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For (and mark this) we are not able to give you any evidences of faith, or any other grace by way of abftra&ion, but by way of existence, (that is not wbat may discover faith in a notional and the most singularly conceivable profession of it; but such testimonies you have to discover faich, as faith is now abiding in sinful persons, who though chey may have true faith, yet as long as they live in earth , will have many things in them contrary to faith.
A double conThere is a double contrariety to faith.
trariety. One is natural, and this more or lesse will be in the foul of any beleeving person, tell you can utterly raise the heart, and eje&fione by che alteration of glory: So long as we have feßo and spiris, there will be a confiding 'cwise
faith and unbelief. As there was a mixture of joy and sorrow at the eredling of the Temple.
Another is approved when a man neither doth, nor will beleeve, he neither doch accept of Chrift, nor will be bave Chrift to reigne over him, and he likes his unbeleeving condition, this is a fearful estate : But though the contraries to faith do arise, yet if they be not approved, yet if they be refifted, we must not conclude that we have no faith, because of che opposition, buc rather allure our felves chat we bave it, because of the refiftance of that opposition. We must not conclude against faith, be. . cause of opposition inward or outward.
This inequality of acts conclude: not an abfence of the babic: of faith. Distinguish of,
1. Radical habits.
2. Adual exercisings, which are, sometimes more, some.times leffe, fometimes clear , sometimes interrupted, sometimes the soul is free, sometinies oppreffed, and violently carried by temptation to misjudge the condition.
The censure of our faith must not be allowed, as is given in the time of our temptation and passion, &c. I said in my haste, Pfalme 116,
Obj. But you will say, we grant all this; But how may a man know that his faith in Jesus Christ is a true and lively faith.
Sel. I answer.
Irlt, A true love of Clerust is an infallible and effeniial evidence
of true faith in Cbrist. There are foure things which will clear this as a lively (estimony of true faich: If we can prove ,
First, that love is not separated from faith.
Secondly, that there is no beleever in any degrees of faich, but he hath a love of Christ.
Thirdly, That there is no time, or circumstance io. to wbich the beleeving roul is cast, but still he loves Christ.
Fourthly, that no unbeleeving heart can, and doch love Chrift; I say, if we can prove these foure conclusions, then it will be most evident and certaine, that the love of Christ is an infallible Argument or Testimony of a true faith in Chrift: Thus chen,
1. Love is nos separated from faith, If you perase the Scripture, you shall finde them go hand in hand. Gal. 5.6. in Jesus Christ neitber circumciffon availeth any obing, nor uncira cumcifion,but faith wbicho works by love , (that is) Christ is noe mine, because I am a Jew; nor is he mine, because I am a Gentile; but he is mine, because I am a Beleever, and if my Fairla in bim be true, it will expreffe it self by love. Thef: 1. 3. Your work of faith, and labour of love in our Lord Jesus Cbrift; Faith and love are like a warm band; faith is the hand, and Love is the warmth in it ; faith cannot bc the hand to take Christ, but love will be the warmth to heat our affe&tions unto Christ. i Tim. 1. 14. Tbe grace of our Lord was. exceeding abundant , with faith and love which is in Ghrist Jesus. Faich and love are like the husband and the wife, and faith and love are like the mother and the daughter; See 2 Tim. 1.13. and Pbil.
And indced it stands with unanswerable reason, that faith and love cannot be divided ; for as much as faith in Clorist,
First, represents the absolute and effe&ual cause of love to Christ. It doth see such a measure of goodnesse and mercy from God through Christ, and such a height, and depth, and breadth
of love to us in Christ, and such an excellency of holy perfe&ions, and amiablenesse in Christ, which drawes the foul with strong affe&ions of love to Christ againe.
Secondly, if faith might be without love, then a person in Christ might be Anatbema.maranatha, forasmuch as be wobo loves not ebe Lord Jesus Chrift,is, &c. but it is a monstrous wickednefle to conceive that a beleever in Chrift should be so.
Secondly, there is no believer in any degree of faith, but he bach a love of Christ. The weak Christian as well as the strong, the plant as well as cbe cedar. The Father of a child who cryed out, I believe, belp my unbelief; as well as Abraham the fasher of the faithful. Though one Christian may produce some testimonies, which-anocher cannot! though every one cannot fay with Park, I am fully perswaded, yet every one can say with Peter when Christ demanded of him, Simon for of fon ab, loveft thon med Joh. 21:19. He said unto him, Lordebou kroweft all thingssebon knowejt sbar I Lowe i bez.
