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10. The more fruitful a Christian is ir bis graces and exercises of them, the Atronger is his faith. You know that the extenfion of the branches ariseth from the intendion of the lap; if the branches grow big, and yeild more fruie, it is because the roos is more luil and filled. Faith is (well stiled) obe radi. cal grace ; though the habirs of other graces grow not out of ir , yet the mealures and exercises do exceedingly depend upon ic : And, according to the latitude of faich is the latiivde of other graces; as the dayes receive forcneffe or lengrh from tbc Suone. A weak faith is attended but with a weak love, and a weak patience, and a weak hope, and a weak joy. But if the faith becomes strong, now it is fpring with our graces, they revive and shoot out themselves, there will be much love, and much labour of love, and strong hope, and the better heart and life, - 11. The more able a person is to live upon Chrift, or Gods promises in the times of desertions and conirarieties', the faith is certainly the greater. The more use any can make of God or Christ at all, bis faith is greater; for the more that any foule beleeves, the more is his faich enabled thereby.

But then this is yet more strength, even against bope, to believe in hope, to look up for that God that bides himself; to ven. ture on an angry God, one who seemes to put out our prayers, one that speaks bitter things unto mo, like Levi, not to ob. ferve our own children, but to keep the Word and Covenant of God, Deur,33 9.

12. The more able the soul is to wait on God; to pray and wait, the stronger is the Faith. A waiting faith meets with more difficulties, and contrarieties, and is upheld by the strengih of a meer promise. That man not only hath faith, but lives by faith, if he can wait Gods time, &c.

13. Whun you can glorifie many promiles at once by beleeving ; yea, when every promile can be trusted on upon gracious termes , the more fully you can glorifie ihm.by crofting for pardon of great siones, subduing of strong corropeions, deliverance out of great distresses, the strorger is your faitai. The leffe difficulty you conceive in God to perform his Word; when you can come for great matters, with great confidence Jesse doubts, exceptions, feare, the lesse power discourage. ments have. If you can beleeve against senie, reason, I bough be kill me, yet will I trust in him. These are discoveries of faith in ftrength:


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One is, some demonstrations that faich is weak. - Another is, fome diređions of trush with that weakneje. Concerning the first, observe these things. 1. The more that doubrings stagger the heart , its is a sign weak faith.

Signes of a that the faith is weak. As the more imoak goes up with the fire, it is an argument that the fire is liccle, or as the more 'a person halts and reels in his motion, it discovers the impotency of his strength and joynts. You reade in Rom.4.20. That aga gering at the promije by unbelief, is opposed to a strong faith: obferve that word (Staggering) It is fuch a remper of the soul, wberein it doth suddenly and easily change its thoughts ; aad acts: As a man who is staggering, his foot checks(as it were) it felf, and alrers its pace and place, so when a mans heart is giving on, and then falling off, may I take? may I not? I will lay hold, I will not; God will be good rome , he will not; I shall have mercy, yet I fhall not; this is staggering.

The foul lecs go its hold, doubtings prevaile again!t actual beleeving; che beleeving foul fees strong arguments to draw it co fasten on Christ, and on mercy, and then it is putting forth the hand; but then unbelief thralls forih conti'ary arguments

' of Safpicion, and feares, so that the foul' is in doubts; may I indeed lay hold, but will the Lord be merciful to me? why diddeft thór doubt, Ò thom of ligle faith, said Christ to Peters and this stands with reason, for the stronger that quality

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is which is contrary to faith, the weaker is chat faith which is contrary to that quality, as the stronger sickness is, the weaker health is, &c.

2. The more easily a man can (u/pet Gods favour and Cbrifts love; this is a sign that faith is weak. Sec Psalme -7.7,8,9 and then 0.1c. They say of love, that the more pure love hach least feare, 1 John 4. 18 and multicude of jealousies is an argument of mix'ure in the affections. So it is of faith, the more stedfastly it can hold up the immutability of Gods love and kindneffe, and his ancient grancs of favour, the stronger is the faith. But the more apre it is, to question the loving kindnesse which barb been ever of old; now ic is the weaker Luke 24. 21. We bad trusted that it bad been he which should bave redeemed Ifrael, and besides all this 10 day is the third day.

There be two things which a weak faith is very apt to challenge.

One in God for kindme [le.

Another in its own estate for foundnesse. As Gideon faid in another case, If the Lord be with us, we bij is all this evil befallen w? so where the faith is weak, the soul is often in fuit with God; yes, but if God were my God; had I an intereft in Christ , were my estate good, could it be with me chus, could it be thus within me, thus without me, thus upon me ? &c.

