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«ther God will graciously accept and save me, though « a vile sinner, through Christ? and whether I am alai "ready brought into a state of salvation? The forinert

of these questions is to be resolved affirmatively by at * confident faith in Christ, but the latter is to be ena a quired into by self-examination.”.... ..

It seems very plain, that it is one thing to believe, or trust in Christ, for our own salvation ; and another, thing to know that we have believed, and that our faith, is of a saving nature. The ground of the former is one ly the word of the gospel; but the ground of the latter, is our having the marks and evidences of a gracious sfate laid down in scripture. Such marks and evidences will distinguish the true believer from the hypocritical professor, even when they shall stand before the juilgment seat of Christ.'; “Though the weight," says Mr. Boston, 4 of our acceptance with God lies not in "our good works; yet the weight of our evidence) “ does. If you set not yourselves to do all the partsi " of Christ's will without reserve, ye do nothing. Sound! 6 believers fail in the degrees, but not in the parts of obes. <dience. Such is the cloctrine uniformly taught in the writings and ministrations of Mr. Bellamy's opponents. Hence it must astonish a candid reader to find Mr.. Bellamy insinuating*; that his opponents “ do not real"ly and verily believe, that none will at last be aclinito: “ ted into heaven, but such as have the characters es“ sential to christians, that is, such as are humble, meek, “penitent, breathing after boliness, merciful, pure ine, " heart, peace-makersy willing to part with all for; “ Christ and to go through the greatest sufferings in " his cause,"? Did ever his opponents, say or insinuate,

* Diaks iii. p. 87.

With regard to the case supposed, wherein a hea liever cannot discern his good qualifications to be sufficient evidences of a state of grace, Mr. Bellamy says, that, “ since it is the character of the saints to bring “ forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty, some “ thirry, it seems difficult to reconcile it with scripture,

that a true saint (there being no extraordinary dis“ ease, as the hypochondria, &c. nor other extraordi“ nary circumstances that may account for it,) should « live in the dark, full of doubts and fears about his s state from year to year; I say more difficuit to rem « concile this with scripture, than it is to prove, that “ they may live so as to make their calling and elec.

tion sure."

In answer to what Mr. Bellamy here insinuates, it may be observed, that, though this exhortation of the apostle Peter implies, that the assurance of sense is attainable, yet it also implies, that there are believers who have not yet attained it, and that it is their duty to be engaged in the sincere pursuit of it. It is true, that all the saints bring forth fruit ; but it is also true, that the evidences arising from that fruit, from grace received, from good dispositions or exercises, may, for a time, (how long seems not precisely determined scripture) be found much out of sight. Where were Heman's evidences, when he complained, that he was a man of no strength, no; spiritual life or grace; free among the dead, Psal. lxxxviii. 4, 5 ? Where were Jeremiah's evidences, when he cursed the day of his birth? or Peter's, when he said to Christ, Depart from me, for I am a sin ful manj, O Lord ? or the Church'sy when she said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my God. hath forgotten me: Our bones are dried, our hope is post, and qué are cut off for our part ? We know, thatdary, tead one to say, I have a promise of money from such an honest man; and therefore I will not fail to seek, that I may have the use of it? This concern will be the greater, on the supposition, that the promise, like the gospel of Christ, secures to the accepter a variety of benefits to be obtained one after ancther, in such manner and order, that each previous benefit is a suresign or pledge of more glorious benefits to follow. The apostle piainly intimates, that the appropriating belief of the promise of entering into God's rest, instead Qi leacting us to carelessness and security, excites fear and so icitude with regard to our actual attainment of that rest, Heb. iv. 1.- not a slavish fear that makes a person let go the promise, as being doubtful either of the truth of it, or of his warrant to rely on it; but such a fear as makes him both embrace the promise with redoubled ardour, and look with earnest expectation for the begun accomplishment of it. : . -*.. Here it may be proper to quote some passages in the writings of Mr. Hervey and Mr. Marshal, and to consider the censures passed upon them by Mr. Bela lamy. ** The first passage we adduce is from the sixteenth Dialogue of Theron and Aspássio. “ Our good quali«"fications," says Aspasio, « are sometimes like the “stars at noon day, 'not easily, if at all, discernible; or,

they are like a glow worm in the night, glimmering * rather than shining. Instead therefore of poring on 5 our own hearts, to discover by inherent qualities our « interest in Christ, I should rather renew my applica...

tion to the free and faithful promise of the Lord."..

; In this passage we may observe.two things :" first;

case supposed ; and secondly, a particular course, recognmended as the most proper in that case.:

(. With regard to the case supposed, wherein a hea liever cannot discern his good qualitications to be sufficient evidences of a state of grace, Mr. Bellamy says, that, “ since it is the character of the saints to bring “ forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty, 'some " thirty, it seems difficult to reconcile it with scripture, % that a true saint (there being no extraordinary dis« ease, as the hypochondria, &c. nor other extraordi“ nary circumstances that may account for it,) stould “ live in the dark, full of doubts and fears about his * state from year to year; I say more difficult to rem « concile this with scripture, than it is to prove, that “ they may live so as to make their calling and eleco * tion sure."

In answer to what Mr. Bellamy here insinuates, it may be observed, that, though this exhortation of the apostle Peter implies, that the assurance of sense 18 attainable, yet it also implies, that there are believers who have not yet attained it, and that it is their duty to be engaged in the sincere pursuit of it. It is true; that all the saints bring forth fruit ; but it is also true, that the evidences arising from that fruit, from grace received, from good dispositions or exercises, may, for å tiine, (how long seems not precisely determined Ni scripture) be found much out of sight. Where were Heman's evidences, when he complained that he was a man of no strength, no; spiritual life or grace; free among the dead, Psal. lxxxviii. 4, 5? Where were Je.. remiah's evidences, when he cursed the day of his birth ? or Peter's, when he said to Christ, Depart from me, for I am a sin ful man;;0) Lord ? or the Church'sy when she said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my God hath forgotten me: Our bones are dried, our hope is Host, and we are cut off for our part ? We know, thatthose who have true grace or holiness are liable to spiritual decays; owing to no other hypochondria or extraordinary circumstance, than some remarkable prevalence of indweling sin, or negligence as to the discharge of some seasonable duty. Even the wise virgins may slumber and sleep. “We know,” says Beza, “ that it is a most false conclusion of satan, « that we have no true faith, because the effects of it 6 do not appear for a time. A person might as well « say, that wherever there, is no flame, there is no fire; “ or that, because the trees, in winter, have neither " leaves nor fruit, they have therefore no vegetable * life*.” Those who fear the Lord, and who obey the voice of his servant, may, for a time, walk in darkness, and have no light of sensible comfort. “ God,” says Dr. Owen, « who in infinite wisdom, manageth 66 the new creature or the whole life of grace by his

Spirit, doth so turn the streams, and so renew and u change the special kinds of its operations, as that we 66 cannot easily trace his paths therein ; and therefore “ we may often be at a loss about it, as not knowing 56 well what he is doing with us. For instance, it may

be, the work of grace, and holiness hath greatly put & forth and evidenced itself in the affections which are o renewed by it; causing persons to experience readi. “ ness unto, delight and chearfulness in holy duties, 5 especially those of immediate intercourse with God. < But, after a while, it may seem good to the Sovereign “ Disposer of this affair so to order his dispensations

towards them by afflictions, temptations, occasions of

life in the world, that they shall have new work to * do, and all the grace they have shall be turned into

* Confession, chap. iv. art. 20 ;

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