Thomas Adams.

The works of Thomas Adams : being the sum of his sermons, meditations, and other divine and moral discourses (Volume 1) online

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NICHOL'S SERIES OP STANDARD DIVINES.

PUEITAN PERIOD.



Sfllitf) (Benecal preface

By JOHN C. MILLER, D.D.,

LIKOOLN COLLEQE ; HONORABY CANON OF WORCESTER ; REOTOB OP ST MARTIN'S, BIBMINGHAIC



THE



WOEKS OP THOMAS ADAMS.

VOL. I.



COFNCIL OF PUBLICATION.



W. LTNDSAT ALEXA27DER, D.D., Professor of Theology, Congregational Union,
Edinburgh.

THOMAS J. CRAWFORD, D.D., S.T.P., Professor of Divinity, University,
Edinburgh.

WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM, D.D., Principal of the New CoUege, Edinbiu-gh.

D. T. K. DRUMMOND, M.A., Minister of St Thomas' Episcopal Church, Edin-
burgh.

WILLIAM H. GOOLD, D.D., Professor of Biblical Literature and Church His-
tory, Reformed Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh.

ANDREW THOMSON, D,D., Minister of Broughton Place United Presbyterian
Church, Edinburgh.



General ^I'tor.

REV. THOMAS SMITH, M.A., Edinbdrqh.



THE WORKS ( JUL « 1912

OF



THOMAS ADAMS:



THE SUM OF HIS SERMONS, MEDITATIONS, AND
OTHEE DIVINE AND MORAL DISCOURSES.

By JOSEPH ANGUS, D.D.,

PRINCIPAL OF THE BAPTI ST COLLEGE, REGENT'S PARK, LONDON.



VOL. L,

CONTAINING SERMONS FROM TEXTS IN
THE OLD TESTAMENT, &c.



EDINBURGH: JAMES NICHOL

LONDON : JAMES NISBET AND CO. DUBLIN : W. ROBERTSON.

M.DCCC.LXI.



EBINBtrROH :

PRINTED BY BALLANTYNB AND COMPANT,

PAUL'S WORK.



CONTENTS.



PAGE

Editorial Note, ....,• vii

Dedications —

To the Earl of Pembroke, .... xiii

To the Earl of Manchester, . , . , xv

To THE Parishioners of St Bennet's, . , , xvii

To THE Candid and Ingenious Reader, , , . xix



SERMONS.

L Politic Hunting Gen. XXV. 27, . 1

II. Plain-dealing Gen. XXV. 27, . 19

IIL The Soldier's Honour Judges V. 8, 9, . 31

IV. The Sinner's Mouening-habit Job XLII. 6, . . 49

V. Heaven MADE Sure Psalm XXXV. 3, 60

VL A Generation of Serpents Psalm LVIII. 4, . 71

VIL The Rage of Oppression Psalm LXVI. 12, . 81

VIII. The Victory of Patience Psalm LXVI. 12,. 90

IX. God's House Psalm LXVL 13, . 98

X. The Sacrifice OF Thankfulness Psalm CXVIII. 27, 114

XL God's Bounty : The First Sermon Pro v. IIL 16, . .137

Xn. „ The Second Sermon... Pro V. IIL 16, . .148



Vi CONTENTS.

PAGE

XIII. TfiK Fatal Banquet : Tue First Ser-

mon Pkov. IX. 17, 18, . 158

XIV. The Fatal Banquet : The Second Ser-

vice Pro V. IX. 17, . . 175

XV. The Fatal Banquet: The Beeaking-

up OP THE Feast ,.Prov, IX. 17, , .198

XVI The Fatal Banquet : The Shot Prov. IX. 18, . . 21-5

XVII. The Fool and his Sport Prov. XIV. 9, . . 245

XVIII. Mystical Bedlam Eccles. IX. 3, . . 254

XIX. The Gallant's Burden Isaiah XXI. 11, 12, 294

XX. The Sinner's Passing-bell Jer. VIII. 22, . .329

XXI. Physic FROM Heaven Jer. VIII. 22, . .358

XXII. England's Sickness Jer. VIII. 22, . . 394

XXIII. „ „ (continued), 422

XXIV. Heaven AND Earth Reconciled Dan. XII. 3, . . 448

XXV. The Soul's Sickness : A Discourse, Divine, ]\roRAL,

aj^d Physical, . . . . .471



EDITOEIAL NOTE.



Having undertaken tlie general editorship of this most important
series of works after two volumes of it had been published, I embrace
the opportunity aftbrded by the issue of the fii-st volume of the works
of a new author, to state briefly the method that will be pursued in
discharging the duties of that responsible office.

