Imatges de pÓgina

Lord hath commanded me to believe; and therefore it is my duty to believe, and because I cannot believe unless I apply the promife to myfelf, therefore I'may conclude that the promise dosh belong voto me. Thus for the first temptation

2. For the other, That your relying on Christ is not conftant. True faith, faith Satan, is ever alike firbog and Itedfaft; but thy faith is but a wavering, inconftant, flecting faith.' Confider,

1. It is a fallacy and no truth, that faith in the exercise or fense is ever alike Atrong and stedfast.: The experience of all fajots can tell you, that faith hath its flowings and ebbings, full and wane. Sometimes a Christian is on the wing, and then he faith, I thiak if the devil had hold on me, yet I could trust in God for heaven; as Job could fometimes say, If the Lord slay me, yet will I trujt in kim, Job xjii: 15. But we koow that was not Job's temper always.

Sometimes I think that if God would take me a, way in a massacre, I should yield my blood without a repining word: Another time. I fo doubt my interest in Christ, that I do not know how. I should die vpon my bed, unless with crying, Lord take me not away with the wicked. David sometimes would not be afraid of his soul going out of his body, if ten thousand swords were ready to cut out a passage; I will not be afraid of ten thousand of people, that have set themselves against me round about ; at another time he cries complaining and shrieking, spare me, that I may recover firength before I go hence and be no more, Psal. xxviii. 3. and vi. 3, 39. Faith may be so interrupted, that the pulse of it cannot always beat alike; and yet while there is life, the pulse of faith beats, though sometimes more faintly and' deadly than at other times

2. Faith, that in the exercise or sense is not ever alike strong and fledfast, yet in the habit or essence is ever true, and truly relies upon Jesus Christ: Sense in a Christian, may not only have a mist cast before its eyes, but (as faith Collins) may have its eyes put out, Christians are misjudging creatures, and too ready upon Satan's temptations ço (uspect their own happiness; they may call their faith



presumption, as well as some call their presumption faictz The hypocrite calls his dross gold, and his alchymy filva and the suspecting Christian is ready on the other hand te call his gold brals, and his filver lead; Christ may be fara ing in heaven concerning such an one, Thou art favela thou art saved, whilst he may be crying on earth, Olmo damned, I am damoed! the angels may be in heaven te joicing over him whom we see here mourning over bir owa fool for lo, and will not be comforted: It may be chou sayest, I do not believe, I do not rely on Jesus Chrift; but let me ask, Could there be such an hungring and thirts ing after Christ, if thou didst not believe on Chrift? Could there be fuch a care to please Christ, and a fear of offending Christ in thy whole life and conversation, if thou dide Dor rely on him for eternal life and salvation? Could there be such a willingness in thee to part with all for Chrift

, i thou didit not rely on him as thy portion, and thy all in all? Surely this is impoflible, content thyself; if thou hal pot the sepse, yet thou hast the habit, and not only the babit, but the act of faith also in some measure, at some times, tho' it seem very weak.

Of Satan's Afaults upon Obedience to Christ.

HE last act of the Spirit, as to conversico, is ta

work in the soul an obedience to Christ: True faith cannot be without works; the soul that truly takes Chrift cannot be without works; the soul that truly takes Christ as a Saviour, to free him from the misery of fin, is willing also to take him as a Lord, Hulband, and King, so serve, love, honour and obey him: Add to this purpose the Spirit now works in such a one, a willingoess to (pend the remainder of his life in endeavouring after mortification of fin, conquests over corruptions, fančtification, purity, now obedience, ability to do or suffer any thing for Jesus Christ; and this is that which we ordinarily intend by saying, Sar. ing faith is to be operative: That faith which brings forth Dothing of holiness, what is it but a dead faith: As the

body without the Spirit is dead, fo faith witbout works is dead also,' James ii. 25. Satan that observes this, begets fçruples in the soul, as

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o that point of working faith, that either fills ibe heart with an opinion that works are unnecessary, or makes the oul conceit, that the faith it hath is not a working, but o idle, lazy, fruitless, and barren faith. I shall speak to joth these.

1. lo fome Salan speaks strongly, that works are not leedful, and therefore to what purpose should they work? naked Christ, and a baked faith is enough for them: Christ as a priest and Saviour is gospel. Dews; let them hear fuch, and only foch fermons as hold forth free love, free justification, free grace, without any mixture of the works of the law, to what purpose, say they, is this living faith, or working faith, or power of faith evidenced in strictness of walking ? Christ hath redeemed us, and Christ requires to other condition but only this, Believe and be saved; and why thea should we vex and torment ourselves by embrac. ing mortification, Dewness of life, &c.

