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(2) In that part of our lives, which upon the call of God we have given up unto him. There are two forts of fins that do effetually impeach our future peace and comfort, which ought therefore to be frequently reDewed and iffued in the blood of Christ. 1. Such as by reason of any aggravating circumstances have been accompanied with some especial unkindness towards God. Such are fins after warnings, communications of a sense of love, after particular engagements against them, relapfes, omissions of great opportunities, and advantages for the furtherence of the glory of God in the worlds These kinds of ins have much unkindness attending them, and will be searched out if we cover them. 2. Sids atrending with scandal towards fewer, or more, or any one single person who is or may be concerned in us: The aggravations of these kind of fins are commonly known.

(3.) The various outward states and conditions which we have passed through, as prosperity and afflictions, should in like manner fall under this search and confideration. It is but feldom that we fill up our duty, or answer the mind of God in any difpenfation of providence. And if our neglect herein be pot managed aright, they will undoubtedly hinder and interrupt oury peace.

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The fifth rule.-..---- Distinction between unbelief and

jealousy.----- The sixth rule.------- Distinction between faith and spiritual sense.

Learn to distinguish between unbelief and jealousy. There is a twofold unbelief. (1.). That which is universal and privative, sạch as is in all unregenerate persons; they have no faith at all; that is, they are dead men, and have no principles of spiritual life. This I speak not of; it is easily distinguished from any grace,

being the utter enemy and privation as it were of them all.” (2.) There is an unbelief partial and negative, consisting in a staggering at, or questioning of the promises. This is displeasing to God, a fiu which is actended with unknown aggravations, tho' men usually indulge it in themselves. It is well expressed, Psal. Ixxviii. 19, 20. God had promised his prbsence to the people in the wilderness, to feed, fuftain, and preserve them. How did they entertain these promises of God? Can be, say they, give bread? Can be give flesh unto his people ? ver. 20. What great sin, crime, or offence is in. this enquiry? Why, ver. 19. this is called speaking a

gainst God; They speak against God; they said, Can he furnish a table in the wilderness? Unbelief in questioning of the promises is a speaking against God; a limiting of the Holy One of Israel, as it is called, ver. 41. an afligning of bounds to his goodness, power, kindness and grace, according to what we find in ourselves, which he abhors. By this unbelief we make God like ourselves; that is, our limiting of him, expecting po more from him, than either we can do, or fee how it may be done. This you will say was a great sin in the Israelites, because they had no reason to doubt or question the promises of God. It is well we think so now; but when they were so many thousand families, that had not one bit of bread, nor drop of water aforehand for themselves and their little ones, there is no doubt but they thought themselves to have as good reason to question the promises, as any one of you can think that

We are ready to suppose, that we haye all the reasons in the world; every one supposeth, he hath those that are more cogent than any other hath, to queltion the promises of grace, pardon, and forgiveness ; and therefore the questioning of them is not their fin, but their duty. But pretend what we will, this is speaking against God, limiting of him, and that which is our keeping off from stedfastness and comfort.

But now, there may be a jealousy in a gracious heart concerning the love of Christ, which is acceptable un

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to him, at least which he is tender toward, that may be mistaken for this questioning of the promises by unbelief, and fo help to keep the soul in darkness and disconfolation; this the spouse expresseth in herself, Cant. viii. 6. Love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave, the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Love is the roundation, the root; but yet it bears that fruit which is bitter, although it be wholfome; that which fills the soul with great perplexities, and makes it cry out for a nearer and more fecure admiffion into the presence of Christ. Set me, faith the {poufe, as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arms, for jealousy is cruel as the grave. I cannot bear this diftance from thee, these fears of my being disregarded by thee. Set me as a seal on thy heart.

