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well as of your outward condućt, are matter of your continual grief and burden ; what you continually watch, and pray, and ftrive against ? Can you doubt this, when itis your constant experience, that there is nothing more grievous to you, nothing more contrary to the governing defires of your foul, than the prevalence of thefe corruptions, and the deadnefs, formality, and distraćtions, which accompany your holy duties; and when you experience that it is your most ardent and impatient purfuit, to gain further victory over the imperfections of your heart and life ; and to obtain more uninterrupted communion with God, in your religious approaches to him ? Or, to fum up all in a word, can this be doubted, when, (under the sharpest conflićt, you can meet with from this quarter) you are able fincerely to say, that tho’ when you would do good evil is present with you; yet you delight in the law of the Lord, after the inward man ? You muft befide this intefline war, have the trial of another campaign. You will find the enemies from without, as well as within, to maintain a continual conflićt with. For we wrestle not against fie/band bloodonly, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darknef of this world, and against spiritual wickedneses in high places, Eph. vi. 12. This is what you have probably had no experience of. A prifoner in the hands of his enemies, led captive by them at their pleafure, has no acquintance with the progress of wars and conflićts, battles and fieges ; makes no attempt for victory and triumph ; but fubmits to the injunĉtions of his conquerors; and the more chearful his fubmifRon, the more eafe and comfort he will find. This you muft acknowledge to be eminently true of fuch who without oppofition resign themfelves voluntary prifoners into their enemies hands ; as all careless and fecure finners do into the hands offin and Satan. But when onceperfons come to be, in good earnest, engaged in the caufe of Chrift, what violent oppofition do they meet with ? What dreadful temptations do they often encounter, which carry their own evidence with them, from what quarter they come ? This I warn you of before hand that when you come to the experience, you may not be difcouraged; but established in the faith of that revelation, which you find experimentally true. |How frequently are Christians indeed called into this field of battle ? How frequently are they affaulted with molt violent and impetuous temptations which will follow and hurry them, and fometimes foil them, notwithflanding all their good defires, godly refolutions, and most aĉtive endeavours after holinefs ? What horrid blasphemous thoughts are often injećted into the minds of fuch, which though the greatest burthen and abhorrence of their distreffed fouls, yet follow and haunt them wherever they go, and whatever they do, and ef. pecially at the feafons of their neareft approaches to God ? What doubting apprehensions, what fubtil furprifingreafonings, will be darted into the minds offome, even the most established Christians, against the very being of God; and the truth of Christianity, notwithftanding their highest rational convićtion, and fulleft fatisfaċtion of the truth of thefe great fundamentals of religion ? What horrible and amazing difpofitions and affections will feem to arife in the minds of fome of the most devout and heavenly perfons in the world; who, in , the dreadful conflist, are fometimes made to roar by . reafon of the disquietnefs of their hearts? What distref. fing darknefs, dejestions, and despondings will fome Christians be exercifed with, after clear and fatisfying evidences of God’s favour, against all the comforting confiderations which can be proposed; and notwithstanding all the former manifestations of the love of God to their fouls ? And do not thefe, and fuch-like fiery darts of the wicked one, as clearly difcover the agency of Satan, as if we faw him make his attacks in a vifible appearance ? I am fenfible, that many of thefe temptations are ordinarily imputed to bodily difeafe; becaufe Satan frequently makes the fierceft attacks upon the weakeft walls, where there is the greatest profpest of fuccess. But though bodily diforder may expofeus to darkness ofevery kind, yet what blasphemy can there be in the spleen? How came infidelity by a lodgingin the humours of the body ? Or how can any difordered temperature of the body, produce in the mind (contrary to the habitual

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of Christianity. 49 bent and bias of the renewed foul) fùch fierce, impetuous and irrefistible blasphemies against the glorious God, and the blefied Redeemer of the world; if this be only from bodily difeafe, how comes it to país, that many perfons of vigorous health of body, have met with the fame distreffing trials ? Herein then the truth of Chrif. tianity is confirmed by experience, when the Christian meets with the very fame trials, which the fcriptures

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forewarn him of : and then the fiercehefs of the com

bat may not only establish him in the faith, but strengthen his hopes of vićtory. He fees the divine original of the Christian institution, by the enmity and oppofition of the infernal powers against it. He feels the warfare juft fuch as the fcriptures defcribe; and may therefore conclude, that he has no temptation but what is common to men; and may confide in the captain of his falvation, that he is leading him on to vićtory. Thirdly, Another instance, wherein the truth of

