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in our order and measure, be so too. As corrupt Adam “ bee gat a son in his own likeness, after his image," Gen. 7. 3. so likewise when God begets children, he forms them in his own likeness, in rizbteousness and true boliness, Eph. iv. 24. And indeed, this likeness of God, is gradually perfected by familiar intercourse with him; till, having obtained that adoption of which the Apostle speaks, Rom. viii. 23. we are become perfectly like him, i John iii. 2.
XXX. 2dly, A new life that is worthy of God and the effect of the spirit of adoption, who is the spirit of life, Rom. viii. 2. As is the spirit of tbe creatures, so is their life. The natural man has not a more noble spirit, dor a more excellent principle of life than his soul : consequently he only lives an animal life. But as the children of God are endowed with that free spirit, Psal. li. 12. who is the spirit of Christ, Gal. iv. 6. so in their measure they live, as Christ formerly lived, imitating his example and pattern to the utmost of their power; that what Christ declared in the highest degree of himself, may in some measure be applied to them, “ the son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doth the son likewise," John v. 19. Paul's ex. hortation is excellent, Eph. y. I.“ be ye followers of God as dear children.
XXXI. zdly, A true and sincere love of God. Even nature · teacheth this. For what genuine son does not love his father? This law is not only written, but born with us. And this love arises, partly from the consideration of the most amiable pero fections of God, which his children are admitted to contemplate in a familiar way, seeing the king in bis beauty, Isa. xxxüi. 17. Psal. lxiii. 2. Partly from the rays of the divine love reflected upon them, whereby they cannot but be infiamed, 1 John iv. 19. They never attentively reflect on this love, but they look upon the whole capacity of their soul, as insufficient to make due returns of love.
XXXII. 4thly, A filial fear and obedience Mal. i. 6. 1 Pet. i. 17. flowing from the foresaid love, which forbids them to do any thing that may displease God, and cannot bear to see his honour impaired by any other, Psal. xlii. 3, 10. On the con. trary, it makes the person chearful and ready in all the duties of religion, John xiv. 21. does not suffer him to be at rest, if haply by any ill advised conduct he should provoke God, and be deprived of the sight of his blessed and gracious face as fore merly. In fine, this constrains him to fall down in profound reverence, at the feet of his father, and with sorrow and tears,
God, will also virtues of Go Our spirit
plead for the pardon of his offences, and promise a more careful observance for the future, Luke vii. 38.
XXXIII. 5thly, Unfeigned brotherly love, which he entertains for all those in whom he observes the image of God, and a participation of the same grace with himself. As that natural affection of Josephi, for his brother Benjamin, discovered itself by the most evident tokens, Gen. xlv. 14, 15. so likewise while other marks are often indiscernable, this brotherly love gives to the doubting soul an evidence of its state, 1 John iii. 14. For the love of the brethren cannot be separated from the love of God. Who ever loves the original, will also love the copy : whoever loves God, will also love himn who belongs to God, and in whom he observes the virtues of God, and whom he believes to be loved by God, I john iv. 20. Our spirit ought to be well assured of these things, before it can testify any thing about our state ; and likewise to know, that all these things are to be found with the Sons of God, and with them only as the effects of the regenerating spirit.
XXXIV. But besides, there are some special acts of divine love which God vouchsafes only to his own children. The Lord, indeed, is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works, Ps:1. cxlv. 9. But he reserves a certain peculiar and unparalleled goodness for his elect; of which the Psalmist says, Psal. Ixxiii. 1. Truly God is good to Israel, even to. such as are of a clean beart. Hence it is, that, while they are sometimes ravished on high by his spirit, he surround: them with the beams of his supercelestial light, gives them a view of his face shining with the brightest love, kisses them with the kisses of his mouth, admits them to the most endearing, mutual .intercourse of mystical love with himself, and, while he plenti. fully sheds abroad his love in their hearts, he gives them to drink of rivers of honey and butter, and that often in the greatest drought of the parched soul, when expecting no such thing. There are many more mysteries in this secret intercoursewith our heavenly father, which believers sometimes see, taste and feel, and which no pen of the learned can represent, as they deserve. And it is not fit, that the spirit of man should be unacquainted with these things since it is admitted as a witness of his state : for, though this is not the lot of all the children of God, nor the case at all times, nor indeed frequently: yet they whose lot it has at any time been, are certainly children of God.
XXXV. After our spirit is well instructed about all these things, it is further necessary it make a strict scrutiny concerning itself, and, as under the eye of an omniscient God, diligently search every particular without dissimulation, or disguise ; Vol. I.
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to see whether these things, which we said, were the marks or characterističks of the childre. of God, are to be found in us : as also whether, at any time, we have experienced, in prayer, or other exercises of devotion, the peculiar favour of the most gracious God, exciting, inflaming comforting, and carrying heaven wards our otherwise dull and drowsy hearts. For when our spirit discovers these things by evident indications, then it confi lently testifies, that we are the children of God, represents that truth to our minds, and gives us to know it, and enable us to say, this I know, for God is for me, Psal. lvi. 9.