3. The more quick and baftening that the foul is for answer and Satisfactions, the more impaticne of Gods delayings, this is a ligne that it is now weak in faith. For did it throughly beleeve, is would not make bafte, were it perswaded fully of Gods goodmelle, which makes the promise of his Wisdom, which will cake the ficteft cime for the grant, it would now quietly wait and expect : But an over.bastening, when the soul will scarce allow any time 'cwixe the peticion and the speeding of it, but I must prelently bave it, or else God is not my God, or else my stace is bad, Isay; hasty eagernesse to be answered, and quick con. dufions from Gods Glence, do fhew much wcakoefte of faith in the foul; There is an importunity wbich may come from faib, and this is a holy presfing of a promise, yet with submillion and patience; And there is ap baffineffe which comes from fears : As if God would not alwayes be in a good mind towards us, as if the present testimonies must be the only are guments of his love and intentions.


Thele two things will usually meer in a man whose faich is weak.

One is, he will be hafty to be answered.
Another is, he will be faint if delayed.
4. The more inclining the heart is to the life of fen

e che weaker is the faith : like Thomas, unlesse he feeth the print of the nails, cbe will nos beleeve , Jobn 20.25. So unlesse Christians have promises budding, they will hardly beleeve that there is fruit growing on them; unlesse I feele the sensible favour of God, I will

not belceve that he loves me ; unlesse I seade my pardon, I will not beleeve mercy; uplesse I discernc sensible meanes, I will not beleeve helps; unleffe I feele sin Naine in me, I will not beleeve thac God will subdue ic; All these in pro. miles affect oor, and fupport not the heart. It is a ligne of a weak childe, that must still be carried in the armes. When a mans perswasions cannot be wrought by the naked word of promise, without some sensible pledges and pawne, he is very weak. When he is puzling his heart in an endlefíe maze of disorder, viz, he would have the things of the promise, and then beleeve the fidelity of the promise, this argues weakness. The abstractions of things from sense, when God gathers up all a mans estate, or any particular good, only into his promile , into his own hand, and faith, now canlt thou beleeve that I will be good unto thee? I promise thee to be thus and thus; wilt thou now trust me, will chou-adventure thy foule now upon my word of pardon and mercy, upon - my word of grace and help? so to do would evidence much strength.

Now you may observe a manifest difference 'cwise strong: and weak faith; If strong faich scech ics estare in the promises it hach cnough, it goes away rejoycing; if weak faith bath not: some of the estate ia its own hand, as well as in. Gods band, it is troubled and afraid.

5. The more bardly a belsever comes to be perswaded and alwe red of Gods undertakings in Covenant, his faith is weak. When one word of God is not enough, but God must say it once and. Iwice, and yet againc more clearly: As Gideon would have one


Signe,, figne, the fleece must be wet, and the earth dry; and then ano. ther signe, the fleece must be dry, and dew lie upon all the earth, Judges 6.37, 39. This shewed weaknesse in his faith; so doch it in a Christian, when not one or two promises, and scarce all of them, with all the arguments in God and in Christ, can perswade him that God will be mercisulco him, or that Christ belongs to him.

6. The mot ease be foule is to let go char assurance, the weaker is faith in it; when a soul is like a weak hand clasping a {taff, and the ftaffe is easily writted out ; fo the soul lets go that promise, which did revive it, and thar Chrift, which seemed to embrace it, this argues weaknelle; as in Peter, when he belreved that it was Christ on the sea, upon Cbrifts It ord he ventures out, but when the waves met him, he begins to fink, his faich was werk, why didftrbou doubt, thou of little faith, said Christ to him? Though Chrifts Word drew him out of che Thip, yet it did not hold him up all alone; And the Disciples, We trusted å bad been he who should have redeemed Ifrael. So when a temptation comes upon a soul, and the foul is rea. dy to be led by it, eo credid it against Gods promise, and Gods testimony in the conscience, this aptnesse to let go our hold argues much feare, and much feare argues weak faich,

7. The more apt the soul is to infist on personal and inherent qualities and abilities, as media fiducia, meanes of perswafion, this thews that the faith is weak: when something in us makes ùs the more confident, as when it is unapt to beleeve , unJeffe it can discerne such an inherent strength of graces, to mourne, and to pray, or to keep down sinne, or keep' off tempration

Object. It is true, these abilities are testimonies, but yet they are not Media. 7. Sol. They are evidences of a solid faith, but they are not meanes or causes of beleeving: The means or causes are Gods promises, which ought (alone) to be our foundations and ex couragements. Now when a person is unapt to beleeve that God will do thefe things for him unleffe these things be done , chis is weaknesse. Good thing, when they are done, they are triaccers of thankfulnelle, and when chey are promiled, chey


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