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of travail, that the midwife is in the house with her. What comfort is it then unto a poor soul, that Christ is always in him, really in him by his Spirit. You that are believers, will not this content you ? He is too covetous whom God cannot suffice. He hath all things, that hath him that hath all things. Now every believer hath Christ, Christ really in a believer by his Spirit; not notionally, not by the habit of grace only; but Christ is really united unto each believer by his Spirit. Here is comfort, comfort, comfort, unto all those that are believers.
But I fear that Christ is not in me, I do not find or perceive that Christ is in me, and therefore I can have none of the comfort of this doctrine. Were Christ really in me by the Spirit, Christ would be working in me; but I do not find these workings of Jesus Christ in me; and were the Spirit in me, it is quick, lively and powerful,) I should do great things for God; but alas, I do nothing for him, und therefore I fear that the Lord Christ is not in me of a truth.
I grant, that where Christ comes into the soul, he does cause the soul to do great things for God, greater than it could do before. So it was with Zaccheus, so with the jailor, so with Paul, and so with divers others. But then ye must know, that a work is great or small according to the opposition that it does meet withal. Though a work or duty be small in itself, yet if it meet with great opposition and break through it, it is a great work. It was no great matter for the poor woman to give one or two mites into the treasury; but she having no more, and it being all her livelihood, it was a great matter.
It is no great matter for a man to pray, and to pray constantly, and to frequent the ordinances; but when a poor creature shall meet with all opposition from his relations, then it may be a great matter to do this. It is no great matter, comparatively, for to stay one's soul upon Jesus Christ; but in the time of temptation, when one's soul is full of fears, and a man does look
enemy, then to cast himself into the arms of Christ, and to stay the soul upon Christ then, this is a greater work. So that the work is great, though small in itself, if it meet with great opposition and break through all.
But whosoever you are that make this objection, fearing that you are not in Christ, and so have not the comfort of
this doctrine; give me leave to propound three or four questions to you.
1. Who and what are those, and whose servants are they, that do come into and go out of your souls; are they not the retinue and the servants of Jesus Christ? Ye say,
Such a man or a nobleman lives here, for his servants go in and out daily. And what words come out of your mouth, and what words go in at you ear; whose servants are they ordinarily? Are you ever better than when you are thinking or speaking of Jesus Christ, and hearing from Christ? Certainly, if his servants do most ordinarily come in and go out, the Master is within, Christ is within.
2. Do not ye find your souls in some measure naturalized unto the work of Christ? the things of Christ and the work of Christ in some measure naturalized unto your souls ? Adam, ye know, was the first man, the father of us all, we were in him as our root, and he in us as his seed; and his works, they are naturalized to us. We being in him as in the root, and he being in us as in his seed, his works are naturalized to us. It is natural to see and to hear and to speak, it is natural for a man to sin. Sometimes ye have a wicked man hating of a godly, gracious man, and he can give you no reason for it: I cannot tell why, saith he, but my heart is against him. But I will tell ye why, and what the reason is: The old man is in him, the old Adam is in him, and the work of Adam is naturalized to a wicked man, and he can give you no reason, many times, why he does so, because the work is naturalized to him. So on the contrary, the Lord Jesus Christ is our second Adam, and believers being in him as in their root, and he in them as in his seed; his works also are naturalized unto a believer in a great measure; that a believer, sometimes, his heart does stand unto the good work of God, and he can give you no reason for it; why I should love this or that godly man, I can give you no reason, but so it is, my heart stands towards him. The reason is this, because that Christ the second Adam is within, and so his work and things are naturalized unto the soul; and, in some measure, is it not so with you a ?
3. Whoever you are that make this objection, Did ye ever find, perceive, or think that Christ is in you? It may be now ye are under some present fear, doubting; but were you
with me, my
never persuaded of this in-being; did ye never think, or were ye never persuaded that Christ was in you? Yes, sometimes I have, and sometimes I have not again : sometimes I do think that Christ is in me of a truth, and sometimes I do not. Then look into the xivth chapter of John, ye shall see what our Saviour promises. “ I will pray the Father (at the 16th verse) and he shall give you another Comforter.” And what then? He describes him, in the 17th verse. And at the 20th, says he, “At that day ye shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me; and I in you.” “At that day.” It may be for the present you cannot say that Christ is in you, you in him, and he in you; but did ye never think yet in all your life that Christ was in you? Yes, once or twice, or sometimes, I confess I did think that Christ was in me; and I was strongly persuaded too that Christ was in me; but now I have lost those persuasions. But how came ye to be so persuaded at that time that Christ was in you? Thus it
heart was dead, hard, and I could not pray; I thought that God and mercy was gone,
that I should never see the face of God again : and all on a sudden, when my soul was in this condition, I know not how, but all on a sudden, a strange and unspeakable comfort came unto my soul, and my soul stood up as it were from the dead, and then I had this persuasion that Christ was in me. Well, soul, be of good comfort, this was Christ's time, that was Christ's time; and though now for the present thou canst not say that Christ is in thee, I tell thee from the Lord that time shall come again, and Christ will send the Comforter again, and then shalt thou know that thou art in the Father, and Christ is in thee, and thou art in Jesus Christ; for what he said unto those disciples, he said unto other of the disciples, Wait but a little, and though I be absent for a little time, I will send the Comforter, and then shall ye know. Although you do not know now, yet there is a time when the Comforter shall come, and then shalt thou know that Christ is in thee, and thou art in Jesus Christ.