The main object to be constantly aimed at, and so far as possible
attained, is the issue of a complete and perfect text of the works to
be included in the series. In most of the modern reprints of some
of these works, passages have been left out, and expressions have
been modified, on tlie plea that if the authors had lived in our days,
they would not have written as they actually did. Such a mode of
procedure would be altogether inconsistent with the objects and plan
of the present series. We have nothing to do with what they might,
or might not, have written in other circumstances, but with what
they did write. The only change intended to be introduced into the
works as originally published, is the substitution of the modem or-
thography for the antique and capricious spelling. To some readers
even this may seem unadvisable ; but the balance of advantage seems
to be decidedly in its favour, as it will undoubtedly render the works
more attractive to the great body of readers. The punctuation of
the old editions is exceedingly faulty, and requires to be set aside
altogether.

In a few instances I have altered the forms of words that have
become obsolete ; but I have substituted only what may be regarded
as the modern forms of the same words, and that only where the old
forms might puzzle ordinary readers. When there was no likeU-
hood of this, I have retained the antiquated forms. No one, I think,
will blame me for not changing, for example, the fine old words
covetise and niggardice into covetousness and nifjcjardliness. There is



TUl EDITORIAL NOTE.

one instance in which I have systematically made a change, which
some may regard as a change of words, but which I consider to be
only a change of forms. Most readers must have noticed that the
word its does not occur in the Authorised Version of the English
Bible. Its place in that version is supplied by his. Adams, who
was cotemporary with the authors of that version, in like manner
never makes use of its. If, like them, he had used his for it, I should
not have considered it necessary or proper to alter it. But he almost
invariably uses the for zte.* In very many cases this sounds awk-
wardly to a modern ear, and in some instances might prevent the
iinmediate apprehension of the sense of a passage. For example, I
doubt if the common proverbial maxim, '■ Virtue is its own reward,'
would be at once intelligible to every reader under the form, * Virtue
is the own reward.' Expressions similar to this are of constant
occurrence in the earlier writings of the period embraced in this
series, and I am not sure that some of them are not retained towards
the beginning of this first volume of Adams's Works. After the
printing had proceeded a little way, I adopted the resolution to dis-
card the article, whenever it was manifestly the representative of the
neuter possessive pronoun. When there could be any doubt of its
being so used, I have allowed it to remain, although my own belief
might be that it ought to be altered. To some it will appear that I have
said more than enough about a small matter ; but it should be remem-
bered that this explanation is given once for all regarding the text of
one of the largest collections of works ever published in connexion.

The original editions abound with typographical errors, and these
I have corrected when it was perfectly manifest that they were such.
I have also discarded the artificial form of printing the divisions of
sermons and treatises, in which the authors and the printers of those
days evidently prided themselves. The reader will find appended to
this note, as a specimen, the divisions of one of Adams's sermons,
^ The Black Saint.' This in the present edition is given thus : —

' The material circumstances concerning both fort and captain, hold and
holder, place and person, may be generally reduced to these three : —

' I. The unclean spirit's egress, forsaking the hold ; wherein we have —

'1. His tinroosling ; and observe, (1.) The j^erson going out; (2.). The
manner ; and, (3.) The vieasiire of his going out.

'2. His unresting, or discontent; which appears, (1.) In his travel, "he
walketh;" (2.) In his trial, "in dry places;" (3.) In his trouble, "seeking
rest ;" (4.) In the event, " findeth none."

' IL His regress, striving for a re-entry into that he lost ; considered —

* In a few instances he uses it; the expression it own occurring occasion
ally. Thi.s is in accordiince with the analogy of the language in the case of
ii.sr"//, himself, .themselves.



EDITOKIAL NOTE. UC

* 1, Intentively ; wherein are regardable, (1.) His resolution, "I will;"
(2.) His revolution, "return;" (3.) The description of his seat, "into my
house ;" (4.) His affection to the same place, " whence I came out."

'2. Invent'ivdij ; for he findcth in it, (1.) Clearness, it is "empty;" (2.)
Cleanness, "swept;" (3.) Trimness, "garnished."

' III. His ingress, which consists in his fortifying the hold ; manifested —

'1. By his associates; for he increaseth his troops, who are described,
(1.) By their nature, "spirits;" (2.) By their number, "seven;" (3.) By
the measure of their malice, " more wicked."

' 2. By his assault, to the repossessing of the place ; testified, (1.) By
their invasion, "they enter;" (2.) By their inhabitation, "they dwell;" (3.)
By their cohabitation, " they dwell there together."

