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A SHORT ACCOUNT

OF

THE AUTHOR.

Ir is sufficiently known to all that have any acquaintance with the histories of the Church, that many valuable and useful ministers were ejected for nonconformity, by the Act of Uniformity in the reign of king Charles II. which took place August 24th, 1662. Among others, the Reverend Mr THOMAS WATSON was ejected from his charge, at St Stephen's, Walbrook, London; whose character is given by the Reverend Dr Edmund Calamy, in his Abridgements, Vol. II. p. 37; and is as follows:

"From St Stephen's, Walbrook. Mr Thomas Watson; he was of Emanuel College in Cambridge, where he was noted for being a hard student, one so well known in the city, viz. London, for his piety and usefulness, that though he was singled out by the Friendly Debate, he yet carried a general respect for all sober persons along with him to his grave. A memorable passage, which I have from good hands, must not be passed by: When Mr Watson was in the pulpit, on a lecture day, before the Bartholomew act took place, among other hearers there came in that Reverend and learned prelate, Bishop Richardson, who was so well pleased with his sermon, but especially with his prayer after it, that he followed him home, to give him thanks, and earnestly desired a copy of his prayer. 'Alas!' said Mr Waton, 'that is what I cannot give, for I do not use to pen my prayers; it was no studied thing, but uttered as God enabled me from the abundance of my heart and affections-pro re nata.' Upon which the good Bishop went away, wondering that any man could pray in that manner, ex tempore. After his ejectment, he continued in the exercise of the ministry in the city, as Providence gave opportunity, for many years: but his strength wearing away, he retired into Essex, and there died suddenly, in his closet, at prayer."

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A PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE

ΤΟ

CATECHISING.

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, CoL. i. 23.

INTENDING the next Lord's day to enter | able heresies,' 2 Pet. ii. 1. A man may
upon the work of catechising, it will not be go to hell as well for heresy as adultery.
amiss to give you this preliminary discourse, To be unsettled in religion, argues want of
as preparatory to it; showing you how need- judgment; if their heads were not giddy,
ful it is for Christians to be well instructed they would not reel so fast from one opin-
in the grounds of religion.
ion to another. It argues lightness: feathers
"If ye continue in the faith grounded and will be blown every way,—so will feathery
settled,"-Two propositions:
Christians,-Triticum non rapit ventus,

First, It is the duty of Christians to be inanes palæ jactantur, CYPR. Therefore settled in the doctrine of faith. such are compared to children, Eph. iv.

Second, The best way for Christians to be 14. settled, is to be well grounded.

"That we be no more children tossed to and fro." Children are fickle,-someDOCT. I. That it is the duty of Christians times of one mind, sometimes of another; to be settled in the doctrine of faith. It nothing pleases them long; so unsettled is the apostle's prayer, 1 Pet. v. 10. "The Christians are childish; those truths they God of all grace, stablish, strengthen, settle embrace at one time, they reject at another; you." That they might not be meteors in sometimes they like the Protestant religion, the air, but fixed stars. The apostle Jude and soon after they have a good mind to speaks of 'wandering stars,' v. 13. They turn Papists. Now, that you may labour to are called wandering stars, because, as Aris-be settled (as Ignatius) in the faith, in untotle saith, "They do leap up and down, settled times of settled judgments:

and wander into several parts of the heaven; 1st. It is the great end of the word
and being but dry exhalations, not made of preached, to bring us to a settlement in re-
that pure celestial matter-as the fixed stars ligion. Eph. iv. 11, 13.
"And he gave
are-they often fall to the earth." Now, some, evangelists; and some, pastors and
such as are not settled in religion, will, at teachers; for the edifying of the body of
one time or other, prove wandering stars; Christ; that we henceforth be no more
they will lose their former strictness, and children." The word is called 'an ham-
wander from one opinion to another. Such mer,' Jer. xxiii. 29. Every blow of the
as are unsettled are of the tribe of Reuben, hammer is to fasten the nails of the build-
'unstable as water,' Gen. xlix. 4; like ing; the preacher's words are but to fasten
a ship without ballast, overturned with you the more to Christ, they weaken
every wind of doctrine. Beza writes of themselves to strengthen and settle you.
one Belfectius, whose religion changed as This is the grand design of preaching,-
the moon. The Arians had every year not only for the enlightening, but for the
a new faith. These are not 'pillars' in establishing of souls,-not only to guide
the temple of God, but 'reeds' shaken them in the right way, but to keep them
every way. The apostle calls them 'damn- in it. Now, if you be not settled, you do

T

not answer God's end in giving you the the truth. Seducers are abroad, whose ministry. work is to draw away people from the 2d. To be settled in religion is both a principles of religion: 1 John ii. 26, Christian's excellency and honour. It is "These things have I written unto you his excellency; when the milk is settled it concerning them that seduce you." Seturns to cream; now he will be something ducers are the devil's factors; they are of zealous for the truth, walk in close com- all others the greatest felons, that would munion with God; and his honour, Prov. rob you of the truth; seducers have silver xvi. 31. "The hoary head is a crown of tongues; a fair tongue can put off bad glory, if it be found in the way of righteous-wares; they have a slight to deceive, Eph. ness." It is one of the best sights, to see iv. 14. The Greek word there is taken an old disciple, to see silver hairs adorned from those that can cog a dye, and cast it with golden virtues. for the best advantage; so seducers are impostors, they can cog a dye,—they can so dissemble and sophisticate the truth, that they can deceive others. Now, the style by which seducers use to deceive, is:

1. By wisdom of words: Rom. xvi. 18, "By good words and fair speeches they deceive the hearts of the simple." They have fine elegant phrases, flattering language, whereby they work on the weaker sort, as being christed with Christ, and the light within them.

