Page images

consciences wounded"; hurt and fcandalize 0thers, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.

c H A P.


Of the Assurance of Grace and



LTHOUGH hypocrites, and other unre

generate mer, may vainly deceive themfelves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and estate of sal

n Pfal. 32. 3. 4. When I enemies of the Lord to blafkept filence, my bones wax- pheme, the child also that is ed old through my roaring born unto thee, fhail surely all the day long. For day and die. night thy hand was heavy up- pPfal. 89. 31. If they on me: my moisture is turned break my itatutes, and keep into the drought of summer. not my commandments: Ver. Plal. 51. & Make me to hear 32. Then will I visit their joy and gladness: that the transgreslion with the rod, and bones which thou hast broken their iniquities with itripes. I may rejoice.

Cor. 11. 32. But when we are 0 2 Sam. 12. 14. Howbeit, judged, we are chastened of because by this deed thou hast the Lord, that we should not given great occasion to the be condemned with the world.

vation"; which hope of theirs shall perish': yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in a state of grace', and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; which hope shall never make them ashamed".

II. This certainty is not a bare conjectu. ral and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope'; but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon the divine truth of the pro

I. a Job 8. 14. Whose things have I written unto you hope thall be cut off ; and that helicve on the name of whose trutt fall be a spider's the Son of God; that ye may web. Deut. 29. 19. í fhall know that ye have eternal life, have peace, though I walk in and that ye may believe on the the imagination of mine heart, name of the Son of God. I to add drunkenness to thirst. John 3. 14, 18, 19, 21, 24. John 8. 41. Ye do the deeds d Rom. 5. 2, s. By whum of your father. Then said they also we have access by faith in. to him, We be not born of to this grace wherein we stand, fornication, we have one Fa, and rejoice in hope of the ther even God.

glory of God. And hope b Mat. 7. 22, 23. Many maketh not ashamed, because will say to me in that day, the love of God is shed abroad Lord, Lord, have we not pro- in our hearts by the Hviy phesied in thy name? and in Ghost, which is given unto thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name have done ll. e Heb. 6. II, 19. And many wonderful works? And we desire that every one of then will I profess unto them, you do Mew the same diliI never knew you; depart gence to the full assurance of from me, ye that work iniqui- hope unto the end. Which ty. Job 8. 13.

bope we have as an anchor of c i John 2. 3. And hereby the soul, both sure and sted. we do know that we know fast, and which entereth inhim, if we keep his command. to that within the vail. ments. 1 John 5. 13. These


mises of falvation', the inward evidence of thofe graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God': which Spirit is the earnest of our inheri. tance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption'.

III. This infallible affurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many

f Heb. 6. 17, 18. Wherein ing kingdom of our I.ord and God willing more abundantly Saviour Jesus Chrift. 1 John to shew unto the heirs of pro- §. 14. We know that we mise, the immutability of his have passed from death unto counsel, confirmed it by an life; because we love the breoath :-That by two immut. thren. 1 John 2. 3; and 2 able things in which it was im- Cor. 1, 32. possible for God to lie, we h Rom. 8. 15, 16. For ye might have a strong consola. have not received the spirit tion, who have fled for refuge of bondage again to fear, but to lay hold upon the hope let ye have received the Spirit of before us.

adoption, whereby we cry, g 2 Pet. 1. 4, 5, 10, 11. Abba, Father. The Spirit itWhereby are given unto us felf beareth witness with our exceeding great and precious fpirit that we are the children promises; that by these ye of God. might be partakers of the di- i Eph. 1. 13, 14. In whom vive nature, having escaped ye also trusted after that ye the corruption that is in the heard the word of truth, the world through luft.-And be- gospel of your salvation; in fides this, giving all diligence, whom also after that ye beadd to your faith, virtue; and lieved, ye were sealed with to virtue, knowleõge. Where- that holy Spirit of promise, fore the rather, brethren, which is the earnest of our ingive diligence to make your heritance, until the redempcalling and election sure; fortion of the purchased poffefif ye do these things, ye shall fion, unto the praise of his never fall. For so an entrance glory. 2 Cor. I. 21, 22. Now Mall be ministered unto you he which stablisheth us with abundantly, into the everlast- you in Chrift, and hath a.

[ocr errors]

difficulties before he be partaker of ith: 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'. And therefore it is the duty of every one, to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure"); 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 proper fruits

nointed us, is God; who hath of the world, but the Spirit also sealed us, and given the which is of God; that we earnest of the Spirit in our might know the things that hearts.

are freely given to us of God. III. k lfa. 50. 10. Who is 1 John 4. 13. Hereby know among you that feareth the we that we dwell in him, and Lord, that obeyeth the voice us, because he hath of his fervant, that walketh given us of his Spirit. Heb. in darkness, and hath no light? 6. II, 12. And we desire that Let him trust in the name of every one of you do fhew che the Lord, and stay upon his fame diligence, to the full alGod. 1 John 5. 13." These furance of hope unto the end. things have I written unto you That ye be not flothful, bat that believe on the name of followers of them, who the Son of God; that ye may through faith and patience inknow that ye have eternal herit the promises. Eph. 3. life, and that ye may believe 17, 18, 19. on the name of the Son of m 2 Pet. I. JO. Wherefore God. See Psalm 88 through- the rather, brethren, givé diout, and Psalm 77 to the 12th ligence to make your calling verse.

and eledion sure: for if ye TI Cor. 2. 12. Now we do these things, ye shall never have received, not the spirit fall.

I 2

of this affurance": So far is it from inclining men to loosenesso.

IV. True believers may have the assurance of their falvation divers ways shaken, diminished and intermitted ; as, by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special fin, which woundeth the conscience, and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation ; by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light : Vet are they




n Rom. 5. 1, 2, 5. There- we say then ? fall we fore being justified by faith, tinue in sin, that grace may

have peace with God abound? God forbid; how through our Lord Jesus Christ, shall we that are dead to fin,

By whom also we have ac- live any longer therein ? Tit. cess by faith into this grace 2. II, 12, 14.

For the graec wherein we stand, and re. of God that bringeth falvation joice in hope of the glory of hath appeared to all men;God. And hope maketh not Teaching us, that denying un. alhamed; because the love of godliness and worldly lufts, we God is shed abroad in îhould live soberly, righteous. hearts, by the Holy Ghost ly and godly in this present which is given unto us. Rom. world. Who


himself for 14. 17. For the kingdom of us, that he might redeem us God is not meat and drink, from all iniquity, and purify but righteousness, and peace,

unto himself a peculiar peoand joy in the Holy Ghost. ple, zealous of good works. Rom. 15. 13. Now the God IV. p Cant. 5. 2, 3, 6. I of hope fill you with all joy sleep, but my heart waketh: and peace in believing, that ye it is the voice of my beloved may abound in hope, through that knocketh, saying, Open the power of the Holy Ghost. to me, my sister, my love, my Psalm 119. 32. I will run the dove, my undefiled : for my way of thy commandments, head is filled with dew, and when thou shalt enlarge my my locks with the drops of the heart. Psalm 4, 6, 7, Eph. night. I have put off my coat,

how shall I put it on? I have o Rom. 6. 1, 2. What shall washed my feet, how fall i

1. 34

« PreviousContinue »