of God, Jesus, the Saviour ofthe world; for it is He that delivered us from the wrath to come: and that accordingto God's appointment; "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtainsalvation by [or through] our

Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thess 5:9) Let every man, therefore, take heed what hedoth, and whereon he layeth the stress of his salvation, "For other foundationcan no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Cor 3:11)

But dost thou plead still as thou didst before, and wilt thou stand thereto? Whythen, thy design must overcome God, or God's design must overcome thee. Thy designis to give thy good life, thy good deeds, a part of the glory of thy justificationfrom the curse. And God's design is to throw all thy righteousness out into the street,into the dirt, and dunghill, as to that. Thou art for glory, and for glorying herebefore God; yea, thou art for sharing in the glory of justification, when that alonebelongeth to God. And he hath said, "My glory will I not give to another."Thou wilt not trust wholly to God's grace in Christ for justification; and God willnot take thy stinking righteousness in, as a partner in thy acquitment from sin,death, wrath, and hell. Now the question is, who shall prevail? God, or the Pharisee?And whose word shall stand? His, or the Pharisee's?

Alas! The Pharisee here must needs come down, for God is greater than all. Also,he hath said, that no flesh shall glory in his presence; and that he will have mercy,and not sacrifice. And again, that it is not, nor shall be, in him that wills, norin him that runs, but in God that sheweth mercy. What hope, help, stay, or reliefthen is there left for the merit-monger? What twig, or straw, or twined thread isleft to be a stay for his soul? This besom will sweep away his cobweb: The housethat this spider doth so lean upon, will now be overturned, and he in it to hellfire; for nothing less than everlasting damnation is designed by God, and that forthis fearful and unbelieving Pharisee: God will prevail against him for ever.

Third, But wilt thou yet plead thy righteousness for mercy? Why, in so doing, thoutakest away from God the power of giving mercy. For if it be thine as wages, it isno longer his to dispose of all pleasure; for that which another man oweth me, isin equity not at his, but at my disposal. Did I say, that by this thy plea, thoutakest away from God the power of giving mercy; I will add, yea, and also of disposingof heaven and life eternal. And then, I pray you, what is left unto God, and whatcan he call his own? Not mercy; for that by thy good deeds thou hast purchased. Notheaven; for that by thy good deeds thou hast purchased. Not eternal life; for thatby thy good deeds thou hast purchased. Thus, Pharisee, O thou self-righteous man,hast thou set up thyself above grace, mercy, heaven, glory; yea, above even God himself,for the purchaser should in reason be esteemed above the purchase.

Awake man! What hast thou done? Thou hast blasphemed God, thou hast undervalued theglory of his grace; thou hast, what in thee lieth, opposed the glorious design ofheaven! Thou hast sought to make thy filthy rags to share in thy justification.

Now, all these are mighty sins; these have made thine iniquity infinite. What wiltthou do? Thou hast created to thyself a world of needless miseries. I call them needless,because thou hadst more than enough before. Thou hast set thyself against God ina way of contending; thou standest upon thy points and pantables:[15] Thou wilt notbate God an ace, of what thy righteousness is worth, and wilt also make it worthwhat thyself shalt list. Thou wilt be thine own judge, as to the worth of thy righteousness;thou wilt neither hear what verdict the word has passed about it, nor wilt thou endure,that God should throw it out in the matter of thy justification, but quarrellestwith the doctrine of free grace, or else dost wrest it out of its place to servethy Pharisaical designs; saying, "God, I thank thee, I am not as other men";fathering upon thyself, yea, upon God and thyself, a stark lie; for thou art as othermen are, though not in this, yet in that; yea, in a far worse condition than themost of men are. Nor will it help thee any thing to attribute this thy goodness tothe God of heaven: for that is but a mere toying; the truth is, the God that thouintendest, is nothing but thy righteousness; and the grace that thou supposest, isnothing but thine own good and honest intentions. So that,

Fourth, In all that thou sayest, thou dost but play the downright hypocrite. Thoupretendest indeed to mercy, but thou intendest nothing but merit. Thou seemest togive the glory to God; but at the same time takest it all to thyself. Thou despisestothers, and criest up thyself, and in conclusion fatherest all upon God by word,and upon thyself in truth. Nor is there any thing more common among this sort ofmen, than to make God, his grace, and kindness, the stalking-horse to their own praise,saying, God, I thank thee when they trust to themselves that they are righteous,and have not need of any repentance; when the truth is, they are the worst sort ofmen in the world, because they put themselves into such a state as God hath not putthem into, and then impute it to God, saying, God, I thank thee, that thou hast doneit; for what greater sin [is there] than to make God a liar, or than to father thatupon God which he never meant, intended, or did. And all this under a colour to glorifyGod; when there is nothing else designed, but to take all glory from him, and towear [it] on thine own head as a crown, and a diadem in the face of the whole world.

A self-righteous man therefore can come to God for mercy none otherwise than fawningly:For what need of mercy hath a righteous man? Let him then talk of mercy, of grace,and goodness, and come in an hundred times with him, "God, I thank thee,"in his mouth, all is but words, there is no sense, nor savour, nor relish of mercyand favour; nor doth he in truth, from his very heart, understand the nature of mercy,nor what is an object thereof; but when he thanks God, he praises himself; when hepleads for mercy, he means his own merit; and all this is manifest from what dothfollow; for, saith he, "I am not as this Publican!" Thence clearly insinuating,that not the good, but the bad, should be rejected of the God of heaven: That notthe bad but the good; not the sinner, but the self- righteous, are the most properobjects of God's favour. The same thing is done by others in this our day: Favour,mercy, grace, and "God I thank thee," is in their mouths, but their ownstrength, sufficiency, free-will, and the like, they are the things they mean, byall such high and glorious expressions.

[SECOND JUSTICE.] But, secondly, If thy plea be not for mercy, but for justice, thento speak a little to that. Justice has measures and rules to go by; unto which measuresand rules, if thou comest not up, justice can do thee no good. Come then, O thoublind Pharisee, let us pass away a few minutes in some discourse about this. Thoudemandest justice, because God hath said, that the man that doth these things shalllive in and by them. And again, the doers of the law shall be justified; not in away of mercy, but in a way of justice. He shall live by them. But what hast thoudone, O blind Pharisee! What hast thou done, that thou art emboldened to venture,to stand and fall to the most perfect justice of God? Hast thou fulfilled the wholelaw, and not offended in one point? Hast thou purged thyself from the pollutionsand motions of sin that dwell in the flesh, and work in thy own members? Is the verybeing of sin rooted out of thy tabernacle? And art thou now as perfectly innocentas ever was Jesus Christ? Hast thou, by suffering the uttermost punishment that justicecould justly lay upon thee for thy sins, made fair and full satisfaction to God,according to the tenor of his law for thy transgressions? If thou hast done all thesethings, then thou mayest plead something, and yet but something for thyself in away of justice. Nay, in this I will assert nothing, but rather inquire:—What hastthou gained by all this thy righteousness? (we will now suppose what must not begranted) Was not this thy state when thou wast in thy first parents? Wast thou notinnocent, perfectly innocent and righteous? And if thou shouldest be so now, whathast thou gained thereby? Suppose that the man, that had forty years ago forty poundsof his own, and had spent it all since, should yet be able now to show his fortypounds again? What has he got thereby, or how much richer is he at last, than hewas, when he first set up for himself. Nay, doth not the blot of his ill living betwixthis first and his last, lie as a blemish upon him, unless he should redeem himselfalso by works of supererogation, from the scandal that justice may lay at his doorfor that?

But, I say, suppose, O Pharisee, this should be thy case, yet God is not bound togive thee in justice that eternal life, which by his grace he bestoweth upon those,that have redemption from sin, by the blood of his Son. In justice therefore, whenall comes to all, thou canst require no more than an endless life in an earthly paradise;for there thou wast set up at first; nor doth it appear from what hath been said,touching all that thou hast done or canst do, that thou deservedst a better place.

Did I say, that thou mayest require justly an endless life in an earthly paradise.Why? I must add to that saying, this proviso: If thou continuest in the law, andin the righteousness thereof, else not. But how dost thou know that thou shalt continuetherein? Thou hast no promise from God's mouth for that, nor is grace or strengthministered to mankind by the covenant that thou art under. So that still thou standestbound to thy good behaviour, and in the day that thou dost give the first, thoughnever so little a trip, or stumble in thy obedience, thou forfeitest thine interestin paradise, and in justice, as to any benefit there.

But alas, what need is there that we should thus talk of things, when it is manifest,that thou hast sinned, not only before thou wast a Pharisee, but when, after themost strictest sect of thy religion, thou livedst also a Pharisee; yea, and now inthe temple, in thy prayer there, thou showest thyself to be full of ignorance, pride,self-conceit, and horrible arrogancy, and desire of vain-glory, &c., which arenone of them the seat of fruits of righteousness, but the seat of the devil, andthe fruit of his dwelling, even at this time, in thy heart.

Could it ever have been imagined, that such audacious impudence could have put itselfforth in any mortal man, in his approach unto God by prayer, as has showed itselfin thee? "I am not as other men!" sayest thou; but is this the way to goto God in prayer? Is this the way for a mortal man, that is full of sin, that standsin need of mercy, and that must certainly perish without it, to come to God in prayer?The prayer of the upright is God's delight. But the upright man glorifies God's justice,by confessing to God the vileness and pollution of his state and condition: He glorifiesGod's mercy by acknowledging, that that, and that only, as communicated of God byChrist to sinners, can save and deliver from the curse of the law.

This, I say, is the sum of the prayer of the just and upright man (Job 1:8, 40:4,Acts 13:22, Psa 38, 51, 2 Sam 6:21,22), and not as thou most vain-gloriously vauntest,with thy, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are."

True, when a man is accused by his neighbours, by a brother, by an enemy, and thelike; if he be clear, and he may be so, as to what they shall lay to his charge,then let him vindicate, justify, and acquit himself, to the utmost that in justiceand truth he can; for his name, the preservation whereof is more to be chosen thansilver and gold; also his profession, yea, the name of God too, and religion, maynow lie at stake, by reason of such false accusations, and perhaps can by no means,as to this man, be recovered, and vindicated from reproach and scandal, but by hisjustifying of himself. Wherefore in such a work, a man serveth God, and saves religionfrom hurt; yea, as he that is a professor, and has his profession attended with ascandalous life, hurteth religion thereby: So he that has his profession attendedwith a good life, and shall suffer it notwithstanding, to lie under blame by falseaccusations, when it is in the power of his hand to justify himself, hurteth religionalso. But the case of the Pharisee is otherwise. He is not here a dealing with men,but God; not seeking to stand clear in the sight of the world, but in the sight ofheaven itself; and that too, not with respect to what men or angels, but with respectto what God and his law, could charge him with and justly lay at his door.

This therefore mainly altereth the case; for a man here to stand thus upon his points,it is death; for he affronteth God, he giveth him the lie, he reproveth the law,and in sum, accuseth it of bearing false witness against him; he doth this, I say,even by saying, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are"; forGod hath made none of this difference. The law condemneth all men as sinners, andtestifieth, that every imagination of the thought of the heart of the sons of menis only evil, and that continually. Wherefore they that do as the Pharisee did, towit, seek to justify themselves before God from the curse of the law, by their owngood doings, though they also, as the Pharisee did, seem to give God the thanks forall, yet do most horribly sin, even by their so doing, and shall receive a Pharisee'sreward at last. Wherefore, O thou Pharisee, it is a vain thing for thee either tothink of, or to ask for, at God's hand, either mercy or justice. Because mercy thoucanst not ask for, from sense of want of mercy, because thy righteousness, whichis by the law, hath utterly blinded thine eyes, and complimenting with God doth nothing.And as for justice, that can do thee no good, but the more just God is, and the moreby that he acteth towards thee, the more miserable and fearful will be thy condition,because of the deficiency of thy, so much by thee, esteemed righteousness.

[The Pharisee seeth no need of mercy, but thinketh himself righteous before God.]

What a deplorable condition then is a poor Pharisee in! For mercy he cannot pray,he cannot pray for it with all his heart; for he seeth, indeed, no need thereof.True, the Pharisee, though he was impudent enough, yet would not take all from God;he would still count, that there was due to him a tribute of thanks: "God, Ithank thee," saith he, but yet not a bit of this, for mercy; but for that hehad let him live, for I know not for what he did thank himself, till he had madehimself better than other men; but that betterment was a betterment in none otherjudgment than that of his own, and that was none other but such an one as was false.So then, the Pharisee is by this time quite out of doors; his righteousness is worthnothing, his prayer is worth nothing, his thanks to God are worth nothing; for thatwhat he had was scanty, and imperfect, and it was his pride that made him offer itto God for acceptance; nor could his fawning thanksgiving better his case, or makehis matter at all good before God.

But I'll warrant you, the Pharisee was so far off from thinking thus of himself,and of his righteousness, that he thought of nothing so much as of this, that hewas a happy man; yea, happier by far than other his fellow rationals. Yea, he plainlydeclares it when he saith, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are."

O what a fool's paradise was the heart of the Pharisee now in, while he stood inthe temple praying to God! "God, I thank thee," said he, for I am goodand holy, I am a righteous man; I have been full of good works; I am no extortioner,unjust, nor adulterer, no nor yet as this wretched Publican. I have kept myself strictlyto the rule of mine order, and my order is the most strict of all orders now in being:I fast, I pray, I give tithes of all that I possess. Yea, so forward am I to be areligious man; so ready have I been to listen after my duty, that I have asked bothof God and man the ordinances of judgment and justice; I take delight in approachingto God. What less now can be mine than the heavenly kingdom and glory?

Now the Pharisee, like Haman, saith in his heart, To whom would the king delightto do honour, more than to myself? Where is the man that so pleaseth God, and consequently,that in equity and reason should be beloved of God like me? Thus like the prodigal'sbrother, he pleadeth, saying, "Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neithertransgressed I at any time thy commandment." (Luke 15:29) O brave Pharisee!But go on in thine oration: "Nor yet as this Publican."

Poor wretch, quoth the Pharisee to the Publican, What comest thou for? Dost thinkthat such a sinner as thou art shall be heard of God? God heareth not sinners; butif any man be a worshipper of God as I am, as I thank God I am, him he heareth. Thou,for thy part, hast been a rebel all thy days: I abhor to come nigh thee, or to touchthy garments. Stand by thyself, come not near me, for I am more holy than thou. (Isa65:5)

Hold, stop there, go no further; fie Pharisee, fie; Dost thou know before whom thoustandest, to whom thou speakest, and of what the matter of thy silly oration is made?Thou art now before God, thou speakest now to God, and therefore in justice and honestythou shouldest make mention of his righteousness, not of thine; of his righteousness,and of his only.

I am sure Abraham, of whom thou sayest he is thy father, never had the face to doas thou hast done, though it is to be presumed he had more cause so to do, than thouhast, or canst have. Abraham had whereof to glory, but not before God; yea, he wascalled God's friend, and yet would not glory before him; but humbled himself, wasafraid, and trembled in himself, when he stood before him, acknowledging of himselfto be but dust and ashes. (Gen 18:27,30, Rom 4:2) But thou, as thou hadst quite forgot,that thou wast framed of that matter, and after the manner of other men, standestand pleadest thy goodness before him. Be ashamed Pharisee! Dost thou think, thatGod hath eyes of flesh, or that he seeth as man sees? Is not the secrets of thy heartopen unto him? Thinkest thou with thyself, that thou, with a few of thy defiled wayscanst cover thy rotten wall, that thou hast daubed with untempered mortar, and sohide the dirt thereof from his eyes: Or that these fine, smooth, and oily words,that come out of thy mouth, will make him forget that thy throat is an open sepulchre,and that thou within art full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness? Thy thus cleansingof the outside of the cup and platter, and thy garnishing of the sepulchres of therighteous, is nothing at all in God's eyes, but things that manifest, that thou artan hypocrite, and blind, because thou takest no notice of that which is within, whichyet is that, which is most abominable to God. For the fruit, alas, what is the fruitto the tree, or what are the streams to the fountain! Thy fountain is defiled; yea,a defiler, and so that which maketh thy whole self, with thy works unclean in God'ssight. But Pharisee, how comes it to pass, that the poor Publican is now such a motein thine eye, that thou canst not forbear, but must accuse him before the judgmentof God: for in that thou sayest, "that thou art not even as this Publican,"thou bringest in an accusation, a charge, a bill against him. What has he done? Hashe concealed any of thy righteousness, or has he secretly informed against thee thatthou art an hypocrite, and superstitious? I dare say, the poor wretch has neithermeddled nor made[16] with thee in these matters.

But what aileth the Pharisee? Doth the poor Publican stand to vex thee? Doth he touchthee with is dirty garments; or doth he annoy thee with his stinking breath? Dothhis posture of standing so like a man condemned offend thee? True, he now standethwith his hand held up at God's bar, he pleads guilty to all that is laid to his charge.

He cannot strut, vapour, and swagger as thou dost? but why offended at this? Oh buthe has been a naughty man! and I have been righteous, sayest thou. Well, Pharisee,well, his naughtiness shall not be laid to thy charge, if thou hast chosen none ofhis ways. But since thou wilt yet bear me down, that thou art righteous, shew now,even now, while thou standest before God with the Publican, some, though they bebut small, yea, though but very small fruits of thy righteousness. Let the Publicanalone, since he is speaking of his life before God. Or if thou canst not let himalone, yet do not speak against him; for thy so doing will but prove, that thou rememberestthe evil that the man has done unto thee; yea, and that thou bearest him a grudgefor it too, and that while you stand before God.

But Pharisee, the righteous man is a merciful man, and while he standeth praying,he forgiveth; yea, and also crieth to God that he will forgive him too. (Mark 11:25,26,Acts 7:60) Hitherto then thou hast shewed none of the fruits of thy righteousness.Pharisee, righteousness would teach thee to love this Publican, but thou showestthat thou hatest him. Love covereth the multitude of sins; but hatred and unfaithfulnessrevealeth secrets.

Pharisee, thou shouldest have remembered this thy brother in this his day of adversity,and shouldest have shewed, that thou hadst compassion to thy brother in this hisdeplorable condition; but thou, like the proud, the cruel, and arrogant man, hasttaken thy neighbour at the advantage, and that when he is even between the straits,and standing upon the very pinnacle of difficulty, betwixt the heavens and the hells,and hast done what thou couldest, what on thy part lay, to thrust him down to thedeep, saying, "I am not even as this Publican."

What cruelty can be greater; what rage more furious; and what spite and hatred moredamnable and implacable, than to follow, or take a man while he is asking of mercyat God's hands, and to put in a caveat[17] against his obtaining of it, by exclaimingagainst him that he is a sinner? The master of righteousness doth not so: "Donot think," saith he, "that I will accuse you to the Father." (John5:45) The scholars of righteousness do not so. "But as for me," said David,"when they [mine enemies] were sick, [and the Publican here was sick of themost malignant disease] my clothing was sackcloth, I humbled my soul with fasting;and my prayer [to wit, that I made for them] returned into mine own bosom. I behavedmyself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one thatmourneth for his mother." (Psa 35:13,14)

Pharisee, Dost thou see here how contrary thou art to righteous men? Now then, whereshall we find out one to parallel thee, but by finding out of him that is calledthe dragon; for he it is that accuseth poor sinners before God. (Zech 3, Rev 12)

"I am not as this Publican": Modesty should have commanded thee to havebit thy tongue as to this. What could the angels think, but that revenge was nowin thine heart, and but that thou comest up into the temple, rather to boast of thyselfand accuse thy neighbour, than to pray to the God of heaven: For what one petitionis there in all thy prayer, that gives the least intimation, that thou hast the knowledgeof God or thyself? Nay, what petition of any kind is there in thy vain-glorious orationfrom first to last? only an accusation drawn up, and that against one helpless andforlorn; against a poor man, because he is a sinner; drawn up, I say, against himby thee, who canst not make proof of thyself that thou art righteous: But come toproofs of righteousness, and there thou art wanting also. What though thy raimentis better than his, thy skin may be full as black: Yea, what if thy skin be whiterthan his, thy heart may be yet far blacker. Yea, it is so, for the truth hath spokenit; for within you are full of excess and all uncleanness. (Matt 23)

Pharisee, there are transgressions against the second table, and the Publican shallbe guilty of them: But there are sins also against the first table, and thou thyselfart guilty of them.

The Publican, in that he was an extortioner, unjust, and an adulterer, made it therebymanifest that he did not love his neighbour; and thou by making a God, a Saviour,a deliverer, of thy filthy righteousness, doth make it appear, that thou dost notlove thy God; for as he that taketh, or that derogateth from his neighbour in thatwhich is his neighbour's due, sinneth against his neighbour, so he that taketh orderogateth from God, sinneth against God.

Now then, though thou hast not, as thou dost imagine, played at that low game asto derogate from thy neighbour; yet thou hast played at that high game as to derogatefrom thy God; for thou hast robbed God of the glory of salvation; yea, declared,that as to that there is no trust to be put in him. "Lo, this is the man thatmade not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthenedhimself in his wickedness" or substance. (Psa 52:7)

What else means this great bundle of thy own righteousness, which thou hast broughtwith thee into the temple? yea, what means else thy commending of thyself becauseof that, and so thy implicit prayer, that thou for that mightest find acceptancewith God?

All this, what does it argue, I say, but thy diffidence of God? and that thou countestsalvation safer in thine own righteousness, than in the righteousness of God; andthat thy own love to, and care of thy own soul, is far greater, and so much better,than is the care and love of God. And is this to keep the first table; yea, the firstbranch of that table, which saith, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God?"For thy thus doing cannot stand with love to God.

How can that man say, I love God, who from his very heart shrinketh from trustingin him? Or, how can that man say, I would glorify God, who in his very heart refusethto stand and fall by his mercy?

Suppose a great man should bid all the poor of the parish to his house to dinner,and should moreover send by the mouth of his servant, saying, My lord hath killedhis fatlings, hath furnished his table, and prepared his wine, nor is there wantof anything, come to the banquet: Would it not be counted as a high affront to, greatcontempt of, and much distrust in the goodness of the man of the house, if some ofthese guests should take with them, out of their own poor store, some of their mouldycrusts, and carry them with them, lay them on their trenchers upon the table beforethe lord of the feast, and the rest of his guests, out of fear that he yet wouldnot provide sufficiently for those he had bidden to his dinner that he made?

Why Pharisee, this is thy very case, Thou hast been called to a banquet, even tothe banquet of God's grace, and thou hast been disposed to go; but behold, thou hathnot believed, that he would of his own cost make thee a feast, when thou comest;wherefore of thy own store thou hast brought with thee, and hast laid upon thy trencher[18] on his table, thy mouldy and hoary crusts in the presence of the angels, andof this poor Publican; yea, and hast vauntingly said upon the whole, "God, Ithank thee, that I am not as other men are." I am no such NEEDY man. (Luke 15:7)"I am no extortioner, nor unjust, no adulterer, nor even as this Publican."I am come indeed to thy feast, for of civility I could do no less; but for thy dainties,I need them not, I have of such things enough of mine own.[19] (Luke 18:9) I thankthee therefore for thy offer of kindness, but I am not as those that have, and standin need thereof, "nor yet as this Publican." And thus feeding upon thineown fare, or by making a composition of his and thine together, thou condemnest God,thou countest him insufficient or unfaithful; that is, either one that hath not enough,or having it, will not bestow it upon the poor and needy, and therefore, of merepretence thou goest to his banquet, but yet trustest to thine own, and to that only.