3d. Such as are not settled in the faith can never suffer for it; sceptics in religion will hardly ever prove martyrs; they that are not settled do hang in suspense, when they think of the joys of heaven, then they will espouse the gospel,-but when they think of persecution, then they desert it. Unsettled Christians do not consult what is best, but what is safest: "The apostate (saith Tertullian) seems to put God and Satan in balance, and having weighed both their services, prefers the devil's service, and proclaims him to be the best master; and in this sense, may be said to 'put Christ to open shame." " Heb. vi. 6. They will never suffer for the truth, but be as a soldier that leaves his colours, and runs over to the enemy's side; he will fight on the devil's side for pay.

4th. Not to be settled in the faith, is highly provoking to God. To espouse the 3. A third slight or cheat seducers have truth, and then to fall away, brings an ill re- is a labouring to villify and nullify sound orport upon the gospel, which will not go un-thodox teachers; they would eclipse those punished: Ps. lxxviii. 57, 59. "They turn- that bring the truth, like unto the black vaed back, and dealt unfaithfully; when God pours that darken the light of heaven; they heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhor- would defame others, that themselves may red Israel." The apostate drops as a wind- be more admired. Thus the false teachers fall into the devil's mouth. cried down Paul, that they might be received, Gal. iv. 17.

4. The fourth slight or cheat of seducers is by "preaching doctrine of liberty:" as the Antinomian preacheth that men are freed from the moral law,-the rule as well as the curse. He preached that Christ hath done all for them, and they need to do nothing. So he makes the doctrine of free grace a key to open the door to all licentiousness.

5. Another thing to unsettle Christians

5th. If ye are not settled in religion, you will never grow. We are commanded 'to grow up into the head, even Christ,' Eph. iv. 15. But if we are unsettled, no growing: "the plant which is continually removing never thrives." He can no more grow in godliness, who is unsettled, than a bone can grow in the body that is out of joint.

6th. What great need is there to be settled; because there are so many things to unsettle us, and make us fall away from

2. Another slight is a pretence of extraordinary piety, that so people may admire them and suck in their doctrine. They seem to be men of zeal and sanctity, and to be divinely inspired; they pretend revelations, as Munster, Michael Servetus, and others of the Anabaptists in Germany, though they were tainted with pride, lust and avarice.

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is persecutors, 2 Tim. ii. 12. The gospel | knowledge of the grounds and principles of
is a rose; it cannot be plucked without religion is exceeding useful:
prickles. The legacy Christ hath bequeath-
ed is the CROSS. While there is a devil
and a wicked man in the world, never ex-
pect a charter of exemption from trouble;
and how many fall away in an hour of per-
secution? Rev. xii. 3, 4, "There appeared
a great red dragon, having seven heads and
ten horns: and his tail drew the third part
of the stars of heaven :" the red dragon, the
heathenish empire, and his tail, viz. his
power and subtlety, drew away stars, viz.
eminent professors that seemed to shine as
stars in the firmament of the church. There-
fore we see what need there is to be settled
in the truth, for fear the tail of the dragon
cast us to the earth.

1. Else we cannot serve God aright; we can never worship God acceptably, unless we worship him regularly; and how can we do that, if we are ignorant of the rules and elements of religion? We are bid to give God a reasonable service,' Rom. xii. 1. If we understand not the grounds of religion, how can it be a reasonable service?

2. Knowledge of the grounds of religion. much enricheth the mind; it is a lamp to our feet; it directs us in the whole course of Christianity, as the eye directs the body. Knowledge of fundamentals is the golden key that opens the chief mysteries of religion; it gives us a whole system and body

6. To be unsettled in good is the sin of of divinity exactly drawn in all its lineathe devils, Jude 6. They are called 'morn-ments and lively colours; it helps us to ing stars,' Job. xxxviii. 7, but falling stars; understand many of those difficult things they were holy, but mutable. As the ves-which do occur in the reading of the word; sel is overturned with the sail, so their sails, it helps to untie many scripture-knots. being swelled with pride, were overturned, 1 Tim. iii. 6. By unsettledness, who dost thou imitate but lapsed angels? The devil was the first apostate. So much for the first proposition, that it is a great duty of Christians to be settled; the sons of Sion should be like mount Sion, which cannot be removed.

