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reject it too, as the vain confidence of a hypocrite; for the faith of God's elect never fails : it is maintained by the Spirit of God, and supported by the intercession of Christ. “ I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.”
Quot. This sense of weakness is a greater evidence of genuine faith than that which those have, who pass on year after year, and are utter strangers to themselves, and their own inability to stand in a time of difficulty.
Answ. It is impossible that any person, who is an utter stranger to himself, and to his own inability, can have any evidence at all of genuine faith; and Tim's Christian, whose great evidence of faith springs from a sense of his own weakness, or of his faith failing him in times of greatest need, has no more faith, or scriptural evidence of faith, than the other.
Quot. Such persons appear to be, according to Paul's expression, bastards, and not sons; to be then wholly insensible of our weakness, is a mark of a hypocrite.
Answ. In this, reader, Timothy shews us a mystery. The mystery is this: Here is a Christian, for such Timothy calls him, whose faith fails him in times of greatest need. This Christian is compared to another Christian, who is wholly ignorant of himself. Tim's Christian has the greatest evidence of the two; which great evidence of genuine faith springs from it's failing in times of greatest need. And the conclusion is this : he who
not see him any more than the world. And he adds, I will manifest myself to them that thou hast given me out of the world; though he doth not to Timothy. “The world seeth me no more, but ye see me: and, because I live, ye shall live also.” Here are both light and life: ye see me, and shall live. God says, Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions ; and I will shew wonders in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath. But then these dreams, visions, and wonders, are only to be seen by those servants and handmaids upon whom God
pours out his Spirit, Joel ii. 28, 29. But, as Timothy and his Christian have not seen the Saviour, they cannot have this Spirit; it must, therefore, be as Tim. says, nothing but a temptation of the devil that has led his Christian to look for visions. But we are informed, that this temptation was occasioned by hearing some poor creature tell something of the marvellous. This curious phrase,
something of the marvellous,' wants Timothy's note, or comment, more than the Bible does. But they are poor deceived creatures who have seen and told these visions: such poor creatures as Abraham, on the plains of Mamre; Lot, at the gates of Sodom; Jacob, at Bethel; Moses, at the bush; the seventy elders, in the wilderness; Joshua, in the plains of Jericho; whole families, at Bochim; Gideon, in the barn’s-floor; Manoah and his wife, in the corn-field; David, in the floor of Atad; Solomon, in Gibeon; Isaiah, when he
weak proofs, never appeared in the world till Timothy took
in hand. Quot. I cannot leave this subject without adding an Appendix; in which I shall enlarge chiefly upon those perfections in the divine nature,
, which are manifested in the person, sacrifice, and priestly office of Christ; also, on those promises which particularly tend to lead the timorous soul to that foundation which God has laid in Zion. End of the Second Part. T. P.
Answ. My reader will observe how the above quotation is worded. Timothy will enlarge upon those perfections in the divine nature, which are manifested in the person of Christ, &c. For some perfections of the divine nature, to be manifested in Christ, is one thing; and for every perfection of Jehovah, in the highest sense, to be possessed by Christ, as God over all, blessed for evermore; and for all this glorious fulness of the Godhead to dwell in Christ bodily, is another thing. When this wonderful Appendix comes out, reader, if God spares my life, I will write an Appendix to my Barber; which shall consist in an examination of Timothy's enlargements on the perfections of Christ; and in citing one half of his Christian evidences, to contradict the other half, that my reader may see, at one glance, the consistency of this Timothy.