Ysa, thirdly, whatsoever ftraits the believing romlis caft into when it is in death, in flames for Christ, yet it can love Chrift wben ic is under the crowd of temptations, when it is in the bicrer dayes of desertion. When the Skirmish of reasonings do prevaile upon the soul so highly and strongly, that the beart is ready to conclude against it self, that God looks not on it, Christ will not be mine, yet even then however, I love the Lord
Jesus Cbriff, I love bim,though I can see no fenfible testimony of love from bim,my heart is still towards him, he is my Center and Loadstone.
No mecrly unbelieving person can love the Lord Jesus Cbriß. For,what is love? Love (you know ) it is the setting and transplanting of the heart: It is such an affe&ion as knits the roule to. Cbrift, but it is impossible that this should be whiles the heart hath no fairh, so then love of Christ is an infallible testimony of faith in Christ. But you will say this is strange,chat love of Christ should be so
obj. lively and so distinguishing a cestimony of true faith, why doch not many a man; yea, every man profeffe that he loves Cbrift? Beloved ; What men professe is one thing, and what they Sol. O
affeet and love may be another ching; the semblancs of love is a thing difting from the fincere affection of love. If your love be true and fincere, never question the matter any further, assuredly chy faith is right.
But this is the doybe, this is it we question as much as the former,whether we truly love Christ or no.
A word to it,and so an end of that triall. If the love be true which is to Christ. Then
Icpuill bestow our hearts on Cbrift only: Nothing is too good for him, whom we heartily lovę: in true love the bcart is in him who is loved,and not in him who loves. Anima ef wbi amat , man vbi animai , and which way the heart goes, all shall go thap way:
Il pitches op ile person of Chriß. Love is base, if it be 'twixt perlon and eltarc, but pure love is ?owixt person and person: 1 confesse chat a wicked man, an unbelieving person may have a tooth at the portion of Christ, he may marvelously desire the merits of Chrift, pardon of fin, cxempcion from hell, but faith is it which drawes out such a love, as, makes the soul to admire it, and to cleave unto the perfon of Chrift.
le is fincere and conjugall: It is not an adulterous love, which is divided amongst several Paramours; O no; Prue love of Christ, knowes no husband but Chrift, and no Lord but Chrift, be is the covering of our eyes.
Second trial of our true faith in Christ Jesus is this sxward A
change and fanctisy of the beare, is an infallible testimony of a living fash. Divines distinguish of a common faith and of a special faith, and according to their nacure so are their effects; a common faich may elevate the minde to fingular apprehensions, notable expressions outward conformities, in matters either noc difficult or dangerous. But special faith bath, a distinguifhing. operacion, ic works that which no false or pretensive faith can; What's that?This is it,it doth change the heart, and is ever a companion with inward holineffe.
There be cbree things which I will thew you about 3. Things, this.
First, that true faish doth produce a change, there is a cwofold change, 1. One of the condition, which is when a man once in the face of death, is now passed over to the state of life, once in the termes of condemnation, is now translated to the state of abfolution, and this change faich findes for us in lefus Cbrift, the impulation of wbose righteousnese in justification changechi the state, so that our guilty debrs are taken off, and we are reconciled:
Secondly, which is of the person, and this change is the altcra. tion of a mans nature, for faitb is not only a juftifying grace, bitt it is affo a san&ifying grace : Hence chese phrases, A&.15.9. purifying their hearts by faith, Acts 26. 18. that they may receive forgiveneffe of finnes and inberitance among them which are fanctified by faith ibat is in Christ. As the blood of Christ is a pure blood as well as a precious blood, and as it is a clensing blood, as well as an expiating blood; fo faith is a grace, not only to acquit, but also to purgeand renew; It is not onely an entitleing grace, ( that is) that grace which doth intereft us into Christ and his benefits but it is alfo a conforming grace, (thar is ) fach a grace as works inco us the vergues and holy qualities of Christ. And therefore you read that it doth engraffe w into the fimilitude of bis death, Ro:8.and inco the fellowship of his sufferings and resurrection, Phil. 3. IC. ,
Secondly, observe, that every believer hath & changed and a loos ly heari, 2 Cor. s: 17. If any man be in Christ (and you know that it is faith which unices' to Christ, and plants us into him,) bé is a new creature, ( that is ) bac a man is aldered in his iaward frame, in his faculties, in his inclinations, all ou ver.
There is a change, either in the cellation of forme particular a&tio ons which an unbeliever may accaine; and there is a change in the newnesse of nature when the soulis turned, and biafled, and enclined quite another way. I confeffc, the Apoftle'doch not say, if any man be in Cbrift he is a strong creature, yet he faith her is a new creature for though every believer harfi not efiae' mardrity, and ripenelfe, and strength; yet he hathi a' newneffe in his Qature, an holy change wrought in himn throughout. Look as