This is to break the first table; and so to make thyself a sinner of the highestform: for the sins against the first table, are sins of an higher nature than arethe sins against the second. True, the sins of the second table are also sins againstGod, because they are sins against the commandments of God: but the sins that areagainst the first table, are sins not only against the command, but against the verylove, strength, holiness, and faithfulness of God. And herein stands thy condition;thou hast not, thou sayest thou hast not done injury to thy neighbour; but what ofthat, IF THOU HAST REPROACHED GOD THY MAKER? This is, as if a man should be in withhis fellow- servant, and out with his master.

Pharisee, I will assure thee, thou art besides the saddle;[20] thy state is not good,thy righteousness is so far off from doing of thee any good, that it maketh theeto be a greater sinner than if thou hadst none at all, because it fighteth more immediatelyagainst the mercy, the love, the grace, and goodness of God, than the sins of othersinners, as to degree, does.

And as they are more odious and abominable in the sight of God, as they needs must,if what is said be true, as it is; so they are more dangerous to the life and soulof man: for that they always appear unto him in whom they dwell, and to him thattrusteth in them, not to be sins and transgressions, but virtues and excellent things.Not things that set a man further off, but the things, that bring a man nearer toGod, than those that want them are or can be. This therefore is the dangerous estateof those that go about to establish their own righteousness, that neither have, norcan, while they are so doing, submit themselves to the righteousness of God. (Rom10:3) It is far more easy to persuade a poor wretch, whose life is debauched, andwhose sins are written in his forehead, to submit to the righteousness of God, thatis, to the righteousness that is of God's providing and giving; than it is to persuadea self- righteous man to do it. For the profane are sooner convinced, as of the necessityof righteousness to save him: so that he has none of his own to do him that pleasure,and therefore most gladly he accepteth of, and submitteth himself to the help andhealth and salvation that is in the righteousness and obedience of another man.

And upon this account it is, that Christ saith, "The Publicans and the Harlots"enter into the kingdom of heaven before the Scribes and Pharisees. (Matt 21:31) PoorPharisee, what a loss art thou at? thou art not only a sinner, but a sinner of thehighest

form. Not a sinner by such sins (by such sins chiefly) as the second table doth makemanifest; but a sinner chiefly in that way, as no self-righteous man did ever dreamof. For when the righteous man or Pharisee shall hear that he is a sinner, he replieth,"I am not as other men are."

And because the common and more ordinary description of sin, is the transgressionagainst the second table, he presently replieth again, I am not as this Publicanis; and so shrowdeth himself under his own lame endeavours, and ragged, partial patchesof moral or civil righteousness. Wherefore when he heareth, that his righteousnessis condemned, slighted, and accounted nothing worth, then he fretteth, and fumeth,and chafeth and would kill the man, that so slighteth and disdaineth his goodly righteousness;but Christ and the true gospel-teacher still goeth on, and condemneth all his righteousnessto be as menstruous rags, an abomination to God, and nothing but loss and dung.

Now menstruous rags, things that are an abomination, and dung, are not fit matterto make a garment of to wear, when I come to God for life, much less to be made myfriend, my advocate, my mediator and spokesman, when I stand betwixt heaven and hell,to plead for me that I might be saved. (Isa 64:6, Luke 16:15, Phil 3:6-8)

Perhaps some will blame me, and count me also worthy thereof, because I do not distinguishbetwixt the matter and the manner of the Pharisee's righteousness. And let them condemnme still; for, saving the holy law, which is neither the matter nor manner of thePharisee's righteousness, but rather the rules, if he will live thereby, up to whichhe should completely come in every thing that he doth. And I say again, that thewhole of the Pharisee's righteousness is sinful, though not with and to me, yet withand before the God of heaven. Sinful I say it is, and abominable, both in itself,and also in its effects.

[The Pharisee's whole righteousness sinful.]

First, In itself; for that it is imperfect, scanty, and short of the rule by whichrighteousness is enjoined, and EVEN with which every act should be: For shortnesshere, even every shortness in these duties, is sin, and sinful weakness; whereforethe curse taketh hold of the man for coming short, but that it could not justly do,if he coming short was not his sin: Cursed is every one that doeth not, and thatcontinueth not to do all things written in the law. (Deu 27:26, Gal 3:10)

Second, It is sinful, because it is wrought by sinful flesh; for all legal righteousnessis a work of the flesh. (Rom 4:1, Phil 3:3-8)

A work, I say, of the flesh; even of that flesh, who, or which also committeth thegreatest enormities. For the flesh is but one, though its workings are divers: Sometimesin a way most notoriously sensual and devilish, causing the soul to wallow in wickednessas the sow doth to wallow in the mire.

But these are not all the works of the flesh; the flesh sometimes will attempt tobe righteous, and set upon doing actions, that in their perfection would be veryglorious and beautiful to behold. But because the law is only commanding words, andyieldeth no help to the man that attempts to perform it; and because the flesh isweak, and cannot do of itself that which it beginneth to meddle with, therefore thismost glorious work of the flesh faileth.

But, I say, as it is a work of the flesh, it cannot be good, forasmuch as the handthat worketh it, is defiled with sin: For in a good man, one spiritually good, "thatis in his flesh there dwells no good thing," but consequently that which isbad; how then can the flesh of a carnal, graceless man, and such a one is every Phariseeand self-righteous man in the world, produce, though it joineth itself to the law,to the righteous law of God, that which is good in his sight.

If any shall think that I pinch so hardly, because I call man's righteousness whichis of the law, of the righteous law of God, flesh; let them consider that which follows;to wit, That though man by sin, is said to be dead in sin and trespasses, yet notso dead, but that he can act still in his own sphere. That is, to do, and chooseto do, either that which by all men is counted base, or that which by some is countedgood, though he is not, nor can all the world make him capable of doing anythingthat may please his God.

Man by nature, as dead as he is, can, and that with the will of his flesh, will hisown salvation. Man by nature can, and that by the power of the flesh, pursue andfollow after his own salvation; but then he wills it, and pursues or follows afterit, not in God's way, but his own. Not by faith in Christ, but by the law of Moses,see Romans 10:16, 31, 10:3-7.

Wherefore it is no error to say, that a man naturally has Will, and a Power to pursuehis will, and that as to his salvation. But it is a damnable error to say, that hehath will and power to pursue it, and that in God's way. For then we must hold thatthe mysteries of the gospel are natural; for that natural men, or men by nature,may apprehend and know them; yea, and know them to be the only means by which theymust obtain eternal life: for the understanding must act before the will; yea, aman must approve of the way to life by Jesus Christ, before his mind will budge,or stir, or move that way: "But the natural man receiveth not the things ofthe Spirit of God; [of the gospel] for they are foolishness unto him, neither canhe know them because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor 2:14)

He receiveth not these things; that is, his mind and will lie cross unto them, forhe counts them foolishness; nor can all the natural wisdom in the world, cause thathis will should fall in with them, because it cannot discern them.

Nature discerneth the law, and the righteousness thereof; yea, it discerneth it,and approveth thereof; that is, that the righteousness of it is the best and onlyway to life, and therefore the natural will and power of the flesh, as here you seein the Pharisee, do steer their course by that for eternal life. (1 Cor 2:14)

The righteousness of the law therefore is a work of the flesh, a work of sinful flesh,and therefore must needs be as filth and dung, and abominable as to that for whichthis man hath produced it, and presented it in the temple before God.

Nor is the Pharisee alone entangled in this mischief; many souls are by these worksof the flesh flattered, as also the Pharisee was, into an opinion, that their stateis good, when there is nothing in it. the most that their conversion amounteth to,is, the Publican is become a Pharisee; the open sinner is become a self-righteousman. Of the black side of the flesh he hath had enough, now therefore with the whiteside of the flesh he will recreate himself. And now, most wicked must he needs be,that questioneth the goodness of the state of such a man. He, of a drunkard, a swearer,an unclean person, a sabbath-breaker, a liar, and the like, is become reformed; alover of righteousness, a strict observer, doer, and trader in the formalities ofthe law, and a herder with men of his complexion. And now he is become a great exclaimeragainst sin and sinners, defying to acquaint with those that once were his companions,saying, "I am not even as this Publican."

To turn therefore from the flesh to the flesh, from sin to man's righteousness: yea,to rejoice in confidence, that thy state is better than is that of the Publican:I mean, better in the eyes of divine justice, and in the judgment of the law; andyet to be found by the law, not in the spirit, but in the flesh; not in Christ, butunder the law; not in a state of salvation, but of damnation, is common among men:For they, and they only, are the right men, "which worship God in the Spirit,and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." Where byflesh, must not be meant the horrible transgressions against the law, though theyare also called the works of the flesh (Gal 5:19), for they minister no occasionunto men, to have confidence in them towards God: but that is that, which is insinuatedby Paul, where he saith, he had "no confidence in the flesh," though hemight have had it, as he said, "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh.If any other man," saith he, "thinketh that he hath whereof he might trustin the flesh, I more" (Phil 3:3,4): And then he repeats a two-fold privilegethat he had by the flesh. First, That he was one of the seed of Abraham, and of thetribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, &c.

Secondly, That he had fallen in with the strictest men of that religion, which wassuch after the flesh; to wit, to be a Pharisee, and was the son of a Pharisee, hadmuch fleshly zeal for God, and was "touching the righteousness which is in thelaw blameless." (Phil 3:6)

But, I say still, there is nothing but flesh, flesh; fleshly privileges, and fleshlyrighteousness, and so consequently a fleshly confidence, and trust for heaven. Thisis manifest for these very things, when the man had his eyes enlightened, he countedall but loss and dung, that he might be found in Christ, not having his own righteousnesswhich is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousnesswhich is of God by faith.

[Godly men are afraid of their own righteousness.]

And this leads me to another thing, and that is, to tell thee, O thou blind Phariseethat thou canst not be in a safe condition, because thou hast thy confidence in theflesh, that is, in the righteousness of the flesh. For "all flesh is grass,and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field": and the fleshand the glory of that being as weak as the grass, which today is, and tomorrow iscast into the oven, is but a weak business for a man to venture his eternal salvationupon. Wherefore, as I also hinted before, the godly-wise have been afraid to be foundin their righteousness, I mean their own personal righteousness, though that is farbetter, than can be the righteousness of any carnal man: for the godly man's righteousnessis wrought in the spirit and faith of Christ; but the ungodly man's righteousnessis of the flesh, and of the law. Yet I say, this godly man is afraid to stand byhis righteousness before the tribunal of God, as is manifest in these following particulars.

First, He sees sin in his righteousness, for so the prophet intimates, when he saith,"All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isa 64:6): but there is nothingcan make one's righteousness filthy but sin. It is not the poor, the low, the mean,the sickly, the beggarly state of a man, nor yet his being hated of devils, persecutedof men, broken under necessities, reproaches, distresses, or any kind of troublesof this nature, that can make the godly man's righteousness filthy; nothing but SINcan do it, and that can, doth, hath, and will do it. Nor can any man, be he who hewill, and though he watches, prays, strives, denies himself, and puts his body underwhat chastisement or hardships he can; yea, though he also shall get his spirit andsoul hoisted up to the highest peg, or pin of sanctity, and holy contemplation, andso his lusts to the greatest degree of mortification; but sin will be with him inthe best of his performances. With him, I say, to pollute and defile his duties,and to make his righteousness specked and spotted, filthy and menstruous.

I will give you two or three instances for this. 1. Nehemiah was a man, in his day,one that was zealous, very zealous for God, for his house, for his people, and forhis ways; and so continued, and that from first to last, as they may see that pleaseto read the relation of his action; yet when he comes seriously to be concerned withGod about his duties, he relinquisheth a standing by them. True, he mentioneth themto God, but confesseth that there is imperfections in them, and prayeth that Godwill not wipe them away: "Wipe not out my good deeds, O my God, that I havedone for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof." And again, "Rememberme, O my God, concerning this," also another good deed, "and spare me accordingto the greatness of thy mercy: - Remember me, O my God, for good." (Neh 13)

I do not think that by these prayers he pleadeth for an acceptation of his person,as touching justification from the curse of the law, as the poor blind Pharisee doth;but that God would accept of his service, as he was a son, and not deny to give hima reward of grace for what he had done, since he was pleased to declare in his testament,that he would reward the labour of love of his saints with an exceeding weight ofglory; and therefore prayeth, that God would not wipe away his good deeds, but rememberhim for good, according to the greatness of his mercy.

2. A second instance is that of David, where he saith, "Enter not into judgmentwith thy servant": O Lord; "for in thy sight shall no man living be justified."(Psa 143:2) David, as I also have hinted before is said to be a man after God's ownheart (Acts 13:22), and as here by the Spirit he acknowledges him for his servant;yet behold how he shrinketh, how he draweth back, how he prayeth, and petitioneth,that God would vouchsafe so much as not to enter into judgment with him. Lord, saithhe, if thou enterest into judgment with me, I die, because I shall be condemned;for in thy sight I cannot be justified; to wit, by my own good deeds. Lord, at thebeginning of thy dealing with me, by thy law and my works I die, therefore do notso much as enter into judgment with me, O Lord. Nor is this my case only, but itis the condition of all the world: "For in thy sight shall NO man living bejustified."

3. A third instance is, that general conclusion of the apostle, "But that noman is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shalllive by faith." (Gal 3:11) By this saying of Paul, as he taketh up the sentenceof the prophet Habakkuk (2:4), so he taketh up this sentence, yea, and the personaljustice of David also. No man, saith he, is justified by the law in the sight ofGod; no, no just man, no holy man, not the strictest and most righteous man. Butwhy not? why? Because the just shall live by faith.

The just man, therefore, must die, if he has not faith in another righteousness,than that which is of the law; called his own: I say, he must die, if he has noneother righteousness than that which is his own by the law.[21] Thus also Paul confessesof himself: I, saith he, know nothing by myself, either before conversion or after;that is, I knew not, that I did anything before conversion, either against the law,or against my conscience; for I was then, touching the righteousness which is ofthe law, blameless. Also, since my conversion, I know nothing by myself; for "Ihave lived in all good conscience before God unto this day." (Acts 23:1)

A great saying, I promise you. I doubt this is more than our glorious justitiariescan say, except they say and lie. Well, but yet, "I am not hereby justified."(1 Cor 4:4, Phil 3:7) Nor will I dare to venture the eternal salvation of my soulupon mine own justice, "but he that judgeth me is the Lord." That is, thoughI, through my dimsightedness, cannot see the imperfections of my righteousness; yetthe Lord, who is my judge, and before whose tribunal I must shortly stand, can andwill; and if in his sight there shall be found no more but one spot in my righteousness,I must, if I plead my righteousness, fall for that.

Second, That the best of men are afraid to stand before God's tribunal, there tobe judged by the law as to life and death, according to the sufficiency or non-sufficiencyof their righteousness, is evident, because by casting away their own, in this matter,they make all the means they can for this; that is, that his mercy, by an act ofgrace, be made over to them, and that they in it may stand before God to be judged.

Hence David cries out so often, "Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness."(Psa 5:8) "Deliver me in thy righteousness." (Psa 31:1) "Judge me,O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness." (Psa 35:24) "Quicken mein thy righteousness." (Psa 119:40) "O Lord," says he, "giveear to my supplications; in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.And enter not into judgment with thy servant": O Lord: "For in thy sightshall no man living be justified." (Psa 143:1,2) And David, What if God doththus? Why then, saith he, "My tongue shall speak of thy righteousness."(Psa 35:28) "My tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness." (Psa 51:14)"My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness." Yea, "I will make mentionof thy righteousness, even of thine only." (Psa 71:15,16)

Daniel also, when he comes to plead for himself and his people, he first casts awayhis and their righteousness, saying, "For we do not present out supplicationsbefore thee for our righteousnesses." And pleads God's righteousness, and thathe might have a share and interest in that, saying, "O Lord, righteousness belongethunto thee" (9:7,18), to wit, that righteousness, for the sake of which, mercyand forgiveness, and so heaven and happiness is extended to us.

Righteousness belongeth to thee, and is thine, as nearly as sin, shame, and confusion,is ours, and belongeth to us, which righteousness he afterwards calleth "TheLord," saying, do it, for the Lord's sake; read the 16, 17, verses of the ninthof Daniel. "O Lord," saith he, "according to all thy righteousness,I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem,thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalemand thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O ourGod, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face toshine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake." For the sakeof the Lord Jesus Christ; for on him Daniel now had his eye, and through him to theFather he made his supplication; yea, and the answer was according to his prayer,to wit, that God would have mercy on Jerusalem, and that he would in his time sendthe Lord, the Messias, to bring them in everlasting righteousness for them.

Paul also, as I have hinted before, disclaims his own righteousness, and layeth fasthold on the righteousness of God: seeking to be found in that, or in him that hasit, not having his own righteousness; for he knew that when the rain descends, thewinds blow, and the floods come down falls on all men, but they that have that righteousness.(Phil 3)

Now the earnest desire of the righteous to be found in God's righteousness, arisethfrom strong conviction of the imperfections of their own, and of good knowledge thatwas given them of the terror that will attend men at the day of the fiery trial;to wit, the day of judgment. For although men can now flatter themselves into a fool'sparadise, and persuade themselves that all shall be well with them then, for thesake of their own silly and vain-glorious performances; yet when the day comes thatshall burn like an oven, and when all that have done wickedly shall be as stubble,and so will all appear to be that are not found in Christ, then will their righteousnessvanish like smoke, or be like fuel for that burning flame. And hence the righteousnessthat the godly seek to be found in, is called the name of the Lord, a strong tower,a rock, a shield, a fortress, a buckler, a rock of defence, UNTO which they resort,and INTO which they run and are safe.

The godly wise therefore do not, as this Pharisee, bring their own righteousnessinto the temple, and there buoy up themselves and spirits by that into a conceit,that for the sake of that, God will be merciful and good unto them: but throwingaway their own, they make to God for his, because they certainly know, even by theword of God, that in the judgment none can stand the trial, but those that are foundin the righteousness of God.

Third, That the best of men are afraid to stand before God's tribunal by the law,there to be judged to life and death, according to the sufficiency or non-sufficiencyof their righteousness, is evident: for they know, that it is a vain thing to seekby acts of righteousness to make themselves righteous men, as is the way of all themthat seek to be justified by the deeds of the law.

And herein lieth the great difference between the Pharisee and the true Christianman. The Pharisee thinks, by acts of righteousness he shall make himself a righteousman, therefore he cometh into the presence of God well furnished, as he thinks, withhis negative and positive righteousness.

Grace suffereth not a man to boast it before God, whatever he saith before me: "Hissoul which is lifted up, is not upright in him" (Hab 2:4): And better is thepoor in spirit, than the proud in spirit. The Pharisee was a very proud man, a proud,ignorant man, proud of his own righteousness, and ignorant of God's: for had he not,he could not, as he did, have so condemned the Publican, and justified himself.

[The Pharisee ignorant that he must be righteous before he can do righteousness.]

And I say again, that all this pride and vain-glorious shew of the Pharisee, didarise from his not being acquainted with this; that a man must be good, before hecan do good; he must be righteous, before he can do righteousness. This is evidentfrom Paul, who insinuateth this as the reason, why "none do good," evenbecause There is none that is righteous, no, not one. "There is none righteous,"saith he; and then follows, "There is none that doeth good." (Rom 3:10-12)For it is not possible for a man, that is not first made righteous by the God ofheaven, to do anything that in a proper, in a law, or in a gospel-sense may be calledrighteousness. Meddle with righteous things he may; attempt to make himself a righteousman, by his so meddling with them, he may; but work righteousness, and so by suchworks of righteousness, make himself a righteous man, he cannot.

The righteousness of a carnal man, is indeed by God called righteousness; but itmust be understood, as spoken in the dialect of the world; or with reference to theworld's matters. The world indeed calls it righteousness; and it will do no harm,if it bear that term with reference to worldly matters. Hence worldly civilians arecalled good and righteous men, and so, such as Christ, under that notion, neitherdied for, nor giveth his grace unto. (Rom 5:7,8) But we are not now discoursing aboutany other righteousness, than that which is so accounted either in a law, or in agospel-sense; and therefore let us a little more touch upon that.

A man then must be righteous in a law-sense, before he can do acts of righteousness,I mean that are such, in a gospel-sense. Hence first, you have true gospel-righteousnessmade the fruit of a second birth. "If ye know that he [Christ] is righteous,ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him." (1 John 2:29)Not born of him by virtue of his own righteous actions, but born of him by virtueof Christ's mighty working with his word upon the soul; who afterwards, from a principleof life, acteth and worketh righteousness.

And he saith again, "Little children, let no man deceive you, he that doethrighteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." (1 John 3:7) Upon thisscripture, I will a little comment, for the proof of what is urged before; namely,that a man must be righteous in a law-sense, before he can do such things that maybe called acts of righteousness in a gospel-sense. And for this, this scripture,ministereth to us two things to be considered by us.

The first is, that he that doeth righteousness is righteous.

The second is, that he that doeth righteousness is righteous, as Christ is righteous.

First, He that doeth righteousness; that is, righteousness which the gospel callethso, is righteous; that is, precedent to, or before he doth that righteousness. Forhe doth not say, he shall make his person righteous by acts of righteousness thathe shall do; for then an evil tree may bear good fruit: yea, and may make itselfgood by doing so: But he saith, he that doeth righteousness is righteous; as he saith,he that doeth righteousness IS born of him.

So then, a man must be righteous before he can do righteousness, before he can dorighteousness in a gospel-sense.

Second, Our second thing then is to inquire, with what righteousness a man must berighteous, before he can do that which in a gospel-sense is called righteousness?

And first, I answer, He must be righteous in a law-sense; that is, he must be righteousin the judgment of the law. This is evident, because he saith, he that doeth righteousnessis righteous as he is righteous. That is, in a law-sense; for Christ in no senseis righteous in the judgment of charity only; but in his meanest acts, if it be lawfulto make such comparison, he was righteous in a law-sense, or in the judgment of thelaw. Now the apostle saith, "That he that doeth righteousness IS righteous,as HE is righteous." They are the words of God, and therefore I cannot err inquoting of them, though I may not so fully, as I would, make the glory of them shinein speaking to them.

But what righteousness is that, with which a man must stand righteous in the judgmentof the law, before he shall or can be found to do acts of righteousness, that bythe gospel are so called? I answer.

First, It is none of his own which is of the law, you may be sure; for he hath thisrighteousness before he doeth any that can be called his own. "He that doethrighteousness is righteous" already, precedent to, or before he doth that righteousness;yea, he is righteous before, even as HE is righteous.

Second, It cannot be his own which is of the gospel; that is, that which flowethfrom a principle of grace in the soul: for he is righteous before he doeth this righteousness.He that doeth righteousness, IS righteous. He doth not say he that hath done it,but he that doeth it; respecting the act while it is in doing, he is righteous. Heis righteous even then, when he is a doing of the very first act of righteousness;but an act, while it is in doing, cannot, until it is done, be called an act of righteousness;yet, saith the text, "He is righteous."

