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what hinders Men from trying and knowing their State; then offer Motives to examine ;-- and Directions; - together with some Marks out of Scripture, by which you may try, and certainly know, whether you are the People of God or not.
$ 4. (1) Scripture shews, that Certainty of Salvation may be attained, and ought to be laboured for: When it tells us so frequently, that the Saints before us have known their Justification and future Salvation: When it declares, that whosoever believeth in Chrift shall not perih, but have everlasting Life; which it would be in vain to declare, if we cannot know ourselves to be Believers or not: When it makes such a wide Difference between the Children of God, and the Children of the Devil: When it bids us give Diligence to make our Calling and Election fure; and earnestly urges us to examine, prove, know our own felves, whether we be in the Faith, and whether Jesus Christ be in us, except we be Reprobates : Also when its Precepts require us to rejoice always, to call God our Father, to live in his Praises, to love Christ's Appearing, to wish that he may come quickly, and to comfort ourselves with the Mention of it But who can do any of these heartils, that is not in some Measure sure that he is the Child of God?
5. (2) Among the many Hinderances which keep Men from Self-Examination, we cannot doubt but Satan will do bis Part. If all the Power he hath, or all the Means and Instruments he can employ, can do it, he will be sure above all Duties to keep you from this. He is loth the Godly should have that Joy, Assurance, and Advantage against Corruption, which the faithful Performance of Self Examination would procure them. As for the Ungodly, he knows if they should once earnestly examine, they would find out his Deceits, and their own Danger, and fo
be be very likely to escape him. How could he get so many Millions to Hell willingly, if they knew they were going thither! And how could they avoid knowing it, if they did but thoroughly try; having fuch a clear Light and sure Rule in the Scripture to discover it? If the Snare be not hid, the Bird will escape it. Satan knows how to angle for Souls better than to thew them the Hook and Line, or fright them away with a Noile, or with his own Appearance. Therefore he labours to keep them from a searching Ministry; or to keep the Minister from helping them to search; or to take off the Edge of the Word, that it may not pierce and divide; or to turn away their
Thoughts; or to possess them with Prejudice: Satan knows when the Minister hath provided a searching Sermon, fitted io the State and Neceflity of an Peer; and therefore he will keep him away that Day, if it be poffible; or cast him into a Sleep; or fical away the Word by the Cares and Talk of the World;per fome Way prevent its Operation.
$ 6. Another great Hinderance to Self. Examination 'ariles froin wicked Min. Their Examples; their merry Company and Discourse; their continually infiftig on worldly Concerns; their Railery and Scofis at godly Perlons; also their Persuasions, Alluremenis, aru Threats, are each of them exceeding great Temptations to Security. Ged doth scarce ever open the Eyes of a poor Sinner, to 'fee that his Way is wrong, but prelenily there is a Mulique of Satan's Artes ready to deceive and léttle bim again in the quiet Polfeflion cf his former Master. " What,,? Try ther, “ do you make a Doubt of your Salvation, who have " lived so well, and done no Body any Harm? so God is merciful, and if such as you il all not be 6 saved, God help a great many! What do you .65 think of all your Fore-fathuis? And what will