' IV. The conclusion and application shut up all. The conclusion : " The
last state of that man is worse than the first." The application : " Even so
shall it be also unto this wicked generation." You see I have ventured on
a long journey, and have but a short time allowed me to go it. My obser-
vations in my travel shall be the shorter, and, I hope, not the less sound.
So the brevity shall make some amends for the number.'

The production of a perfect text on these principles is a work re-
quiring sound judgment, incessant care, and no small amount of
labour, in which I trust that the readers of the series will not find
me wanting.

The works of almost all the divines of this period abound with
allusions to, and quotations from, the writings of the Fathers.
Where these quotations form the foundation of an argument, it is
clearly necessary that they should be verified, and the reference given,
as it may frequently be desired to consult the context in the original;
but where, as is generally the case, they are simply statements of
what one of the Fathers has said, introduced merely to give point
to a sentence, to corroborate the author's view, or to express a dis-
tinction or an antithesis more pointedly than it could be expressed in
English, it could accomplish no practical good to spend days or weeks
in searching the voluminous works of the Fathers and others, for
passages which, even if found, would afford no additional information
to the reader. The first class of quotations will, in all cases, be
verified, and the references given, and as many of the second class as
can readily be found. The series having been undertaken in the be-
lief that it w'ould be eminently useful to ministers of the gospel who
desire to search the rich stores of the Puritan theology for practical
purposes, it is not supposed tliey would value it for any appearance of
scholarship which an editor might seek to display, but for the profound
learning whicli is so great a peculiarity of the Puritan Fathers.
In the great majority of cases, the ordinary reader will be quite
content with a general reference ; while the few Avho are curious in
such matters would be sorry to have the work done for them, which
they will take great pleasure in doing for themselves. In not a few



X EDITORIAL NOTE.

cases, the sentences marked as taken from the Fathers are not given
in their words. This is, of com-se, the case with respect to those
from the Greek Fathers, which are always quoted in Latin. The
Scriptural references, which are very incon-ect in the original editions,
may be depended upon in this.

Besides furnishing a text approaching perfection as nearly as pos-
sible, ray editorial duty includes the preparation of a full and accu-
rate index to the works of each author. This I hope to be able to
accomplish in a manner that will prove satisfactory.

On the part of the Publisher I have to state, with reference to
the volume now issued, that it was intended, as the subscribers to
this series are aware, that a Memoir of Adams, by the Eev. Charles
H. Spm-geon of London, should be prefixed to the first volume of
his Practical Works. Unfortunately the state of Mr Spurgeon's
health for some time past has incapacitated him from the discharge
of any extra duty ; and though, both from his having undertaken the
preparation of this Memoir, and from the great interest he has always
taken in this series, he was most desirous to fulfil his engagement,
he has found it impossible to do so. In these circumstances, the
Memoir will be postponed till the appearance of the third volume, in
April 1862 ; when it will be supplied by the Ptev. Joseph Angus,
D.D., Principal of the Baptist College, Regent's Park, London. The
present volume is in consequence somewhat thinner than the Pub-
lisher intended, but this will be rectified in the course of the issue
of the series. In the third and concluding volume of Adams it is
the Editor's intention to insert a short dissertation on the literary
acquirements of Adams, what he borrowed from previous and cotem-
porary writers, and what cotemporary and succeeding writers bor-
rowed from him.

The absence of the Memoir referred to from this volume seems to
make it necessary for the Editor to introduce Adams to the reader.
This I shall do in a few sentences. He is a writer of the earlier
Puritan period, and belongs to the class that were called doctrinal
Puritans, while he is as far as possible from being a Puritan writer
according to the ideas that are usually attached to that term. A
high Tory in church and state, an uncompromising advocate of the
divine right of kings and bishops, he is never weary of pouring
forth invectives against Papists on the one hand, and those whom he
regards as scliismatics and sectaries on the other. There is some-
thing exceedingly amusing in the pertinacity with which he launches
forth indignant abuse of all who dift'er from him. But there
is not a particle of sourness in his abuse; while there is much of



EDITORIAL NOTE.



hearty, witty, sarcastic, trenchant bitterness. He was a ' good hater,'
evidently because he was an ardent lover.

Adams was not distinctively a doctrinal writer ; but sound evan-
gelical doctrine, according to the school of Augustine and Calvin,
forms the basis of his writings. Neither docs he enter deeply into
Christian experience ; but perhaps no preacher ever excelled him in
faithfully and vigorously, without fear or favour, or respect of persons,
denouncing vice and immorality under all disguises. It is evident
in every page of his writings that ' in his eyes a vile person was con-
temned.' The reader will go to him in vain for expositions of Scrip-
tural texts, or for insight into the deeper workings of the Christian
heart ; but not in vain for a hearty appreciation of all that is good,
and as hearty a denunciation of all that he considered to be evil.