3. Armour of proof; it doth furnish us with weapons to fight against the adversaries of the truth.

4. It is the holy seed of which grace is formed; It is semen fidei, 'the seed of faith,' Ps. ix. 10. It is radix amoris, 'the root of love,' Eph. iii. 17, “Being rooted and grounded in love." The knowledge of principles conduceth to the making of a complete Christian.

Here let me speak to two things: 1 That we should be grounded in the knowledge of fundamentals. 2. That this grounding is the best way to settling.

2d. That this grounding is the best way to settling: 'grounded and settled.' A tree, that may be well settled, must be well rooted; so, if you be well settled in religion, you must be rooted in the principles of it. He, in Plutarch, set up a dead man, and he would not stand; "O," saith he, "there must be something within ;" so, that we may stand in shaking times, there must be a principle of knowledge within,-first ground1st. That we should be grounded in the ed, and then settled. That the ship may knowledge of fundamentals. The apostle be kept from overturning, it must have its speaks of the first principles of the oracles anchor fastened; knowledge of principles is of God,' Heb. v. 13. In all arts and sci- to the soul as the anchor to the ship, that ences, logic, physic, mathematics, there are holds it steady in the midst of all the rolling some præcognita,-some rules and principles waves of error, or the violent winds of perthat must necessarily be known to the prac-secution. First grounded and then settled. tice of those arts: so, in divinity, there USE I. See the reason why so many peomust be the first principles laid down. The ple are unsettled, ready to embrace every

DocT. II. The second proposition is, that the way for Christians to be settled, is to be well grounded: if ye continue grounded and settled.' The Greek word for grounded, a metaphor; it alludes to a building that hath the foundation well laid; so Christians should be grounded in the essential points of religion, and have their foundation well laid.

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novel opinion, and dress themselves in as
many religions as they do fashions; it is be-
cause they are ungrounded. See how the
apostle joins these two together, unlearned
and unstable,' 2 Pet. iii. 16. Such as are
unlearned in the main points of divinity, will
be unstable. As the body cannot be strong
that hath the sinews shrunk; so neither can
that Christian be strong in religion who
wants the grounds of knowledge, which are
the sinews to strengthen and establish him.

forms of catechism: so much those phrases
imply, a form of sound words,' 2 Tim. i. 13,
and "the first principles of the oracles of
God,' Heb. v. 12; and since the church had
their catechumenoi, as Grotius and Erasmus
observe, many of the ancient fathers have
written for it, Fulgentius, Austin, Theodoret,
Lactantius, and others. God hath given
great success to it. By this laying down of
grounds of religion catechistically, Christians
have been clearly instructed and wondrously
built up in the Christian faith; insomuch,
that Julian the apostate, seeing the great
success of catechising, did put down all
schools and places of public literature, and
instructing of youth. It is my design there-

USE II. See then what great necessity
there is of laying down all the main grounds
of religion in a catechetical form, that the
weakest judgment may be instructed in the
knowledge of the truth, and strengthened in
the love of it. Catechising is the best expe-fore (with the blessing of God) to begin this
dient for the grounding and settling of peo-work of catechising the next sabbath-day;
ple. I fear, one reason why there hath been and I intend every other sabbath, in the
no more good done by preaching, hath been afternoon, to make it my whole work to lay
because the chief heads and articles in reli- down the grounds and fundamentals of reli-
gion have not been explained in a catechisti-gion in a catechistical way. If I am hin-
cal way. Catechising is the laying the foun-dered in this work by men, or taken away by
dation, Heb. vi. 1. To preach and not to death, I hope God will raise up some other
catechise, is to build without a foundation. labourer in the vineyard among you, that
This way of catechising is not novel, it is may perfect this work which I am now be-
apostolical. The primitive church had their ginning.

MAN'S CHIEF END IS TO GLORIFY GOD.

QUEST. 1. WHAT is the chief end of glorify God; this is the yearly rent that is man? paid to the crown of heaven. Glorifying of ANS. Man's chief end is to glorify God, God hath respect to all the persons in the Trinity; it respects God the Father, who and to enjoy Him for ever. gave us our life; it respects God the Son, who lost his life for us; it respects God the Holy Ghost, who produceth a new life in us; we must bring glory to the whole Trinity.

Here are two ends of life specified: 1st. The glorifying of God. 2d. The enjoying of

God.

When we speak of God's glory, the question will be moved,

1. I begin with the first, the glorifying of God, 1 Pet. iv. 11, "That God in all things may be glorified." The glory of God is a silver thread which must run through all our actions; 1 Cor. x. 31, "Whether, therefore, ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Every thing works to some end in things natural and artificial; now man being a rational creature, must propose some end to himself, and that is, that he may lift up God in the world; and better lose his life than lose the end of his living; so then, the great truth asserted is this, that the end of every man's living is, to being; a king is a man without his regal or

Q. What we are to understand by God's glory?

ANS. There is a twofold glory: 1. The glory that God hath in himself, his intrinsical glory. Glory is essential to the Godhead, as light is to the sun; he is called the God of glory,' Acts vii. 2. Glory is the sparkling of the Deity; glory is so co-natural to the Godhead, that God cannot be God without it. The creature's honour is not essential to his

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