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but it is aflgrance which makes the soul to rejoyce and co cri, umph.
What the Apostle spake of death, that is true of all amictions, the sting of them is Jonne : where the conscience is wounded, and the sight of heaven is darkned, there the crosse is heavy and biccer; A man bach a burden on his shoulders, and a burden on bis conscience, and yet a burden chache cannot see any to smile on him, and comfort him;
But now when the spirit of a man is sound, and the evidence of faith is cleare, when a man feeles all to be right wichin, all to be peace abroad, that all stands faire 'ewixt him and his God; Nay, and he can see God as his God, the strength of this assurance, doth not onely allay a burden, but raiseth the heart exceedingly above is : -yet God is good to Israel, and though I see che Olive to faile, and the Fields net to yield, and the flocks to be cut of, Jet I will rejoyce in the Lord, I wil joy in the God of my Salvation. The Lord God is my strength, Hab. 2. 17, 18.
Sixthly, it makes all kinds of duty to flow and to rise,I wil instance briefly in lome. 1. In the AEtive.
. 2. In the Palive. 1. Attive.
1. Praise and ebankfulneffe, Psal. 103. 1. Blefse the Lord, O may soul, and all tbat is within me blefe bis holy Name. Ver. 2. Bleffe the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all bis benefies. Verse 3. Wbo forgivetball shine iniquities : Nay, he is at it againe, P/al. 116. 12, Whar all I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me, I will take mp.she cup of salvation, óc? O the evidence and apprehension of so great a mercy and salvation! ic fills every vaio of the heart , &c. Musick is highest and sweecelt in the fairest weather. He who disputes his mercy can hardly bless forit.
Now I see much forgiven, and therefore I blesse much: What! and all chis forgiven to me, and so freely, and lo
fully also, so many transgressions, yec to cover all, yet to be reconciled; yet to put down the gracious pardon before
2. Prayers: There are two properties in these, which will Surely arise out of assurance. One is confidence and boldneffe: A man will come boldly
man to the throne of grace who is once assured by faith : Now that of John comes in indeed, 1 John 5. 14. This is abe como fiderce that W'e bave sa him, that if we ask any thing according to his Will, he heareth ois : Chrift ( I remember ) teachech his Disciples, (and in them all Beleevers) to pray for many excel• lent things, both for foul and for body, but then he preferred, he let this in the front, Our Fatber, as if he had clearly suggested this unto us, that the assurance of God as our Father , is that which gives unto the heard a strong confidence in all petitions; why; who will not come freely and confidently to a Facher , to his father, to his reconciled Facher?
Another is quicknesse and life in the affections, Pfal. 63. I,
O God, Ibou are my God, early will I seek thee. Observe it, I will seek thee, there is now diligence; carly will I seek thee, there is quicknese of affection : and why I will leckchee early? because o God, Thou art my God.
3. Ordinances: Now a man will fe to them, as the Doles to the windows (it is the Prophet Isaiab's expression ;) A man halb an heart to bow the knee when he knows that my God will help him : A man hath an heart to beare the Word; when he knows my God will teach him to profit, and will speak peace unto him: Aman will with cheerfulnesse addrefle bimself to the Sacrament, when he knowes this is the blood which Has Shed for the remiffion of his finnes, and his falvation is there fealed. The Apostle hath an ape passage in 1 Pet. 2. 2. As melt born babes de fire ihe fincere milk of the Word, and surely that is with much delight, and with much earnestnefle, (for lo do babes desire the milk of the breasts) But what might firre up this. Ver. 3. If robe that you have iafted that the Lordis gracion ? a tale of God, of God as gracious, yea, this is it which whers the appetite, this secs on the heart to the ordinances indeed.
4. All obedience, actuating the whole kinds of duty. Why, assurance in the soule makes all duey boch cheerful, and stedfast, Pfalme 26. 3. Tby loving kindness is before mine eyes (therefore) bave I walked in thy trub.
Why is duty to good hearis sometimes so weary-some, , so Nack, fo troublelome ? verily, faith is weak, doubts are strong, feares are many; could they once lee God to be their God , Christ to be their Lord and Saviour; fiones pardoned in his blood, and all this to them. Now even the lame would walk, and the weary would runne, the heart would set upon obedience with all its ftrength, and all its care.