But again, if an act, while it is in doing, cannot be called an act of righteousness;to be sure, it cannot have such influences as to make the actor righteous; to makehim righteous, as the Son of God is righteous, and yet the righteousness with whichthis doer is made righteous, and that before he doeth righteousness, is such; forso saith the text, that makes him righteous as he is righteous.

Besides, it cannot be his own, which is gospel-righteousness, flowing from a principleof grace in the soul; for that in its greatest perfection in us, while we live inthis world, is accompanied with some imperfections; to wit, our faith, love, andwhole course of holiness is wanting, or hath something lacking in it. They neitherare apart, nor when put all together, perfect, as to the degree, the uttermost degreeof perfection.

But the righteousness under consideration, with which the man, in that of John, ismade righteous, is a perfect righteousness; not only with respect to the nature ofit, as a penny is as perfect silver as a shilling; nor yet with respect to a comparativedegree; for so a shilling arriveth more toward the perfection of the number twenty,than doth a two-penny or a three-penny piece: but it is a righteousness so perfect,that nothing can be added to it, nor can any thing be taken from it: for so implieththe words of the text, "he is righteous, as Christ is righteous." Yea,thus righteous before, and in order to his doing of righteousness. And in this heis like unto the Son of God, who was also righteous before he did acts of righteousnessreferring to a law of commandment: wherefore it is said, that as he is, so are wein this world. As he is or was righteous, before he did acts of righteousness amongmen by a law, so are HIS righteous, before they act righteousness among men by alaw. "He that doth righteousness is righteous, as HE is righteous."

Christ was righteous, before he did righteousness, with a two- fold righteousness.He had a righteousness as he was God; his godhead was perfectly righteous; yea, itwas righteousness itself. His human nature was perfectly righteous, it was naturallyspotless and undefiled. Thus his person was righteous, and so qualified to do thatrighteousness, that because he was born of a woman, and made under the law, he wasbound by the law to perform.

Now, as he is, so are we: not by way of natural righteousness, but by way of resemblancethereunto. Had Christ, in order to his working of righteousness, a two-fold righteousnessinherent in himself, the Christian, in order to his working of righteousness, hathbelonging to him a two-fold righteousness. Did Christ's two-fold righteousness qualifyhim for that work of righteousness, that was of God designed for him to do? Why theChristian's two-fold righteousness doth qualify him for that work of righteousness,that God hath ordained, that he should do and walk in this world.

But you may ask, what is that righteousness, with which a Christian is made righteousbefore he doth righteousness?

I answer, It is a two-fold righteousness.

I. It is a righteousness put upon him.

II. It is a righteousness put into him. I. For the first, It is righteousness putupon him, with which also he is clothed as with a coat or mantle (Rom 3:22), andthis is called the robe of righteousness; and this is called the garments of salvation.(Isa 61:10)[22] This righteousness is none other but the obedience of Christ; thewhich he performed in the days of his flesh, and can properly be called no man'srighteousness, but the righteousness of Christ; because no man had a hand therein,but he completed it himself. And hence it is said, That "by the obedience ofone shall many be made righteous." (Rom 5:19) By the obedience of one, of oneman Jesus Christ, as you have it in verse 15 for he came down into the world to thisvery end; that is, to make a generation righteous, not by making of them laws, andprescribing unto them rules: for this was the work of Moses, who said, "Andit shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments beforethe Lord our God, as he hath commanded us." (Deu 6:25, 24:13) Nor yet by takingaway by his grace the imperfections of their righteousness, and so making of thatperfect by additions of his own; but he makes them righteous by his obedience; notin them, but for them, while he personally subjected himself to his Father's lawon our behalf, that he might have a righteousness to bestow upon us. And hence weare said to be made righteous, while we work not; and to be justified while ungodly(Rom 4:5), which can be done by no other righteousness than that, which is the righteousnessof Christ by performance, the righteousness of God by donation, and our righteousnessby imputation. For, I say, the person that wrought this righteousness for us, isChrist Jesus; the person that giveth it to us, is the Father; who hath made Christto be unto us righteousness, and hath given him to us for this very end, that wemight be made the righteousness of God in him (1 Cor 1:30, 2 Cor 5:21), And henceit is so often said, One shall say, surely in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.And again, "In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shallglory." "This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousnessis of me, saith the Lord." (Isa 45:24,25, 54:17)

This righteousness is that which justifieth, and which secureth the soul from thecurse of the law; by hiding, through its perfection, all the sins and imperfectionsof the soul. Hence it follows, in that fourth of the Romans, "Even as Davidalso describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousnesswithout works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whosesins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."

And this it doth, even while the person that by grace is made a partaker, is withoutgood works, and so ungodly. This is the righteousness of Christ, Christ's personalperformances, which he did when he was in this world; that is that, by which thesoul while naked, is covered, and so hid as to its nakedness, from the divine sentenceof the law; "I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness." (Eze16:8)

Now this obediential righteousness of Christ, consisteth of two parts. 1. In a doingof that which the law commanded us to do. 2. In a paying that price for the transgressionthereof, which justice hath said, shall be required at the hand of man; and thatis the cursed death. In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die the death;to wit, the death that comes by the curse of the law. So then, Christ having broughtin that part of obedience for us, which consisteth in a doing of such obedientialacts of righteousness which the law commands; he addeth thereto the spilling of hisblood, to be the price of our redemption from that cursed death, that by sin we hadbrought upon our bodies and souls. And thus are the Christians made perfectly righteous;they have the whole obedience of Christ made over to them; to wit, that obediencethat standeth in doing the law, and that obedience that standeth in paying of a pricefor our transgressions. So then, Doth the law call for righteousness? Here it is.Doth the law call for satisfaction for our sins? Here it is. And what can the lawsay any more to the sinner but that which is good, when he findeth in the personalobedience of Christ for him, that which answereth to what it can command, that whichit can demand of us.

Herein then standeth a Christian's safety, not in a bundle of actions of his own,but in a righteousness which cometh to him by grace and gift; for this righteousnessis such as comes by gift, by the gift of God. Hence it is called the gift of righteousness,the gift by grace, the gift of righteousness by grace, which is the righteousnessof one, to wit, the obedience of Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:15-19)

And this is the righteousness by which, he that doth righteousness, is righteousas HE is righteous; because it is the very self-same righteousness, that the Sonof God hath accomplished by himself. Nor has he any other or more excellent righteousness,of which the law taketh notice, or that it requireth, than this. For as for the righteousnessof his godhead, the law is not concerned with that; for as he is such, the law ishis creature, and servant, and may not meddle with him.

The righteousness also of his human nature, the law hath nothing to do with that;for that is the workmanship of God, and is as good, as pure, as holy and undefiled,as is the law itself. All then that the law hath to do with, is to exact completeobedience of him that is made under it, and a due satisfaction for the breach thereof,the which, if it hath, then Moses is content.

Now, this is the righteousness, with which the Christian, as to justification, ismade righteous; to wit, a righteousness, that is neither essential to his godhead,nor to his manhood; but such as standeth in that glorious person, who was such, hisobedience to the law. Which righteousness himself had, with reference to himself,no need of at all, for his godhead; yea, his manhood was perfectly righteous withoutit. This righteousness therefore was there, and there only, necessary, where Christwas to be considered as God's servant and our surety, to bring to God Jacob again,and to restore the preserved of Israel. For though Christ was a Son, yet he becamea servant to do, not for himself, for he had no need, but for us, the whole law,and so bring in everlasting righteousness for us.

And hence it is said, that Christ did what he did for us: He became the end of thelaw for righteousness for us; he suffered for us (1 Peter 2:21); he died for us (1Thess 5:10); he laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16), and he gave himself forus. (Gal 1:4) The righteousness then that Christ did fulfil, when he was in the world,was not for himself simply considered, nor for himself personally considered, forhe had no need thereof; but it was for the elect, the members of his body.

Christ then did not fulfil the law for himself, for he had no need thereof. Christagain did fulfil the law for himself, for he had need of the righteousness thereof;he had need thereof for the covering of his body, and the several members thereof;for they, in a good sense, are himself, members of his body, of his flesh, and ofhis bones; and he owns them as parts of himself in many places of the holy scripture.(Eph 5:30, Acts 9:4,5, Matt 25:45, 10:40, Mark 9:37, Luke 10:16, 1 Cor 12:12,27)This righteousness then, even the whole of what Christ did in answer to the law,it was for his, and God hath put it upon them, and they are righteous in it, evenrighteous as he is righteous. And this they have before they do acts of righteousness.

II. There is righteousness put into them, before they act righteous things. A righteousness,I say, put into them; or I had rather that you should call it a principle of righteousness;for it is a principle of life to righteousness. Before man's conversion, there isin him a principle of death by sin; but when he is converted to Christ, there isput into him a principle of righteousness, that he may bring forth fruit unto God.(Rom 7:4-6)

Hence they are said to be quickened, to be made alive, to be risen from death tolife, to have the Spirit of God dwelling in them; not only to make their souls alive,but to quicken their mortal bodies to that which is good. (Rom 8:11)

Here, as I hinted before, they that do righteousness are said to be born of him,that is, antecedent to their doing of righteousness (1 John 2:29), "born ofhim," that is, made alive with new spiritual and heavenly life. Wherefore theexhortation to them is, "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousnessunto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, andyour members as instruments of righteousness unto God." (Rom 6:13)

Now this principle must also be in men, before they can do that which is spirituallyand gospelly good: For whatever seeming good thing any man doth, before he has bestowedupon him this heavenly principle from God, it is accounted nothing, it is accountedsin and abomination in the sight of God; for an evil tree cannot bring forth goodfruit: Men do not gather grapes of thorns; neither of a bramble gather they figs.Either make the tree good and his fruit good, or the tree evil and his fruit evil.(Luke 6:43-45) It is not the fruit that makes the tree, but the tree that makes thefruit. A man must be good, before he can do good, and evil before he can do evil.

They be not righteous actions that make a righteous man; nor be they evil actionsthat make a wicked man: for a tree must be a sweeting tree before it yield sweetings;[23]and a crab tree before it bring forth crabs.[24]

This is that which is asserted by the Son of God himself; and it lieth so level withreason and the nature of things, that it cannot be contradicted. (Matt 7:16-18) "Agood man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good;and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that whichis evil." (Luke 6:45) But this, notwithstanding all that can be said, seemethvery strange to the carnal world; for they will not be otherwise persuaded, but thatthey be good deeds that make good men, and evil ones that make evil men: And so bysuch dotish apprehensions do what in them lieth to fortify their hearts with themists of darkness against the clear shining of the word, and conviction of the truth.

And thus it was from the beginning: Abel did his first services to God from thisprinciple of righteousness; but Cain would have been made righteous by his deed;but his deed not flowing from the same root of goodness, as did Abel's, notwithstandinghe did it with the very best he had, is yet called evil: For he wanted, I say, theprinciples, to wit, of grace and faith, without which no action can be counted goodin a gospel sense.

These two things then, that man must have that will do righteousness. He must haveput upon him the perfect righteousness of Christ; and he must have dwelling in him,as a fruit of the new birth, a principle of righteousness. Then indeed he is a treeof righteousness, and God is like to be glorified in, and by him; but this the Phariseewas utterly ignorant of, and at the remotest distance from it.

[The righteousness of Christ, unto justification, must be imputed to the Christianbefore he can attain the principle of righteousness unto sanctification.]

Quest. You may ask me next, But which of these are first bestowed upon the Christian,the perfect righteousness of Christ unto justification, or this gospel principleof righteousness unto sanctification?

Answ. The perfect righteousness of Christ unto justification, must first be madeover to him by an act of grace. This is evident,

1. Because, he is justified as ungodly; that is, whilst he is ungodly: But it mustnot be said of them, that have this principle of grace in them, that they are ungodly;for they are saints and holy. But this righteousness, by IT God justifieth the ungodly,by imputing it to them, when, and while they, as to a principle of grace, are graceless.

This is further manifested thus: The person must be accepted before the performanceof the person can; "And the Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering."(Gen 4:4) If he had respect to Abel's person first, yet he must have respect untoit for the sake of some righteousness; but Abel, in that, had no righteousness; forthat he acted after that God had had respect unto his person.[25] "And the LORDhad respect unto Abel, and to his offering: But unto Cain, and to his offering, hehad not respect."

The prophet Ezekiel also shows us this; where, by the similitude of the wretchedinfant, and of the manner of God's receiving it to mercy, he shows how he receivedthe Jews to favour. First, saith he, "I spread my skirt over thee, and coveredthy nakedness." (16:8) There is justification; "I covered thy nakedness."But what manner of nakedness was it? Was it utter nakedness, nakedness in its perfection?Yes, it was then as naked as naked could be, even as naked as in the day that itwas born. And as thus naked, it was covered, not with anything, but with the skirtof Christ; that is, with his robe of righteousness, with his obedience, that he performedby himself for that very purpose. For by the obedience of one many are made righteous.

2. Righteousness unto justification must be first, because the first duty that aChristian performeth to God, must be accepted, not for the sake of the principlefrom which in the heart it flows, nor yet for the sake of the person that acts it;but for the sake of Christ, whose righteousness it is, by which, before the sinner,he stands just before God. And hence it is said, "By faith Abel offered untoGod a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." (Heb 11:4) By faith he did it; butfaith hath respect to the righteousness that justifies. For we are justified by faith,not by faith as it is a grace, nor by faith as it is an acting grace; but by therighteousness of faith; that is, by that righteousness that faith embraceth, layethhold of, and helpeth the soul to rest upon, and to trust to, for justification oflife, which is the obedience of Christ. Besides, it is said, by faith he offered;faith then, faith in Christ, was precedent to his offering.

Now since faith was in being and in act before his offer, and since before his offer,he had no personal goodness of his own, faith must look out from home: I say, itmust look out to another than to him in whom it resided for righteousness; and findingthe righteousness of Christ to be the righteousness, which by God was designed tobe performed for the justification of a sinner, it embraces it, and through it offerethto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.

Hence it follows, "by which he obtained witness that he was righteous."By which, not by his offering, but by his faith. For his offering, simply as an offering,could not have made him righteous, if he had not been righteous before; "foran evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit." Besides, if this be granted, whyhad not God respect to Cain's offering, as well as to Abel's?

For, did Abel offer? so did Cain. Did Abel offer his best? so did Cain his. And ifwith this, we shall take notice of the order of their offering, Cain seemed to offerfirst, and so with the frankest will, and forwardest mind; but yet, saith the text,"The Lord had respect to Abel and to his offering." But why to Abel? Why,because his person was made righteous before he offered his gift: "By whichhe obtained witness that he was righteous." God testifying of his gifts, thatthey were good and acceptable, because they declared Abel's acceptation of the righteousnessof Christ, for his justice, through the riches of the grace of God.

By faith then, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. He shroudedhimself under the righteousness of Christ, and so, as out of that righteousness,he offered to God; God also looking and finding him there, where also he could nothave been, as to his own apprehension, no otherwise than by faith, he accepted ofhis gift; by which acceptation, for so you may understand it also, God testifiedthat he was righteous: For God receiveth not the gifts and offerings of those thatare not righteous, for their sacrifices are an abomination unto him. (Prov 21:27)

Abel then was righteous before; he was, I say, made righteous first, as he stoodungodly in himself; God justifieth the ungodly. (Rom 4) Now being justified, he wasrighteous; and being righteous, he offered his sacrifice of praise to God, or otherofferings which God accepted, because he believed in his Son, as also other scripturesmanifest abundantly. But this our Pharisee understandeth not.

3. Righteousness by imputation must be first, because we are made so, to wit, byanother, "By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Now tobe made righteous, implies a passiveness in him that is so made, and the activityof the work to lie in some body else; except he had said, they had made themselvesrighteous; but that it doth not, nor doth the text leave to any the least countenanceso to insinuate: Nay, it plainly affirms the contrary, for it saith, by the obedienceof one, of one man Jesus Christ, many are made righteous; by the righteousness ofone (Rom 5), So then, if they be MADE righteous by the righteousness of one: I say,if many be made righteous by the righteousness of one, then are they that are so,as to themselves, passive and not active, with reference unto the working out ofthis righteousness. They have no hand in that; for that is the act of ONE, the righteousnessof ONE, the obedience of ONE, the workmanship of ONE, even of Christ Jesus.

Again, if they are made righteous by this righteousness, then also they are passive,as to their first privilege by it; for they are made righteous by it; they do notmake themselves righteous; no, they do not make themselves righteous by it.

Imputation is also the act of God. Even as David also describeth the blessednessof the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness. The righteousness then is the workof Christ, his own obedience to his father's law; the making of it ours, is the actof his father, and of his infinite grace; "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus,who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness." "For he [God] hathmade him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousnessof God in him." And both these things God showed to our first parents when heacted in grace towards them after the fall.

There it is said, the Lord God made unto Adam, and unto his wife, coats of skins,and clothed them. (Gen 3:21)

Whence note,

(1.) That Adam and his wife were naked both in God's eye, and in their own. (verse10,11)

(2.) That the Lord God made coats of skins.

(3.) That in his making of them, he had respect to Adam and to his wife, that is,he made them for them.

(4.) That when he had made them, he also clothed them therewith.

They made not the coats, nor did God bid them make them; but God did make them himselfto cover their nakedness with. Yea, when he had made them, he did not bid them putthem on, but he himself did clothe them with them: For thus runs the text; "UntoAdam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them."O! It was the Lord God that made this coat, with which a poor sinner is made righteous!And it is also the Lord God that putteth it upon us. But this our Pharisee understandethnot.

But now, if a man is not righteous before he is made so, before the Lord God has,by the righteousness of another, made him so; then whether this righteousness comefirst or last, the man is not righteous until it cometh, and if he be not righteousuntil it cometh, then what works soever are done before it comes, they are not theworks of a righteous man, nor the fruits of a good tree, but of a bad. And so again,this righteousness must first come before a man be righteous, and before a man doesrighteousness. Make the tree good and its fruit will be good.

Now, since a man must be made righteous before he can do righteousness, it is manifesthis works of righteousness do not make him righteous, no more than the fig makesits own tree a fig-tree, or than the grape doth make its own vine a vine. Hence thoseacts of righteousness, that Christian men do perform, are called the fruits of righteousness,which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God. (Phil 1:11)

The fruits of righteousness they are by Jesus Christ, as the fruits of the tree areby the tree itself. For the truth is, that principle of righteousness, of which mentionhas been made before, and concerning which I have said, it comes in, in the secondplace; it is also originally to be found for us no where but in Christ.

Hence it is said to be by Jesus Christ, and again, "of his fulness have allwe received, and grace for grace." (John 1:16) A man must then be united toChrist first, and so being united, he partaketh of this benefit, to wit, a principlethat is supernatural, spiritual, and heavenly. Now his being united to Christ, isnot of, or from himself, but of, and from the Father, who, as to this work, is thehusbandman; even as the twig that is grafted into the tree, officiateth not, thatis, grafteth not itself thereinto, but is grafted in by some other, itself beingutterly passive as to that. Now being united unto Christ, the soul is first madepartaker of justification, or of justifying righteousness, and now no longer beareththe name of an ungodly man, for he is made righteous by the obedience of Christ,he being also united to Christ, partaketh of the root and fatness of Christ; theroot, that is, his divine nature; the fatness, that is, that fulness of grace thatis laid up in him to be communicated unto us, even as the branch that is graftedinto the olive-tree, partaketh of the root and fatness of the olive-tree. Now partakingthereof, it quickeneth, it groweth, it buddeth, and yieldeth fruit to the glory andpraise of God. (Rom 11:17)

But these things, as I have often said, the poor Pharisee was ignorant of, when soswaggeringly he, with his, "God I thank thee," came into the temple topray and indeed, in that which hath here been said, is something of the mystery ofGod's will in his way with his elect; and such a mystery it is, that it lieth hidfor ever to nature and natural men; for they think of nothing less than of this,nor of nothing more, when they think of their souls and of salvation, than that somethingmust be done by themselves to reconcile them to God. Yea, if through some commonconvictions their understandings should be swayed to a consenting to that, that justificationis of grace by Christ, and not of works by men; yet conscience, reason, and the lawof nature, not being as yet subdued by the power and glory of grace unto the obedienceof Christ, will rise up in rebellion against this doctrine, and will overrule andbow down the soul again to the law and works thereof for life.

4. Righteousness by imputation must be first, because, else faith, which is a part,yea, a great part, of that which is called a principle of grace in the soul, willhave nothing to fix itself upon, nor a motive to work by. Let this therefore be consideredby those that are on the contrary side.

Faith, so soon as it has being in the soul, is like the child that has being in themother's lap, it must have something to feed upon, not something at a distance, afaroff, or to be purchased, I speak now as to justification from the curse, but somethingby promise made over of grace to the soul; something to feed upon to support fromthe fears of perishing by the curse for sin. Nor can it rest content with all dutiesand performances, that other graces shall put the soul upon; nor with any of itsown works, until it reaches and takes hold of the righteousness of Christ. Faithis like the dove, that found no rest any where in all the world until it returnedto Noah into the ark. But this our Pharisee understandeth not.

Objection. Perhaps some may object, That from this way of reasoning it is apparent,that sanctification is first, since the soul may have faith, and so a principle ofgrace in it; and yet, as yet it cannot find Christ to feed and to refresh the soulwithal.

Answ. From this way of reasoning it is not at all apparent, that sanctification,or a principle of grace is in the soul before righteousness is imputed, and the soulmade perfectly righteous thereby. And for the clearing up of this let me proposea few things.

(1.) Justifying righteousness, to wit, the obedience of that one man Christ is imputedto the sinner to justify him in God's sight. For his law calls for perfect righteousness,and before that be come TO, and put UPON the poor sinner, God cannot bestow otherspiritual blessings upon him; because by the law he has pronounced him accursed;by the which curse, he is also so holden, until a righteousness shall be found uponthe sinner, that the law, and so divine justice can alike approve of, and be contentedwith. So then, as to the justification of the sinner, there must be a righteousnessfor God; I say, for the sinner, and for God. For the sinner to be clothed with, andfor God to look upon, that he may, for the sake thereof in a way of justice, blessthe sinner with forgiveness of sins: For forgiveness of sins is the next thing thatfolloweth upon the appearance of the sinner before God in the righteousness of Christ.(Rom 4:6,7)

Now, upon this forgiveness, follows the second blessing. Christ hath redeemed usfrom the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. And so, consequently, hathobtained for us the forgiveness of sins: for he that is delivered from the curse,hath received forgiveness of sins, or rather is made partaker thereof; now beingmade a partaker thereof, the second blessing immediately follows: to wit, the blessingof Abraham, that is, "the promise of the spirit through faith" (Gal 3:13,14),but this our Pharisee understandeth not.

But now, although it be of absolute necessity that imputed righteousness be firstTO the soul; that is, that perfect righteousness be found upon the sinner first byGod, that he may bestow other blessings in a way of justice. Yet it is not of absolutenecessity that the soul should see this first.

