תמונות בעמוד

she must try tbe Scriptures by sbe Spirit, and not the Spirit by ibe Scriptures.

Anfw. Alas, how pittifully igaorance bcwcildreth men ! 1. It is the same Spirit which was in the Apoftlts, and is in the weakest Christian : But he worketh not in the same degree: He inspired them to infallibility ; being promised to lead ibene into al truth, and to bring al tbings. wbicb Cbrift bad spoken to sbeir remembrance ; and he enabled them to prove this by minifold miracles : Doth he do all this by you? or had you the same promises ? 2. The fame Spirit in tbem was given to one end, and to you for anotber. To tbem it was given to cause them by his inspiration to deliver all that Chrift had taught them, and to leave it on record to all generations, as his infallible Word and Law, to be the Rule of do&rine and

praGice to the end of the world. Bụt to you the samc Spirit is given, to cause you to understand, and love, and obey this Law which is alrcady written, and not to write or know another.

3. The Spirit indited the Scriptures before you were born: and we are sure that that is the Word of God; and we are fure that Gods Spirit contradi&eth not it felf: Therefore your after-pretended revelations, must be tryed by the certain ancient Rule, which had the seal of miracles which yours hath Rot.

Obj. But boro shall I kxom wobat application to make of Scrie pture to my self, but by obe teacbing of ibe Spirit of God?

Answ. But you must not take cvery thought and suggeftion or remembrance, to be the Spirits application. Gods Spirit teacheth men by the light of found evidence, which may be proved, and wil hold good in tryal

: Hc teachech you by exciteing you to rational ftudies and argumentation, and by blusling you in such sober use of Gods means : But he doth not teach you to know your state, by the bare remembring of a text.

Direct. 9. Take keed also of misunderstanding wat is the witness of the Spirit, that we are Gods children.

Many think it is like some voice, or fuggeftion, or inspirarion within them, laying, Thou art the Child of God. And so many Chriftians languish in tcrrours, that feel no such per{wading Spirit in them. And many Hypocrites arc dcluded


by the perswalions of their own imaginations. But in Scripture, the word witness is oft taken for [evidence] or an oba jedive teftimony : And the Spirits being a witness, and being : seel, an earnest, a pledge, a wbite ftone, i new name, dr. are all of the like fignification: And the meaning is, Bytbio me know tbat we are the children of God, or that be abidetb in us, by the Spirit wbieb be barb given us, i John 3. 10. 24. & 4.13. Add if any one bave not the Spirit of Cbrift, tbe same is one of bire, Rom. 8.9. As if he should say, have you the Spirit of Christ, or have you not? if you have, that is a feal, an carneft, a pledge of Gods Love, and of your heavenly inheritance, and a certain evidence or spitness that you are his children, Gal. 4. 6. He that loveth God as his father in Chrif, and is fan&itied to God, hach the Spirit. Shew this Love, and this Sandification, and you produce the true witness that you are the beirs of lifc. Holiness, and Heavenliness, and Love, is the witness, feel and carneft ; and not chicfly an inward perfwafion that we are Gods children.

2. Yet this much morc the Spirit doth ; when it hath fan. &tified us, and given us the witness or evidence in our felves, (i Jobon 5. 10, 11.) He alfo hclpeth us to see and krope that grace which he giveth and actuatcth in us. 3:

And also to conclude from that evidence, that we are Gods children: And also to feel the inward comfort of that conclufion. But all this hc doth by these means in a discursive or rational way, and by bleffing such scafoning to our comfort.

4. Allo he comforteth the foul in anotber Day, diftin& from the way of coucluding from evidence; and that is by exciting the Love of God and bis praises in us, which are of themselves delighting ads : But of this anon.

Dirce. 10. Take hecd of Heretical Seducers, wbo use to fino in troubled waters, and to fall in with such perplexed confeiences, to perswade them that all the cause of their trouble is their opinions, and unfound Religion, and not in them; and that the only way to comfort, is to cbange tbeir Religion, and to come over unto them.

No person fitter for a Quaker, a Papift, or any Se&ary, to work upon, than a troubled neind. For such are like the ignorant



Country people in their fickness, who will hearken to any one who pultech them in hope, and promiscth them cafe, and molt confidently tells them, that hc can curc them, and faith, I was jul in your casc, and such or such a thing cured me: fó will thc Formalit, and the Fanatick, the Papilt, and the Quaker say, I was just in your condition, [I was troubled, and could getro peace of conscience, no joy in the Holy Ghof, but was uwaics held in fears and doubting, vill I changed my Religion ; and ever Gince that I have been well, and what joyes I have to boat of!] And if it be om unfound Hypocrite thar is thus tompeed, perhaps God may give them over to find abundance of Bedlam joy, in the sudden change of their opinion: And falfbood may comfort that man, whom the truth which he was false 10, would not comfort. But if it be a weak fincere Believer ; il God Thew him not so much mercy as to rescue bim from the temptation, he will do as thc foresaid Country patient; he will try one mass medicine, and anot ber womans medicines, and hearken to every one that can speak confidently, and promise him a cure, till he hath trycd, that their casc and his were not the same, and that they were all bur ignorant deacived deceivers; and when all fail him, he will come back again, to the faithful experienced dirc&ors of his soul.

