Imatges de pÓgina
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ént defires: But oh take heed now lest this prove but as the early dew, none of which is to be seen at doon.

Queft. But what ihould I do to preserve these impreffions?

I answer; 1. If thou hast got this heat in a sermon, or any other public ordinances, betake thyself to thy closet, and there labour to take the advantage of thy present frame, for the more effectual pouring out of thy foul to God. beg of God! that now he will not leave thee short of faith, which begio's in desires, but that he will cherish these beginnings, and remember his promise, for he hath said, that he will nat quench the fmoaking flax, nor break the bruised récd, until he bring forth judgment unto viElory, Mat. xii. 20. 2. If thou hast got this heat in prayer, or any other private or secret duty, hold out in that duty beguo, and join therewithal a waiting op God in the use of poblic means: The spoufe that sought Jesus Christ by night on her bed, would not rest there, but now thae her delire was up, she would up too, and go to the public alfcmblies: I will rise now, and go about the city, in the Atreets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth, Cant. iii. 2. The soul that would persevere in hier defires, will go from duty to duty, from public to private, and from private to public, and never faint: What, faith the soul, is Christ whom I breathe after to be found in public? why then to those public assemblies let me go *As the hart panteth after the water brooks, fo my soul

panteth after thee O God, my soul thiríteth for God, for the living God; Oh when shall I come and appear be. i fore God!' Pfal. xlii, 1, 2. "O God thou art my God, early will I seek thee, my foal thirfteth for thee, my fieth longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, to see thy power, and thy glory, as I have seen thee in the fanctuary,' Pfal. 1xiii, 1, 2.

2. Try your desires by the touch-stone of God's word, that you may not be baffled out of them, as if they were (purious: But what are those signs, or marks, by which I may try, and be assured that my desires are right? I an. swer, 1. Every true desire is erer joined with an hearty wil.

lingness,

lingnefs, and aofeigned resolution to sell all for Christ, to - part with all fo, to bid adieu for ever to thy darling de lights; it is not an ordinary with of a natural appetite, like Balaam's; we have many that desire to be happy, but are unwilling to be holy; they would be glad to be saved, but are loath to be fanétified : Now, if thou desirest truly, thou wilt live accordingly, and willingly part with any

fin for Chrift: What? Is bot Christ better than fin, wilt thou fay? Oh that I may fin do more! .. 2. True desire is ever quickned and eolivened with a continued and confcionable use of the means, and it draws from them, by little and little, spiritual strength and vi. gour; it is not an idle, igaorant, unexercised desire; it were very vajn and absurd, to hear a man talk of his desire to live, and yet would neither eat, nor drink, gor Deep, por exercise himself; It is as fruitless and foolish for any one to pretend to a desire of grace and falvation, and yer he would not prize and ply the word, prayer, meditation, conferences, and all the means and ordinances appointed and sanctified by God; desires themselves will quickly var nish, if they benat nourished in the use of means. Take heed then of living above ordinances, if thou loveft thy foul of wouldst have any part in Jesus Christ.

True delire is ever conitant, and importunately greedy after supply and satisfaction, it is not begot by the tempest of fome present extremity, and then quire vanishing away, when the storm of terror, and temptation is over; this is that the devil looks at, he obicrves how many in a fic could be contept to leap out of their skin to get heaven, and to keep out of hell, but after this is over, they cannot away with crollog their nature, fighting againlt lolls, wres diag against Sacan, labouring for the rightconfoels of God, and of Jesus Christ above all things, and therefore their wishing, and wouldings come to nothing. Come then, and try thy defire by this mark, which utterly confounds Satan, if thy desire takes toot in a truly humbled heart, and never determines nor expires, till thou haft what thou desrest after, if thou criest, Oh give me Christ, or I will never be fatisfied ! My soul is restless, and it shall be reftless, till I have Chrill in my arms and land of faith; fure

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ly this a good sign, and thou mayest build upon it, and at last thou shalt

see, he will fulfil the desire of them that breathe thus after him.

SECT. XIV.-
Of Satan's Affaults upon relying on Christ.
HE holy Spirit that leads on the foul by steps begios

DOW to work in the soul a relying on Christ. And this is that act of faith to which justification is usually promised; it is called an affiance, dependance, adherence, reliance, or if there be any word that exprefseth the act of an humbled foul, whereby it calteth and reposeth itself upon the promise of God in Chrift, for the obtaining remission of fias, and everlasting life, that is it which now the Spirit works in the souls of those whom he pur: poseth to save.