4. Although for the present you do not find those workings of Christ in you, and those powerful operations of the Spirit, which should argue this same in-being; yet do ye not find some workings of grace in your soul, according unto the place, room and station that you have in the body of Christ ?
The soul ye know it is in the body, vet the soul does not put out such power in one member, as it puts forth in another; the soul does not act in one member, as it does in another; it does not put forth so much strength in the little finger, or in the thnmb, as it puts forth in the arm. The soul does not act in the eye, as it acts in the mouth; neither does it act in the tongue, as it acts in the ear. Should the eye say, I have no soul in me, because I cannot speak like the tongue? Should the tongue say, I have no soul in me, because I cannot see like the eye ? Should the ear say, I have no soul in me, because I cannot speak like the tongue? No, but the soul that is in the body, it gives according to the station and place of every member that is in the body. So now the Lord Christ, he gives out unto all his body. He is by his Spirit in the hearts of believers, but he does not give unto every believer alike; one believer bath one place in the body of Christ, and another believer hath another place in the body of Christ. But now I say to thee, observe what place, room and station thou hast in the body of Christ, and then tell me whether, aye or no, do not ye find some workings of grace, in some measure, suitable unto the place, room and station that ye have in the body of Christ ? Yes, surely I cannot deny this, but there are some workings in my soul, according to the room and station that I have in the body of Christ; and this I can say, that when the Comforter came, then I did know that Christ was in me; and I can say this also, through grace, in some measure, the work and things of Christ are naturalized to me. They are the servants and retinue of Christ that do come in and go out unto my soul. The Lord knows I am never better than when I am speaking of Jesus Christ, and hearing from Jesus Christ. If so, soul, be of good comfort, though thou hast feared that Christ is not in thee, go in peace, thy faith hath made thee whole, and the Lord Jesus Christ is in thy soul : the Lord Christ that is thus really united unto each believer by his Spirit, is really in thy soul and in thy heart.
Suppose it be so, that the Lord Christ be in my soul indeed, What is my duty now that does flow from hence ?
I answer, I am not able to tell ye what your duty is that does flow from hence, it is so great and so large; but in two or three words thus :
If Christ be in you of a truth: then why should the world be in you in its strength and power? I say, if Christ be in you of a truth, why should you meddle, either in regard of your soul and body, with any thing that may be unsavoury or distasteful to Jesus Christ? If a man have a guest in his house that he prizes highly; will he bring swine into his chamber; this were as much as to bid him begone. And if Christ be in you, and in you of a truth, will ye bring swine unto him; will ye bring lusts; will ye bring the world ? You are the temples of the Holy Ghost; therefore why should ye not take heed of defiling these temples; what manner of men and women should we be in all holy conversation, if Christ be in us of a truth?
If Christ be in you of a truth, why then should ye not be contented with your condition whatever it be, yea, thankful for it, yea in some proportion thankful? I say, contented, thankful, and thankful in proportion. I know, a man that is made partaker of this great mercy, this in-being of Christ in the soul, can never be thankful in proportion unto the mercy received; but he may be thankful in proportion unto other mercies. You will be thankful to a man that gives you an hundred pounds; you will be more thankful to him that gives you a thousand pounds; you will be more thankful to him that gives you a thousand pounds a year: it may be you will say to him that gives you a thousand pounds, I can never be thankful enough to you: but yet you will be more thankful to him that gives you a thousand pounds a year. So here you can never be thankful enough in proportion to the mercy received, but you may be thankful in proportion to other mercies received. If the Lord had given you the whole world for your portion, you would have been thankful: now in that he hath given you his Son, and that Jesus Christ is really united unto you by his Spirit, and Christ really in your soul; he hath done more for you, than if he had given you all the whole world. And will ye be thankful for these outward things and not for this in-being of Christ in your souls? And yet, how many are there, that are sometimes blessing God, and shewing some kind of thankfulness for outward things; but as for this in-being of Christ in the soul, that they are strangers to, and the Lord knows they were never thankful for that, so much as for out