Изображения страниц

are matters of faith. They say in Logick,chat demonstrasso à posteriori, is the weaker demonftration, that à priori is much stronger : for this depends on the cause, and that on the effed. So is it in beleeying.. A beleevings. priori, from the per swasion of what: God faith, (from his goodnesle and truth) is more strong then a beleeving à pofteriori (that is ) from a fruition or apprehension of what God dotb.

8. The more dall and uncheerful the beart is, this thews ché faith co be weak : Arad Spirit and a weak faith, usually are companions : for a strong faich breeds much peace in the conscience, Rom.8.4,2..and rejorcing, 1 Pet. 1.8. in whom ( ibongb sow ye see him nos.) yes bekeving ye rejopce posth joy unfpeakable and full of glory : such a faith as chis hath got to much allorance, buc uncbeerfulness of heart argues either, as yet the want of allaflorance, or assurance very weak.

9. The more anxions and careful the fowle is, io is a ligne of a weak faith. Whap Ball we eate(and what hall the drink and what shall we put 5003 Thuis our Saviour faith in Marthew 6. fhewes liccle faith. For the leffer the things are for which we are to trust, the more weakneffe is there if we do distrust, especially where the helper is sufficient and willing, and hach paft bis promike; Now, God is willing to do for Beleevers more chen all the cartb is worch, and hath done greater matters for chem; And therfore a suspicion of him for small marcers, thews but a small perswasion.

10. The more ape the heart is to be offended at the estate of Cbrift, it is a figne chat faith is weak. This is evident in the Disciples who-being weak in faith, Christ was forced to keep many things in, because they were not able to bear thems; and when he spake of his sufferings, and departing from them, chey wete much amazed and troubled.


[ocr errors]


. از

**'-'10 290



truth of weak things.

Hus for the discoveries of faith in weaknelle : Now fol

low the demonstracions of the trueb.sin fairlo though

Weak. · The truth of faith hach a great latitude, it is not confined to such an height, to such a point of eminency, as some conceive : Look as beac hach sevecail degrees, and as health hath many Species, and as life hach many iteps within which the truc nature of them may be seated, so if it with faith, che true nature of it may be in a great measure, and get in a lefser measure, and though wcak faith be not strong, yet it is faich: weaknesse is not like death, which is opposed to life, but like infirmicy, wbich is opposed to strength. Strong faith is weak faith more perfedted, and weak faith is strong faich in disposicion, in tendancy; it is within the compasse. Negation is one thing, imperfection is another thing; no faith is quite opposice to faich, but weak faith if ic be opposed to treagth, yet it is aot opposed co

truth, s. Demonftra

Now the truth of weak faith may appeare in these tions of the faith.

First, though weak faith be not sure that Christ is des Saviour yet weak faith will honour Christ as its Lord : though it cannot sec Christ, bestowing it self on the soul, yet it will make the soul to refigne up it self co Christ : Though it cannot finde comfort, yer it will oppose fia: though it cannot comprehend Chrift, yec it would not willingly offend Christ. Faith in ftrengeb can put out it felfe in perlwafion, I know ihat my redeemer liverb, Job 19. Yet faith

in weaknelle, ( as was that of Thomas ) can put forth is Jelf in fubje£tion, My Lord, and My God; I will have no Lord but Christ, 10.20.

• The vitall act of faith is not reflexive but dired. It is not this Christ is mine, but this I receive, and embrace Christ, now che weak faith cannot fetle its title to Chrift, so as strong faith can do, yet it can vindicate the title that Christ bach to the soul, though it cannot see its own propriety in Christ, yet it can main. taine Christs propriety to it, ic doch acknowledge, ic doch yield unto no Law, or power, or right, over the soul buc Christs: it Jooks on linne as an enemy, though it cannot see Christ as a friend.


2. What weak faith doth want in the breadth of perfwasion, chat it makes up in the depeb of humility. A weak believer,though he cannot see himself great in Gods eyes, yet he doch appeare low in his own eyes : it will not quarrell wish God, because he opens himself no more, but abalech it self, because it is moft unworthy of the least of truth and goodnese.

There be two things which all true faith will work.

One is to value Chrift.

Another is co. under value our felves ; le can put glory on Christ, and take shame to it felte; He is the sweetest Saviour, and I am the greacest finaer.