I would have this well understood and felt; this is that hinge on which the doors of heavea do 'turn. In this act the poor soul inlightned and affrighted with the sense, and fight of its fịn, and misery for lin, and having a fight of Christ, which breeds in it fome desires after Christ, it throws itself into Christ's arms, grasping faft about him, and hiding itself in the clefts of this rock, crying and fay. ing, My Lord, and my God, o save me, or I link! hold me fait, or I perish for ever. By this act we are accepted for just before God, for the sake and sufferings of Jesus Christ.

Now when the devil perceives this, he sees himself gone, and the soul in safety out of his power, only he will not cease to tempt and trouble; and to that purpose, if he can. Do prevail against the effe of a Christian, he wrestles a. gainst the bene elle; If he cannot keep off the hand of faith, for layiag hold on Christ, yet he will trouble the head and heart of a Christian with cloudy vapours and mi giving thoughts. Bnt first sometimes he kep: off the hand of faith, darkning the foul with a deep melancholly, that it cannot fee and remember the promise; or if it be remem. bred, yet he fears the foul from off the promise; q.d. What do you meddle with the promise; it does not belong unto you, you have finged so and so, and therefore the threatnings and not the promise belong to you.

2. Sometimes

2. Sometimes he breeds in the foul a jealous and fufpicious frame, that it will not believe that it doth believe. And hence we have these cries, Alas! I cannot ihink that I do really reft, and rely on Chrift; or if sometimes I be in such a frame, yet at some other times I cleave again to a sensual good, more than to a spiritual promite, or to an heavenly Christ

. Oh I do not fully and constantly cling Unto the ble ding wounds of Jetus, I am up and down, I rest not continually on the freeness of his love, and merit of his passion, and truth of his promile, as upon a rock of eternity; and is this to rely on Jesus Christ? Oh the depths of Satan!

1. He designs to keep the soul from believing, but if he cannot keep the edifice of faith from being built in the fool, yet he will keep it (if possible) from landing fure. Simon, Simon, faith Chrift, Satan bath defred to winnow thee like wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not, Luke xxii. 31, 32. The word window figoifies to fh ake up and down, as with a fan the wheat is used. Look how he dealt with Job, because Satan had no power

over his life, he executed his power to the utmost upon i comforts of his life. So he deals with the soul of a Chrif.

tian, if he have no power over the life of faith, then he will execute his power to the utmost, that ihe soul may Dever come to have the comfortable sense of faith; and when he brings his rams to batter his comforts, no wonder if the

poor

mud-wall of a Christian shakes up and down.

SECT. XV.
Of the Soul's Wrefling with Satan as to this Assault.
OR their bearing off the blows in time of temptation,

let us consider them apart: And 1. To that of Satan's endeavouring to sunder or fever the soul from the promise, and to keep it off from faith, do you take this course:

1. Do you gather in promises, that you may have them at hand.

I Mall instance in such as these, • Let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.- -Come noto me all

ye

that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will ease you. If any man

.thirit,

the

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xvi. 31.

* thirst, let him come unto me and driok. These things . are written, that ye might believe, and that believing ye might have life thro' his name. Believe on the

Lord Jefus Chrift, and thou shalt be saved,' Rev. xxü. 17, Mat. xi. 28. Joha vii. 37. John xx. 31.

. Acts 2. Take poffeffion of the promises, and value them as your own. The prophet recording a promise in Ha. lie. 17., adds thus, This is the heritage of the servants of the

Lord, and their righteousness is of me, faith the Lord.' If you look into God's book, and fiad any promise of Christ, or of Christ your righteousness, you should make it your own; for it is your heritage: O lay hold on those promises, and say, This is mine, it is a part of my heritage, and I am to live upon it.

3. If Satan stave you off, saying, Hands off! the threa. tenings, and not the promises belong to you; tell Satan again, that when you went on in a way of lia, he could tell you otherwise ; viz. The promise, and not the threatening belonged to you; but now it is not with you as it was then, now all sig is to you as a burthea, and now eve ry promise is to you as a world of gold, and therefore, Satan, didst thou tell me that the promise did belong to me then? surely dow much more. Avoid, Satan, for it is written, Come to me ye that are weary and heavy laden with fin.

4. Remember that the fame Lord. Jesus that invites you, commands you to believe, and rely upon him, and there fore to apply the promises to yourselves, this is the commandment, that we should believe on the name of his son je fus Chrift, i John iii. 23. Luiher was a map that laboured under great temptations, and being once forely temp ted, and the tears trickling down liis cheeks, My friend, faith he, came unto me and said, O my son, why dol thou mourn? Dost thou not kaow that God hath commanded thee to believe? When, says Luther, Fheard that word command, it prevailed more with my heart than all that was said or thought on before; fo say I now unto thee, Does Satan come with this tem pration, and tell thee, The promise belongs not uạto thee? Apswer, Ay, but the

Lord

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