« AnteriorContinuar »
nature, as the rooto f all these things, an amazing difcovery of its enmity to God, of its propensity to every fin, of its impotency and aversion to every good thing, of the utter impossibility that ever it should lead me to any thing that's really good. is
6. The Lord has discovered the guilt and hateful. ness of those fins, so that I have been made to loath my self on account of them. ::2. The Lord has discovered to me the vanity of all those reliefs which nature leads to, and that first, as to the guilt of sin, he has made me see, that my duties cannot save, and I hope he has taken me off from resting upon them; For, , .. 1. Under disquietments occasioned by sin nothing, fave Christ, could quiet me; duties have rather in creased than allayed it, when look'd to.
2. The Lord when I have been most affisted in du. ties, took such care to guard me against this, that he then always opened mine eyes to see a world of fin in them. And here,. .. 3. I have been made with as much concern to de. fire to be saved from my best duties, as ever I was from my worst sins. And,
4. The Lord from the discoveries he made to me of my hearts inclining to lay some stress, at sometiines upon duties when spiritually performed has stirred up in my soul a jealousy of my heart in this particular,
2. As to the power of sin, by manifold fad experiences, I found it too hard for my prayers, vows, tears, resolutions, &c, so oft has this been felt, that I have been brought to an utter despair of relief this way.
3. The Lord has been pleased to determine my heart to chuse the way of salvation revealed in the gospel, thro' faith's acceptance of, and resting on Christ Jefus for wisdom, righteousness, sanctification
and redemption : this the Lord brought me to approve of, :... As the only way of obtaining these things..
2, As a way full of admirable wisdom. 3. As a way full of wonderful love. 4. As a way of great peace and security to finners.
As a way suited to give glory to God.. 6. As a way suited to honour Chrift. :: 7. As a way suited to honour the spirit of God. 8. As a way suited to honour the law.'
a way suited to an our Chrillirit of God
Now in all these particulars, I thought this way incomparable ; and my approbation of it was evident in that I found. :
1. Every day my detestation of all other ways to increase.
2. I found every day the necessity of this way. And,
3. I found, that the more I looked at it, the more I lov'd it, and admired it, as full of all things that can make it desireable. :
4, I found in myself an approbation of the law, and holiness of God in it. Iam now satisfied, that the law is holy, just, good and spiritual. The carnal mind is enmity against God, is not subject to the law of God, neither can be. But blessed be God, that enmity I once had at the law of God, is removed.
· Evidences of that Enmity. . T Found in my mind a stated dislike at spiritual. I mindedness, and at the law's enjoining it.
2. I had a complacency in being freed from all attendance upon duty.
3. I would fain have had some of God's law al. tered C.
1. THe Lord did remarkably reconcile my heart
I to these laws, which formerly I would glad. ly have had alter'd, so that I would not have these by any taken away. And this is the stronger proof, in re. gard that, I. I find these fins deeply rooted in my nature, which these laws do cross. 2. I have manifold temptations to them. 3. I have it to regrete, that I am too oft overcome by them.
2. When I fear hell and damnation on account of my breaches of the law, yet God knows this never occafions such dislike, as fear of offending him; see Rom. vii. 10, 11, 12.
3. I do desire no alteration, no change to be made of the law; God knows, I would have my heart brought to it, and not it to my heart.
4. I find a constant shame and self-loathing for Thort-coming, and want of Conformity to it, and that in these instances, wherein none, fave God and my own conscience, are witnesses,
5. I find extraordinary satisfaction, when any de gree of conformity to it is attain'd.
6. The ordinary and serious breathing of my soul, is such as that of the psalmist's in the cxix, Psalm throughout. ,
Upon these grounds I do conclude, that the Lord has wrought faith in me, and therefore will save me, and compleat what concerns me ; and be: cause he has determined me to choose him, therefor I dare call him, my God, my Javiour, my fanctifier. The Lord did this day help to plead for strength a. gainst sin ; and my God will hear me ; I have reason when I have done all, to say, I have done nothing, I cannot serve the Lord.
In the beginning of this affair in March 1700, I was confident to meet with a disapointment, I was resol.
ved to quit it, and did so for some time: God by one
After I had the greatest prospect of encouragement,
I have been kept off means, kept low as to thoughts of myself, and kept in dependance on God as to the issue.
The thoughts of which things made me with much sweetness promise good at the hand of God.
In prosecution of his purpose, he was married at Edinburgh January 23, 1701.
As God blessed him with children, it was his conItant practise to devote them to the Lord: He was much in prayer for his family submitting all his and
their concerns to the divine disposal as to life, * health, &c. But most earnest was he for their souls e..
ternal welfare ; an instance hereof follows.
March 1705, An account of my exercise, with respect }; to my youngest child's foul's ftate, a girl of eleven į months old, represented in a few remarks..
1. W Hen two years ago my son died furprisingly
W in the birth, I was much concernd in de. firing some satisfaction as to his eternal state, bur ob- . tained no particular promise at that time, save only,
1. That I was made to bless God, that I had no ; ground to fear the worst, as I might have had if he had been come to age, 2, I was made to look to the extensive promise of the covenant that is to us and our children. 3. I had peace in this, that I had de. voted him to the Lord as soon as I found him to live in the belly.. . N2
i 2. When this child fell into a languishing fickness, and death began evidently to be threatned, I was put to more clofs exercise about her eternal state, • 3. I was some times much enlarged in her behalf, but was unwilling to rest here, but humbly desired, That the Lord would give me fome ground from the word to hope as to her. . :.:4. That I might not be wanting in the use of the means of the Lord's appointment, I consulted books, and the experience of such of the Lord's people as I had access to, to see what I might expect, but found no satisfaction ; yet I resolv'd to wait on the Lord, and .cried to him,
When I cry'd to him, I found for a considerable time no apkver, but heavy challenges, i. For not observing returns by the word as I should have done, 2. For nåt seeking more this way, and resting too easily without this. 3. For not studying the word so much as I should : Thus the Lord dealt with me as with Ifrael: Judges, vi. 7.- 10. When they cry'd, before he sent deliverance, he sent a reproof...
6. The Lord further to humble me, tryfted me with several afflictions, my wife's frailty and my owne!, m
asi.. 17. When I svas in this distress, I cry'd to the Lord, and in prayer he relieved me by that passage, Mark, X.13.- 16.' Suffer little children to come unto me;' as to which I remark, 1. While I was in prayer crying for mercy to the child it was then fuggested. And, 2. The Lord let me see in it, that it was the parents who brought their children to Christ, desirous of his blelling of them. 3. The disciples were against Christ's taking notice of them, or putting any particular mark of respect on them. 4. But Christ rebuked them and said, ' fuffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them noi. Though the disciples would not lavo uş to expect any evidence of the Lord's special luve to youngones. yct the Lord is of another mind.