תמונות בעמוד

Contr. No man can groundedly believe the facial Lion of God to bim, nor his own Elcction or Jalification, befort he bæb (yea before he find in himself) pecind love to God. Becale he that batb no special love to God, molt believe a lye if bobc. lieve that he is juftified, or that ever God revealed to him that he is elect, or specially beloved of God: and no man hath any evidentt or proof ar all of his election, and Gods fpecial lort, till he have this evidence of his special love to God. Til he know this, he cannot know that any other is fintare.

2. They that deny or blasphetne Gods common love to fallen man, and his universal pardoning Covenant, do their worft to kcep men from being moved to the special lot of God by his common Love : But when they have done their word, it shall land as a fure obligution. Is there not reason cnough to bind men to love God above all, wen as one that yet way be their happiness in his own infinite Goodness, and all the revelations of it by Chrift, und in his to loving the world, m to give his only Son, tbåt so bosoever believe i bim thould not perus, but have everlasting life. And in his giving a fret pada of alllin to matikind, and offering life eternal ro them, to that nonc but the final refuses thall lok it, ma intreating them to accept it, &c? Is not all this officient in Teufox to more than 'to the love of God, if the Spirit help them to make wife of Redfon (as hc mult do what Rrafons Totver are presented to them) unlels men think that God doth not oblige them by any kindncls which they can pollibly rejeet? Or by my thing which many others do partake or ?

Yet herc note, ther by Gods common love to miti, I do not main, any which he hath to Roprobates, under the confideration of final despilers of his antecedent Lowe: But of this moSecedent Love it fell, which he hath thewed to loh mankind Chrift.

And notc also, that I do not deny but that Love of God in fome men may be true, where their own prefamption that God hath cicated them, and loved them above others, before they had any proof of it, wx an additional motivt : But this is not N4y, and not Gods.

Errour 43. Ibai truking to any thing forw, God thote Cbrif, for our salvation, is fin and demnal.


Contr. Confùlion cheatch and choakech mens underlanding. In a word, to trutt to any thing but God, and Chrift, and the holy Spirit, for any of that which is the proper part of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, is fin and damnabic. But to truft to any thing or person, for that which is but his own past, is but our duty. And he that praycth, and rcadeth, and hcareth, and endeavoureth, and lookech to be never the better by shem, nor trustcth them for their proper part, will be both heartless and formal in his work.

And I have shewed before, that the Scripturi, the Promises the Apoftles, the Minister, and every Cbristion and boneft man, hath a certain trust due to them for that which is their part, cven in order to our salvation. I may trust only to the skil of thc Phyfician, and yet truft his Apothecary, and the Boy that carrycth thc Medicine for their part.

Errour 44. That it is finful, and contrary to free grase, 10 look at any tbing in our felves, or our own inberent rigbteousness, as the evidence of our Justification. .

Contr. Then no man can know his Juftification at all. The Spirit of Holiness and Adoption in our selves, is our carncft of falvation, and the witness that we arc Gods children, and the pledge of Gods love ; ss is proved before. This is Gods seal, as God knoweth who are his ; lo he that will know it hinsell, mult depars from iniquity, when bo nametb Chrift. If God fan&tific none but those whom he justificth, then may the fandified know that they are juftified. Hath God delivered in Scriprure so many figns or chara&ers of the justified in vain ? - Obje&. The witnes of the Spirit only can affure m.

Ans. You know not what the witness of the Spirit is; or ellc you would know that it is the Spirit making us boly, and poffefling us with a filial love of God, and with a dcfire to please him, and a dependance on him, &c. which is the witness, even by way of an inberent evidence (and helping us to perCeive that evidence, and take comfort in it.) As a childlike love, and a pleafing obedience, and dependence, with a likeness to the Father, is å witness, that is, an evidence which is your child. Errour 45. That it is fireful to perfwsde wisked men to pray


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for Juftification, or any grace, or to do anything for it ; seeing ebeir prayers and doings are abominable to God, and cannot please bim.

Contr. Then it is finful to perswade a wicked man from his wickedness: Praying and obeying, is deparring from wickednefs. He that prayech to be fančtified indeed, is repenting and rurning from his lin to God. We never exhort wicked MCA to pray with the tongue, without the desire of the hearr. Defire is the foul of prayer, and words are but the body : Wc perSwade them not to diffemble : But as Peter did Simon, AX8. Repent and pray for forgiveness. And if we may not cxhort them to good delires (and to excite and express the beft defires they have) we may not exhort them to convertion, Ifa. 55.6, 10. Seek the Lord wbile be may be found, and call upon kim while be in neer. Let tbe wicked forsake bis way, &c. You fee there that praying is a repenting act; and when we cxhort them to pray, we cxhort them to repent and seek God.

Objcct. But tbry.bade no ability to do it.