2. The like may be said for passive obedience : assurance enables it exceedingly : The love of Christ constraineth u faid Paul, 2 Corinth. s. I remember the Apostle hath a nocable passage, Romans 5. 7. For a good man some will even dare io die. That is for a bountiful man; a man of emia nent and singular good to preserve, him, for bis fake, a privare man would lay down bis life: If the good nesle and kindnesle of a man hath sometimes such a force with us, what influence then hath the goodnell: of a God upon a beleeving heart:: the kindnesse, the blood of a Chrift upon a beleeving and an assured heart? Who would roi fuffer rea proach for Christ , who suffered de alb for bim? who would not kifs she stake to bring himn honour, who had bis blood to get his pardon, and to crown him with evernal glory? Beleeve it , assurance will make thy life more fruiciul, and thy heart more suffering. Faith will make holy duties to be no burden , and assurance will make it a deight : Faiih will make a man co bear ibe Crosse; and aflurance will make a manco triumph under it: We are more hen conquerours, laid per-swaded Paul
Seventhly, Allur ance of faith, it is a bathing spring to all.our graces: Shall I instance in loina?
1. The mourning heart doch much depend upon the affured minde: No man ever did, or ever shall cake God by the hand, as reconciled to him, or look on Christ as redeeming him, or read his pardon with aflurance, but his heart Mill be
full of joy, and his eyes full of teares, They fall look on bim whom they have pierced, and shall mourne as a man mournes for his only childe, Zach. 12. 10. There is noching foftens the heart so well as faich, and which meies it so much as assurance. The powers of the greatest kind. nelle, and most gracious love, do open the fountain of godly forrow within the ioul.
2. Love kindles in the heart ufor assurance. Tombom much is forgiven , the same will love much, iaid Chrift, Luke 7. 47.We love him because he loved w first, laid foun. The love of God to us is the cause of our love to him againe, and againe, and the more chat love is cleared ious, the more is our love rekindkod to bim; goodneffe is a cauie of love, here it is; bountifulnesse is a cause of love,
à cause of love, here it is; knowledge of both a special provocation of love, in assurance here it is.
What a thing is this ! chat God should give bis Covenant to me, his Sonne to me, his Mercies to me, bis loving kindneffe co me, his glory in heaven unto me! I love a man wbo defends my Name, I love a man who gives me a book, I love a man who gives me my ransom, I love a man who gives me a meales meat ; Ah! poore things in comparison : how do I chen infinitely exceed in love to my God, who I know. hath pardoned, hath justified , hath accepted, will fave me for ever?
More might be said of all particular graces whatso.
8. Assurance by faith doch but eale us of the world, and mounts the soul above it!
i. It easech us of the world: How can he walk with cares who is indeed perswaded that God is bis Father,; be that gave him
Christ will give bim all other things freely: God will not stand for a little earth , who hath bountifully given a whole heaven; and he will surely finde me food and rayment for my body, who found mercy and the blood of his own Sonne for my soul.
2. Nay it mounts us above the world;they do observe that these lower things grow little and lesse, by how much the high.
er a man is feated : If a man could be elevated to one of the celestial orbes, the whole world would seeme but a narrow spot of ground unto him. In one point this is most true, the neerer God draws onto the soule, the more nothing doch this world appeare.
o the blessed favour of God! the evidences of our union with Christ! This is like the light of the Sunne, which pucs out the light of ten thousand candles : Thou wouldest never complaine of coo little in the world, if thou baddest so much as made up a true assurance of hea.' ven.
9. Lastly, Asurance will breed comfort in life and confidence in dear b. Object
. Why! are Gods people afraid many times to die? they cannot say with Christ, I will go to tber.
They have the bond , but see not the seale : They are not assured of Reconciliation, of pardon , of salvation.
But if they could with Simeon , Take Cbrift into ibeir armes; if once they could be assured, Now letteft ibu iby fervant depart in peace , for mine eyes bave seen thy salva. rion.
He who by assurance looks Christ in the face, may with cheerful confidence look death in the face: I have a desire to depare and to be with Christ, said Paul, Phil. 1. 23. How so verse 21? For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gaine : But how knows he that? 2 Tim. 1. 12. For I know whom I have beleeved, and I am perswaded, that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. So, 2 Cor. 5.1. For We know that if our cartbly house of this Tabernacle. were dissolved, we have a building of God., an benje not made with hands, eternal in the beavers.