Dirca. 11. If weakness of grace be the cause of doubting (which is of all other, the commoncft cause in the world) ibe way to comfort is that same wbicb is the way to Arengi ben grace.

Such a onc, if ever he will have joy, must be caught how to live the Life of Faith, and to walk with God, and to mortifie the felh, and get lootc from the world, and to live as entirely devoted to God; and especially how to keep every grace in exercise ; and then grace will thew it felf, as the air doth in a windy seafon, or as the fire when it is blown up and Aameth. There is no furer or readier way to comfort, than to get Faith, Repentance, Love, Hope and Obedience, in a vigorous activity, and great degree, and then to keep them much in a&ion. Mountcbanks and Sc&aries have other waics; but this is the conftant certain way.

Dika. 12. If you perceive that trouble is caused by misunderlanding the Covenant of Grace, and looking at Legal Works of

merit, as tbe ground of peace, and over. looking tbe sufficiency of ibe Sacrifice, Merits, or Interceffion of Cbrit, the principal thing to be done with such a foul, is, to convince him of the impossibility of being jitftified by works, on legal terms; and to Incw him the necessity of a Saviour, and the defiga of God in mans scdemprion, and that there is but one Mediatour between God and man, and one Nenee by which we can be saved ; and that Chriß is the way, the trurb, and tbe life, and no man Cometb tot be Fatbor, but by the Son; and that he was made fire fur us.wbo preko no fin, that we migbt be made the righteousness of Godine bim; and that of God be is made unto us, wisdom, and right cousness, and (analification, and redemption ; and that God barb given us eternal life, and this life is in bio Son; and that he that batb the Son, bath life, and be Ibat batb not the Son, bath not life, and that there is no condemnation to bem tbat are in Cbrift Fefus, mbo walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit ; bur be tbas believerb not is condemned already. Thús muft Chrift crucified, the propitiation for the sins of all the world, bę preached to them, who are troubled as for wont of a Saviour, or an acconcment; a facrifice, or ransome, or propitiation for fin; or because they are not inficad of a Saviour to themfelves.

But to tell a man only of the sacrifice and merits of Cbriß, who doubrech only of bis interest in bim, and of the truth of his own Fairb, kepentance and Sandification, is to prate impertinendly, and to delude the finner, and to deal injuriously with Chrift

Dirce. 12. If Melancboly be the cause of the trouble(which is very ordinary) it will be necellary, 1. Welto understand it :: And 2. To know tbecure : Of which, having spoken more largely chewhere, I fhall now give you only this brief in." formation.

1. The figns of this Melancholy are, overstretched, confused, ungoveroable thoughts ; continual fear, and inclination to despair, and to cry out, undone, undone; I am forfaken of God; the day of grace is paft; I have finned against the Holy Ghof, Deyer ay mans casc was like mine! And usually their sleep is gone or broken, and they are enclined to be alone, and to bc alwaics muling, with their

confounded thoughts ; and ac Tito

lalt arc tempted to blasphemous thoughts, againf the Scriptures, and the life to come, and perhaps urged to utter fome blasphemous words again God; and il it go to the highett, they arc tempted to familh or make away themselves.

2. The cure of it lyeth 1. In setting thosc truths before them, which tend mox to quict and satisfic their minds. 2. Ia engiging them in the constant labours of a calling, in which both mind and body may be employed. 3. In keeping them in fit and chcarful company which they love, and suffering them to be very little alonc. 4. In keeping them from mufing, and that meditation or thoughtfulness which to others is molt profitable, and a duty: 5. Keeping them from over-long secrct prayer (because they are unable for it, and it doth but confound them, and disable them for other dutics ;) and let them be the more in other duties which they can bear. 6. And if the ftatc of their bodies requirc it, Phylick is necessary, and hath donc good to many (ifrightly chosen.)

Dire&. 13. Takebeed of foolish, carnal, balty expeditations of comfort from ibe bare words of any man; but usc mens advice only to direå you in that way, where, by patience and faithfulnefs, you ney meet with it in due season.

Nothing is more usual with Gilly fouls, thao to go to this or that excellent Minifter, whom they deservedly admire, and to look that with an hour or twos discourse, he should comfort them, and set all their bones in joynt: And when they find that it is not done, they either despair, or turn to the acxt deceivers, and soy, (I tryed tbe beft of tbem : And if sucb a man camot do it, none of tbem can do it.] But, Gilly foul, do Phyficians use to charm men into healin? Wilt thou go and talk an hour with the ablof Physician, and say, that because his talk doch not curc thec, thou will never go to a Phyfician more, but go to ignorant people that will kill thee? Thou haft then shy own deserving ; even take the death which thou haft cholen, and drink as thou haft brewed. The work of a Minifter is not to cure thee alwaics immediately, by comfort able words. (What words can cure an ignorant, mclancholy, or uncapable foul !) But to dirc& thee in thy duty, and in the afc of those means, which if thou wilt faithfully and paticotly practise, thou shali certainly be cured in dyc time: U thou

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