His extant writings are all to be given in this series, with the
exception of his Commentary on the Second Epistle of Peter, which
was reprinted not long ago.

The style of Adams, though frequently disfigured by what I must
be permitted to call wretched puns and conceits, is exceedingly lively
and racy ; sometimes rising into pure eloquence, always clear, vigor-
ous, spirited ; a style that, in these days, would be deemed more
suitable to our light periodical literature, than to the conventional
formalities of the pulpit. Every reader who can appreciate genuine
English manliness, decided sentiments, and frankness in expressing
them, will receive a rich treat in the perusal of the works of Thomas
Adams. He has been styled the Shakspeare of the Puritans ; and a
claim may be laid to the compliment, as the fertility of his imagina-
tion, and his intimate acquaintance with human nature in its graver
and lighter moods, are frequently evinced with a power which war-
rants the comparison.

It only remains to explain that Adams was in the exercise of his
ministry while the Authorised Version of the Bible was in prepara-
tion. He occasionally refers to it as ' the new translation ; ' but does
not seem to have habitually made use of it. In some cases his
argument depends upon readings of texts different from that in that
Version. It will also be noticed that he quotes the Apocrypha with
the same freedom with which he quotes the canonical books.

It will be seen from the address * to the Candid and Ingenious
Keader,' that the sermons collected by Adams, and published by him
in one folio volume, had previously been published separately. In
their original form most of them had dedications prefixed ; but, for
reasons which do not appear, he deleted many of these. They will
all be reprinted in connexion with his Memoir, as they are wortliy
of preservation on many grounds.



Xil EDITORIAL NOTE.

The sermons in this series are arranged according to the order of
the texts. This seems to be an advantageous arrangement upon the
whole ; but it involves the inconvenience, that in a few instances
references are made to previous sermons, which in this edition occupy
a subsequent place. T. S.



SPECIMEN OF DIVISIOIT.
(See p. viii.)

* The materiall circumstances concerning both FoH and Captaine, hold
and holder, place and person, may be generally reduced to these three.



Egresse; forsa-
king the Hold;
wherein wee
have his



Ynroosting : wher-
in obserue the



( Person
< Manner
I Measure



•i



going out.



rnresting; ov 6is-(^'^^''Jl-

\ Trouble.
{ Euent.



content ; which ap-
peares in his



He Walkes.
In dry places.
SeeTcing rest.
Findeth none.



Regresse ; stri-
uing for a re-
entry into that
'he lost; consi-
der'd



Intentiuely ; wher-
in are regardable



Resolution. I will.

Reuolution. Returne.

^.^ , Description of his seat. House.
his j Affection, to the same place. My
I house, whence I came out.



T ^ . , -t^ ( Glearenesse.
Inuentiuely. lor I ^,
1- £ J xif • -i. s Cleanenesse.
.hee findeth m It ] ^^,-,^,,,,,,.



It is empty.

Swept.

Garnished.



Ingresse; which
consists in his
fortifying the <
Hold; manife-
sted by his



^Associates; for he f Nature. Spirits.

cncreaseth his J Number. Seauen.

trooiDes, who are j Measure of Malice. More



described by their (^ tvicked.

Assault ; to the re- 1 Inuasion. They enter.

possessing of the) Inhabitation. Dwell.

place; testifycd by] Cohabitation. They dwell
their ( there together.



' The Conclusion &. Application shut vp all. 1. The Conclusion: The last
state of that man is ivorse then the first. 2. The Application: Euen so sliall
it be also vnto this wicked generation. You see, I haue ventured on a long
iourney ; and haue but a short time allowed me to goe it. My obseruations
in my trauell shall be the shorter, and, I hope, not the lesse sound. So the
breuity shall make some amends for the number.*



EIGHT HONOURABLE AND TRULY NOBLE

WILLIAM, EARL OF PEMBROKE, &c.;

LORD HIGH STEWARD OF HIS MAJESTY'S HOUSEHOLD ;

OF HIS majesty's most HONOURABLE PRIVY COUNCIL;

CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ;

AND KNIGHT OP THE MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE GARTEB.



