« הקודםהמשך »
Every one who truly consenteth to the Baptismal Covenant, hath
right to the bleffings of the Covenant ; God is his father, ChriQ is his Saviour, and the holy Spirit is bis San&ificr. Bur I do truly consent to the Baptifmal Covenant : Therefore I have right to all the benefits of it : God is my Father, &c.
Direct. s. Remember that w ben you bave got affurance, and bave truly gatbered Ibis conclusion, the continual and lively cse srcise of faib, is Atil necesary to your adual joy:
For it is possible for a man to have no notable doubtings of his own sincerity or salvation, and yet to have such dulness of soul, and fuch diverfions of his thoughts, as that he shall enjoy but little of the comforts of his own affurance. Therefore truc joy requirech much morc, than bare felf. examination, and disccra ing of our evidences, and right to life.
Dirca. 6. When doubts and troubles are caused by ignoranet or errors, about the true nature and signs of grace, and the way of assurance (which is very common) Morbing tben is more necesaryobon a sound and skilful Teacher ; to work out those mistakes, and to help the ignorant Chriftian to a clearer understanding of the terms of the Covenant, and the sense of the Promise, and the truc methods of Chriâ in his gifts and operations. Otherwise the crring soul will be difraded and loft in a wilderness of doubts, and cither fit down at last prcfumptuously on falle grounds, or turn to onc crrour to curc the troubles of mother, or languish in despair; lo lamentable a thing is it to be poffeffed with falsc principles, and to attempt so great a work in the dark.
Dirca. 7. And here there are these two extreams to be carefully avoided: 1. That of the Infidel and Jufticiory, who trefterh and teachech others to truft to his own vertues and works witbout a Seviour, or ascribeth the part of a San viour to them. 2. The Antinomian and Libertine, who teach men nu to look at any sbing in sbomselves at al, no not as an rvidence, or condition, or means, much less as any cause of lifc; but to truk to Chrifts blood, to be to you inftoad of Faitb, and Repentance, and Obedience, and all your use of means; and do ascribe the part of tbefe duties of man, to the blood of Chrift; as if it did belong only to Christ to do that same thing which belongeth unto them.
Therefore here you must be sure to be well acquainted what is truly the office and part of Christ;, and what is truly the office and part of Faith, of Repentance, of Confeffion, of Prayer, &c. And to be sure that you mbolly, trust Cbrift for bis part, and joyn not Faith, nor any of your own works or durics in the ical degree of that trust or bonour which belo-igeth to Cbrift, and bis office and work; And that you faithfully wfe (yca I will say, Trust too, though ignorance Inarl at it) your Fairb, Repentance, Prayer, doc. in and for its owo ni office and part; and do not foolihly blaspheme Christ, by ascribing the part and office of your duty unto bins and bis office, under prétence of giving him the honour of them. It is Cbrifts office and bonour to be a sacrifice for fin, and a propitiation for us, and a perfedt Saviour and Intercefor, and to give us the Spirit, by which we believe, repent, pray, obcy, hope, love, &c. But not to be a penitent believing finner, nor to accept of an offered Saviour, nor to be i consenting Covenanter with God the Father, son and Holy Spirit, nor to be dashed from fin in his bload, reconciled, adopt. ed, nor to pray for pardon in tbe name of another, nor to trust upon a Saviour, nor to be a Disciple, a Subjed, a Member of s Saviour, dc. Nor yet that his blood, or mcrirs; or righteoulness, should be to you instead of tbefe
. ' No, these are to be Direct. 8. In this case also take heed of thofc ignorint guides, who know not the errours of fancy, melanoboly, or di. Aurbed passions, from the proper works of the Spirit of God: For they wrong the Spirit, when they ascribe mens finful weaknesses to him: And they greatly wrong the troubled finner many waics : 1. They puff up men with conceits that they arc under fome great and excellent workings of the Spirit, when they and the works of Satan, and their own infirmity or fin! 2. They teach them hereby to magnific and cherish chofe di. ftempers, and paffions, and tboughts, which they should reft, and lament, and caft away. 3. And they fet them in an Enthu. fiaftick, or truly Fanatical way of Religion, to look for Roupa lations, or live Aill upon their own fancies, and passions, and stiftempers, and Satans temptations, conceiting that they live upon the incomes of God, and are actuated in all this by the Holy Ghott. And of what mischievous importance and con
done by you.
ki quence all this is, and how much hurt fuch zealous ignorance doch, both in the Teachers and the people, the thing it self doth plainly shew; and the fad experience of this age doth thew it more plainly, in Rancers, Quakers, and other truc Fanaticks, and in many women, and other weak perfons; of better principles than theirs.
