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CHAP. IV. A Soliloquy, representing the believer's triumph m God's Covenant, and the various conflicts and
glorious conquests of faith over unbelief.
SECTION I. The Soul taketh hold on God's covenant.
YEA, hath God said, “I will be a God unto thee." Is it true indeed? Will the Lord be mine? Will he lay aside the controversy, and conclude a peace? Will he receive the rebel to mercy,
his doors to his prodigal? I will surely go unto my Father: I will take unto me words, and bow myself before his foot stool; and say, “O Lord, I have heard thy words, and do here lay hold on thy covenant;* I accept the kindness of God, and will adventure myself upon thy fidelity, and trust my whole happiness, here and hereafter, upon these thy promises.”
Farewell, deceitful world! Get thee under my feet. Too long have I feared thy vain threats; too long have I been deluded with thy flattering promises. Canst thou promise me or deny me such things as God hath covenanted to give me? I know thou canst not; and therefore I renounce thee for ever from being the object of my faith
* 182. Ivi, 4.
or fear. No longer will I lean to this rok ten reed, no longer will I trust to this broken idol. Avoid, satan with thy tempting baits. In vain dost thou dress the harlot in her paint and bravery, and tell me, “All this will I give thee."a Canst thou shew me such a crown, such a kingdom, as God bath promised to settle upon me? or that which will balance the loss of an infinite God, who here gives himself unto me? Away, deceitful lusts and pleasures, get you hence! I have enough in Christ and his promises, to give my soul full content: these have I lodged in my heart, and there is no longer room for such guests as you. Never shall you have quiet entertainment more within these doors,
Thou God of truth, I here take thee at thy word; thou requirest but my acceptance and consent, and here thou hast it. Good is the word of the Lord which he hath spoken; and, as my Lord hath said, so will thy servant do: My soul catcheth hold of thy promises: these have I taken as my heritage for ever. Let others
carry the preferments and possessions of this world; it shall be enough for me, to be an heir of thy promises.
She maketh her boast in God.
a Mat. iv. 8, 9. * An old acceptation of the word, signifying; retire. a booty have I gotten! It is all mine own; I have the pomises of this life, and of that which is to come.a Oh, what can I wish more? How full a character is here! Now my doubting soul may boldly and believingly say, with Thomas, "My Lord and my
God!” What need we any further witnesses? We have heard his words; he hath sworn by his holiness, that his decree
may not be changed; and hath signed it with his own signet.
Rejoice, ye heavens; strike up, ye celestial choirs; help, heaven and earth. Sing unto the Lord, 0 ye saints of his! Bless the Lord, O my soul! Oh, had I the tongue of men and angels, all were too little for my single turn. Had I as many tongues as hairs, the whole choir were not sufficient to utter my Creator's praises.
beloved is mine, and I am his. The grant is clear, and my claim is firm. Who durst deny it, when God himself doth own it? Is it a hard adventure to speak after Christ himself? Why, this is the message that he has sent me, I ascend to my Father, and your Father; my God, and your God." He hath put words into my mouth, and bid me to say, "Our Father.”
I believe; Lord, help mine unbelief. O my God and my Father, I accept thee with all humble thankfulness, and am bold to
a 1 Tim. iv, 8. b Cant. ii, 16. John xx. 17.
take hold of thee. O my King and my God, I subject my soul, and all its powers, to thee. O my glory, in thee will I boast all the day. O my rock, on thee will I build all my confidence and my hopes. O staff of my life and strength of my heart, the life of my joys and joy of my life, I will sit and sing under thy shadow, and glory in thy holy name.
O my soul, arise, and take possession: inherit thy blessedness, and cast up thy riches: thine is the kingdom, thine is the glory, and thine is the victory. The whole Trinity is thine: all the persons in the Godhead, all the attributes in the Godhead,
And behold here is the evi. dence, and these are the writings, by which all is made sure to thee for ever. She quelleth discontent, and reasoneth down
unbelief, in the following. And now return to thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealť bountifully with thee. Say, if thy lines be not fallen to thee in a pleasant place, and if this be not a goodly heritage. Oh blasphemous discontent! how absurd and unreasonable an evil art thou, whom all the fulness of the Godhead cannot satisfy, because thou art denied in a petty comfort, or crost in thy vain expectations from the world!
a Cant, ü, 3, b Psalm svi, 6, 71
O most unthankful soul! shall not a Trinity content thee? Shall not all sufficiency suffice thee? Silence your murmuring thoughts for ever: I have enough; I abound, and am full.. Infiniteness and eternity is mine, and what more can I ask?
The assaults of unbelief. It questions 1. the
truth of the promise. But methinks I feel some secret damps upon my joy; and when I would soar aloft, and triumph in the riches of my portion, a secret diffidence plucks me back, as the string doth the bird; and unbelief whispers in mine ear, “Sure this is too good to be true.” The triumph of faith in the certainty of
God's truth. But who art thou that disputest against God? The Lord hath spoken it, and shall not I believe him? Will be be angry, if I give my assent, and speak it confidently upon the credit of his word?
Oh my Lord, suffer me to spread the writing before thee. Hast not thou said, “Thy Maker is thy husband, I will betroth thee unto me;b thou shalt call me, Mly Father?c " I pray thee, O Lord, was not this
a Isa. liv, 5. b Hos. ii, 19. Jer. iit, 19.