2. In others (whom I rather mind) Satan suggests that their faith is not a working faith, and therefore no true faith: Convinced they are, that faith and grace, wherever it is, caggot be idle; faith hath its work, and therefore it is called, The work of faith with power, 2 Thes, i, 21. But alas! they cannot find any thing in their souls that looks like the powerful works of faith: Satan tells them, that if they do aay good, it is but from natural or moral principles, and not from this quickning power of faith, it is not the obedience of faith, as the apostle calls it, Rom. xvi. 26.

Of our Wrestling with Satan as to these Assaults.
N repelling these assaults, let us avoid both extremce.

And first, to that of denying works, consider,

1. That a gaked faith is no faith, that only is true faith which worketh by love, Gal. v. 6. This was the faying of John Huss, Where good works appear not with out, faith is not within. There is a gatural connection of faith and works, and therefore of necessity both must be in the same subject, tho' both appear not in the same court; faith that embraceth Chrift is obediential, and fruitful in all good works; and hence we fay, that faith



· For we

hath two notable acts, first to apprehend and lay hold on Chrift; and second to purify and cleanse the heart; O les nô man separate those things which God hath joined to gether.; as Christ is made to us righteousness and fancti. fication; fo they that by faith receive the righteousness of Christ, must also bé fan&tified by. Christ; whofoever is in Christ is a new creature, 2 Cor. v. 17.

2. That good works are necessary by the command of God; for this is the will of God, even your fanctification, 1 Thess. iv. 8. Hence the law of God fill remaineth as a rule and directory, aod Paul professeth that lie delighteth in the law of God in his inward man, Rom. vii. 22. And how often do we read of this command of God in his word? Charge them that are rich in the world, that "they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready

to distribute, laying up in store for themselves a good • foundation against the time to come, that they may lay (hold op eternal life,' 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18, 19. are his workmanship created in Jefus Chrift unto good

works, which God hath before ordained, that we should * walk in them,' Eph. ii. 10. A multitude of such paffag. cs may we find in fcripture.

3. That to hold forth Christ only as a Saviour, and not as a prince, faith and not works, it is not right and full gospel preaching: This is a faithful saying, and thefe

things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed on God, míust be careful to maintaio good 'works; these things are good and profitable unto men,' Tit. iii. 8. O unfaithful are they in their fayings that deny that which Paul would have Titus to affirm constantig? Surely this is true gospel preaching, 'He gave

himself * for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and

purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good • works; these things speak and exhort;' Tit. ji. II, 12, 13, 14, 15. Paul to Titus, and Peter to the Jews, speak one and the fame thing, "The God of our fathers hath

raised up Jefus, to be not only a Saviour, but a Prince, not only to give remission of sins, but also repentance to • Israel,' Acts v. 30, 31. Away, away with that tempta. tion, that works are vopeceffary.

2. TO

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2. To that complaint, that the foul. capnot find the powerful work of faith in it, All those works of mine, faith the soul, are but natural or moral; or if I have any faith, it is the idleft, lazielt, loosest faith that ever Chris. tiao bad. Give me leave to sum up these directions:

1. Clear up the eyes of thy understaodiog, and judge aright: Some works may be only the effects of natural op moral causes, but other works respecting the principles and circumstances of them, cannot proceed from any but a true faith: For instance, an upfeigned hatred of every false way, a doing of duty, in pure obedience to the command of God, and in pure respect to the glory of God: These are such effects of faith, as so hypocrite in the world ei. ther hath or can have. An hypocrite may leave the com . mission of some sips, or may hate fome enormities of life, but he cannot, as David did, hate every false way, Pfal. cxix. 104. An hypocrite may fast, kad pray, and moura, as the Pharisee and Ahab did, but he cannot do thus merely out of obedience to God, and for the glory of God: Come then, clear up thy eyes, and see if there be no more ingredients in thy actions than what a hypocrite may have.

2. Set thy faith on work, on the powerful works of faith, and so put all out of question. As, 1. Cause thy sout every day in solemn manner to act that first work of faith, of pagting, breathing, defiriog after Christ, of trusting, resting, relying on Chrift for life and for salvati

2. Act that next work of faith, of dependiog on Chrift for holiness and fanctification; draw virtue out of Chrill's death for the martification of thy fios; Kdowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of fin may be destroyed, that henceforth we hould not serve lio, Rom. vi. 6. And draw virtue out of Christ's resorrection, for a quickọing power from the death of fja to the life of holiness, that as thou art dead with Christ, and buried with Christ, fo thou may also rife with Christ thro' the faith of the operation of God, who hath also raised him from the dead. Be much in prayer, meditation, reading, hearing the word, Go. yea, lay out thy gifts, graces, time, ftrength, riches, intereft, to thy



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