XXXVI. These things, indeed tend greatly to the consolation of God's children : but when, both by scripture and exper. ience, they know, that our heart is deceitful, and that they are assured by the wisest of kings, that he that trusteth in his own heart is a fool, Prov. xxviii. 26 ; and as they would not wish to be deceived in notling less than in this, which of all others is of the greatest mo nent; then at length they entirely acquiesce, when to the testiniony of their own spirit is superadded that of the Spirit of God. This is what David wrestled for by earnest prayer with God, Ps. XXXV. 3. say unto my soul, thou art my salvation.
XXXVII. That testimony is given principally in this manner: first, the spirit of God makes those holy habits, which, we suid, were the distinguishing marks of the children of God, and which at times are often involved in much darkness and covered with much rubbish and filth, to shine with clearness in their soul, and, as it were, readily present themselves to the contemplation of the mind, when examining itself. And then excites our spirit, otherwise ready to faint, to the diligent observation of the things in our mind, both transacted in and by it enlightens the eyes of the understanding with supernatural light, to prevent our being deceived by what is specious rather than solid, or our overlooking those things, on the observation of which our consolation depends. There is moreover a certain internal impulse, which no human, language can explain, immediately assuring God's beloved people of their adoption, no less than if they were carried up to the third heavens, and had heard it audibly from God's own mouth; as the Apostles formerly heard in the holy mount a voice from the excellent glory, 2 Pet. i. 17. Lastly, seeing no testimony is stronger than that which is proved by facts, the spirit of God does not leave himself without witness in that respect ; for he excites generous motions and the sweetest raptures in believers, and delights them with consolations so ravishing and extatical, and even exceeding all
thought, that they cannot consider them, in any other light, but as so many testimonies of their adoption..
. XXXVIII. Nor is there any reason to apprehend, the child. ren of God will, in this case, suffer themselves to be imposed upon, or admit, for a testimony of the Holy Spirit, what is a lie and mere illusion of the deceiving spirit. For, in this voice of the spirit of God, there is so much clearness, majesty and efficacy, whereby penetrates, with an irresistible power, into the bottom and in most recess of the heart, that they, who have been accustomed to that voice, can easily distinguish it from all others.
The world, certainly, cannot receive this spirit, seeth him not, neither knoweth him, John xiv. 17: but Christ's sheep know the voice of their shepherd, John x. 4. And when it sounds, not so much in their ears as in their hearts, they joyfully exclaim, this is the voice of my beloved, behold! he cometh, Cant. ii. 8. As formerly in extraordinary appearances, God : gave such clear indications of his majesty to the prophets, as to leave no room for doubt; so in like manner, the spirit, the com-":"forter irradiates the minds of the elect with such beams of light : that they can easily distinguish him from ihe spirit of darkness. But, as the proper sound of any voice cannot be distinguished but by the hearing of it; so these things are only to be learned by experience.
XXXIX. But the spirit of God does not usually comfort the elect with such glad tidings, unless their hearts are first broken by a long continued acknowledgment of their sins, and a deep sense of their misery, Isa. Ixi. I, 3. and lvii. 15, 18. .;. Generally a boisterous wind goes before the rending of moun. :: tains, and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord, and an earthquake and a fire, before the still small voice is heard. I . Kings xix. 23. This balm is poured only into the broken heart,. Psal. li. 8.
XL. And the souls of the elect are never refreshed with the sweet consolation of the spirit, but they are at the same time, inflamed with the love of God and excited to the vigorous exercise of strict religion. The same spirit, who is the comforter, is also, by the same act, the sanctifier, Psal. li. 12, 3. Nor can it be otherwise. When the soul is assured by the spirit himself of the infinite love of God towards him, he bursts outinto a flame of mutual love, breaking out into the warmest thanks. giving$ ; saying, “ Lord, hast thiou honoured me, in a manner so extraordinary and undeserved, that thou takest me forthy son! Hast thou thyself declared this so familiarly unto me, by shedding abroad thy love in my licart by tlie Holy Spirit, which thou hast given me ! and shall I not love, ivorship, houbur and
obey thee to the utmost of my power! O! that I was emptied of every thing else, that I might be filled with thy love !” and this is an undoubted token of the Holy Spirit, when the man, who rejoices in soul, is, at the same time, become more ardent in love to God, and more cheerful in his worship. The spirit of the flesh and of hell, with its deceitful allurements, intends every thing else besides this.
XLI. We have indeed delivered these things, in a very im. perfect manner, on this mystical subject, which is the marrow of internal Christianity; which, that the Holy Spirit himself may inwardly teach † those who are consecrated to God, and exhibit to their eyes, ears and taste, we ardently pray. So be it, Lord Jesus! AMEN.
+ The author's words are, Nazirass fuos doceat teach his Nazarites, but as that sounds harsh in English, I therefore have expressed his meaning by a paraphrase.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
Thomas Turnbull, Printer, ?
Canongate, Edinburgh. S