Let God then put righteousness, the righteousness of his Son upon me; and by virtueof that, let the second blessing of God come in to me; and by virtue of that, letme be made to see myself a sinner, and Christ's righteousness, and my need of it,in the doctrine of it, as it is revealed in the scriptures of truth. Let me thenbelieve this doctrine to be true, and be brought by my belief to repentance for mysins, to hungering and thirsting vehemently after this righteousness; for this is"the kingdom of God and his righteousness." Yea, let me pray, and cry,and sigh, and groan day and night to the God of this righteousness, that he willof grace make me a partaker: And let me thus prostrate before my God, all the timethat in wisdom he shall think fit. And in his own time he shall show me, that I ama justified person, a pardoned person, a person in whom the Spirit of God hath dweltfor some time, though I knew it not.

So then justification before God is one thing; and justification in mine own eyesis another: not that these are two justifications, but the same righteousness bywhich I stand justified before God, may be seen of God, when I am ignorant of it;yea, for the sake of it I may be received, pardoned, and accounted righteous of him,and yet I may not understand it. Yea, further, he may proceed in the way of blessing,to bless me with additional blessings, and yet I be ignorant of it.

So that the question is not, Do I find that I am righteous? But am I so? Doth Godfind me so, when he seeth that the righteousness of his Son is upon me, being madeover to me by an act of his grace? For I am justified freely by his grace, throughthe redemption which is in Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiationthrough faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the redemption of sinsthat are past, through the forbearance of God. (Rom 3:25) But this our Pharisee understandethnot.

I am then made righteous first, by the righteousness of another; and because I amthus righteous, God accepteth of my person as such, and bestoweth upon me his grace;the which, at first, for want of skill and experience in the word of righteousness,I make use of but poorly, and have need to be certified that I am made righteous,and that I have eternal life (Heb 5:13), not by faith first and immediately, butby the written word, which is called the word of faith; which word declareth untome, to whom grace, and so faith in the seed of it is given, that I have eternal life;and that I should with boldness, in peace and joy, believe on the Son of God. (Rom15:13, 1 John 5:13) But,

Again, I, in the first acts of my faith, when I am come at Christ, do not acceptof him, because, I know I am righteous, either with imputed righteousness, or withthat which is inherent: both these, as to my present privilege in them, may be hiddenfrom mine eyes, and I only put upon taking of encouragement to close with Christfor life and righteousness, as he is set forth to be a propitiation before mine eyes,in the word of the truth of the gospel; to which word I adhere as, or because I find,I want peace with God in my soul, and because I am convinced, that the means of peaceis not to be found any where but in Jesus Christ. Now, by my thus adhering to him,I find stay for my soul, and peace to my conscience, because the word doth ascertainme, that he that believeth on him hath remission of sins, hath eternal life, andshall be saved from the wrath to come.

But alas! who knows the many straights, and as I may say, the stress of weather,I mean the cold blasts of hell, with which the poor soul is assaulted, betwixt itsreceiving of grace, and its sensible closing with Jesus Christ? [26] None, I daresay,but IT and its FELLOWS. "The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a strangerdoth not intermeddle with his joy." (Prov 14:10) No sooner doth Satan perceivethat God is doing with the soul, in a way of grace and mercy, but he endeavourethwhat he may, to make the renewing thereof bitter and wearisome work to the sinner.O what mists, what mountains, what clouds, what darkness, what objections, what falseapprehensions of God, of Christ, of grace, of the word, and of the soul's condition,doth he now lay before it, and haunt it with; whereby he fighteth, dejecteth, castethdown, daunteth, distresseth, and almost driveth it quite into despair. Now, by thereason of these things, faith, and all the grace that is in the soul, is hard putto it to come at the promise; and by the promise to Christ, as it is said, when thetempest and great danger of shipwreck lay upon the vessel in which Paul was, They"had much work to come by the boat." (Acts 27:16) For Satan's design is,if he cannot keep the soul from Christ, to make his coming to him, and closing withhim, as hard, difficult, and troublesome, as he by his devices can. But faith, truejustifying faith, is a grace, that is not weary by all that Satan can do; but meditatethupon the word, and taketh stomach, and courage, fighteth, and crieth, and by cryingand fighting, by help from heaven, its way is made through all the oppositions thatappear so mighty, and draweth up at last to Jesus Christ, into whose bosom it putteththe soul, where, for the time, it sweetly resteth after its marvellous tossings toand fro.[27]

And besides what hath been said, let me yet illustrate this truth unto you by thisfamiliar similitude.

Suppose a man, a traitor, that by the law should die for his sin, is yet such anone, that the king hath exceeding kindness for; may not the king pardon this manof his clemency; yea, order that his pardon should be drawn up and sealed, and soin every sense be made sure; and yet, for the present, keep all this close enoughfrom the ears, or the knowledge of the person therein concerned. Yea, may not theking after all leave this person, with others under the same transgression, to suefor, and obtain this pardon with great expense and difficulty, with many tears andheart-achings, with many fears, and dubious cogitations.

Why this is the case between God and the soul that he saveth; he saveth him, pardonethhim, and secureth him from the curse and death that to him is due for sin, but yetdoth not tell him so, but ascends in his great suit unto God for it. Only this differencewe must make in this between God and the potentates of this world: God cannot pardonbefore the sinner stands before him righteous by the righteousness of Christ; becausehe has in judgment, and justice, and righteousness threatened and concluded, thathe that wants righteousness shall die.

And I say again, because this righteousness is God's, and at God's disposal only;it is God that must make a man righteous before he can forgive him his sins, or bestowupon him of his secondary blessings; to wit, his Spirit, and the graces thereof.And I say again, it must be this righteousness; for it can be no other, that mustjustify a sinner from sin in the sight of God, and from the sentence of his law.But

(2.) This is, and must be the way of God with the sinner, that faith may not onlyhave an object to work upon, but a motive to work by.

Here, as I said, Faith hath an object to work upon, and that is the person of Christ,and that personal righteousness of his, which he in the days of his flesh did finishto justify sinners withal. This is, I say, the object of faith for justification,whereunto the soul by it doth continually resort. Hence David said to Christ, "Bethou my strong habitation"; or as you have it in the margin, "Be thou tome for a rock of habitation, whereunto I may continually resort" (Psa 71:3):And two things he inserts by so saying.

The first is, That the Christian is a man under continual exercises, sometimes oneway, and sometimes another; but all his exercises have a tendency in them more orless to spoil him; if he deals with them hand to hand; therefore he is rather forflying than standing; for flying to Christ, than for grappling with them in and byhis own power.

The second is, That Christ is of God, provided to be our shelter as to this verything. Hence his name is said to be a strong tower, and that the righteous run intoit, and are safe. (Prov 18:10) That also of David in the 56th psalm is very pregnantto this purpose; "Mine enemies," saith he, "would daily swallow meup, for they be many that fight against me, O thou most high." And what then?Why, "what time I am afraid," saith he, "I will trust in thee."Thus you see, faith hath an object to work upon to carry the soul unto, and to securethe soul in, in times of difficulty, and that they are almost continually, and thatobject is Jesus Christ, and his righteousness. But,

Again, as faith hath an object to work upon, so it hath a motive to work by; andthat is the love of God in giving of Christ to the soul for righteousness. Nor isthere any profession, religion, or duty and performance, that is at all regarded,where this faith, which by such means can work, is wanting. "For in Jesus Christneither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which workethby love." (Gal 5:6) So he saith not here, but faith which acteth lovely, orbut faith whose fruit is love, though true faith hath love for its offspring, butfaith which worketh BY love; that is true saving justifying faith, as it beholdeththe righteousness of Christ, as made over to the soul for justification, so it beholdethlove, love to be the cause of its so being made over. It beholdeth love in the Father,in giving of his Son; and love in the Son, in giving of himself to be made soul-savingrighteousness for me. And this seeing, it worketh or this apprehending, it workethby it; that is, it is stirred up to an holy boldness of venturing all eternal concernsupon Christ, and also to an holy endeared affecting love of him for his sweet andblessed redeeming love. Hence the apostle saith, "The love of Christ constrainethus; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And thathe died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves,but unto him which died for them, and rose again." (2 Cor 5:14,15)

Thus then is the heart united in affection and love to the Father and the Son, forthe love that they have shewed to the poor sinner, in their thus delivering him fromthe wrath to come. Nor doth this love of God cause that the faith of the poor manshould work by IT to him alone, no; for by this love faith worketh, in sweet passionsand pangs of love, to all that are thus reconciled, as this sinner seeth he is. Themotive then, whereby faith worketh, both as to justification, and sanctification,the great motive to them, I say, is love, the love of God, and the love of Christ:"We love him because he first loved us." That is, when our faith hath toldus so; for so are the words above, "We have known and believed the love thatGod hath to us." And then, "We love him because he first loved us."And then, "This commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God, love hisbrother also." (1 John 4:16-21) But this our poor Pharisee understandeth not.But,

5. Righteousness by imputation must be first, to cut off boasting from the heart,conceit, and lips of men, Wherefore he saith as also was hinted before, That we arejustified freely by the grace of God, not through, or for the sake of an holy gospelprinciple in us; but "through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ,"&c. "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay:but by the law of faith." (Rom 3:24,27) And this is the law of faith that weare justified as afore [is shewn].

Nor can any man propound such an essential way to cut off boasting as this, whichis of God's providing: for what has man here to boast of? No righteousness, nor yetof the application of it to his soul. The righteousness is Christ's, not the sinner's.The imputation is God's, not the sinner's. The cause of imputation is God's graceand love, not the sinner's works of righteousness. The time of God's imputing righteousness,is when the sinner was a sinner, wrapped up in ignorance, and wallowing in his vanity;not when he was good, or when he was seeking of it; for his inward gospel goodnessis a fruit of the imputation of justifying righteousness, as has been already shewed."Where is boasting then?" Where is our Pharisee then, with his brags ofnot being as other men are? It is excluded, and he with it, and the poor Publicantaken into favour, that boasting might be cut off. "Not of works, lest any manshould boast." There is no trust to be put in men, those that seem most humble,and that to appearance, are farthest off from pride, it is natural to them to boast;yea, to boast now, now they have no cause to boast. For by grace are we saved throughFAITH, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any manshould boast.

But if man is so prone to boast, when yet there is no ground of boasting in him,nor yet in what he doeth, how would he have boasted, had he been permitted by theGod of heaven to have done something, though that something had been but a very littlesomething towards his justification. But God has prevented boasting by doing as hehas done. (Eph 2:8,9) Nay, the apostle addeth further, lest any man should boast,that as to good works, "we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus untogood works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them." (verse10) Can the tree boast, because it is a sweeting tree,[28] since it was not the tree,but God that made it such: Where is boasting then? "But of him are ye in ChristJesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification,and redemption: That according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him gloryin the Lord." (1 Cor 1:30,31) Where is boasting then? Where is our Phariseethen, with all his works of righteousness, and with his boasts of being better thanhis neighbours?

Objection. It may be said, If we should be justified for the sake of our inherentrighteousness, since that righteousness is the gift of God, will it not follow thatboasting is in the occasion thereof, cut off.

Ans. No, for although the principle of inherent righteousness be the gift of God,yet it bringeth forth fruits by man, and through man, and so man having a hand therein,though he should have never so little, he has an occasion offered him to boast. Yea,if a man should be justified before God by the grace, or the working of the graceof faith in him, he would have ground of occasion to boast, because faith, thoughit be the gift of God, yet as it acteth in man, takes man along with it in its soacting; yea, the acting of faith is as often attributed to the man by whom it isacted, and oftener, than to the grace itself. How then can it be, but that man musthave a hand therein, and so a ground therein, or thereof to boast.

But now! since justification from the curse of the law before God, lieth only andwholly in God's imputing of Christ's righteousness to a man, and that too, whilethe man to whom it is imputed, is in himself wicked and ungodly, there is no roomleft for boasting before God, for that is the boasting intended; but rather an occasiongiven to shame and confusion of face, and to stop the mouth for ever, since justificationcomes to him in a way so far above him, so vastly without him, his skill, help, orwhat else soever. (Eze 16:61-63)

6. Righteousness by imputation must be first, that justification may not be of debt,but of mercy and grace. This is evident from reason: It is meet that God should thereforejustify us by a righteousness of his own, not of his own prescribing, for that hemay do, and yet the righteousness be ours; but of his own providing, that the righteousnessmay be his. "Now to him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, butof debt." (Rom 4:4) If I work for justifying righteousness, and that way getrighteousness, my justification is not of grace but of debt, God giveth it not untome, for he oweth it unto me; so then it is no longer his but mine: Mine not of grace,but debt: And if so then, I thank him not for remission of sins, nor for the kingdomof heaven, nor for eternal life; for if justifying righteousness is of debt, thenwhen I have it, and what dependeth thereon, I have but mine own, that which God owethto me.

Nor will it help at all to say, but I obtain it by God's grace in me, because thatdoth not cut off my work, nor prevent my having of an hand in my justifying righteousness.

Suppose I give a man materials, even all materials that are necessary to the completingof such or such a thing; yet if he worketh, though the materials be mine, I am tohim a debtor, and he deserveth a reward. Thou sayest, God has given thee his Spirit,his grace, and all other things that are necessary for the working up of a completerighteousness. Well, but is thy work required to the finishing of this righteousness?If so, this is not the righteousness that justifieth, because it is such as has thyhand, thy workmanship therein, and so obtains a reward. And observe it, righteousness,justifying righteousness, consisteth not in a principle of righteousness, but inworks of righteousness; that is, in good duties, in obedience, in a walking in thelaw to the pleasing of the law, and the content of the justice of God.

I suppose again, that thou shalt conclude with me, that justifying righteousness,I mean that which justifies from the curse of the law, resideth only in the obedienceof the Son of God; and that the principle of grace that is in thee, is none of thatrighteousness, no, not then when thou hast to the utmost walked with God accordingto thy gift and grace: Yet if thou concludest that this principle must be in thee,and these works done by thee, before this justifying righteousness is imputed tothee for justification, thou layest in a caveat against justification by grace; andalso concludest, that though thou art not justified by thy righteousness, but byChrist, yet thou art justified by Christ's righteousness, for the sake of thine own,and so makest justification to be still a debt. But here the scripture doth alsocut thee off: "Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heartdost thou go to possess their land"; which was but a type of heaven, and ifour righteousness cannot give us by its excellency a share in the type, be sure,that for it, we shall never be sharers in the antitype itself. "Understand therefore,that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it, for thy righteousness;for thou art a stiff-necked people." (Deu 9:5,6)

Gospel-performances therefore are not first; that was first, for the sake of which,God did receive these people into favour with himself, and that was a covenant righteousness;and where could that covenant righteousness be found but in the prince, mediator,and high priest of the covenant? For it was HE and HE only that was appointed ofGod, nor could any but himself, bring in everlasting righteousness. (Dan 9:24,25)This is evident from these texts last mentioned; it was not for their righteousness,that they possessed the land.

Again, As it was not for their righteousness, that they were made possessors of theland, so it was not for the sake of their righteousness, that they were made partakersof such a righteousness that did make them possess the land. This is plain to reason;for then inherent or inherent and personal righteousness, when by us performed, isof worth to obtain of God a justifying righteousness. But if it be of worth to obtaina justifying righteousness, then it seems, it is more commodious to both partiesthan is justifying righteousness. First, it is more commodious to him that workethit, for by it he obtaineth everlasting righteousness; and secondly, it is more commodiousunto him that receiveth it, else why doth he for it give us a due debt, and so putupon us the everlasting justifying righteousness.

Perhaps it will be objected, that God doth all this of grace; but I answer, thatthese are but fallacious words, spake by the tongue of the crafty. For we are notnow discoursing of what rewards God can give to the operations of his own grace inus, but whether he can in a way of justice, or how he will, bestow any spiritualblessings upon sinful creatures, against whom, for sin, he has pronounced the curseof the law, before he hath found them in a righteousness, that is proved to be asgood justice and righteousness, as is the justice and righteousness of the law, withwhich we have to do.

I assert he cannot, because he cannot lie, because he cannot deny himself: For ifhe should first threaten the transgression of the law with death, and yet afterwardsreceive the transgressor to grace, without a plenary satisfaction, what is this butto lie, and to diminish his truth, righteousness, and faithfulness; yea, and alsoto overthrow the sanction and perfect holiness of his law. His mercy therefore mustact so towards this sinner, that justice may be content, and that can never be, withouta justifying righteousness.

Now what this justifying righteousness should be, and when imputed, that is the question.I say, it is the righteousness or the obedience of the Son of God in the flesh, whichhe assumed, and so his own, and the righteousness of no body else, otherwise thanby imputation.

I say again, that this righteousness must be imputed first, that the sinner may standjust in God's sight from the curse, and that God might deal with him both in a wayof justice as well as mercy, and yet do the sinner no harm.

But you may ask, How did God deal with sinners before this righteousness was actuallyin being?

I answer, He did then deal with sinners even as he dealeth with them now; he justifieththem by it, by virtue of the suretiship of him that was to bring it in. Christ becamesurety for us, and by his suretiship laid himself under an obligation to bring in,in time, for those for whom he became a surety, this everlasting and justifying righteousness,and by virtue of this those of his elect that came into and went out of the world,before he came to perform his work, were saved through the forbearance of God. Wherefore,before the Lord came, they were saved for the Lord's sake, and for the sake of hisname. And they that were spiritually wise understood it, and pleaded it as theirnecessities required, and the Lord for HIS sake also accepted them. (Heb 7:22, Rom4:24, Dan 9:17, Psa 25:11)

7. Righteousness by imputation must be first: that justification may be certain;"therefore it is of faith, [of the righteousness that faith layeth hold on]that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed."(Rom 4:16) That the promise, What promise? The promise of remission of sins, &c.might be sure.

Now a promise of remission of sins supposeth a righteousness, a righteousness goingbefore; for there is no forgiveness of sins, nor promise of forgiveness, but forthe sake of righteousness: but not for the sake of righteousness that shall be byus, but that IS already found in Christ as head, and so imputed to the elect fortheir remission. "God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Eph 4:32)For Christ's sake; that is, for the sake of the righteousness of Christ. Thereforeimputed righteousness must be first; yea, it must be before forgiveness, and forgivenessis extended by God, then when we lie in our blood, though to us it is manifestedafterwards.[29] Therefore it is OF faith, he saith not BY it, respecting the actof faith; but of, respecting the doctrine or word which presenteth me with this blessedimputed righteousness: "They that are of faith, are the children of faithfulAbraham." They that are of the doctrine of faith, for all the elect are thesons of that doctrine in which is this righteousness of Christ contained; yea, theyare begotten by it of God to this inheritance, to their comfortable enjoyment ofthe comfort of it by faith.

That "the promise might be sure to all the seed"; to all them wrapped upin the promise, and so begotten and born. That it might be sure, implying that thereis no certain way of salvation for the elect but this, because God can never by othermeans reconcile us to himself; for his heavenly eyes perceive through and throughthe silly cobweb righteousness that we work; yea, they spy faults and sins in thebest of our gospel performances. How then can God put any trust in such people, orhow can remission be extended to us for the sake of that? Yea, our faith is faulty,and also imperfect; how then should remission be extended to us for the sake of that?But now the righteousness of Christ is perfect, perpetual and stable as the greatmountains, wherefore he is called the rock of our salvation, because a man may assoon tumble the mountains before him, as one would tumble a little ball, I say, assoon as sin can make invalid the righteousness of Christ, when, and unto whom, Godshall impute it for justice. (Psa 36:6) In the margin it is said, to be like themountain of God; to wit, that is called Mount Zion, or that Moriah on which the templewas built, and upon which it stood: All other bottoms are fickle, all other righteousnessesare so feeble, short, narrow, and thin, yea, so specked and full of imperfections."For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh,"Christ did for us in the similitude of sinful flesh. But what could not the law do?Why it could not give us righteousness, nor strengthen us to perform it. It couldnot give us any certain, solid, well-grounded hope of remission of sin and salvation,"but the bringing in of a better hope did, by the which we draw nigh unto God."

Wherefore this righteousness being imputed, justice findeth no fault therewith, butconsenteth to the extending to the sinner those blessings that tend to perfect hishappiness in the heavens.

8. Righteousness by imputation must be first, "that in all things he [Christ]might have the pre-eminence." Christ is head of the church, and therefore lethim have the highest honour in the soul; but how can he have that, if any precedeas to justification, before his perfect righteousness be imputed? If it be said,grace may be in the soul, though the soul doth not act it, until the moment thatjustifying righteousness shall be imputed.

I ask, What should it do there before, or to what purpose is it there, if it be notacted? And gain, how came it thither, how got the soul possession of it, while itwas unjustified? Or, How could God in justice give it to a person, that by the lawstood condemned, before they were quitted from that condemnation? And I say, nothingcan set the soul free from that curse, but the perfect obedience of Christ; nor thateither, if it be not imputed for that end to the sinner by the grace of God.

Imputed, that is, reckoned, or accounted to him. And why should it not be accountedto him for righteousness? Who did Christ bring it into the world for, for the righteousor for sinners? no doubt for sinners. And how must it be reckoned to them? when incircumcision or in uncircumcision; not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision; notas righteous, but as sinners. And how are they to consider of themselves, even thenwhen they first are apprehensive of their need of this righteousness? Are they tothink, that they are righteous or sinners.

And again, How are they to believe concerning themselves, then when they put forththe first act of faith towards this righteousness for justification? Are they tothink, that they are righteous or sinners? Sinners, sinners doubtless they are toreckon themselves, and as such to reckon themselves justified by this righteousness.And this is according to the sentence of God, as appeareth by such sayings.

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

"But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christdied for us."

"For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of hisSon," &c. (Rom 5:6,8,10)

Out of these words I gather these three things.

1. That Christ by God's appointment died for us.

2. That by his death he reconciled us to God.

3. That even then, when the very act of reconciliation was in performing, and alsowhen performed, we were ungodly, sinners, enemies.

Now the act by which we are said to be reconciled to God while ungodly, while sinners,and while enemies, was Christ's offering himself a sacrifice for us, which is, inthe words above- mentioned, called his death. Christ died, Christ died for the ungodly,Christ died for us while sinners. Christ reconciled us to God by his death. And justas here Christ is said to die for us, so the Father is said to impute righteousnessto us; to wit, as we are without works, as we are ungodly: "Now to him thatworketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is countedfor righteousness." (Rom 4:5) He worketh not, but is ungodly, when this graciousact of God, in imputing of the righteousness of Christ to him, is extended, the whichwhen he shall believe, his faith is counted to him for righteousness. And why shouldwe not have the benefit of the righteousness, while we are ungodly, since it wascompleted for us while we were yet ungodly? Yea, we have the benefit of it: "For- when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son."(Rom 5:10)

When I say, the benefit, I mean that benefit that we are capable of, and that isjustification before God; for that a man may be capable of while he is in himselfungodly, because this justice comes to him by the righteousness of another. True,was it to be his own righteousness by which he was to be justified, he should not,could not so be, as or while he is ungodly. But the righteousness is Christ's, andthat imputed by God, not as a reward for work, or of debt, but freely by his grace,to the glory of it, and therefore may be done, and is so, while the person concernedis without works, ungodly, and a sinner.