Faich osually ads in one of these, either in receiving or in abasing: For either it makes the soul co fee its happinesse in Christ, which breeds joyfulnesse, or to see its own unworthy vileneffe, because of fin,and so it causeth lowlinesle of spirit. Strong faith (like fobre ) can be in Chrifts bosome but weak faich, ( like Pro, ter) will fall down ac Christs feet; strong faich may be seen by the eye, and weak faith by the knee, chat stands up and blessed God for Christ, this falls down and begs of God for Chrift. And this, not for my fake O Lord,( for to me belongs norhing but shame and confusion,) but for tby goodnefje lake, o Lord, (for to thee belong mercies and forgivenesses )

3 Weak faith, though it hath but tender confidences of its interest in Cbrift, yet it hach strong dislikes, and combaces with that onbelief which hindets his perfwasion. Though weak faith cannot lee Chritt as its ease, &c. yet it can feel unbelief as its burden and trouble.

There are two things (if I mistake not) wbich accompanie all true faith, and the weakeit.

One is to magnifie the state in Chrift.

Another is to dislike the state out of Chrift: O bappy is thac mao, who can comprehend, as he is comprehended, lich weak faith, add what shall I do with this onbelieving heart, this doub. ting, suspecting, fearful heart? shall I alwaies question, thall Ialwaics find chele disputings, carnal reasonings, reelings, staggerings?Lord help this unbelief, Lord perswade this bear, of minc,




cause it to trust in thy falvacion in Chrift, say unto my foul, that I bou art my salvation.

The weak beleever hath many prayers in his heart, many tears in liis eyes, and many confids in his minde; he believes and doubts, he prayes and doubteth, he mornes and doubleth, set though he doubts he will believe, and though he doubts he will pray, and because he still doubes he will therefore ftill morne, He looks often towards Chrift, Ochat I could believe, be looks often on his own heart, why wilt thou not yer believe, he looks up to God; O make me to believe, sometimes he spends his time in prayer for more faith, somtimes in dispute with his weak faith, one maine difference 'cwixt him and the strong believer is this, that the strong believer hath got into Christs armes; and chis weak beleever is fighting for the way unto him.

Weakfaith, will not rest in weaknesse, if truth be in it. In a weak child, well and living, there are two qualifications of life, one is this, that it is Active; another is this, that it is Progresfive, it will be doing, and it will be encreasing. So it is with al true faith, though weak:it is a drawing of the foulunco Christ, yea it is a drawing of fomething more from Chriftunto che sool; what binders it, chat grieves it, and what it wants, after that it longs and craves. No grace is right which is idle, or Jabours not to exceed it self. Lord help my unbelief, faid chat weak believer. O Lord encrease our faith, said they of little faith. The weak criple, he would be lying at the Pool; and fo will weak faich, it will be at the meanes of ftrengeb: It loves to be doing about Christ, and to be where the strength of Christ is revealed.

It is wise to observe the grounds of its fears and doubtings, and carefull to remove them. O how earnest is the weak believer to heare what God will speak onto bim, and if at any time the soul can get by the assistance of the Word, to close with mercy and Christ, it is revived with joy of tears, and falls down with thanks, Lord what is thy servani!

Nay, if ic hach apprehended but a hint, but a crevise, it it be enabled but a little to step above its dark doubtings, co apprehend but a darting beame, any perswalion that all is well or will befo, it is refreshed, and laith that God is good. I observe that the weak childe will be much after the breasts, and the weak man

Iuke q.

will handle his staffe much, and the weak believer will be much at the places and ordinances, and wayes of more strength.

It is with faith, as it is with a blade of corn, at the first the eare of graine is quite skinned over, yet it breaks open aside and ac length is the very top of the stalk. So faith at first is fwached over with doubtings, (none but a tender and merciful God can fee that little mustard-leed ) but at length, it opens to more ad. herence on God and Christ,and promises, and in time it can triumph against its former feares and fufpicions. Or it is like a weak man recovering: if he can but stand, its well, then if he can set on in a few paces with his staff, then if his motion can be single, then if longer, then if stronger; fo is it with faith, if it can make the soul to look upon Chrift, then if it could look on bim as mine, then if fo Without fear, then if fo wirbjoy, chen if so with ftrengib, and stedfastneffe.

It will not rest in weakness, thoagh it begins in weakness, buc like the weak Ivie which is winding up the cree, so will faich be winding up the soul higher and higher into Christ by the help of his Spirit, of bis Promises, of bis Word, and of his Sacra, ments.

5.Weak faith will get venture the foul spon Christ, though it cannot cleare its title, nor answer its feares, nor ( to its own lense) rely on Chrift; yet if the foul be put and determined to one of there, either to renounce all hope in Christ

, and fo co beloft, or to pue it self uponChrist though it hath no inward encouragement from it felf: I fay at such a time, even 'weak faich will discover ie felf, it will not renounce ies hidden intereft in Chrift, but will roule the foul on him;- /f 1 perish, v perish, yet I will cleave ro Chrift, yet I will cast my soul on him and on his blood, and righteous. deffe,



"He third general which we observed in the former scruple The concor

is or weak) in fundamentall comforts. ,

faith in foure

T 2

First, things.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »