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ened,m and their consciences wounded ;n hurt and scandalize others,0 and bring temporal judgments upon themselves. P
OF ASSURANCE OF GRACE AND SALVATION.
Although hypocrites, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and estate of salvation ;a which hope of theirs shall perish ;b yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before iiim, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in
sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
n Psal. xxxii. 3, 4. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old; through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Psal. li. 8. Make me t« hear joy and gladness: that the bones which thou hast broken, may rejoice.
o 2 Sam. xii. 14. Howbeit, because, by this deed, thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
p Psal. lxxxix. 31, 32. If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, arid their iniquity with stripes. 1 Cor. xi. 32. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
I. a Job viii. 13,14. So are the paths of all that forget God, and the hypocrite's hope shall perish; whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web. Micah lii. 11. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us. Deut. xxix. 19. And it come to pass when he heaxeth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk m the imagination of mine heart to add drunkenness tp thirst. John viii. 41. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication ; we have one father, even God.
b Mat. vii. 22, 23. Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that Work miquity.
the state of grace,0 and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; which hope shall never make them ashamed.d
11. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope ;c but an infallible assurance ot faith, founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation/ the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made,*! the testimony of the Spirit of adoptiou witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God ;h which Spirit is the earnest
c 1 John ii. 3. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. I John iii. 14,18, 19,21,24. We know that we have passed from deatii unto life, because we love the brethren: he that loveth not his brother, abideth in death. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed, and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God. And he that keepeth hlu commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him: and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit that he hath given us. 1 John v. 13. These things hava I written unto you that believe ou the name of the Son of God: tliat ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Sou of God.
d Rom. v. 52, 5. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glery of God. And hope maketli not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.
II. c Heb. vi. 11, Itt. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the vail.
./ Heb. vi. 17, 13. Wherein God willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.
g 2 Pet. i. 4, 5,10, 11. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtus, knowledge. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 1 John ii. 3. And hereby we do know that we know him, if wo keep his commandments. 1 John iii. 14. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren: he that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 2 Cor. i. 12. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-wards. h Rom. viii. 15,16. For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage
of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption.'
III. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faitb, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of it ;k yet being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto.1 And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure ;m that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the
again to fear : but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
I Eph. i. 13,14. In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, tho gospel of your salvation: in whom also, after that ye behaved, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of proimse; which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Eph. iv. 30. And grieve not tho holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are scaled unto tho day of redemption. 2 Cor. i. 21, 23. Now no which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God: who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
III. k 1 John v. 13. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. Isa. l.10. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light ? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God- Marki:.. 24. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (See Tsal. tixxviii. throughout. Psal. lxxvii. to the 12th verse.)
I 1 Cor. ii. 12. Nov/ wo have received, not the Spirit of the world, hut the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 John iv. 13. Hereby know we, that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. Hsb. vi. 11, V2. And we desire that every one of you do show tho same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that you be not slothful, but followers of them who, throush faith and patience, . inherit tho promises. Eph. iii. 17 to 19. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may pe able to oomprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
m 2 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if yo do these things, ye shall never fall.
n Rom. v. 1,2,5. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with GoJ, through our Lord, Jesus Christ ; by whom also we havo proper fruits of this assurance :n so far is it from inclining men to looseness.0 ,
IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted: as, by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin, which wonndeth the conscience, and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation; by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even
access by faith unto this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Rom. xiv. 17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Rom. xv. 13. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Eph. i. 3, 4. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us, in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love. Psal. iv. 6. 7. There be many that say, Who will show us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. Psal. cxix. 32. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
o 1 John ii. 1, 2. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with tho Father, Jesus Christ tho righteous: and he is the propitiation for Out dins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. Rom. vi. 1, 2. What shall we say then? shall we continue in sin, that jrrace may abound? God forbid : ,how shall we that are dead to sin, ive any longer therein? Tit. ii. 11, 12,14. For the grace of God that bnngeth salvation hath appeared to all men; teaching us, that denying ungodliness, and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself u peculiar people, zealous of good works. 2 Cor. vii. 1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all rilthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Uom. viii. 1, 12. There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are m Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live after the flesh. 1 John iii. 2, 3. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Psal. exxx. 4. But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. 1 John i. 6, 7. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: butif we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one"with another, and tho blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanscth. us from all sin.
such as fear him to walk in darkness, anrl to have no light :P yet are they never utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity ot heart and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived,", and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair.'
IV. p Cant. iv. 2,3, 6. I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. 1 have put oft" my coat, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them? I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was fone: my soul failed, when he spake: I sought him, but I could not nd him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. Psal. li. 8,12, 14. Make me to hear joy and gladness: that the bones, which thou hast broken, may rejoice. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation: and uphold me with thy free Spirit. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation : and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Eph. iv. '30, 31. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evilspeaking, be put away from you, with all malice. Psal. lxxvii. 1 to 9. I cried unto God with my voice : even unto God with my voice, and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhehned. Selah. Thou boldest mine eyes waiting: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart, and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will ho be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. Mat. xxvi. 69 to 72. Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow .was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, 1 do not know the man. Psal. xxxi. 22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications, when I cried unto thee. (Psal. lxxxviii. throughout.) Isa. 1.10. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. q 1 John iii. 0. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him: and he pannot sin because he is bf .rn of God. Luke xxii. 32. But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fait not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Job xf