My Lord,

Tour Iionourable name hath stood long, like a happy star, in
the orb of divine volumes ; a sanctuary of protection to the labours and
persons of students ; and if I have presumed to flee thither also for refuge,
I am taught the way by more worthy precedents. It cannot but be for your
honour that your patronage is so generally sought for, not only by private
ministers, but even by -whole universities. In the vouchsafing whereof,
you have daily as many prayers as the earth hath saints. I am bold also
to present my poor offering, as one loath to be hindmost in that acknowledg-
ment which is so nobly deserved, and so joyfully rendered, of all tongues.
Divers of these sermons did presume on the help^of your noble wing,
when they first adventured to fly abroad. In their retrief, or second flight,
being now sprung up again in greater number, they humbly beg the same
favour. They all speak the same language, and desire so to be understood.
Yet for fear of misinterpretation, I beseech your Lordship to give them aU
your pass ; and, lest they should grow poor with contempt, your legacy of
approbation. So I doubt not but that for your noble name's sake, (not their



Xlv DEDICATION TO THE EAEL OF PEMBROKE.

own merit,) wheresoever they light, they shall find respective* entertainment,
and do yet some more good to the church of God. Which success, together
with your Honour's true happiness, both of this and a better life, is still
prayed for, by

Your Lordship's humbly devoted.

And ready to be commanded,

THO. ADAMS.
• That is, respectful — Ed.



EIGHT HONOUEABLE

HENRY, EAEL OF MANCHESTER,

VISCOUNT MANDEVILLE, BARON OF KIMBALTON;

LORD privy-seal;

AND OF HIS majesty's MOST HONOUEABLE PRIVY COUNCIL.



By your Lordship's favour, one moiety of these my unworthy meditations
had the honour of their first patronage ; and, under the seal of your gracious
allowance, were conveyed to the public light. At your command many of
them were preached, and, not without your acceptation, published. They
were unthankful servants, if they should not know their old master, whose
livery they have so long worn, and in whom they have ever found so fair
indulgence. But howsoever soon charitable men might acquit them, there
could be no discharging of their author from the imputation of ingratitude,
if I should not send them to your Lordship, for the same blessing at their
second which they had at their first publication. There is no merchant that
hath found a fortunate success under the steering of a pilot, such as myself
had under your honourable protection, in one adventure, but he will implore
the same favour in his next voyage. At the preaching of these thoughts I
was bound to your Lordship for your favourable ear ; in the publishing of
them, to your generous eye ; and now a third obligation you may bring upon
me, by your Lordship's kind re-acceptance. They were once yours ; I be-
seecb you give them leave to be so still, and account me not altogether your
Lordship's unprofitable servant, who have returned you your own with increase.
Being once so willingly parted from me, they were no longer mine, but your
Lordship's ; and if I did present at first, I do but restore them now. That



„i DEDICATION TO THE EAEL OF MANCHESTEE.

„>i.ht be an act of love and observance; tlik ia an act of gratitude and
r„st ce. That your honours may be stUl multiplied ,v>th our most gracious
i^g on eartb, and with the King of kings in heaven, is faithfully prayed for,
by him that is unworthy to be

Your Lordship's humble servant,

THO. ADAMS.



MY DEAELY BELOVED CHARGE,

THE PAEISHIONEES OF SAINT BENNET'S,

NEAR TO Paul's wharf, London :

INCKEASE OF GRACE, PEACE, AND COMFORT IN OUR
LORD JESUS CHRIST.



I OWE you a treble debt — of love, of service, of thankfulness. The former,
the more I pay, the more still I owe. The second I will be ready to
pay to the uttermost of my power, though short both of your deserts and
my own desires. Of the last, I will strive to give full payment ; and in
that, if it be possible, to come out of your debts. Of all, I have in this
volume given you the earnest ; as, therefore, you use to do vnth bad debtors,
take this till more comes. You see I have venturously trafficked with my
poor talent in public, whilst I behold richer graces kept close at home, and
buried in silence ; liking it better to husband a little to the common good,
than to hoard up much wealth in a sullen niggardice= I censure none. If
all were writers, who should be readers ? If none, idle pamphlets would
take up the general eye, be read and applauded, only through want of
better objects. If the grain be good, it doth better in the market than
in the garner. All I can say for myself is, I desire to do good ; whereof
if I should fail, yet even that I did desire it and endeavour it shall
content my conscience. I am not affrighted with that common objec-
tion of a dead letter. I know that God can effectuate his own ends, and
never required men to appoint him the means. If it were profitable being
spoken, sure it cannot be unnecessary being written. I- very well know the

b



XVIU DEDICATION TO THE PARISHIONErvS OF ST BEN NET S.

burden of preaching in this city, "We may say of it in another sense, what
Christ said of Jerusalem, * Oh thou that killest the prophets ! ' Many a
minister comes to a parish with his veins full of blood, his bones of marrow ;
but how soon doth he exhaust his spirits, waste his vigour ! And albeit
there are many good souls, for whose sake he is content to make himself a
sacrifice ; yet there are some so unmerciful, that after all his labour, would



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