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thod in the Case before you, First see to your Foundation, examine thoroughly, seriously, and imparri. ally, whether the Evidence for the Truth of Christianity be such, that you have Reason to believe it, and that it would be unreasonable not to believe it true; and then, whatever Difficulties may occur, don't dig up your Foundation, and undermine your Faith and Hope: Don't give your Adversary the Advantage to keep you in a continued Suspence, lest you live and die an Unbeliever, and fo have your Objections removed when it is too late, when your Conviction will but prove your Consusion.— I don't speak this to deter you from examining the most subtile Objections which the greatest Enemies of Christianity are able to throw in your Way. The Cause will bear the strictest Scrutiny, the severest Trial. And you can hardly imagine any Difficulty, but what has been clearly and judiciously resolved by one or other of the late Desenders of this glorious Cause.—But are you convinced, that the Arguments to prove the Truth of Christianity admit of no rational Answer? Take then tbe Apostle's Advice, in all the surther Inquiries you shall make, to hold fast the Beginning of your Confidence fledfast unto the End.
This then is Part of that general Advice I would give you, that you may get rid of those Doubts which ftill hang upon your Mind.—Follow it, and it will at least lessen your Disficulties, and may make your Way plain before you—But this is not the principal Direction necessary to be taken in this Case. It is of special Consequence to see to it, that you experience the Poniier of Chriflianity in your own
Heart Reject this Advice, and it is impossible
that you should be rooted and built up in Christ, ani tstablished in the Faith; but comply with it, and it is impossible that Hell and Earth can finally sub
vert yonr Faith, and separate between Christ and your Soul.—By this Means, this great Affair will be no longer with you a Matter of meer Speculation, or empty Opinion, but convincing Experience; and nothing but your Impersections and Temptations can ever make you hesitate about the Truth of those Things, which you sensibly and continually seel the Inftuence of upon all the Powers and Faculties of your Mind.—By this you will have the Witness in yourself, a Transcript of the Gospel upon your Heart; such a Transcript as will answer to the Original, like as the Impress upon the Wax to the Signet; or as a well drawn Picture to the Lineaments of the Face from whence it was taken.— By this have Multitudes of Souls been established in the Faith, who have never been able critically to examine the external Evidence upon which Christianity i* founded.—They have not been able to dispute for Christ; but they have dared to die for him.—They have found the Image of God imprinted on their Souls, by the Gofpel of God our Saviour; and therefore could not doubt the Power of that Cause, which had produced so glorious an Efsect upon them.—Make the Experiment, Sir, and you'll be forced to acknowledge the Lord Jesut Chri/i to be indeed your Saviour, when you seel that he hath actually saved you.
Let me therefore set besoreyou some of theMarh given of a real Christian in the New Testament, that when you come to discover the Lineaments ofthis divine Image upon your Soul, you may know the Cause from the Efsect. In doing this, I shall not descend into all the minute Particulars of the Christian Character; but only fet before you a sew of the most plain and intelligible Marks by which a Christian indeed may be distinguished from all others,, and by which he may most clearly discern, that Christ is a Jiviour indeed.
And first, the most general Mark, by which this may be known is, that if any l\kw be in Chris?, he is a new Creature; old Things are fas ed aivay; behold, allThings are become new. (2 Cor. v. 17.) That he is renewed in the Spirit of his Mind; and that he puts on the new lVlan, which aster God it created in Righteousness and true Holiness. (Eph. iv. 23, 24 )—Here, you may see, is represented a very remarkable and distinguishing Change of State; a Change, which may be known by thofe who have had the blessed Experience; and a Change, that has been selt by all thofe, and none but thofe who are Christians indeed.——Could you then find this blessed Effect of your committing your Soul and your eternal Interests into the Hands of our Lord Jesus Christ ; that all the Powers, Passions, and Appetites of your Soul are renewed, you could not
doubt the Author of the wondersul Change
You must own it to be from Him, that you are brought to hate what you before loved, and to love what you before hated. Can you help but acknowledge this, when you find, that the Thoughts and Dispositions of your Mind are new, and the chief Subjects of your Care and Meditation are the Things unseen and eternal; that the Desires and Affections of your Soul are new, and placed upon the Things that are above, where Chrisft Jesus Jits at the Right Hand of God; that your Views and Apprehensions of yourself are new, and your haughty and selfish Imaginations are changed to an humble and contrite Spirit, that trembles at God's Word; that your Considence and Dependence is new, and, instead of depending upon your good Attainments, Purpofes,Promises, Reformations, or Duties, you are endeavouring to be found in Christ Jesus, not having en your own Righteousness, which is of the Law, hut that which it through the Faith
*s Christ, the Righteousness which is es God by Faith; that your Joys and Satissactions are new, and, instead of rejoicing in your temporal and sensual Acquisitions, you rejoice in Christ Jesus, arid have no Confidence in the Flesh; that the Object* of your Love and Complacency are new, and, instead of loving the World and your Idols, you esteem Goess Favour to be Lise, and his Loving-kindness to be better than Lise; and instead of loving the Company of worldly and sensual Persons, you have your only Delight and Complacency in Men of serious vital Piety, and have this Evidence, that you are passed from Death to Lise, that you love the Brethren; that your Appetites and Passions are new, and, instead of thofe boundless Desires yoa were before acted by, you are brought into an humble Subjection to the Will of God, and, instead of thofe turbulent Passions which before had the Ascendant, you experience the blessed Fruits of the Spirit, which are Love, soy, Peace, Longsufsering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meeknesst Temperance;—and, to sum up all, that your Conversation is new, and that you live a Lise of Holiness towards God, and of Righteousness, Charity, and Benesicence towards Men, endeavouring to fill up every Station, Relation, and Capacity of Lise with Duty, and striving to have your whole Conversation as becomes the Gofpel of Christ?
This, Sir, is a brief Summary of the true Christian Character. This the Salvation (in its moral View) which our Lord Jesus Christ bestows in
this World upon all his sincere Followers. No
Man ever sailed of obtaining this, who, by Faith unseigned, brought his Soul to Christ, and depended upon him for his sanctifying, renewing Insluences.
Now, Secondly, another Thing which all true Christians experience, and none but they, is the spiritual Warfare. They have a Warsare with. their remaining Corruptions. The Flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the Flesh.; (Gal. v. I 7.) And they see another Law in their Mewbers warring against the Laiu of their Minds, in order to bring them mto Captivity to the Laiv of Sin and Death. (Rom. vii. 23.) They have still so many Impersectionsremaining in their Hearts^ in their Duties, and in their Conversations, as make them groan, being burthsnsd! and cry out, O wretched Man that lain, who Jlmll deliver vie from
the Body of this Death! When therefore yon
are heartily engaged in this War, and seel in yourself that you are continually led on to Victory, can you doubt who it is that approves himself the Captain of your Salvation?——Can you doubt thisj when you sensibly seel in yourself a Hatred to all Sin, without any Reserve, even to thofe Sins which by Constitution, or Custom, are fo nearly and intimately united to your Affections, as to become your Members, even a right Hand, a right Foot, or a right Eye ?—Can you doubt this, when you feel that you even hate vain Thoughts, and that the Irregularities of your Heart and Affections, as well as of your outward Conduct, are Matter of your continual Grief and Burden; what you continually watch, and pray, and strive against?
Can you doubt this, when it is your constant Experience, that there is nothing more grievous to you, nothing more contrary to the governing Desires of your Soul, than the Prevalence of these Corruptions, and the Deadness, Formality, and Distractions which accompany your holy Duties j and when you experience that it is your most ardent and impatient Pursuit, to gain surther Victory over the