Anf. Thus the Devil would excusc finners, and accus God. Thus you may put by all Gods commands, and say, God should not have commanded them to repent, believe, love him, obcy him, nor love one another, nor forbear their fins ; forthcy have no ability to do it. But they have their naturalfaculties, or powers, and they have common grace ; and Gods way of giving them special grace, is by mcering them in the use of his appointed means; and not by mcering them in an Ale-house, or in sinful courses. (However a foul may be met with in his persecuring, and God may be found of them that sought him not; yer that is not his usual, nor his appoinccd way.) Can any man of reason dream that it is not the duty of a wicked man to use any means for the obraining of grace, or to be better ; nor to do any thing towards his own recovery and falvation ? Nature and Scripture teach men as foon as they see their fin and milery, to fay, What muf I do to be saved? As the repenting Jews, and Paul, and the Jaylor did, Ads 2.37. & Aus 8.&.16.

The prayers of a wicked man as wicked, are abominable; that is, both his wicked prayers, and his praying to quict and krengthen himself in his wickedncfs, or praying with the


tongue without the heart. The prayers which come ftom a common faith, and common good defires, are better than none, but have no promise of Juftification. But the wicked must be :. cxhorted both to this, and more, even to repent, dcfire and pray fincerely.

Errour 46. It is finful, and again it free grace, to think abat any works or adions of our own, are rewardable; or to say, tbat tbey are mcritorious, i bougl is be notbing but rewardableness tbat is mecant by it.

Conti. The Papifts have fo much abufed the word merit, by many dangerous opinions about it, that it is now become more unmect to be used by us than it was in ancient times, when the Doctors and Churches (even Austin himself)did commonly use it. But if aothing be meant by it, but rewardableness, or the sclation of a duty to the reward as freely promised by God (as many Papifts themselves understand it, and the ancient Fathers generally did) hc that will charge a man with errour in doctrine for thc ufc of an inconvenient word, is uncharie table and perverse ; especially when it is other mens abuse, which hath donc molt to make it inconvenient. The merit of the cause is a common phrasc among all Lawyers, when therc is commutative mesiting intended. I havs fully Chewed in my Confeffion, that the Scripture frequently useth the word [worsby] which is the samc or full as much: And a subje& may be said to wetit protection of his Prinec ; and a scholar to merit praise of his Mafter, and a child to descrve love and respect from his Parents, and all this in no refpe&t to commutative Jxfice, wherein the Rewarder is fuppofed to be a gainer at all; but only in governing distribucivc Juftice, which giveth overy onc that which (by gift or any way) is his duc. And that cvery good man, and every good a&ion, deferveth praise, that is, to be cftcemed such as it is. And that there is alfo a com parative merit, and a not meriting evil: As a Beljever may be faid sot to deferve damnation by the Covenant of Grace, but only by (or according to the Law of Nature or Works.

But to pass from the word merit (which I had rather were quite difused, because the danger is greater than the benefic) the thing fignified thus by it, is patt all dispute, diz. that whatcvir duty God hath promised a keward to, that dury of work

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is. Renardable according to the tenour of that promisc: And they that deny this, deny Gods Laws, and Government, and Judgement, and his Covenant of Grace, and leave not themfelves one promisc for faith to reft upon: So certainly would all these perfons bc damned, if God in mercy did not keep them from digesting their own crrours, and bringing them into pra&ice.

Grour 47. God is pleased witb its only for the righteow fwess of Cbrift, and not for any tbing in our felves.

Contr. This is fufficiently answered before. He blasphemeth God, who chinketh that he is no better pleased with holiness than with wickedneks; with well doing, than' with ill doing. They tbat are in tbe flesh cannot please God, Rom. 8. 6; 7. but the spiritual and obedient may. Wirbout faith it is impossible to please bime, because unbelievers think not that he is a Rewarder, and therefore will not suck his reward aright : But they that will please him, muft belicve that be is, and ibat be is a rewarder of them skat diligently seek bim, Heb. 11.6. They forget not io. do good and distribute, because with such facrifices God is wel pleased, Heb. 13. And in a word, it is the work of all their lives to labour, ibat sebether living or dying tbey may of bim, 2 Cor. 5. 8,9, and to be such, and to do those things as are pleafing in bis figbt. Nay, I will add, that as the glory of God, that is, the glorious demonftration or appearance of bimself in bis works, is materially the ultimate end of man; so the pleafing of bimself in this his glory shining in his Image and Works, is the very apex, or highet formal notion of this ul. timate end of God ard of man, as far as is within our reach.

No mans works please God out of Christ, both because they are unfound and bad in the spring and end, and because their faultiness is not pardoned. But in Chrift, the persons and duties of the godly are pleafing to God, because they have his Image, and arc fincerely good, and because their former fins, and present imperfections are forgiven for the sake of Chrif (who never reconciled God to wickedness.

Errour 48. It is mircenary to work for a reward, and legal to set men on doing for salvation. Contr. It is legal or foolish to think of working for any


be accepted

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