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Apostle fpeaks, Gal.3. (that is). so convinced on all Gdes concerning thy natural felf, that thou art faine co fall down and cry ouc, O Lord, I am unclean, I am uncleane, Iam uncleane, a miserable wretch, a loit person for ever, unlese thou thew great compassion to my poor soul; This condition is deadly and barren, I am full of bone and without strength; and this condition is lo fearful, chat verily I will ooc rest in ii, Men and brerbren nbat fall I do to be faved? Is there no balm in Gilead for a wounded soul? no City of refuge for a distrelled Ginner?no Rock of safety for a thipwrackt perlond no hope of salvation yet left for me ?
2. Then study the kope; of a fiwful foul. Why ; though thou haft been very wicked, and hast exceeded in Hansgreffions, yet there may be hope. The Gospel;it is the cape of good bope, ic is that which chrufts out some right of land coa colled finner ; It is a message from heaven, proclaiming both the hope and possibility, and also the way and method of falvacion for a Gnsul person: Look, as the Law points out a way of salvation for a righteous and innocent man, so the Gospel doch for an offending and sinful mar.. Therefore study ic much, cake some accurate paines to be throughly and really informemed and convinced, what Gods difpofitions are therein revealed towards finners,
Now here are two things which I would commend. 1. One is the study of Chrift: Study him all over , - perbaps thou mayest see thac in him, which may answer many, yea all iby feares. Perhaps thou mayest see so much in him as may win much upon thy heart, to come in and accept of him by* faith.
Therefore peruse him well. First, that he is God and max, and as so, a Mediator , and because so, therefore an Almighty, and a compaffiommie Redeemer. Secondly, that it proceeds from che love and Counsel of God to give him to be the Saviour of finners: God did see the fallen state and great misery of mea, and his absolute insufficiency to recover himself, and therefore his own love moved him to give bis opon Sonne in wbom he did ordain tbc salvation of sinners. Thirdly, that Chrift Was willing to become a Mediator, gea, he did freely give his life to make peace and procure salvation; and this sacrifice of his was both acceptable and effectuel. Fourthly, that God would bave bee to come unto him for life, and that Christ is the furety, and Mediator, and only bope of finners. Fifthiy, chac Cbrift baih in him all, and enough to make up thy state, and to reconcile thee and God, and to get full pardon, and co prefent chee righteous, and to procure for thee eternal life. Sixebly, chat Cbrift feeks even after shee by the Ministry of the Gospel and both offers himself with all his purchase unto thee, and hath, and yet doch befeeclebee to accept of him : I say, ftudy these things; who knows how the great studies of Christ may be at length blessed with faith in Chrift? This I am sure of, that the ignorance of the nature, and offices, and works, and benefits, and alsufficiency, and marvellous affections, and readinesses in Christ is a notable ftrength co unbeliefe ; Ergo, on the contrary, the knowledge of them is a good means for faith.
2. Another is the study of the new Covenant : Why, wbae: miyeft thou not there fee to draw on thy soul to Chrift? yeay what arguments doch God there fill thy mouth with co conquer himself? He gives thee in that Covenant, ample and prevailing grounds by which chou mayest with an humble confidence even plead with him for Christ and faith : Thou shalt see there all obj good fet freely open, that God stands not for this, por for that, and it matter's not what thou haft been, there , is mercy enough for what is paft, and there is grace to renew thy heart for the present, and strength for the future, and thou mayest sue out the Lord for this faith (of wbich we now: speak and he will surely give it unto chee..
3.Siudy abe main hinder ancos of distance 'twixt Cbrift, and the Covenant, and thy soul. There is one thing (above all the rest); which keeps thee off, and that is unbelief:For God doth noc require any other ching of thee in the entrance of Christ,but on ly to accept of him. He doth not say, if thou hadft never offend. ed me, then I would have bestowed my Sonne on chec; or, if thou had it not offended me so much, or if thou canst bring ny fingular nacure, and excellent qualities of thine own, then I will give my Sonne unto thee, or then I will give the leave; No, but all that he requires is cbis, Beleeve and accept of my Sonne to be thy Lord and Saviour, and I will in him give thes. pardon.
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Why, now brechren, this is the last and fore check of the match, our hearts are unbelieving, we wili not condescend co. this condition, but fly hovering after some unknow'n and devised method of our own.
4.study mucha ile finfelne sle of unbelief: that it is a hinne, and a great finne, and that in chee: What! afrer alt tense of misery to hold off from remedy; not to close with Gods great love, as if God were not wise enough to new etee the way of falvation, or as if he were not true, that thou darest noe to venture and fasten thy soule and state upon his Word..