And he that denieth that we are capable of this benefit while we are sinners andungodly, may with like reason deny that we are created beings. For that which isdone for a man without him, may be done for him, not only at any time which theythat do it shall appoint, but for him while in any condition in this world. Whilea man is a beggar, may not I make him worth ten thousand a year, if I can and will;yea and yet he shall not know thereof in that moment that I make him so? yet therevenue of that estate shall really be his from the moment that I make him so, andhe shall know it too at the rent-day.

This is the case, we are sinners and ungodly; there is a righteousness wrought outby Jesus Christ, the which God hath designed we shall be made righteous by; and byit, if he will impute it to us, we shall be righteous in his sight, even then whenwe are yet ungodly in ourselves; "for he justifies the ungodly."

Now though it is irregular and blame-worthy in man to justify the wicked, becausehe cannot for the wicked provide, and clothe him with a justifying righteousness;yet it is glorious and for ever worthy of praise for God to do it; because it isin his power not only to forgive, but to make a man righteous, even then when heis a sinner, and to justify him, as afore is proved, while he is ungodly.

Objection. But it may be yet objected, That though God has received satisfactionfor sin, and so sufficient terms of reconciliation by the obedience and death ofhis Son, yet he imputeth it not unto us but upon condition of our becoming good.

Answ. This must not be admitted: For,

1. The scripture saith not so; but that we are reconciled to God by the death ofhis Son, and justified too, and that while, or when we are sinners and ungodly.

2. If this objection carrieth the truth in it, then it follows, that the Holy Ghost,faith, and so all grace, may be given to us, and we may have it dwelling in us, yea,acting in us, before we stand righteous in the judgment of the law before God; fornothing can make us stand just before God in the judgment of the law, but the obedienceof the Son of God without us. And if the Holy Ghost, faith and so consequently thehabit of every grace, may be in us, acting in us, before Christ's righteousness beby God imputed to us, then we are not justified as sinners and ungodly: but as personsinherently holy and righteous before.

But I have over and over already shewed you, that this cannot be, therefore righteousnessfor justification must be imputed first. And here let me present the reader withtwo or three things.

(1.) That justification before God is one thing; and justification to the understandingand conscience is another. Now, I am treating of justification before God, not ofit as to man's understanding and conscience, and I say, a man may be justified beforeGod, even then when himself knoweth nothing thereof (Isa 40:2, Matt 9:2), and sowhen and while he hath not faith about it, but is ungodly.

(2.) There is a justification by faith, by faith's applying of that righteousnessto the understanding and conscience, which God hath afore of his grace imputed forrighteousness to the soul for justification in his sight. And this is that by whichwe, as to sense and feeling, have peace with God: "Being justified by faithwe have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom 5:1) And these twothe Apostle keepeth distinct, a little lower in this chapter: for after that he hadsaid in the tenth verse, that while "we were enemies we were reconciled to Godby the death of his Son": He addeth, "And not only so, but we also joyin God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."(verse 11) Here you see that to be reconciled to God by the death of his Son, isone thing; and for us actually, for that I think he aimeth at, to receive by faith,this reconciliation, is another. That is a thing over and above, and not only so,but we have received the atonement.

(3.) Men do not gather their justification from God's single act of imputing of righteousness,that we might stand clear in his sight from the curse and judgment of the law; butfrom the word, the which they neither see nor understand, till it is brought to theirunderstanding by the light and glory of the Holy Ghost.

We are not therefore in the ministry of the word to pronounce any man justified,from a supposition that God has imputed righteousness to him, since that act is notknown to us, until the fruits that follow thereupon do break out before our eyes;to wit, the signs and effects of the Holy Ghost's indwelling in our souls. And thenwe may conclude it; that is, that such a one stands just before God, yet not forthe sake of his inherent righteousness, nor yet for the fruits thereof, and so notfor the sake of the act of faith, but for the sake of Jesus Christ his doing andsuffering for us.

Nor will it avail to object, That if at first we stand just before God by his imputingof Christ's righteousness unto us, though faith be not in us to act, we may alwaysstand justified so; and so what need of faith? For therefore are we justified, first,by the imputation of God, as we are ungodly, that thereby we might be made capableof receiving of the Holy Ghost, and his graces in a way of righteousness and justice.Besides, God will have those that he shall justify by his grace through the redemptionthat is in Jesus Christ, to have the Holy Ghost, and so faith, that they may knowand believe the things not only that shall be, but that already ARE, freely givento us of God. Now, says Paul, "we have received, not the spirit of the world,but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely givento us of God." (1 Cor 2:12) To know, that is, to believe. It is given to youto believe, who believe according to the working of his mighty power, "and wehave known and believed the love that God hath to us," preceding to our believing.(1 John 4:16) He then that is justified by God's imputation, shall believe by thepower of the Holy Ghost; for that must come, and work faith, and strengthen the soulto act it, because imputed righteousness has gone before. He then that believethshall be saved; for his believing is a sign, not a cause, of his being made righteousbefore God by imputation: And he that believeth not shall be damned, because hisnon-belief is a sign that he is not righteous, and a cause that his sins abide uponhim.

And thus much for the Pharisee, and for his information; and now I come to that partof the text which remains, which part in special respecteth the Publican.



What this Publican was, I have shewed you, both with respect to his nation, office,and disposition. Wherefore I shall not here trouble the reader as to that, with asecond rehearsal of these things; we now therefore come to his repentance in thewhole and in the parts of it; concerning which I shall take notice of several things,some more remote, and some more near to the matter and life of it.

But first let us see how thwart and cross the Pharisee and the Publican did lie inthe temple one to another, while they both were presenting of their prayers to God.

First, The Pharisee he goes in boldly, fears nothing, but trusteth in himself thathis state is good, that God loves him, and that there was no doubt to be made butof his good speed in this his religious enterprize. But alas! poor Publican, he sneaks,he leers, he is hardly able to crawl into the temple, and when he comes there, standsbehind, aloof off, as one not worthy to approach the divine presence.

Second, The Pharisee at his approach hath his mouth full of something, yea of manyfine things, whereby he strokes himself over the head, and in effect calls himself,and that in his presence, one of God's white boys, that always kept close to hiswill, abode with him; or as the prodigal's brother said, "Lo, these many yearsdo I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment" (Luke 15:29);But alas! poor Publican thy guilt, as to these pleas, stops thy mouth, thou hastnot one good thing to say of thyself, not one rag of righteousness; thy conversationtells thee so, thy conscience tells thee so; yea, and if thou shouldest now attemptto set a good face on it, and for thy credit say something after the Pharisee inway of thine own commendations, yet here is God on the one side, the Pharisee onthe other, together with thine own heart to give thee check, to rebuke thee, to condemnthee, and to lay thee even with the ground for thy insolency.

Third, The Pharisee in his approach to God, wipes his fingers of the Publican's enormities,will not come nigh him, lest he should defile him with his beastly rags: "Iam not as other men are, - or even as this Publican." But the poor Publican,alas for him, his fingers are not clean, nor can he tell how to make them so; besides,he meekly and quietly puts up this reflection of the Pharisee upon him, and by silentbehaviour, justifies the severe sentence of that self-righteous man, concluding withhim, that for his part, he is wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,and not worthy to come nigh, or to stand by, so good, so virtuous, so holy, and sodeserving a man as our spangling Pharisee is.

Fourth, The Pharisee, as at feasts and synagogues, chose the chief and first placefor his person, and for his prayer, counting that the Publican was not meet, oughtnot to presume to let his stinking breath once come out of his polluted lips in thetemple, till he had made his holy prayer. And poor Publican, how dost thou hear andput up this with all other affronts, counting even as the Pharisee counted of thee,that thou wast but a dog in comparison of him, and therefore not fit to go before,but to come as in chains, behind, and forbear to present thy mournful and debrorous[30]supplication to the holy God, till he had presented him with his, in his own conceit,brave, gay, and fine oration.

Fifth, The Pharisee, as he is numerous in his repeating of his good deeds, so isstiff in standing to them, bearing up himself, that he hath now sufficient foundationon which to bear up his soul against all the attempts of the law, the devil, sinand hell. But alas, poor Publican! Thou standest naked; nay, worse than naked; forthou art clothed with filthy garments, thy sins cover thy face with shame: nor hastthou in, from, or of thyself, any defence from, or shelter against the attempts,assaults, and censures of thy ghostly enemies, but art now in thine own eyes, thoughin the temple, cast forth into the open field stark naked, to the loathing of thyperson, as in the day that thou was born, and there ready to be devoured or tornin pieces for thy transgressions against thy God.

What wilt thou do Publican! What wilt thou do! Come, let's see, which way wilt thoubegin to address thyself to God; bethink thyself man, has thou any thing to say,speak out man, the Pharisee by this time has done, and received his sentence. Makean O yes;[31] let all the world be silent; yea, let the angels of heaven come nearand listen; for the Publican is come to have to do with God! Yea, is come from thereceipt of custom into the temple to pray to him.

"And the Publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyesunto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."And is this thy way poor Publican! O cunning sinner! O crafty Publican! thy wisdomhas outdone the Pharisee, for it is better to apply ourselves to God's mercy, thanto trust to ourselves that we are righteous. But that the Publican did hit the mark,yea, get nearer unto, and more into the heart of God and his Son than did the Pharisee,the sequel of the matter will make manifest.

Take notice then of this profound speech of the Publican, every word is heavier thanthe earth, and has more argument in it, than has ten thousand Pharisaical prayers."God be merciful to me a sinner." Yea, the Son of God was so delightedwith this prayer, that for the sake of it, he, even as a limner, draweth out thePublican in his manner of standing, behaviour, gestures, &c. while he makes thisprayer to God: Wherefore we will take notice both of the one and of the other; forsurely his gestures put lustre unto his prayer and repentance.

FIRST, His prayer you see is this, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

SECOND, His gestures in his prayer were in general three.

First, He stood afar off.

Second, He would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven.

Third, He smote upon his breast, with his fist, saying, "God be merciful tome a sinner."

FIRST, To begin first with is prayer. In his prayer we have two things to considerof. First, His confession: I am a sinner. Second, His imploring of help against thismalady: "God be merciful to me a sinner."

[His Confession.]

First, In his confession divers things are to be taken notice of. As,

1. The fairness and simplicity of his confession: A sinner: I am a sinner; "Godbe merciful to me a sinner." This indeed he was, and this indeed confesses;and this, I say, he doth of godly simplicity. For, for a man to confess himself asinner, it is to speak all against himself that can be spoken. And man, as degenerate,is too much an hypocrite, and too much a self- flatterer, thus to confess againsthimself, unless made simple and honest about the thing through the power of convictionupon his heart. And it is yet worth your noting, that he doth not say he was, orhad been, but that at that time his state was such, to wit, a sinner. "God bemerciful to me a sinner," or who am, and now stand before thee a sinner, or,in my sins.

Now a little to shew you what it is to be a sinner; for every one that sinneth maynot in a proper sense be called a sinner. Saints, the sanctified in Christ Jesus,do often sin, but it is not proper to call them sinners: But here the Publican callshimself a sinner; and therefore in effect, calls himself an evil tree, one that hathneither good nature, nor that beareth good fruit: one whose body and soul is polluted,whose mind and conscience is defiled: one who hath "walked according to thecourse of this world, and after the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience."They having their minds at enmity with or against God, and are taken captive by thedevil at his will. A sinner, one whose trade hath been in and about sin, and theworks of Satan all his days.

Thus he waves all pleas, and shews of pleas, and stoops his neck immediately to theblock. Though he was a base man, yet he might have had pleas; pleas, I say, as wellas the Pharisee, though not so many, yet as good. He was of the stock of Abraham,a Jew, an Israelite of the Israelites, and so a privileged man in the things andreligion of the Jews, else what doth he do in the temple? Yea, why did not the Pharisee,if he was a heathen, lay that to his charge while he stood before God? but the truthis, he could not; for the Publican was a Jew as well as the Pharisee, and consequentlymight, had he been so disposed, have pleaded that before God. But that he would not,he could not, for his conscience was under convictions, the awakenings of God wereupon him; wherefore his privileges melt away like grease, and fly from him like thechaff of the summer threshing-floor, which the wind taketh up and scattereth as thedust; he therefore lets all privileges fall, and pleads only that he is "a sinner."

2. In this confession he judges and condemns himself: For, for a man to say, "Iam a sinner," is as much as to say, I am contrary to the holiness of God, atransgressor of his law, and consequently an object of the curse, and an heir ofhell. The Publican therefore goeth very far in this his confession, but this is notall; for, for a man to confess that he is a sinner, is in the

3. Third place, to confess, that there is nothing in him, done, or can be done byhim, that should allure, or prevail with God to do any thing for him. For a sinnercannot do good; no, nor work up his heart unto one good thought: no, though he shouldhave heaven itself, if he could; or was sure to burn in hell fire for ever and everif he could not. For sin, where it is in possession and bears rule, as it doth inevery one that we may properly call a sinner, there it hath the mastery of the man,hath bound up his senses in cords and chains, and made nothing so odious to the soulas are the things that be of the Spirit of God. Wherefore it is said of such, thatthey are enemies in their minds; that the carnal mind is enmity to God, and thatwickedness proceedeth of the wicked; and that the Ethiopian may as well change hisskin, or the leopard his spots, as they that are accustomed to do evil may learnto do well. (Eph 2, Rom 8, 1 Sam 24:13, Jer 13:23)

4. In this confession, he implicitly acknowledgeth, that sin is the worst of things,forasmuch as it layeth the soul without the reach of all remedy that can be foundunder heaven. Nothing below, or short of the mercy of God, can deliver a poor soulfrom this fearful malady. This the Pharisee did not see. Doubtless he did conclude,that at some time or other he had sinned; but he never in all his life did arriveto a sight of what sin was: His knowledge of it was but false and counterfeit, asis manifest by his cure; to wit, his own righteousness. For take this for a truthundeniable, that he that thinks himself better before God, because of his reformations,never yet had the true knowledge of his sin: But the poor Publican he had it, hehad it in truth, as is manifest, because it drives him to the only sovereign remedy.For indeed, the right knowledge of sin, in the guilt and filth, and damning powerthereof, makes a man to understand, that not any thing but grace and mercy by Christ,can secure him from the hellish ruins thereof.

Suppose a man sick of an apoplexy unto death, and should for his remedy make useonly of those things that are good against the second ague, would not this demonstratethat this man was not sensible of the nature and danger of this disease. The samemay be said of every sinner, that shall make use only of those means to justify himbefore God, that can hardly make him go for a good Christian before judicious men.But the poor Publican, he knew the nature of his disease, the danger of his disease;and knew also, that nothing but mercy, infinite mercy could cure him thereof.

5. This confession of the Publican, declareth that he himself was born up now, byan almighty, though invisible hand. For sin, when seen in its colours, and when appearingin its monstrous shape and hue, frighteth all mortals out of their wits, away fromGod; and if he stops them not, also out of the world. This is manifest by Cain, Judas,Saul, and others, who could not stand up before God under the sense and appearanceof their sin, but fly before him, one to one fruit of despair, and one to another.But now this Publican, though he apprehends his sin, and that himself was one thatwas a sinner, yet he beareth up, cometh into the temple, approaches the presenceof an holy and sin-revenging God, stands before him, and confesses that he is thatugly man, that man that sin had defiled, and that had brought himself into the dangerof damnation thereby.

This therefore was a mighty act of the Publican. He went against the voice of conscience,against sense and feeling, against the curse and condemning verdict of the law; hewent, as I may say, upon hot burning coals to one, that to sin and sinners is nothingbut consuming fire.

Now then, did the Publican this of his own head, or from his now mind? No verily,there was some supernatural power within that did secretly prompt him on, and strengthenhim to this most noble venture. True, there is nothing more common among wicked men,than to tick and toy, and play with this saying of the Publican, "God be mercifulto me a sinner"; not at all being sensible either what sin is, or of their needof mercy. And such sinners shall find their speed in the Publican's prayer, far otherwisethan the Publican sped himself; it will happen unto them much as it happened untothe vagabond Jews, exorcists, who took upon them to call over them that had evilspirits, the name of the Lord Jesus; that were beaten by that spirit and made flyout of that house naked and wounded. (Acts 19:13-16) Poor sinner, dead sinner, thouwilt say the Publican's prayer, and make the Publican's confession, and say, "Godbe merciful to me a sinner." But hold, dost thou do it with the Publican's heart,sense, dread and simplicity? If not, thou dost but abuse the Publican and his prayer,and thyself, and his God; and shalt find God rejecting of thee and thy prayers, saying,The Publican I know, his prayers, and tears, and godly tears I know; but who or whatart thou? And will send thee away naked and wounded. They are the hungry that hefilleth with good things, but the rich and the senseless, he sendeth empty away.

For my part, I find it one of the hardest things that I can put my soul upon, evento come to God, when warmly sensible that I am a sinner, for a share in grace andmercy. Oh! methinks it seems to me as if the whole face of the heavens were set againstme. Yea, the very thought of God strikes me through, I cannot bear up, I cannot standbefore him, I cannot but with a thousand tears say, "God be merciful to me asinner." (Ezra 9:15) At another time when my heart is more hard and stupid,and when his terror doth not make me afraid, then I can come before him and talkof my sins, and ask mercy at his hand, and scarce be sensible of sin or grace, orthat indeed I am before God: But above all, they are the rare times, when I can goto God as the Publican, sensible of his glorious majesty, sensible of my misery,and bear up, and affectionately cry, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

But again, the Publican by his confession, showeth a piece of the highest wisdomthat a mortal man can show; because by so doing, he engageth as well as imploreththe grace and mercy of God to save him. You see by the text he imploreth it; andnow I will shew you that he engageth it, and makes himself a sharer in it.

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsakeththem shall have mercy." (Prov 28:13) And again, "If we confess our sins,he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."(1 John 1:9)

[He engageth it.] In the promise of pardon, He shall find mercy; he shall have hissins forgiven. As also Solomon prays, that God will forgive them that know theirown sore, and they are indeed, such as are sensible of the plague of their own heart.(2 Chron 6:29,30, 1 Kings 8:37,38) And the reason is, because the sinner is now drivento the farthest point; for confession is the farthest point, and the utmost boundunto which God has appointed the Publican to go, with reference to his work. As itis said of Saul to David, when he was about to give him Micah his daughter to wife,"The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines,to be avenged of the king's enemies." (1 Same 18:25)

So says God in this matter, I desire no sacrifices, nor legal righteousness to makethee acceptable to me, only acknowledge and confess thine iniquity that thou hasttransgressed against me. (Jer 3:12,13) And though this by some may be thought tobe a very easy way to come at, and partake of, the mercy of God; yet let the sensiblesinner try it, and he shall find it one of the hardest things in the world. And thereare two things, to which man is prone, that makes confession hard.

I. There is a great incidency in us to be partial, and not thorough and plain inour confessions. We are apt to make half confessions; to confess some, and hide some;or else to make feigned confessions, flattering both ourselves, and also God, whilewe make confession unto him; or else to confess sin as our own fancies apprehend,and not as the word descries them. These things we are very incident to: Men canconfess little sins, while they hide great ones. Men can feign themselves sorry forsin, when they are not, or else in their confessions forget to judge of sin by theword. Hence it is said, They turned to God, not with their whole heart, but as itwere feignedly. They spake not aright, saying, what have I done? They flatter himwith their lips, and lie unto him with their tongues, and do their wickedness inthe dark, and sin against him with a high hand, and then come to him and cover thealtar with their tears. These things therefore, demonstrate the difficulty of sincereconfession of sin; and that to do it as it should, is no such easy thing.

To right confession of sin, several things must go. As,

1. There must be found conviction for sin upon the spirit: for before a man shallbe convinced of the nature, aggravation, and evil of sin, how shall he make godlyconfession of it? Now to convince the soul of sin, the law must be set home uponthe conscience by the Spirit of God; "For by the law is the knowledge of sin."(Rom 3:20) And again, "I had not known sin except the law had said, Thou shaltnot covet." (Rom 7:7) This law, now, when it effectually ministereth convictionof sin to the conscience, doth it by putting of life, and strength, and terror intosin. By its working on the conscience, it makes sin revive, "and the strengthof sin is the law." (1 Cor 15:56) It also increaseth and multiplieth sin, bothby the revelation of God's anger against the soul; and also by mustering up, andcalling to view sins committed, and forgotten time out of mind. Sin seen in the glassof the law is a terrible thing, no man can behold it and live. "When the commandmentcame, sin revived, and I died"; when it came from God to my conscience, as managedby an almighty arm, "then it slew me." And now is the time to confess sin,because now a soul knows what it is, and sees what it is, both in the nature andconsequence of it.

2. To right confession of sin, there must be sound knowledge of God, especially asto his justice, holiness, righteousness, and purity; wherefore the Publican herebegins his confession by calling upon, or by the acknowledgement of his majesty:"God be merciful to me a sinner." As if he should say, God, O God, O greatGod, O sin-revenging God, I have sinned against thee, I have broken thy law, I haveopposed thy holiness, thy justice, thy law, and thy righteous will. O consuming fire!for our God is a consuming fire, I have justly provoked thee to wrath, and to takevengeance of me for my transgressions. But, alas! how few, that make confession ofsin, have right apprehension of God, unto whom confession of sin doth belong! Alas,'tis easy for men to entertain such apprehensions of God as shall please their ownhumours, and as will admit them without dying, to bear up under their sense of sin,and that shall make their confession rather facile, and fantastical, than solid andheart- breaking. The sight and knowledge of the great God is to the sinful man themost dreadful thing in the world; and is that which makes confession of sin so rareand wonderful a thing. Most men confess their sins behind God's back, but few tohis face; and you know there is ofttimes a vast difference in one thus doing amongmen.

3. To right confession of sin, there must be a deep conviction of the certainty andterribleness of the day of judgment. This John the Baptist inserts, where he insinuates,that the Pharisees' want of sense of, and the true confession of sin, was becausethey had not been warned, or had not taken the alarm, to flee from the wrath to come.What dread, terror, or frightful apprehension can there be put into a revelationof sin, where there is no sense of a day of judgment, and of our giving there untoGod an account for it. (Matt 3:7, Luke 3:7)

I say therefore, to right confession of sin there must be,

(1.) A deep conviction of the certainty of the day of judgment; namely, that sucha day is coming, that such a day shall be. This the apostle insinuates, where hesaith, "God commandeth all men every where to repent; Because he hath appointeda day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom hehath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raisedhim from the dead." (Acts 17:30,31)

This will give a sense of what the soul must expect at that day for sin, and so willdrive to an hearty acknowledgment of it, and strong cries for deliverance from it.For thus will the soul argue that expecteth the judgment day, and that believes thathe must count for all there. O my heart! It is in vain now to dissemble, or to hide,or to lessen transgressions; for there is a judgment to come, a day in which Godwill judge "the secrets of men by his Son," and at that day he will bringto light "the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counselof the heart." If it must be so then, to what boot[32] will it be now to seekto dissemble, or to lessen in this matter. (1 Cor 4:5) This also is in the Old Testamenturged as an argument to cause youth, and persons of all sizes to recall themselvesto sobriety, and so to confession of their sin to God; where the Holy Ghost saithironically, "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer theein the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight ofthine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment."(Eccl 11:9) So again, "God shall bring every work into judgment, with everysecret thing, whether good, or whether evil." (Eccl 12:14)

The certainty of this, I say, must go to the producing of a sincere confession ofsin, and this is intimated by the Publican, who, with his confession, addeth a heartycrave for mercy, "God be merciful to me a sinner." As if he should say,if thou art not merciful to me, by thy judgment when thou comest I shall be swallowedup; without thy mercy I shall not stand, but fall by the judgment which thou hastappointed.