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ence, is the comfort, peace, and joy of a religious life. Our bleffed Lord has told us, that his yoke is easy, and his burthen light, Matth. xi. 3o. Peace he leaves with his difciples; his peace he gives unto them, and this in a

manner which the world cannot give, John xiv. 27.,

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lufion, enthufiafm, or heated imagination : but is it rea

fonable in a man that was born blind, to conclude, that becaufe he himself has no idea of light and colours, there

fore no man ever faw the fun ; but all pretences of delight from the beautiful appearances of the creation, are mere chicanery and deceit ?

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5o . The Internal Evidences

I hope, Sir, you'll quickly be led forward by the Spirit of God into thefe blefied paths of joy and peace: and then you'll need no other argument, to convince you of thefe glorious truths, than your own happy experience. Then with furprizing delight, you'll be able to feel the exercife of faith in the Son of God; and to apply the gracious promife, that him who comes to Christ he will in no wife cast out. Then you'll feel a moft humbling and foul abafing fenfe of your own vilenefs and unworthinefs ; and with facred rapture, admire, adore, and praife the riches of that fovereign grace, by which you are pluck'd out of the hands offin and infidelity, and out of the jaws of death and hell, and become accepted in the beloved. Then a ray of (before unexperienced) light will break into your foul, and give you fuch a spiritual view of the divine perfećtions, as you never before had, fuch a difcovery of redeeming love, as will fill you with wonder and praise. Then the world with ail its empty pageantry will vanish out of fight; and you will be no łonger emulous of the riches and grandeur of the greateft men in the world ; nor of the pleafures of the most femfual epicure. Your foul will then be folaced with more pure and fubstantial joys, with delights more anfwerable to its defires, and more fatisfying to its tafe, than its possible it fhould find from any cfthe vain amufements of time and fenfe. Then you’ll obtain fuch a fenfiele and affećting discovery of the future glory, as will put your foul upon the wing ; and excite your most ardent defires after the more intimate and eternal enjoyment of that blefied hope. In a word, then the light will fhine cut of darkneß, and give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. And if you are favour'd with this delightful view, when ou come to encounter the king of terrors, you will e able to ftand the shock with courage, with comfort, and joy (as I have feen many do) from a delightful profpećt of your future inheritance ; and breathe out your Iaft breath with that triumphant fong, 0 death, where is zhyfting ! 0 grave, where is thy viếiory ! It is true, this is not always the happy frame of every . fincere Christian. We are here in a militant state, an:

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muft often meet with fore confliêts from our fpiritual enemies, as was before observed : but when these more exalted joys and comforts are wanting, believers have yet meat to eat which the world knows not of , The promifes will still prove an anchor for their fouls, to keep them fure and stedfast, in the most tempestuous feafons. They will find delight and comfort from the ordinances of God; and at least find occafional returns of fenfible communion with him, which will make them rejoice more than when corn, and wine, and oyl increase. And often in the midft of their greatest darknefs, they will have fudden and furprizing gleams of light and joy break into their fouls, by which they will, before they are aware, become like the chariots of Amminadab. At leaft they will be able to lock unto 7e/us, as the author and finisher of their faith ; and comfort themfelves by committing their fouls to him, and venturing their eternal interests in his hand. - The fcriptures fpeak much of thefe/ealings of the Spirit, the earnest of our future inheritance. The Spirit of God helps his children to fenfible experience of their undoubted truth and reality; whereby they are established in the faith, ftrengthened for their fpiritual encounters, and fupported under all the difficulties and trials they meet with, in their way to the future inheritance. How light foever you may make of what has been faid, I hope (Sir) you will live to rejoice in the delightful experience, as thousands of others have done; and thereby find occasion to fay with them, We are witnesses of these things, and fo is also the Holy Ghost, whom God bath given to them that obey him. Fourthly, I may yet add another instance, wherein the truth of Christianity is made matter of experience, which is the manner how the great change is wrought, and carried on, in the heart of every fincere Christian. There is, I confefs, a vaft difference, with respećł to a variety of incidental circumftances, in the methods of the divine operation, in turning finners from the power of Satan to God : and yet the scripture account of this change, as to the fubstance of it, is always found to be exactly verified in all thofe, who at adult years are the

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