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faithful servant of God, will find good entertainment of all the children of the promises; who hope to entertain them that have, with great care and good evidence of spiritual understanding, discovered and compiled the variety and use of all the promises, in matters temporal, spiritual, and eternal. So that here is a medicine for every disease, and a salve for every sore. Read them carefully, and ponder them seriously, and apply thein faithfully. And I beseech the good Lord, who is the Author of them, that, by his Holy Spirit, he would make them powerful and effectual in us.
Consider what is said, and the Lord give us understanding in all things.a
RULES To be observed in reading of Promises. 1. Whatsoever promise is made in general to all the faithful, every one must particularly apply it to themselves; as the Messiah is promised to all, every one must apply him to themselves.b
2. Whatever promise is made to any one of the faithful, (if there be not some particular reason which ties it to his person; as was to Abraham for a son, and his seed to inherit the land of Canaan,) every child of God hath right to it: as, “I will not leave thee, nor forsake thee.a" This every one may apply to themselves, as we know the Holy Ghost applies it; for he hath said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.b) Which teacheth us to do the like in all the rest of the promises.
a Tim. ii, 7. b Gen. iii, 15.
3. Under temporal promises to the Jews, are set forth the excellent promised graces which God will give to his people after the coming of Christ.
4. When we read the conditions of the promises, they are not like to the duties of the law,-made to the perfect fulfillers of them; the promises are evangelical, made to those which endeavour to keep them; and the main conditions of them are faith.
5. In all the promises for increase of grace, or means of grace, or for any earthly things, we must know we shall have them so far performed to us as the Lord seeth good for us.
6. In our weak endeavourings to keep the promises, we must believe the performance to us, is in, by, and through Christ; in whom all the promises of God are, yea and AMEN:d that is, as I conceive,“confirmed and made good to us in him.” When we can see nothing in ourselves why they should be performed to us, even then we are to
a Joshua i, 5. bHeb. xii, 5 cEzek. xxxiv, 25, 26, 27. 02 Cor. i, 20.
claim therr. for Christ's sake, if thou be in Christ. For if thou be not in him, no promise belongs to thee; but threatenings and judgments are thy portion; and nothing else can we claim as our due. Sorrow, weeping, and howling, is that which God requireth of us; and not laying upon the somfortable promises, till we hunger after Christ: which God grant we may and more, till we come to be satisfied with his image in the life to come.a
CONCERNING SPIRITUAL THINGS.
These Promises are applicable to Believers on the
OF SIN. If thou findest nothing in thyself that may move the Lord to have
mercy. “I, EVEN I, am he that blotted out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins: return unto me, for I have redeemed thee.c
“I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
"I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean from all your filthiness.
a Psalm xvii, 15. b Isa. xliii, 25. Isa. xliv, 22. d Jer. IX, 34. Ezek. xxxvi, 25.
I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will lead him also, and restore comfort unto him, and to his mourners. "
These promises are free; made by the Lord, not for any thing that is in man; for the Lord saith, They had not called upon him, but wearied the Lord; brought him no offering, yea wearied him with their sins; and yet, for his own sake, he'would forgive their sins.
These promises we shall have always need of; as at our conversion, so afterwards, inany times, we shall, in our own feeling, find nothing in ourselves to persuade us of the pardon of our sins; then we must fly to these free promises. When thou seest nothing in thyself why the Lord should pardon thy sins, and therefore doubtest of the pardon of them, apply, "I am he that puts away thy sins for my own sake."
When thy sins rise up as a cloud, that thou canst see nothing but them, apply, “I have put away thy sins as a cloud.”
When thou fearest the multitude of thy sins, apply, “You shall be clean from all your
sins." If you fear God will remember your sins before-committed, to punish you for them. "I will remember his sin no more.c His transgressions which he hath committed shall not be mentioned to him; but in the righteousness which he hath done, shall he
a Isa. lyii, 18. b Isa. xliii, 22 to 25. cJer xxxi, 34. a Ezek. xviii, 22. xxxiü, 27, 28, 29.
live. a "
“None of his sins that lie hath committed shall be mentioned to him.b " If often-sinning cause thee to doubt of
pardon. He looketh upon men, and if any, say, I have sinned and perver'ed that which was right, and it profiteth me not, he will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo all these things worketh God oftentimes with man.co
Wherefore, believe not Satan that persuades the contrary: nor let thy corruptions make thee bold to presume of pardon; for though God promise pardon, yet it is to the penitent, not to the presumptuous.
If thou despair. When thou art at the pit's brink of despair, and art dried up with sorrow, to some faithful preacher that is able to preach Christ unto thee and apply, “Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom.
His flesh shall be fresher than a child's; he shall return to the days of
Ezek. xxxii, 16. c Job