And it is an unsafe course which many fuch weak persons use, to think in their troubles that cvery text of Scriptura which cometh into their roind, or every conceit of their own is a special suggestion of the Spirit of God: You shall ordinarily hear them lay, [Such a text was brought to me, or was set upon my beart, and sucb a thing was set upon my mind] when two to one, it was no otherwise brought unto them, nor fet upon them, than any other ordinary thoughts are; and had no special or extraordinary operation of God in it at all. Though it is certain that every good tbought which comech into our minds, is fome eff.& of the working of Gods Spirit, as every good word, and every good work is ;- and it is certain that sometimes Gods Spirit doth guide and comfort Chriftians as a remembrancer, by bringing informing and comforting texts and doctrines to their remembrance ; yet it is a dangerous thing to think that all such suggestions or thoughts are from some specialor extraordinary work of the Spirit, or that every text that cometh into our minds, is brought thither by the Spirit of God at all.
The realons are there,
1. Satan can bring a text or truth to our remembrance for his own cnds, as he did to Chrift, Mattb.4. in his temptations.
2. Our own pasions or running though!s, may light upon fomc text or truth accidentally, as they do on other things which lo come in.
3. on the Spirit doth in an ordinary way help us in remcmbring or meditaring on any text or holy doctrine, ho doch it according to our capacity and disposition, and not in the way of infalible infpiration, and therefore there is much of our weakness and errour usually mixe with the Spirits belp, in the produd. As when you hold the hand of a child in writing you writt not so well by his hand, as by your own alone, buc
your skil, and his weakness and unskilfulness do both appear in the leccers which are made ; fo is it in the ordinary affiftance of the Spirit in our studies, meditations, prayers, &c. other. wife all that we do would be perfed, in which we have the Spirits help; which Scripture, and all Christians cxperience do contradia.
4. And to ascribe that to the Spirit which is not at al bis work, or that which is partly our own work, so far as it is out men, and savoureth of our wcaknesses and crrour, is a hcisous injury to the Spirir.
's. And it coffcth such mifaken Chriftians up and down in uncertaintics ; while they think all such thoughts are che lug. geftions of the Spirit, they meet with many contrary thoughts, and fo are carrycd like the waves of the Sca, sometimes up and sometimes down ; and they have sometimes a humbling terrible text, and the next day perhaps a comforting text comcth into their minds, and so are between terrours and comforts, diftrated by their own fantasics, and think it is all done by the Spirit of God.
6. And it is a perverse abufing of the boly Scripture, to make such remembrances the Rule of your application of it to your (elves : that text which you remember had the famc (enfc bcfore you remembred it, and your spiritual ftatc was the Game before : If that text agree with your state, and cither the corrour or the comfort of it belong to you, this must be proved by solid reason, drawn from the truc meaning of the text, and the truc state of your souls; and not supposed mcerly bccault i comerh into your thoughts, or because it is set upon your hearis: Do you think that your remembring it will prove that it fpecially belongs to you? Do not many comfortable (exts come into the minds of Hypocrites, who are unfit for comfort? And many terrible texts come into the minds of humble fouls, that have right to comfort, and Ahould not be more terrificd? You may as well think that your money or chate is another mins, because he thinkerb on it : Or that another mans dangers and miserics are yours, because you think of them : Or that you are cither Kings, or Lords, or beggars, or thieves, or whatever cometh into your minds: Os that naorler mins Lcases or Decds by which he holdeth his Lands,
are all youts, because they are put into your band te read.
7. And if you go this way to work, you are in danger to be carryed into many orber errouts and fins, and think that all is of the Spirit of God, because you feel it fer upon your hearts. And so you will feiga the fan&ifying Spirit to be the author of fin, and the lying Spisit shall be honoured and called by his
Mark well these following texts of Scripture, 2 Tbef. 2. 1, 2, 3. We beseecb you bretbren, by the coming of aur Lord Jesus Cbrift--- that ye be not soon Maken in mind, or troubled, neither by Spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Cbrift is at band: Let no man deceive you--- You foc here that Spirit, Word and Scripture may be pretended for an untruth.
Mattb. 4. Satan often Caith, It is written,
2 Cor. 11. 12, 13, 14,15. False Apostles, and deceitful workers may transformibemselves into the Apostles of Christ, and Ministers of Righteousness; and no warvel, for Setan bimself is transformed into an Angel of light.
1 7obus 4: 1. Beloved, believe not cury Spirit, but try Spirirs, whether they be of God.
Gal. 1.7, 8. If we or an Angel from Heaven preach any other Goßelto you, let bine be accursed.
Qucht. But homo iber shall I know mben it is tbe Spirit which puiteto any tbing into my mind Ž
Ausw. 1. The matter it self must be tryed, whether it agree with the sacred Scripture, and muft be proved true by the Word of God. 2. The end to which that truth is brought, muft be proved to be juft and good: For Sacan pleadeth trusle to finful ends. 3. The application of them to your own case muo be such as will hold tryal, and it must be proved by found argument, that indeed they do thus and thus belong to you: For Gods Spirit will not bely. you, nor make you better or worfs chan you are ; Ao more than he will belye chc Scriptures.
Obje&. Bus is it not tbe farne Spirit obisk Spake so the Apoftles, wbicb Speakerb tous ? If they were to believs bim im. medinsely, so nonff we; and fering ibe Spirit is above ibe Soripture,