Now, this spiritual jealousy is the solicitousness of the mind of a believer, who hath a sincere love for Christ, about the heart, affection, and good will of Christ towards it, arising from a confciousnefs of its own unworthiness to be beloved by him, or accepted with him. All caufelefs jealousy ariseth from a fecret sense and convi&tion of unworthiness in the person in whom it is, and an high esteem of him that is the object of it; or concerning whose love and affection any one is jealous. So it is with this fpiritual jealousy; the root of it is love, fincere love, that cannot be quenched by waters, nor drowned by floods, ver. 27, which pothing can utrerly prevail against, or overcome. This gives the foul high thoughts of the glorious excellencies of Christ, fills it with admiration of him; these are mixed with a due fense of its own bareness, vileness and unworthiness to be owned by him, or accepted with him. Now, if these thoughts on the one hand and on the other be not directed, guided, and managed aright by faith, which alone can shew che soul, how the glory of Christ confiftech principally in this, that he being so excellent and glorious, is pleased to love us with love unexprefsible, who are vile and finful; questionings about the love of Christ, and those attended with much


anxiety and trouble of mind, will arife. Now, this frame may sometimes be taken for a questioning of the promises of God, and that to be a defect in faith which is an excess of love; or at most such an irregular acting of it, as the Lord Christ will be very tender towards, and which is consistent with peace and a due fenfe of the forgiveness of fins. Mistake not then thefe, one for another, lest much causeless unquietoess eosue in the judgment which you are to make of yourselves. But

you will say, How shall we diftinguish between those two, so as not caufelesly to be disquieted and pers plexed ? I answer briefly.

1. Unbelief, working in and by the questioning of the promises of God, is a weakning, disheartning, dif. piriting thing. It takes off the edge of the soul from spiritual duties, and weakens it both as unto delight and strength. The more any one questions the promises of God, the less life, power, joy and delight in obedience . he hath. For faith is the spring and root of all other graces; and according as that thriveth or goeth backwards : so do they all. Men thiak sometimes, that their uncertainty of the love of God, and of acceptance with him by the forgiveness of fin, doth put them upon the performance of many duties, and they can have no reft or peace in the omission of them. It may be it is. fo ; yea, this is the state and condition with many. But what are these duties? And how are they performed? And what is their acceptance with God? The duties themselves are legal, which denomination arifeth not from the nature, substance or matter of them, for they may be the same that are required and enjoined in the gofpel, but from the principle from whence they proceed, and the end to which they are used. Now these in this case are both legal, their principle is legal fear, and their end is legal righteousness, the whole attendance upto them, a seeking of righteousness as it were by the works of the law; and how are they performed? Plainly, with a bondage frame of spirit; without love, joy, liberty, or delight; to quiet conscience, to pacify God, are the things in them aimed at; all in

opposition to the blood and righteousness of Christ. And are they accepted with God? Let them be multiplied never so much, he every where testifieth, that they are abhorred by him. This then unbelief mixed with convictions will do. It is the proper way of venting and exercising itself, where the soul is brought under the power of conviction. But as unto gospel obedience in all the duties of it, to be carried on in communion with God by Christ, and delight in him, all questioning of the promises weakens and discourageth the soul, and makes them all wearisome and burdensome unto it.

But the jealousy that is exercised about the person and love of Christ unto the soul, is quite of another nature, and produceth other effects. It chears, enlivens, and enlargeth the soul, stirs up to activity, earnestness, and industry in its enquiries and desires after Christ. Jealousy, faith the spouse is cruel as the grave, therefore set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm. It makes the soul restlesly pant after nearer, more sensible, and more assured communion with Christ

t; it stirs up vigorous and active spirits in all duties. Every doubt and fear that it ingenerales concerning the love of Christ, stirs up the foul unto more earnestness after him, delight in him, and sedulous watching a. gainst every thing that may keep it at a distance from him, or occasion him to hide, withdraw, or absent himself from it.

2. Unbelief that works by questioning of the promises, is universally selfish ; it begins and ends in felf. Self-love in desires after freedom from guilt, danger and punishment, are the life and soul of it. May this end be attained, it bath no delight in God; nor doth it care what way it be attained. May such persons have any perswasions that they shall be freed from death and hell, be it by the works of the law, or by the observ

ance of any inventions of their own, whether any gloĮ ry ariseth unto God from his grace and faithfulness or no, they are not solicitous.


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