5. Study well wherein the natære of faith dotb.confit ; Many persons seeme to complaine that they have no faith, and cannot believe: Why? they are not right in the doctrinal part of faith, they mistake faith exceedingly, thinking it co consist in a full asurarce, and in a fenfible taste of Gods live in Chrift, and in a sensible and clear perswalion that cheir fins are pardoned, which, because as yet they never had, chey there. fore perplex chemselves much about faith.
Therefore inform thy self what faith in Cbrift is; It is the hearty accepting of Christ upor bis oben conditions ; if thy heart and soul are willing to accept of Chrift as the only Lord to rule thee, and as the only Redeemer to save thee, and to cleave anto him for better for Worse, through all the changes which may befál thee for Chrifts fake, why this is faith, viz, An accepting of his person, and a reposing of the foul xpon bim for its lafe. ty, and a cleaving to him spon all states. If chou canst finde thus much, that there is no one finne wbich shall rule thee, to the love and obedience of which thou wilt religne thy felfe, but Christ is he whom thou chooseft for to be thy Lord; And there is no Name in heaven and earth upon which thou wilt put confidence for the rigbteousnesle and discharge, and salvation, but only in Christ. And upon him thy soul entirely and unfainedly delires to reft it self, thou hast true faith.
6. Know this and convince -tby self of it, that thou shake never burt thy self, nor offered God if thou couldejt believe; where fore bath God given Chrift? and wherefore hach Chrift given himselfe? and wherefore is he now offered to fins ners ? and wherefore are we commanded to beleeve, if
yet to beleeve (that is ) to accept of Christ, to consent to the acceptance of his person upon bis own condition were a linne?
7. Withal this beg ferventh of God, that he would perswade thy heart to beleeve (that is) to accept of Christ to be thy Lord and Saviour, and to rest thy soul upon him : No man comes to me (faith Christ) except the Farber dran kim, Now then, O Lord draw me, and I ball runne after thec, o subdue ibis unbelecving heart , and give unto me the Spirit of faich, and love, and obedience.
Lastly, look for this gift of faith to be wrought in thee by ebe Spirit of Christ in the Ordinances, and wait upon God i bere continually. Thou shalt in cime (perbaps sooner, perhaps later ) finde thy soule touched, and thy feares answer. ed, and thy foulè made exceedingly willing to accept of Christ as thy Lord, and to put it felf upon him as thy Savio our.
Yes, bold on in waiting and seeking, and thou shalt not only bave Christ formed in thee, and faith formed in thee, but chou (ale come to know him, whom thou hast accepted and trusted.
Tbis is a sweet and safe course for a fénfible Sinner, viz.
1. To present up bis requeft unto God in the Name of Chrift, carnestly beseeching him to declare this Almighty working of his Spiric in cauling the heart to beleeve,
2.Then 10 stand in ihe majes of grant, and come to the Ordis nances wherein God doth reveale his arme, and give faich, and so enclines and unites the soul with Christ. What thou doeft carneftly seek in a private way, chat God doch ordinarily answer and bestow in a publick
3. Then wait and cepe&t; not to limit God just to this cime, nor to this preacher, nor co cast off all conhdence of answer, upon present denials, but to look up from day to day, from week co week, if at length God will give thee faish. I never reade or heard of any whose hearts were chuc fet , but God hath found a time ro give unto them the delic es of their fouls: He hath repleniched their souls with bus tabo tion and loving kindnelle : Therefore go on cheerfully in! che ife of obele
meanes whatsoever befals thee, yet it shall be well with thee; He that hath found Chrift, cannot bur fay, that this way is good, and be who is thus feeking of him (hall say, it was not in vaine to follow it.
Fburibly, The Objections.
Ow I proceed to the resolucion of those Scruples which
beleeving, which beget extream fears and doubts, chat he way not lay hold on Christ, and cbat God will dever beftow Christ on bim, neither would he cake it well of the soul to be so busie and forward.
Obj. 1. Why; faith the fexfible finner, my finning, bave been so great, and transgressions fo migbry, that I may never look up with any confidence upon the rock of salvation; nay, it is not Satan onely, but my own conscience which doch testifie-agatug me, the manifold numbers, and the high exceedings of my rebellions. I tell you, you would, cremble co think of such lewdnesse whereof I have been and now do stand guilty, and the sensible consideration of them makes my heart to fink, and checks me with shame and blushing, when I think of laying hold on Christ.
Sol. For the alfoyling of this Obje&ion, consider chele particulars.
First, the greatneffe of finning should be a strong reason to compel in the soul to Chrift:Great sinnings are never eased, either by dispaire, or by unbelief : But two things they should caufe. 1. One is great bumblings, and sorrow. 2. Another , is great defores, and beseecbings for Chriß. Suppose a man owed bis whole estate, his only way was to beg a whole discharges suppose a man had many wounds, and deep ones too, for this calon should he go to the Chyrurgion. Why Brecbren) what would you alone do with