(2.) As there must be, for the producing of sincere confession of sin, a deep convictionof the certainty, so there must also be of the terribleness of the day of judgment.Wherefore the apostle, makes use of the first, so of this to put men upon repentance,an ingredient of which is sincere confession of sin. "For we must all appearbefore the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done inhis body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing thereforethe terror of the Lord, we persuade men." (2 Cor 5:10,11) The terror of theLord, as we see here, he makes use of that, to persuade men to come by confessionof sin, and repentance, to God for mercy.

And I am persuaded, that it will be found a truth one day that one reason that thisday doth so swarm with wanton professors, is, because they have not begun at soundconviction for, nor gone to God at first with sincere confession of sin. And onecause of that has been, for that they did never seriously fall in with, nor yet inheart sink under, either the certainty or terribleness of the day of judgment.

O! the terrors of the Lord! the amazing face that will be put upon all things beforethe tribunal of God. Yea, the terror that will then be read in the face of God, ofChrist, of saints and angels, against the ungodly; whoso believes and understandsit, cannot live without confession of sin to God, and coming to him for mercy.

Mountains, mountains fall upon us, and cover us, will then the cry of the ungodlybe, and "hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and fromthe wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be ableto stand?" This terror is also signified where it is said, "and I saw agreat white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the [very] earth andthe heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead,small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book wasopened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things whichwere written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the deadwhich were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: andthey were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were castinto the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found writtenin the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev 20) Here is terror,and this terror is revealed afore-hand in the word of the truth of God, that sinnersmight hear and read and consider it, and so come and confess, and implore God's mercy.

The terror of the Lord, how will it appear, when he "shall be revealed fromheaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that knownot God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thess 1:7-9)

The terror of the Lord, how will it appear, when his wrath shall burn and flame outlike an oven, or a fiery furnace before him, while the wicked stand in his sight.(Matt 13:50)

The terror of the Lord, how will it appear, while the angels at his commandment shallgather the wicked in bundles to burn them! "As - the tares are gathered andburned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of Man shallsend forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend,and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shallbe wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matt 13:40-42) Who can conceive of thisterror to its full with his mind? Wherefore much more unable are men to express itwith tongue or pen; yet the truly penitent and sin- confessing Publican, hath apprehensionso far thereof, by the word of the testimony, that it driveth him to God, with aconfession of sin for an interest in God's mercy. But,

4. To right and sincere confession of sin, there must be a good conviction of a probabilityof mercy. This also is intimated by the Publican in his confession; "God [saithhe] be merciful to me a sinner." He had some glimmerings of mercy, some convictionof a probability of mercy, or that he might obtain mercy for his pardon, if he went,and with unfeigned lips did confess his sins to God.[33]

Despair of mercy, shuts up the mouth, makes the heart hard, and drives a man awayfrom God; as is manifest in the case of Adam and the fallen angels. But the leastintimation of mercy, if the heart can but touch, feel, taste, or have the least probabilityof it, that will open the mouth, tend to soften the heart, and to make a very Publicancome up to God into the temple and say, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

There must then be this holy mixture of things in the heart of a truly confessingPublican. There must be sound sense of sin, sound knowledge of God: deep convictionof the certainty and terribleness of the day of judgment, as also of the probabilityof obtaining mercy.

But to come to that which remains; I told you that there were two things that didmake unfeigned confession hard. The first I have touched upon.

II. And now the second follows: And that is, some private, close leaning to somepiece or parcel of goodness, that a man shall conceit that he hath done before, oris doing now, or that he purposeth in his deceitful heart that he will do one ofthese days, with which he hopes to prevail with God for the pardon of his sins. Thisman to be sure knows not sin in the nature and evil of it, only he has some falseapprehensions about it. For where the right knowledge of sin is in the heart, thatman sees so much evil in the least transgression, as that it would, even any onesin, break the backs of all the angels of heaven, should the great God but imputeit to them. And he that sees this is far enough off from thinking of doing to mitigate,or assuage the rigour of the law, or to make pardonable his own transgressions thereby.But he that sees not this, cannot confess his transgressions aright; for the confessionconsisteth in the general, in a man's taking to himself his transgressions, and standingin them, with the acknowledgement of them to be his, and that he cannot stir fromunder them, nor do any thing to make amends for them, or to palliate the rigour ofjustice against the soul. And this the Publican did when he cried, "God be mercifulto me a sinner."

He made his sins his own, he took them to him, he stood before in them, accountingthat he was surely undone for ever if God did not extend forgiveness unto him. Andthis is to do as the prophet Jeremy bids; to wit, "only to acknowledge our iniquities,"to acknowledge them and to stand in them at the terrible bar of God's justice, untilmercy takes them out of the way; not shifting our shoulders or conscience of them,by doing, or promising to do, either this or that good work, only acknowledge, acknowledgeonly. And the reason of this kind of confession is,

1. Because this carrieth in it the true nature of confession, to confess, and toabide under the crimes confessed, without shifts and evasions, is the only real simpleway of confessions. "I said I would confess my transgressions unto the Lord";and what then, "and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin." (Psa 32:5)Mark, nothing comes in betwixt confession and forgiveness of sin, nothing of worksof righteousness, nothing of legal amendments, nothing but an outcry for mercy; andthat act is so far off from lessening the offence, that it greatly heighteneth andaggravates it. That is the first reason.

2. A second reason is, because God doth expect that the penitent confessors shouldfor the time that his wisdom shall think meet, not only confess, but bear their shameupon them; yea, saith God, "be thou confounded also and bear thy shame,"when God takes away thine iniquity, thou shalt be confounded and never open thy mouthmore because of thy shame. (Eze 16:52,63) We count it convenient that men, when theircrimes and transgressions are to be manifested, that they be set in some open place,with a paper, wherein their transgressions are inserted, pinned upon their back ortheir forehead, that they may not only confess, but bear their own shame.[34] Andat the penitential confession of sinners, God has something of this kind to do; ifnot before men, yet before angels, that they may behold, and be affected, and rejoicewhen they shall see, after the revelation of sin, the sinner taken into the favourand abundant mercy of God. (Luke 15)

3. A third reason is, For that God will in the forgiveness of sin, magnify the richesof his mercy; but this cannot be, if God shall suffer, or accept of such confessionof sin, as is yet intermixed with those things that will darken the heinousness ofthe offence, and that will be darkened either by a partial, feigned, or overly confession:or by a joining with the confession any of the sinners pretended good deeds.

That God in the salvation, and so in the confession of the sinner, designs the magnifyingof his mercy, is apparent enough from the whole current of scripture, and that anyof the things now mentioned will, if suffered to be done, darken and eclipse thisthing, is evident to reason itself.

Suppose a man stand indicted for treason, yet shall so order the matter, that itshall ring in the country, that his offences are but petty crimes; though the kingshall forgive this man, much glory shall not thereby redound to the riches and greatnessof his mercy. But let all things lie naked, let nothing lie hid or covered, let sinbe seen, shewn, and confessed, as it is with and in the sinner himself, and thenthere will be in his forgiveness a magnifying of mercy.

4. A fourth reason is, for that else God cannot be justified in his sayings, norovercome when he is judged. (Psa 51, Rom 3) God's word hath told us what sin is,both as to its nature and evil effects. God's word hath told us, that the best ofour righteousnesses are not better than filthy rags. God's word has also told us,that sin is forgiven us freely by grace, and to for the sake of our amendments: andall this God will have shewn, not only in the acts of his mercy towards, but evenin the humiliations and confessions of the penitent: For God will have his mercybegin to be displayed even there where the sinner hath taken his first step towardhim: "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign throughrighteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom 5:21)

5. A fifth reason is, because God would have by the Publican's conversion, othersaffected with the displays and discoveries of wonderful grace; but to cloud and coverit with lessening of sin, and the sinful righteousness of man, is not the way todo this. Wherefore the sinner's confession must be such as is full, nor must anythingof his to lessen sin come in betwixt confession and mercy; and this is the way toaffect others [who are] as bad as Publicans and sinners, and to make them come into God for mercy.

For what will such say when sin begins to appear to the conscience, and when thelaw shall follow it with a voice of words, each one like a clap of thunder? I say,what will such say when they shall read that the Publican did only acknowledge hisiniquity, and found grace and favour at the hand of God? But that God is infinitelymerciful; merciful indeed, and that to those, or to such, as do in truth stand inneed of mercy. Also that he sheweth mercy of his own good pleasure, nothing movinghim thereto but the bounty of his own goodness and the misery of his creature.

I say, this is the way to make others be affected with mercy; as he saith, by theapostle Paul, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith heloved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,[by grace ye are saved] and hath raised us up together, and made us sit togetherin heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceedingriches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Eph 2:4-7)You may also see that: 1 Timothy 1:15, 16. 6. Another reason of this is, becausethis is the way to heighten the comfort and consolation of the soul; and that bothhere and hereafter. What tendeth more to this, than for sinners to see, and withguilt and amazement to confess what sin is, and so to have pardon extended from Godto the sinner as such? This fills the heart; this ravishes the soul! this puts awhole heaven of joy into every one of the thoughts of salvation from sin, and deliverancefrom wrath to come. "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come toZion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness,and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isa 35:10) Indeed the belief of thismakes joy and gladness endless: I say, it will make it begin here, and make thatit shall never have consummation in heaven.

7. Besides, it layeth upon the soul the greatest obligations to holiness; what likethe apprehension of free forgiveness, and that apprehension must come in througha sight of the greatness of sin, and of my inability to do anything towards satisfaction,to engage the heart of a rebel and traitor to love his prince, and to submit to hislaws.

When Elisha had taken the Syrians captives, some were for using severities towardsthem; but he said, "Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink,and go to their master"; and they did so. And what follows, "So the bandsof Syria came no more into the land of Israel." He conquered their malice withhis compassion. And it is the love of Christ that constraineth to live to him. (2Kings 6:22,23, 2 Cor 5:14)

Many other things might possibly be urged, but at present let these be sufficient.

[His imploring of mercy.]

Second. The second thing that we made mention of in the Publican's prayer was, animploring of help against this malady; GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER. In which petitionI shall take notice of several things.

I. That a man's help against sins, doth not so absolutely lie in his personal conquest,as in the pardon of them. I suppose a conquest, though there can indeed by man benone, so long as he liveth in this world; I mean, a complete conquest and annihilationof sin.

The Publican, and so every graciously awakened sinner, is doubtless for the subduingof sin; but yet he looketh that the chief help against it doth lie in the pardonof it. Suppose a man should stab his neighbour with his knife, and afterwards burnhis knife to nothing in the fire, would this give him help against his murder? Noverily, notwithstanding this, his neck is obnoxious to the halter, yea, and his soulto hell fire. But a pardon gives him absolute help: "It is God that justifies,who shall condemn." (Rom 8) Suppose a man should live many days in rebellionagainst God, and after that leave off to live any longer so rebelliously, would thishelp him against the guilt which he contracted before? No verily, without remissionthere is no help, but the rebel is undone. Wherefore the first blessedness, yea,and that without which all other things cannot make one blessed, it lies in pardon."Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."(Psa 32:1) "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." (Rom4:8)

Suppose a man greatly sanctified and made holy; I say, suppose it; yet if the sins,before committed by him, be not pardoned, he cannot be a blessed man.

Yet again, Suppose a man should be caught up to heaven, not having his sins pardoned,heaven itself cannot make him a blessed man. I suppose these things, not that theycan be, but to illustrate my matter. There can be not blessedness upon any man whoyet remaineth unforgiven. You see therefore here, that there was much of the wisdomof the Holy Ghost in this prayer of the Publican. He was directed the right, theonly, the next[35] way to shelter, where blessedness begins even to mercy for thepardon of his sins. Alas! What would it advantage a traitor to be taken up into theking's coach, to be clothed with the king's royal robe, to have put upon his fingerthe king's gold ring, and to be made to wear, for the present, a chain of gold abouthis neck, if after all this the king should say unto him, but I will not pardon thyrebellion; thou shalt die for thy treason? Pardon then, to him that loves life, ischiefest, is better, and more to be preferred and sought after, than all other things;yea, it is the highest point of wisdom in any sinner to seek after that first.

This therefore confuteth the blindness of some, and the hypocrisy of others. Someare so silly, and so blind, as quite to forget and look over the pardon of sin, andto lay their happiness in some external amendments; when alas poor wretches, as theyare, they abide still under the wrath of God. Or if they be not quite so foolishas utterly to forget the forgiveness of sin, yet they think of it, but in the secondplace; they are for setting of sanctification before justification, and so seek toconfound the order of God; and that which is worse unto them, they by so doing, dowhat they can to keep themselves indeed from being sharers in that great blessingof forgiveness of sins by grace.

But the Publican here was guided by the wisdom of heaven: He comes into the temple,he confesseth himself a sinner, and forthwith, without any delay, before he removethhis foot from where he stands, craveth help of pardon; for he knew that all otherthings, if yet he remained as involved in guilt, would not help him against thatdamnation that belonged to a vile and unforgiven sinner.

This also confuteth the hypocrites, such as is our Pharisee here in the text, thatglory in nothing more, or so much, as that they are "not as other men, - - unjust,adulterers, extortioners, or even as this Publican"; for these men have missedof the beginning of good which is the forgiveness of sin; and if they have missedof the first, of the beginning good, they shall never, as so standing, receive thesecond, or the third: Justification, sanctification, glorification, they are thethree things, but the order of God must not be perverted. Justification must be first,because that comes to man while he is ungodly and a sinner.

Justification cannot be where God has not passed a pardon. A pardon then is the firstthing to be looked after by the sinner; this the Pharisee did not, therefore he wentdown to his house unjustified; he set the stumbling-block of his iniquity beforehis face when he went to enquire of the Lord; and as he neglected, slighted, scorned,because he thought that he had no need of pardon; therefore it was given to the poor,needy, and miserable Publican, and he went away with the blessing of it.

PUBLICANS, since this is so weighty a point, let me exhort you that you do not forgetthis prayer of your wise and elder brother, to wit, the Publican, that went up intothe temple to pray. I say, forget it not, neither suffer any vain-glorious or self-conceited hypocrite to beat you with arguments, or to allure you with their sillyand deceitful tongues, from this most wholesome doctrine. Remember that you are sinners,equal to, or as abominable as are the Publicans, wherefore do you, as you have himfor your pattern, go to God, and to him confess in all simple, honest, and self-abasing-wiseyour great, numerous, and abominable sins; and be sure that in the very next placeyou forget not to ask for pardon, saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner."And remember that heaven itself cannot help you against, nor keep you from, the damnationand misery that comes by sin, if 'twas possible you should go thither, if you missof pardon and forgiveness.

II. As the Publican imploreth help, so withal he closely approveth, notwithstanding,of the sentence of the law that was gone out against him. This is manifest, for hesaith to God, "be merciful to me"; and also in that he concludes himself"a sinner." I say, he justifieth, he approveth of the sentence of the law,that was gone out against him, and by which he now stood condemned in his own consciencebefore the tribunal of God's justice. He saith not as the hypocrite, "BecauseI am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me" (Jer 2:35); or "Whathave we spoken so much against thee?" (Mal 3:13) No, he is none of these murmurersor complainers, but fairly falls before the law, witnesses, judge and jury, and consentethto the verdict, sentence, and testimony of each of them.

To illustrate this a little, suppose a malefactor should be arraigned before a judge,and that after the witnesses, jury, and judge, have all condemned him to death forhis fact, the judge again should ask him what he can say for himself why sentenceof death should not pass upon him? Now if he saith, nothing, but good, my lord, mercy;he in sum confesseth the indictment, justifieth the witnesses, approveth of the verdictof the jury, and consenteth to the judgment of the judge.

The Publican therefore in crying mercy, justifieth the sentence of the law that wasgone out against his sins: He wrangleth not with the law, saying, that was too severe,though many men do thus, saying, God forbid, for then woe be to us. He wranglethnot with the witness, which was his own conscience, though some will buffet, smite,and stop its mouth, or command it to be silent. He wrangleth not with the jury, whichwas the prophets and apostles, though some men cannot abide to hear all that theysay. He wrangleth not with the judge, nor sheweth himself irreverently before him,but in all humble-wise, with all manner of gestures that could bespeak him acquiescingwith the sentence, he flieth to mercy for relief.

Nor is this alone the way of the Publican; but of other godly men before his time:When David was condemned, he justified the sentence and the judge, out of whose mouthit proceeded, and so fled for succour to the mercy of God. (Psa 51) When Shemaiahthe prophet pronounced God's judgments against the princes of Judah for their sin,they said, "The Lord is righteous." (2 Chron 12:6) When the church in theLamentations had reckoned up several of her grievous afflictions wherewith she hadbeen chastised of her God, she, instead of complaining, doth justify the Lord, andapprove of the sentence that was passed upon her, saying, "The Lord is righteous;for I have rebelled against his commandment." (Lam 1:18) So Daniel, after hehad enumerated the evils that befell the church in his day, addeth, "Thereforehath the Lord - brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all hisworks which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice." (Dan 9:14)

I know that all these do justify the judgment of God that was gone out against them,as the Publican did the sentence wherewith he was condemned. And I say, that unlessa man doth come hither, his confession and cry for mercy is not right, and so accordingto the scripture, reason, and nature of things as they ought to be; for he that hasany other plea, why doth he cry God, Mercy! Surely not because he concludes thatwhat is done, is done justly and righteously against him, but because he is overruledby spite, prejudice, tyranny, or the like.

But this is not the case with our Publican. He has transgressed a law that is holy,just, and good: the witness that accuseth him of this, is God and his conscience;he is also cast by the verdict of holy men of God; and all this he knows, and implicitlyconfesses, even in that he directs his prayer unto his judge for pardon. And it isone of the excellentest sights in the world to see, or understand a sinner thus honestlyreceiving the sentence of the law that is gone out against him; to see and hear aPublican thus to justify God.[36] And this God will have done for these reasons.

1. That it might be conspicuous to all that the Publican has need of mercy. Thisis for the glory of the justice of God, because it vindicates it in its goings outagainst the Publican. God loveth to do things in justice and righteousness, whenhe goeth out against men, though it be but such a going out against them as onlytendeth to their conviction and conversions. When he dealt with our father Abrahamin this matter, he called him to his foot, as here he doth the Publican. And sinner,if ever God counts thee worthy to inherit the throne of glory, he will bring theehither. But,

2. The Publican, by the power of conviction stoops to, and falleth under the righteoussentence gone forth against him, that it might be also manifest that what afterwardhe shall receive is of the mere grace and sovereign goodness of God. And indeed thereis no way that doth more naturally tend to make this manifest than this. For thus;there is a man proceeded against for life, by the law, and the sentence of deathis in conclusion most justly and righteously passed upon him by the judge. Supposenow that after this, this man lives, and is exalted to honour, enjoys great things,and is put into place of trust and power, and that by him that he has offended, evenby him that did pass the sentence upon him. What will all say, or what will theyconclude, even upon the very first hearing of this story? Will they not say, well,whoever he was that found himself wrapped up in this strange providence, must thankthe mercy of a gracious prince; for all these things bespeak grace and favour. But,

3. As the Publican falleth willingly under the sentence, and justifieth the passingof it upon him; so by his flying to mercy for help, he declareth to all that he cannotdeliver himself: He putteth help away from himself, or saith, it is not in me.

This, I say, is another thing included in this prayer, and it is a thing distinctfrom that but now we have been speaking to. For it is possible for a man to justifyand fall under the sentence of the judge, and yet retain that with himself that willcertainly deliver him from that sentence when it has done its worst. Many have heldup their hand, and cried guilty at the bar, and yet have fetched themselves off wellenough for all that; but then they have not pleaded mercy, for he that doth so, putshis life altogether into the hands of another, but privilege or good deeds eitherdone or to be done by them. But the Publican in the text puts all out of his ownhand; and in effect saith to that God before whom he went up into the temple to pray;Lord, I stand here condemned at the bar of thy justice, and that worthily, for thesentence is good, and hath in righteousness gone out against me; nor can I delivermyself, I heartily and freely confess I cannot; wherefore I betake myself only tothy mercy, and do pray thee to forgive the transgressions of me a sinner. O how fewbe there of such kind of Publicans! I mean of Publicans thus made sensible, thatcome unto God for mercy.

Mercy with most, is rather a compliment, I mean, while they plead it with God, thana matter of absolute necessity; they have not awfully, and in judgment and consciencefallen under the sentence, nor put themselves out of all plea but the plea of mercy.Indeed, thus to do, is the effect of the proof of the vanity and emptiness of allexperiments made use of before. Now there is a two-fold proof of experiments; theone is, the result of practice; the other is, the result of faith.

The woman with her bloody issue made her proof by practice, when she had spent allthat she had upon physicians and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. (Mark5:26) But our Publican here proves the emptiness and vanity of all other helps, byone cast of faith upon the contents of the bible, and by another look upon his presentstate of condemnation; wherefore he presently, without any more ado, condemneth allother helps, ways, modes, or means of deliverance, and betakes himself only to themercy of God, saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

And herein he showeth wonderful wisdom. For,

(1.) By this, He thrusts himself under the shelter and blessing of the promise: andI am sure it is better and safer to do so, than to rely upon the best of excellencesthat this world can afford. (Hosea 14:1-4)

(2.) He takes the ready way to please God; for God takes more delight in showingof mercy, than in any thing that we can do. (Hosea 6:6, Matt 9:13, 12:7) Yea andthat also is the man that pleaseth him, even he that hopes in his mercy. (Psa 147:11)The Publican therefore, whatever the Pharisee might think, stood all this while uponsure ground, and had by far the start of him for heaven. Alas! his dull head couldlook no further than to the conceit of the pitiful beauty and splendour of his ownstinking righteousness.[37] Nor durst he leave that to trust wholly to the mercyof God; but the Publican comes out, though in his sins, yet like an awakened, enlightened,resolved man, and first abases himself, then gives God the glory of his justice,and after that the glory of his mercy, by saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner";and thus in the ears of the angels he did ring the changes of heaven. Again,

(3.) The Publican, in his thus putting himself upon mercy, showeth, that in his opinionthere is more virtue in mercy to save, than there is in the law and sin to condemn.And although this is not counted a great matter to do, while men are far from thelaw, and while their conscience is asleep within them; yet when the law comes near,and conscience is awake, who so tries it, will find it a laboursome work. Cain couldnot do thus for his heart, no, nor Saul; nor Judas, neither. This is another kindof thing than most men think it to be, or shall find it, whenever they shall beholdGod's angry face, and when they shall hear the words of his law.

However our Publican did it, and ventured his body, soul, and future condition forever in this bottom, with other the saints and servants of God, leaving of the worldto swim over the sea of God's wrath if they will, in their weak and simple vesselsof bulrushes, or to lean upon their cobweb-hold, when he shall arise to the judgmentthat he hath appointed.

In the mean time pray God awaken us as he did the Publican; pray God enlighten usas he did the Publican; pray God grant us boldness to come to him as the Publicandid; and also in that trembling spirit as he did, when he cried in the temple beforehim, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

[His Gestures.]

THIRD. Thus having in brief passed over his prayer, we come in the next place tohis gestures; for in my judgment the right understanding of them will give us yetmore conviction of the Publican's sense and awakening of spirit under this presentaction of his.

And I have observed many a poor wretch that has readily had recourse to the Publican'sprayer, that never knew what the Publican's GESTURES, in the presence of God, whilein prayer before him, did mean. Nor must any man be admitted to think, that thosegestures of his were in custom, and a formality among the Jews in those days; for'tis evident enough by the carriage of the Pharisee, that it was below them and theirmode, when they came into the temple, or when they prayed any where else; and theyin those days were counted for the best of men, and men too in religious mattersthey were to imitate and take their examples at the hands of the best, not at thehands of the worst.

The Publican's gestures then, were properly his own, caused by the guilt of sin,and by that dread of the majesty of God that was upon his spirit. And a comely postureit was, else Christ Jesus, the Son of God, would never have taken that particularnotice thereof as he did, nor have smiled upon it so much as to take it, and distinctlyrepeat it as that which made his prayer the more weighty, and the more also to betaken notice of. Yea, in mine opinion, the Lord Jesus has committed it to record,for that he liked it, and for that it shall pass for some kind of touchstone of prayer,that is made in good sense of sin, and of God, and of need of his goodness and mercy.For verily, all these postures signify sense, sight of a lost condition, and a heartin good earnest for mercy.

I know that they may be counterfeited, and Christ Jesus knows who doth so too; butthat will not hinder, or make weak or invalid what hath already been spoken aboutit. But to forbear to make a further prologue, and to come to the handling of particulars.

"And the Publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyesunto heaven, but smote upon his breast."

Three things, as I told you already, we may perceive in these words, by which hisPublican posture, or gestures are set forth.

First. He stands afar off. Second. He would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven.Third. He smote upon his breast. First. For the first of these, "He stood afaroff." "And the Publican standing afar off." This is, I say, the firstthing, the first posture of his with which we are acquainted, and it informeth usof several things.

1. That he came not with senselessness of the majesty of God when he came to pray,as the Pharisee did, and as sinners commonly do. For this standing back, or afaroff, declares that the majesty of God had an awful stroke upon his spirit: He sawwhither, to whom, and for what, he was now approaching the temple. It is said inthat 20th of Exodus, That when the people saw the thunderings and the lightnings,and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, and all these were signsof God's terrible presence, and dreadful majesty, they removed themselves, "andstood afar off." (Exo 20:18) This behaviour therefore of the Publican did wellbecome his present action, especially since, in his own eyes, he was yet an unforgivensinner. Alas! What is God's majesty to a sinful man, but a consuming fire? And whatis a sinful man in himself, or in his approach to God, but as stubble fully dry.

How then could the Publican do otherwise than what he did, than stand afar off, ifhe either thought of God or himself. Indeed the people afore-named, before they sawGod in his terrible majesty, could scarce be kept off from the mount with words andbounds, as it is now the case of many: Their blindness gives them boldness; theirrudeness gives them confidence; but when they shall see what the Publican saw, andfelt, and understood as he, they will pray, and stand afar off, even as these peopledid. They removed and stood afar off, and then fell to praying of Moses that thisdreadful sight and sound might be taken from them. And what if I should say, he stoodafar off for fear of a blow, though he came for mercy, as it is said of them, Theystood "afar off for the fear of her torment." (Rev 18:10)

I know what it is to go to God for mercy, and what it is to stand all that whilein my spirit through fear afar off, being possessed with this, will not God now smiteme at once to the ground for my sins. David thought something when he said as heprayed, "Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit fromme." (Psa 51:11)

There is none knows, but those that have them, what turns and returns, what comingon and going off, there is in the spirit of a man that indeed is awakened, and thatstands awakened before the glorious Majesty in prayer.[38] The prodigal also madehis prayer to his Father intentionally, while he was yet a great way off. And sodid the lepers too; "And as he entered into a certain village, there met himten men that were lepers, which stood AFAR OFF: And they lift up their voices andsaid, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." (Luke 17:12,13)

See here, it has been the custom of praying men to keep their distance, and not tobe rudely bold in rushing into the presence of the holy and heavenly majesty; especiallyif they have been sensible of their own vileness and sins, as the prodigal, the lepers,and our Publican was. Yea, Peter himself, when upon a time he perceived more thancommonly he did of the majesty of Jesus his Lord, what doth he do! "When SimonPeter saw it," says the text, "he fell down at Jesus" knees, saying,Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord." (Luke 5:8) Oh! when men seeGod and themselves, it fills them with holy fear, of the greatness of the majestyof God, as well as with love to, and desire after his mercy.

Besides, by his standing afar off, it might be to intimate that he now had in mind,and with great weight upon his conscience, the infinite distance that was betwixtGod, and him. Men should know that, and tremble in the thoughts of it, when theyare about to approach the omnipotent presence.

What is poor sorry man! poor dust and ashes, that he should crowd it up, and go jostlinglyin the presence of the great God? especially since it is apparent, that besides thedisproportion that is betwixt God and him, he is a filthy, leprous, polluted, nasty,stinking, sinful bit of carrion.[39] Esther, when she went to supplicate the kingher husband for her people, made neither use of her beauty, nor relation, nor otherprivileges of which she might have had temptation to make use, especially at sucha time, and in such exigencies, as then did compass her about: But I say, she madenot use of them to thrust herself into his presence, but knew, and kept her distance,standing in the inward court of his palace, until he held out the golden sceptreto her; THEN "Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre." (Esth5:2)

Men also when they come into the presence of God, should know their distance; yea,and shew that they know it too, by such gestures and carriages, and behaviors thatare seemly. A remarkable saying is that of Solomon. "Keep thy foot when thougoest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrificeof fools; for they consider not that they do evil. [And as they should keep theirfoot, so also he adds] Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hastyto utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: thereforelet thy words be few." (Eccl 5:1,2) Three things the Holy Ghost exhorteth toin this text.

The one is, that we look to our feet, and not be forward to crowd into God's presence.

Another is, That we should also look well to our tongues, that they be not rash inuttering anything before God.

And the third is, because of the infinite distance that is betwixt God and us, whichis intimated by those words, "For God is in heaven, and thou upon earth."

The Publican therefore shewed great wisdom, holy shame, and humility, in this bravegesture of his, namely, in his standing afar off, when he went up into the templeto pray. But this is not all.

2. The Publican, in standing afar off, left room for an advocate, an high priest,a day's-man to come betwixt, to make peace between God and this poor creature. Moses,the great mediator of the Old Testament, was to go nigher to God than the rest ofthe leaders, or of the people were. (Exo 20:21) Yea, the rest of the people wereexpressly commanded to worship, standing afar off. (19:21) No man of the sons ofAaron that hath a blemish was to come nigh. "No man that hath a blemish of theseed of Aaron the priest, shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord madeby fire: He shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God." (Lev 21:21)

The Publican durst not be his own mediator, he knew he had a blemish, and was infirm,and therefore he stands back; for he knew that it was none of him that his God hadchosen to come near unto him, to offer the fat and the blood. (Eze 44:13-15) ThePublican therefore was thus far right: he took not up the room himself, neither withhis person, nor his performances, but stood back, and gave place to the high priestthat was to be intercessor.

We read, that when Zacharias went into the temple to burn incense, as at that timehis lot was, "The whole multitude of the people were praying without."(Luke 1:9,10) They left him where he was, near to God, between God and them, mediatingof them; for the offering of incense by the chief priest was a figurative makingof intercession for the people, and they maintained their distance.

It is a great matter in praying to God, not to go too far, nor come too short inthat duty. I mean in the duty of prayer, and a man is very apt to do one or the other.The Pharisee went so far, he was too bold, he came into the temple making such aruffle with his own excellences, there was in his thoughts no need of a Mediator.He also went up so nigh to God, that he took up the room and place of the Mediatorhimself; but this poor Publican, he knows his distance, and kept it, and leaves roomfor the High Priest to come and intercede for him with God. He stood afar off, nottoo far off; for that is the room and place of unbelievers, and in this sense thatsaying is true, "For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish" (Psa73:27): That is, they whose unbelief hath set them in their hearts and affectionsmore upon their idols, and that have been made to cast God behind their backs, tofollow and go a whoring after them.

Hitherto therefore it appears, that though the Pharisee had more righteousness thanthe Publican, yet the Publican had more spiritual righteousness than the Pharisee:And that though the Publican had a baser, and more ugly outside than the Pharisee,yet the Publican knew how to prevail with God for mercy better than he.

As for the Publican's posture of standing in prayer, it is excusable, and that bythe very father of the faithful himself: For Abraham stood praying when he made intercessionfor Sodom. (Gen 18:22,23) Christ also alloweth it where he saith, "And whenye STAND PRAYING, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also whichis in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." (Mark 11:25) Indeed there isno stinted order prescribed for our thus or thus behaving of ourselves in prayer,whether kneeling, or standing, or walking or lying, or sitting; for all these postureshave been used by the godly. "Paul KNEELED down and prayed." (Acts 20:36)Abraham and the Publican STOOD and prayed. David prayed as he WALKED. (2 Sam 15:30,31)Abraham prayed LYING upon his face. (Gen 17:17,18) Moses prayed SITTING. (Exo 17:12)And indeed prayer, effectual fervent prayer, may be, and often is, made unto God,under all these circumstances of behaviour: for God has not tied us to any of them;and he that shall tie himself, or his people, to any one of these, doth more thanhe hath warrant for from God; and let such take care of innovating, it is the nextway to make men hypocrites and dissemblers in those duties, in which they shouldbe sincere.

True, which of those soever a man shall chose to himself for the present, to performthis solemn duty in, it is required of him, and God expects it, that he should prayto him in truth, and with desire, affection, and hunger, after those things, thatwith his tongue he maketh mention of before the throne of God. And indeed withoutthis, all is nothing. But alas! how few be there in the world whose heart and mouthin prayer shall go together? Dost thou, when thou askest for the spirit, or faith,or love to God, to holiness, to saints, to the word, and the like, ask for them withlove to them, desire of them, hungering after them? Oh! this is a mighty thing! andyet prayer is no more before God, than as it is seasoned with these blesssed qualifications.Wherefore it is said, that while men are praying, God is searching of the heart,to see what is the meaning of the spirit, or whether there be the spirit and hismeaning in all that the mouth hath uttered, either by words, sighs, or groans; becauseit is by him, and through his help only that any make prayers according to the willof God. (Rom 8:26,27) Whatever thy posture therefore shall be, see that thy prayersbe pertinent and fervent, not mocking of thine own soul with words, while thou wantestand art an utter stranger to the very vital and living spirit of prayer.

Now our Publican, had, and did exercises, the very spirit of prayer in prayer. Heprayed sensibly, seriously, affectionately hungering, thirsting, and with longingafter that, for which with his mouth he implored the God of heaven: His heart andsoul were in his words, and it was that which made his PRAYER; even because he prayedin PRAYER; he prayed inwardly, as well as outwardly.

David tells us, that God heard the VOICE of his supplication, the voice of his cry,the voice of his tears, and the voice of his roaring. For indeed there are all thesewithout this acceptable sound in them, nor can any thing but sense, and affection,and fervent desire, make them sound well in the ears of God. Tears, supplications,prayers, cries, may be all of them done in formality, hypocrisy, and from other causes,and to other ends than that which is honest and right in God's sight: For God ashe had experience of, would search and look after the VOICE of his tears, supplications,roarings, prayers, and cries.

And if men had less care to please men, and more to please God, in the matter andmanner of praying, the world would be at a better pass than it is. But this is notin man's power to help, and to amen: When the Holy Ghost comes upon men with greaterconviction of their state and condition, and of the use and excellency of the graceof sincerity and humility in prayer, then, and not till then, will the grace of prayerbe more prized, and the spacious flouting, complimentary lips of flatterers be morelaid aside. I have said it already, and I will say it again, that there is now-a-daysa great deal of wickedness committed in the very duty of prayer; by words, of whichmen have no sense,[40] by reaching after such conclusions and clenches therein, asmay make their persons to be admired; by studying for, and labouring after such enlargementsas the spirit accompanieth not the heart in. O Lord God, O Lord God, make our heartsupright in us, as in all points and parts of our profession, so in this solemn appointmentof God, "If I regard iniquity in my heart," said David, "the Lordwill not hear me." But if I be truly sincere he will, and then it is no materwhether I kneel, or stand, or sit, or lie, or walk; for I shall do none of these,nor put up my prayers under any of these circumstances, lightly foolishly, and idly,but to beautify this gesture with the inward working of my mind and spirit in prayer;that whether I stand or sit, walk or lie down, glory and gravity, humility and sincerityshall make my prayer profitable, and my outward behaviour comely in his eyes, withwhom in prayer I now have to do.

And had not our Publican been inwardly seasoned with these, Christ would have takenbut little pleasure in his modes and outward behaviour: but being so honest inwardly,and in the matter of his prayer, his gestures by that were made beauteous also; andtherefore it is that our Lord so delightfully dilateth upon them, and draweth themout at length before the eyes of others.

I have often observed, that that which is natural, and so comely in one, looks odiouslywhen imitated by another, I speak as to gestures and actions in preaching and prayer.Many, I doubt not, but will imitate the Publican, and that both in the prayer andgestures of the Publican, whose persons and actions will yet stink full foully inthe nostrils of him that is holy and just, and that searcheth the heart and the reins.

Well, the Publican STOOD and prayed, he stood afar off, and prayed, and his prayerscame even to the ears and heart of God.


Second, We are now come to another of his postures. "He would not, [says thetext] so much as lift up his eyes to heaven." Here therefore was another gestureadded to that which went before; and a gesture that a great while before had beencondemned by the Holy Ghost himself. "Is it such a fast that I have chosen?A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush."(Isa 58:5)

But why condemned then, and smiled upon now? Why! Because done in hypocrisy then,and in sincerity now. Hypocrisy and a spirit of error will so besmut God's ordinances,that he shall take no pleasure in them: but sincerity, and honesty in duties, willmake even those circumstances that in themselves are indifferent, at least comelyin the sight of men. May I not say before God? the Rechabites were not commandedof God, but of their father, to do as they did; but, because they were sincere intheir obedience thereto, even God himself maketh use of what they did to condemnthe disobedience of the Jews; and moreover doth tell the Rechabites, at last, thatthey should not want a man to stand before him for ever. "And Jeremiah saidunto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel;Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts,and done according unto all that he hath commanded you; therefore, thus saith theLORD of Hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a manto stand before me for ever." (Jer 35:18,19)

"He would not life up his eyes to heaven." Why? Surely because shame hadcovered his face. Shame will make a man blush and hang his head like a bulrush. Shamefor sin is a virtue, a comely thing; yea, a beauty-spot in the face of a sinner thatcometh to God for mercy.

God complains of the house of Israel, that they could sin, and that without shame;yea, and threateneth them too with sore and repeated judgments, "because theywere not ashamed," it is in Jeremiah 8:12. Their crimes in general were, theyturned every one to his course, as the horse runneth into the battle. In particular,they were such as rejected God's word, they loved this world, and set themselvesagainst the prophet's crying peace, peace, peace, when they cried judgment, judgment:"Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination: nay, they were not atall ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them thatfall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord."Oh! to stand, or sit, or lie, or kneel, or walk before God in prayer, with blushingcheeks for sin, is one of the excellentest sights that can be seen in the world.Wherefore the church taketh some kind of heart to herself in that she could lie downin her shame; yea, and makes that a kind of an argument with God, to prove that herprayers did come from her heart, and also that he would hear them. (Jer 3:25)

Shame for sin argueth sense of sin, yea, a right sense of sin, a godly sense of sin;Ephraim pleads this when under the hand of God: "I was," saith he, "ashamed,yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth." But whatfollows? "Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spakeagainst him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubledfor him: I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord." (Jer 31:19,20)

I know that there is a shame that is not the spirit of an honest heart; but thatrather floweth from sudden surprisal, when the sinner is unawares taken in the act,in the very manner. And thus sometimes the house of Israel was taken, and then whenthey blushed, their shame is compared to the shame of a thief. "As the thiefis ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings,their princes and their priests, and their prophets."

But where were they taken, or about what were they found? Why they were found "sayingto a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth."(Jer 2:26,27) God catched them thus doing, and this made them ashamed, even as thethief is ashamed when the owner doth catch him stealing of his horse.

But this was not the Publican's shame; this shame brings not a man into the templeto pray, to stand willingly, and to take shame before God in prayer. This shame makesone rather to fly from his face, and to count one's self most at ease when they getfarthest off from God.

The Publican's shame therefore, which he demonstrateth that he had, even by hangingdown of his head, was godly and holy, and much like that of the prodigal, when hesaid, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no moreworthy to be called thy son." (Luke 15:21) I suppose that his postures weremuch the same with the Publican's, as were his prayers, for the substance of them.O however grace did work in both to the same end, they were both of them, after agodly manner ashamed of their sins.

He would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven.

It saith not he could not, but he would not; which yet more fully makes it appearthat it was shame, not guilt, not guilt only or chiefly, though it is manifest enoughthat he had guilt also by his crying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I say, guiltwas not the chief cause of hanging down his head, because it saith, he would not;for when guilt is the cause of stooping, it lieth not in the will, or in the powerthereof, to help one up.

David tells us, that when he was under guilt, his iniquities were gone over his head:"As an heavy burden they are too heavy for me." (Psa 38:4) And that withthem he was bowed down greatly. Or, as he says in another place, "Mine iniquitieshave taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up" (Psa 40:12); I amnot ABLE to do it; guilt disableth the understanding and conscience, shame makesall willingly fall and bare at the feet of Christ.

"He would not." He knew what he was, what he had been, and should be, ifGod had not mercy upon him: Yea, he knew also that God knew what he was, had been,and would be, if mercy prevented not; wherefore thought he, Wherefore should I liftup the head? I am no righteous man, no godly man; I have not

served God, but Satan; this I know, this God knows, this angels know, wherefore Iwill not "lift up the head." It is as much as to say, I will not be anhypocrite, like the Pharisee; for lifting up of the head signifies innocency andharmlessness of life, or good conscience, and the testimony thereof, under, and inthe midst of all accusations. Wherefore this was the counsel of Zophar to Job: "Ifthou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands towards him; If iniquity bein thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, andshalt not fear." (Job 11:13-15)

This was not the Publican's state, he had lived in lewdness and villany all his days;nor had he prepared his heart to seek the Lord God of his fathers, he had not cleansedhis heart nor hands from violence, nor done that which was lawful and right. He onlyhad been convinced of his evil ways, and was come into the temple as he was, allfoul, and in his filthy garments, and amidst his pollutions; how then could he beinnocent, holy or without spot? And consequently how could he lift up his face untoGod? I remember what Abner said to Asahel, "Turn thee aside, from followingme; wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my faceto Joab thy brother?" (2 Sam 2:22)

As if he had said, if I kill thee, I shall blush, be ashamed, and hang my head likea bulrush, the next time I come into the company of thy brother.

This was the Publican's case, he was guilty, he had sinned, he had committed a trespass,and now being come into the temple, into the presence of that God whose laws he hadbroken, and against whom he had sinned, how could he lift up his head? how couldhe bear the face to do it? No, it better became him to take his shame, and to hanghis head in token of guilt; and indeed he did, and did it to purpose too, for hewould not lift up, no, not so much as his eyes to heaven.

True, some would have done it, the Pharisee did it; though if he had considered,that hypocrisy, and leaning to his own righteousness had been sin, he would havefound as little cause to have done it, as did the Publican himself. But, I say, hedid it, and sped thereafter; he went down to his house as he came up into the temple,a poor unjustified Pharisee, whose person and prayers were both rejected, because,like the whore of whom we read in the Proverbs, after he had practised all mannerof hypocrisy, he comes into the temple "and wipes his mouth, and saith, I havedone no wickedness." (Prov 30:20) He lifts up his head, his face, his eyes toheaven; he struts, he vaunts himself; he swaggers, he vapours, and cries up himself,saying, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are."

True, had he come and stood before a stock or a stone, he might have said thus, andnot have been reprehended; for such are gods that see not, nor hear, neither do theyunderstand. But to come before the true God, the living God, the God that fills heavenand earth by his presence, and that knows the things that come into the mind of man,even every one of them, I say, to come into his house, to stand before him, and thusto lift up his head and eyes in such hypocrisy before him: this was abominable, thiswas to tempt God, and to prove him; yea, to challenge him to know what was in manif he could even as those did who said, "How doth God [see] know? can he judgethrough the dark cloud?" (Job 22:13, Psa 73:11)

But the Publican, no the Publican could not, durst not, would not do thus: He wouldnot lift up so much as his eyes to heaven. As who should say, O Lord, I have beenagainst thee, a traitor and a rebel, and like a traitor and rebel before thee willI stand. I will bear my shame before thee in the presence of the holy angels; yea,I will prevent thy judging of me by judging myself in thy sight, and will stand ascondemned before thee, before thou passest sentence upon me.

This is now for a sinner to go to the end of things. For what is God's design inthe work of conviction for sin, and in his awakening of the conscience about it?What is his end I say, but to make the sinner sensible of what he hath done, andthat he might unfeignedly judge himself for the same. Now this our Publican doth;his will therefore is now subject to the word of God, and he justifies him in allhis ways and works towards him. Blessed be God for any experience of these things.

"He would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven." He knew by his deedsand deservings that he had no portion there; nor would he divert his mind from theremembering, and from being affected with the evil of his ways.

Some men when they are under the guilt and conviction of their evil life, will dowhat they can to look any ways, and that on purpose to divert their minds, and tocall them off from thinking on what they have done; and by their thus doing, theybring many evils more upon their own souls: for this is a kind of striving with God,and a shewing a dislike to his ways. Would not you think, if when you are shewingyour son or your servant his faults, if he should do what he could to divert andtake off is mind from what you are saying, that he striveth against you, and shewethdislike of your doings. What else means the complaints of masters and of fathersin this matter? I have a servant, I have a son, that doth contrary to my will. Obut why do you not chide them for it: The answer is, so I do; but they do not regardmy words; they do what they can, even while I am speaking, to divert their mindsfrom my words and counsels. Why, all men will cry out this is base, this is worthyof great rebuke; such a son, such a servant deserveth to be shut out of doors, andso made to learn better breeding by want and hardship.

But the Publican would not divert his mind from what at present God was about tomake him sensible of, no, not by a look on the choicest object, he would not liftup so much as his eyes to heaven. They are but bad scholars, whose eyes, when theirmaster is teaching of them, are wandering off of their books.

God saith unto men, when he is a teaching them to know the evil of their ways, asthe angel said to the prophet, when he came to shew him the pattern of the temple;"Son of man," says he, "behold with thine eyes, and hear with thineears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent thatI might shew them unto thee, art thou brought hither." (Eze 40:4) So to theintent that God might shew to the Publican the evil of his ways, therefore was hebrought under the power of convictions, and the terrors of the law; and he also likea good learner gave good heed unto that lesson that now he was learning of God; forhe would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven.

Looking downwards doth ofttimes bespeak men very ponderous and deep in their cogitations;also that the matter about which in their minds they are now concerned, hath takengreat hold of their spirits. The Publican hath now new things, great things, andlong-lived things, to concern himself about: His sins, the curse, with death, andhell, began now to stare him in the face; Wherefore it was no time now to let hisheart, or his eyes, or his cogitations wander, but to be fixed, and to be vehementlyapplying of himself as a sinner, to the God of heaven for mercies.

Few know the weight of sin, and how, when the guilt thereof takes hold of the conscience,it commands homewards all the faculties of the soul. No man can go out or off now.Now he is wind-bound, or as Paul says, caught. Now he is made to possess bitter days,bitter nights, bitter hours, bitter thoughts; nor can he shift them, for his sinis ever before him. As David said, "For I acknowledge my transgressions: andmy sin is ever before me," in mine eye, and sticketh fast in every one of mythoughts. (Psa 51:3)

He would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven. THIRD, BUT SMOTE UPON HIS BREAST.This was the third and last of his gestures. He smote upon his breast; to wit, withhis hand, or with his fist. I read of several gestures with the hand and foot, accordingto the working and passions of the mind. 'Tis said Balak smote his hands together,being angry because that Balaam had blessed and not cursed for him the children ofIsrael. (Num 24:10)

God says also, that he had smitten his hands together, at the sins of the childrenof Israel. (Eze 22:13) God also bids the prophet stamp with his feet, and smite withhis hand upon his thigh, upon sundry occasions, and at several enormities, but thePublican here is said to smite upon his breast. (Chron 6:11, 21:12) And,

1. Smiting upon the breast betokeneth sorrow for something done, this is an experimentcommon among men. And indeed, therefore as I take it, doth our Lord Jesus put himunder this gesture in the act and exercise of his repentance, because it is thatwhich doth most lively set it forth.

Suppose a man comes to great damage for some folly that he has wrought, and he bemade sorrowful for being and doing such folly: There is nothing more common thanfor such a man, if he may, to walk to and fro in the room where he is, with headhung down, fetching ever and anon a bitter sigh: and smiting himself upon the breastin his dejected condition; "But smote upon his breast, saying, God be mercifulto me a sinner."

2. Smiting upon the breast is sometimes a token of indignation and abhorrence ofsomething thought upon. I read in Luke, that when Christ was crucified, those spectatorsthat stood to behold the barbarous usage that he endured at the hands of his enemies,"smote their breasts and returned." "And all the people that cametogether to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts,and returned." (Luke 23:48) Smote their breasts; that is, in token of indignationagainst, and abhorrence of their cruelty, that so grievously used the Son of God.

Here also we have our Publican smiting upon his breast, in token of indignation against,and abhorrence of his former life. And indeed without indignation against, and abhorrenceof his former life, his repentance had not been good. Wherefore the apostle dothmake indignation against sin, and against ourselves for that, one sign of true repentance(2 Cor 7:11), and his indignation against sin in general, and against his formerlife in particular, was manifested by his smiting upon the breast. Even as Ephraim'ssmiting upon the thigh was a sign and token of his: "Surely," says he,"after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smoteupon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproachof my youth." (Jer 31:19) Man when he vehemently dislikes a thing, is very aptto shew that dislike that to that thing he hath, by this or another outward gesture:as in putting the branch to the nose,[41] in snuffing or snorting at it (Eze 8:17,Mal 1:13); or in deriding; or, as some say, in blowing of their noses at it. (Luke16:14) But the Publican here chooseth rather to use this most solemn posture; forsmiting upon the breast, seems to imply a more serious, solemn, grave way or mannerof dislike, than any of those last mentioned do.

3. Smiting upon the breast, seems to intimate a quarrel with the heart for beguiling,deluding, flattering, seducing, and enticing of him to sin: For as conviction forsin begets in man, I mean if it be thorough, a sense of the sore and plague of theheart. So repentance, if it be right, begets in the man an outcry against the heart;for as much as by that light, by which repentance takes occasion, the sinner is madeto see, that the heart is the fountain, and well-spring of sin. "For from within,out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, - covetousness,"&c. (Mark 7:21,22) And hence it is, that commonly young converts do complainso of their hearts, calling them wicked, treacherous, deceitful, desperate ones.

Indeed one difference between true and false repentance lieth in this. The man thattruly repents crieth out of his heart; but the other, as Eve, upon the serpent, orsomething else. And that the Publican perceived his heart to be naught I conclude,by his smiting upon his breast.

4. Smiting upon the breast, seems to intimate one apprehensive of some new, sudden,strange and amazing thing: As when a man sees some strange sight in the air, or hearethsome sudden or dismal sound in the clouds: Why, as he is struck into a deep dampin his mind, so 'tis a wonder if he can keep or hold back from smiting upon his breast.

Now ofttimes a sight of God and sense of sin, comes to the sinner like a flash oflightning, not for short continuance, but for suddenness, and so for surprisal; sothat the sinner is struck, taken and captivated to his own amazement, with what sounexpectedly is come upon him. It is said of Paul at his conversion, that when convictionof his bad life took fast hold of his conscience, he trembled, and was astonished.(Acts 9:6) And although we read not of any particular circumstance of his behaviourunder his conviction outwardly, yet it is almost impossibly but he must have some,and those of the most solid sort. For there is such a sympathy betwixt the soul andthe body, that the one cannot be in distress or comfort, but the other must partakeof, and also signify the same. If it be comfort, then 'tis shewn; If comfort of mind,then by leaping, skipping, cheerfulness of the countenance, or some other outwardgesture. If it be sorrow or heaviness of spirit, then that is shewed by the body,in weeping, sighing, groaning, softly-going, shaking of the head, a lowering countenance,stamping, smiting upon the thigh or breast as here the Publican did, or somewhat.

We must not therefore look upon these outward actions or gestures of the Publican,to be empty insignificant things; but to be such, that in truth did express and shewthe temper, frame, and present complexion of his soul. For Christ, the wisdom ofGod, hath mentioned them to that very end, that in and by them, might be held forth,and that men might see, as in a glass, the very emblem of a converted, and trulypenitent sinner. "He smote upon his breast."

5. Smiting upon the breast, is sometimes to signify a mixture of distrust, joinedwith hope. And indeed in young converts, hope and distrust, or a degree of despair,do work and answer one another, as doth the noise of the balance of the watch inthe pocket. Life and death, life and death is always the motion of the mind then,and this noise continues until faith is stronger grown, and until the soul is betteracquainted with the methods and ways of God with a sinner. Yea, was but a carnalman in a convert's heart, and could see, he should discern these two, to wit, hopeand fear, to have a continual motion in the soul: wrestling and opposing one another,as doth light and darkness, in striving for the victory.

And hence it is that you find such people so fickle and uncertain in their spirits;Now on the mount, then in the valleys; now in the sunshine, then in the shade; nowwarm, then frozen; now bonny and blithe, then in a moment pensive and sad; as thinkingof a portion nowhere but in hell. This will cause smiting on the breast; nor canI imagine that the Publican was as yet farther than thus far in the Christian's progress,since yet he was smiting upon his breast.

6. Smiting upon the breast, seems to intimate, that the party so doing is very apprehensiveof some great loss that he has sustained; either by negligence, carelessness, foolishness,or the like, and this is the way in which men do lose their souls. Now to lose athing, a great thing, the only choice thing that a man has, negligently, carelessly,foolishly, or the like, why it puts aggravations into the thoughts of the loss thatthe man has sustained; and aggravations in the thoughts of them go out of the soul,and come in upon a sudden, even as the bailiff, or the king's sergeant at arms, andat every appearance of them makes the soul start; and starting, it smites upon thebreast.

I might multiply particulars; but to be brief, we have before us a sensible soul,a sorrowful soul, a penitent soul: one that prays indeed, that prays sensibly, affectionately,effectually. One that sees his loss, that fears and trembleth before God in considerationof it, and one that knows no way, but the right way, to secure himself from perishing,to wit, by having humble and hearty recourse to the God of heaven for mercy.

I should now come to speak something by way of use and application; but before Ido that, I will briefly draw up, and present you with a few conclusions that in myjudgment do naturally flow from the text, therefore in this place I will read overthe text again.

"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the othera Publican: The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, thatI am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican:I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the Publican,standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote uponis breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."

From these words I gather these several conclusions, with these inferences.

Conclusion First, It doth not always follow, that they that pray do know God, orlove him, or trust in him. This conclusion is evident by the Pharisee in the text;he prayed, but he knew not God, he loved not God, he trusted not in God; that is,he knew him not in his Son, nor so loved, nor trusted in him. He was, though a prayingman, far off from this. Whence it may be inferred, that those that pray not at allcannot be good, cannot know, love, or trust in God. For if the star, though it shines,is not the sun, then surely a clod of dirt cannot be the sun. Why, a praying mandoth as far outstrip a non-praying man, as a star outstrips a clod of earth. A non-prayingman lives like a beast, nay worse, and with reference to his station, a more sottishlife than he. "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but[this man] Israel doth not know, [but this man] my people doth not consider."(Isa 1:3) The prayerless man is therefore of no religion, except he be an Atheist,or an Epicurean. Therefore the non-praying man is numbered among the heathens, andamong those that know not God, and is appointed and designed by the sentence of theword to the fearful wrath of God. (Psa 79:6, Jer 10:25)

Conclusion Second, A second conclusion is, That the man that prays, if in his prayerhe pleads for acceptance, either in whole or in part, for his own good deeds, isin a miserable state. This also is gathered from the Pharisee here, he prayed, butin his prayer he pleaded his own good deeds for acceptance, that is, of his person,and therefore went down to his house unjustified. Now to be unjustified is the worstcondition that a man can be in, and he is in this condition that doth thus. The conclusionis true, forasmuch as the Pharisee mentioned in the parable is not so spoken of,for the only sake of that sect of men, but to caution, forewarn, and bid all mentake heed, that they by doing as he, procure not his rejection of God, and be sentaway from his presence unjustified. I do therefore infer from hence, that if he thatpleadeth his own good doing for personal acceptance with God, be thus miserable;then he that teacheth men so to do, is much more miserable. We always conclude, thata ring-leader in an evil way, is more blame-worthy, than those that are led of him.This falls hard upon the leading Socinians and others, who teach, that men's worksmake their person accepted of God.

True, they say, through Christ; but that is brought in as a blandation,[42] merelyto delude the simple with, and is an horrible lie; for we read not in all the wordof God, as to personal justification in the sight of God from the curse, and thatis the question under consideration, that it must be by man's righteousness, as madeprevalent by Christ's, but contrariwise by his, and his only, without the deeds,works, or righteousness of the law which is our righteousness. Wherefore I say, theteachers and leaders of this doctrine have the greater sin.

Conclusion Third, A third conclusion is. They that use high and flaunting languagein prayer, their simplicity and godly sincerity is to be questioned, as to the doingof that duty sincerely. This still flows from our text, the Pharisee greatly usedthis; for higher and more flaunting language can hardly be found, than in the Pharisee'smouth; nor will ascribing to God by the same mouth laud and praise, help the businessat all: For to be sure, where the effect is base and rotten, the cause cannot begood.

The Pharisee would hold himself in hand that he was not as other men, and then givesthanks to God for this: But the conclusion was most vilely false, and therefore thepraise for it could not but be foolish, vain, and frivolous. Whence I infer, thatif to use such language in prayer is dangerous, then to affect the use thereof isyet more dangerous: Prayer must be made with humble hearts, and sensible words, andof that we have treated before, wherefore high, flaunting, swelling words of vanitybecomes not a sinner's mouth, no, not at any time, much less when he comes to, andpresents himself before God in that solemn duty of prayer. But, I say, there aresome that so affect the Pharisee's mode, that they cannot be well if in some sortor other they be not in the practice of it; not knowing what they say, nor whereofthey affirm; but these are greatly addicted to hypocrisy, and to desire of vain-glory,especially if the sound of their words be within the reach of other men's ears.

Conclusion Fourth, A fourth conclusion is, that reformation and amendment, thoughgood, with, and before me, are nothing as to justification with God. This is manifestby the condition of our Pharisee; he was a reformed man, a man beyond others forpersonal righteousness, yet he went out of the temple from God unjustified, his works,came to nothing with God. Hence I infer, that the man that hath nothing to commendhim to God of his own, yet stands as fair before God for justification, and so acceptance,as any other man in the world.

Conclusion Fifth, A fifth conclusion is, it is the sensible sinner, the self-bemoaningsinner, the self-judging sinner, the self- abhorring sinner, and the self-condemningsinner, whose prayers prevail with God for mercy. Hence I infer, that one reasonwhy men make so many prayers, and prevail no more with God, is because their prayersare rather the floatings of Pharisaical fancies, than the fruits of sound sense ofsin, and sincere desire of enjoying God in mercy, and in the fruits of the Holy Ghost.

The use and application we must let alone till another time.


[1] The word "merit" was changed for "mercy" after the author'sdeath.—Ed.

[2] "Not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth."(2 Cor 10:18)

[3] "Carry the bell and wear the garland," alluding to our old Englishraces; the winner being rewarded with a silver bell, and crowned with a garland:or to the morris dance, in which the leader carried the garland and danced with bellsfixed to his dress.—Ed.

[4] The glorious revolution, conducted by William, Prince of Orange, afterwards KingWilliam the 3rd, took place soon after Bunyan's decease. It was probably on thisaccount that this paragraph was omitted from the edition of September, 1688, andall the subsequent ones to the present time. The popular opinion, in those times,was, that Dutchman and extortioner were nearly synonymous.

"We trade wid de Yankey, we deal wid de Scot. And cheaten de tain and de teither:We cheaten de Jew, aye and better dan dat, We cheaten well ein aniether." OldSong.

[5] "To pole, to peel," to take off the top and branches of a tree, andthen to peel off the bark; terms used to designate violent oppressions under pretendedlegal authority. "Which pols and pils the poor in piteous wise." FairyQueen. "Pilling and polling is grown out of request, since plain pilfering cameinto fashion." Winwood's Memorials. "They had rather pill straws than readthe scriptures." Dent's Pathway.—Ed.

[6] Immediately after the calling of Matthew and of James, our Lord sat at meat inLevi's [James'] house, and made that gracious declaration, "I am not come tocall the righteous but sinners to repentance"; compare Matthew 9:10-13, withMark 2:14-17 and Luke 5:27-32.—Ed.

[7] Nearly half this paragraph is omitted from every edition since 1688, probablyfrom a fear lest it should be misinterpreted as reflecting upon the glorious revolutionunder William and Mary.—Ed.

[8] This proud beggar shews not his wounds but his worth; not his rags, but his robes;not his misery, but his stoutheartedness: he brings in God Almighty as a debtor tohim for his services, and thanks God more that others were bad, than for his ownfancied goodness.—Ryland.

[9] The word "criminal," used by Bunyan, has been altered in modern editionsto "ceremonial"; but it was not only ceremonial but superstitious, andtherefore more criminal than moral.

[10] It is singular that our modern Pharisees continue the custom of fasting twicea week, on Wednesday and Friday. This is not so monstrous as pretending to do what"God manifest in the flesh" alone could do—to fast for forty consecutivedays.—Ed.

[11] God heareth the heart, without the mouth; but never heareth the mouth acceptably,without the heart. (1 Sam 1:13,15) Puritan Saying.

[12] To such poor deceived souls, our Lord's words are extremely applicable; "Iftherefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"If poor blind sinners are, through the ignorance of their minds, fully persuadedthat the destructive way in which they walk is the road to true happiness, how dangerousis their error, and how deplorable the consequences.—Ryland.

[13] What home-thrusts are here! The two-edged sword of the Spirit, wielded by sucha man, pierces—divides—lays bare every refuge of lies to which poor souls vainlyfly for succour. It is a solemn and most important subject. May every reader havegrace given him to weigh his hopes of heaven in the balances of divine unerring truth.—Ed.

[14] Those who plead for mercy, as the reward of their own righteousness, are guiltyof gross absurdity. They may claim to employ the mercy which they have earned: whyplead with the God of justice for that to which they consider themselves in justiceentitled? God will give to all that to which they are entitled, without being suedfor their earnings.—Ed.

[15] "Points and pantables"; quibbles and quirks. "With periods, points,and tropes, he slurs his crimes; He robb'd not, but he borrowed from the poor."—Dryden.

"Pantable," from pantoufle, a slipper. To stand upon his pantables, wasa contemptuous mode of speech, to express a very dishonourable man's "standingupon his honour," which could so easily be slipped from under him. "Whatpride is equal to the pope's in making kings kiss his pantables." Sir E. Sandys."He standeth upon his pantables, and regardeth greatly his reputation."Saker's Character of a Fraudulent Fellow. Bunyan was peculiarly happy in his useof popular and proverbial expressions.—Ed.

[16] "Meddle nor make," to interfere with matters that do not concern us.

"I think it no sin, to sleep in a whole skin, So I neither meddle nor make."—OldPlay.

"He that will meddle with all things, may go shoe the goslings." "I'llneither meddle nor make, said Bill Heaps, when he spill'd the butter milk."Old Proverbs.—Ed.

[17] The accurate knowledge of Bunyan as to the meaning of law terms is very surprising,and proves him to have been an apt scholar. A caveat is a caution not to admit awill that may injure some other party.—Ed.

[18] In this country the introduction of earthenware plates has driven the less cleanlywooden plate, called a trencher, entirely out of use.—Ed.

[19] Sin-sick souls alone seek the Great Physician , and are the proper subjectsof Christ's healing power. Pride and unbelief bar the door of mercy and grace; andif not subdued by the blood of the cross, will ruin the soul.—Ryland.

[20] "Thou art besides the saddle."

"I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition;which o'erleaps itself, And falls on the other. - -" Macbeth.

A proud ecclesiastic requested one of his devotees to give him a leg on mountinghis horse, which he did so heartily as to throw him to the other side of the saddle,and broke his neck.—Ed.

[21] "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, heis guilty of all" (James 2:10).

[22] When we had no righteousness of our own to cover us, he put on us naked beggarsthat rich robe, the righteousness of Christ. Though black in ourselves, we are comelyin Christ's comeliness; but we never live upon his righteousness, only as we seenone in ourselves.—Ryland.

[23] "Sweeting," an obsolete term for a sweet apple.—Ed.

[24] This whole paragraph is omitted from all editions subsequent to 1688, when theauthor died. It is the practical illustration of his whole theory. By their fruitye shall know them; the fruit does not make them what they are by nature and sinor by grace and righteousness. The rebuke of the Saviour, Matthew 15:16, falls heavilyon the man who rejected this paragraph.—Ed.

[25] Abel possessed righteousness before his offering, which influenced him to makethis acceptable sacrifice.—Ed.

[26] "Then was I most distressed with blasphemies, if I have been hearing theword, then uncleanness, blasphemies, and despair would hold me as captive.""I blessed the condition of the dog and toad, and counted their state far betterthan this sate of mine."—Grace Abounding.

[27] Many are the devices of Satan to keep souls from Christ. The world and the fleshare his grand instruments of seduction, while his temptations and snares drown themin despair. Their wisdom is to resist manfully by faith in the serpent-bruiser, Jesus.He will consummate his victories by a glorious triumph over all the powers of helland darkness.—Ryland.

[28] "A sweeting tree," a sweet apple, and not a crab apple tree.— Ed.

[29] As the disobedience of the first Adam is imputed to all his natural posterity,and brings death upon all; so the righteousness of the second Adam is imputed toall his spiritual progeny, to obtain life for them. As the carnal Adam, lost originalrighteousness, derives a corrupt nature to all his descendants; so the spiritualAdam, by his obedience, conveys a vital efficacy of grace to us. The same Spiritof holiness which anointed our Redeemer doth quicken all his race, that as they haveborne the image of the earthly, THEY may henceforth bear the image of the heavenlyAdam.—Ryland.

[30] "Debrorous," probably a misprint for "dolorous," sorrowfulor dismal.

"Through many a dark and dreary vale They passed, and many a region dolorous."—Milton.

[31] "Make an O yes," alluding to the form of proclamation at sessionsof the peace—"Oyer," the French for "Hear," now corrupted to"O yes."—Ed.

[32] "Boot," profit or advantage.—Ed.

[33] The mercy of God has not only a quick eye to spy out a penitent, but a swiftfoot to run and embrace him. What infinite condescension! God the Father is saidto "run, fall on the neck of, and kiss" the sinner, whom he has by hisSpirit inclined to sue for mercy and peace, which, being obtained, he will withholdfrom him no manner of thing that is good.—Ryland.

[34] The pillory, to which allusion is here made, was a cruel mode of punishment,now out of date. In earlier times, the ears were nailed to the wood, and after anhour's anguish were cut off, and the nose and cheeks slit; thus were treated Leightonand other holy men. In later days, the victims were subjected to the brutality ofa mob, and sometimes excited by factious men.

"Tell us who 'tis upon the ridge stands there So full of fault, and yet so voidof fear; And from the paper in his hat Let all mankind be told for what."—Defoe.

[35] "Next," nighest or nearest. This sentence is highly poetical, as muchor more so as any in the writings of the most cultivated scholars.—Ed.

[36] A humbling view of our sinful selves is manifested to the soul by the Word andSpirit of God. The gospel of Jesus Christ has all the properties of a great and truelight; it has a piercing power and penetrating virtue; it enters the darkest recessesof the soul, and detects the errors of men's judgment, as well as discovers the enormitiesof their lives.—Ryland.

[37] This sentence is peculiarly striking, and is very illustrative of Bunyan's homely,cutting, faithful phraseology.—Ed.

[38] The newly awakened soul, beholding itself in the glass of the law, is shockedat its own deformity. Sin is truly odious, and an intolerable burthen. So felt theroyal penitent when he cried, "My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I amafraid of thy judgments." God's indignation at sin must be felt on this sidethe grave, in the conscience of the sinner, if ever he hopes to escape the dreadfulpunishment of it in the world to come. But blessed be God, the blood of atonementis a sovereign balsam for sick and wounded souls, and is abundantly efficacious forprocuring pardon, peace, and reconciliation by the application of the eternal Spirit.—Ryland.

[39] These humbling words, being too rough for ears polite, have been omitted fromall the editions of this book published since the author's death, except the fifth,1702.—Ed.

[40] A simple-hearted man, at a prayer meeting, used the words, "Incline ourhearts to cast our bread upon the waters, that we may find it after many days."Upon leaving the prayer meeting, while crossing a bridge, a youth said to him, "Ifyou were to throw a loaf into the river, what good would it be even if you did findit after many days"; to which his elder replied, "Oh, it is a scriptureexpression, though I do not know its meaning"!!! This happened to the editorforty-five years ago, before Sunday schools and the Tract Society had spread theirflood of scriptural knowledge over the kingdom.—Ed.

[41] This is variously interpreted, but may it not mean an ancient mode of mocking,now called taking a sight?—Ed.

[42] "Blandation," a piece of flattery. "They flattered the Bishopof Ely with this blandation."—Camden.