« PreviousContinue »
his Holy Spirit ;k come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts ; have their hearts harden. ed, m and their consciences wounded ; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves. P
CHAP. XVIII. Of Assurance of Grace and Salvation.
LTHOUGII hypocrites, and other unregenerate men,
may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and estate of salvation.* ; which hope of theirs shall pebut the thing that David had done dis- tribes of thine inheritance. Mark vi, pleased the Lord.
52. For they considered not the mik Eph. iv. 30. And grieve not the racle of the loaves, for their heart was. Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are hardened. Mark xvi. 14. Afterward sealed unto the day of redemption. he appeared unto the eleven, as they
1 Psal. li. 8. Make me to hear joy sat at meat, and upbraided them with and gladness: that the bunes which their unbelief and hardness of heart, thou hast broken may. rejoice. Ver. because they believed not them which 10. Crcate in ine a clean heart, Ó had seen him after he was risen. God; arrd renew a right spirit within n Psal. xxxii. 3. When I kept si
Ver. 12. Restore unto me the lence my bones waxed old, through joy of thy salvation; and uphold me my roaring all the day long: Ver. 4. with thy free Spirit. Rev. ii. 4. Ne. For day and night thy hand was heavertheless, I have somewhat against vy upon me: my moisture is turned thee, because thou hast left thy first into the drought of summer. Psal li. bove. Cant. v. 2. I sleep, bo my heart 8. Make me to hear joy and gladness: waketh : it is the voice of my beloved that the bones which thou hast broken that knocketh, saying, Open to me, may rejoice. niy sister, my love, my, dove, my un- 0 2 Sam. xii. 14. Howbeit, because defiled : for my head is filled with by this deed zhou hast given great ocdew, and my locks with the drops of casion to the enemies of the Lord to the night. Ver. 3. I have put of my blaspheme, the child also that is born. coat; how shall I put it on ? I have unto thee shall surely die. washed my feet ; how shall I defile p Psal. lxxxix. 31. If they break them ? Ver. 4. My beloved put in his my statutes, and keep not my comhand by the hole of the door, and my “mandments: Ver. 32. Then will I bowels were moved for him. Ver. 6. visit their transgression with the rod, I opened to my beloved ; but my be- and their iniquity with stripes. 1 Cor. loved had withdrawn himself; and xi. 32. But when we are judged, we was gone : my soul failed when he are chastened of the Lord, that we spake : I sought him, but I could not should not be condemned with the find hini;. I called him, but he gave world.
I. a Job viii. 13. So are the paths. m Isa. Ixiii. 17. O Lord, why hast of all that forget God; and the hypothou made us to err from thy ways, crite's hope shall perish : Ver. 14. and hardened our heart from thy fear? Whose hope shall be cut off, and Re:urn, for thy sorran's sake, the whose trust shall be a spider's web.
me no answer.
rish; yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; which hope shall never make them ashamed a
II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a failable hope ; but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation', the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made 6, the testimony of the Micah in. 11. The heads thereof judge mandments dwelleth in him, and he in for reward, and the priests thereof him: and hereby we know that he areach for hire, and the prophets there. bideth in us, by the Spirit that he hath of divine for money : yet will they lean given us. i John v. 13. These ihings upon the Lord, and say, Is not the have I written into you that believe Lord among us ? none evil can come on the name of the Son of God; that upon us. Deut. xxix. 19. And it come
yemay know that ye have eternal life, to pass when he heareth the words of and that ye may believe on the name this curse, that he bless himself in his of the Son of God. heart, saying, I shall have peace, d Rom. v. 2. By whom also we have though I walk in the imagination of access by faith into this grace wheremine heart, to add drunkenness to in we stand, and rejoice in hope of the thirst. John viii. 41. Ye do the deeds glory of God. Ver. 5. And hope maken of your father. Then said they to him, not ashamed, because the love of God We be not born of fornication; we is shed abroad in our hearts by the have one Father, even God.
Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. b Mat. vii. 22. Many shall say to 1l. e Heb. vi. 11. And we desire me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we that every one of you do shew the not prophesied in thy name? and in same diligence, to the full assurance thy name have cast out devils ? and of houe unto the end. Ver. 19. in thy name done many wonderful Which hope we have as an anchor of works? Ver. 23. And then will I pro- of the soul, hoth sure and stedfast, and fess unto them, I never knew you: de. which entercih into that within ibe part from me, ye that work iniquity. vail.
(1 John ii. 3. And hereby we do f Heb. vi. 17. Wherein God, will know that we know him, if we keep ing more abundantly to shew unto his commandments. 1 John iii. 14. the heirs of promise the immutability We know that we have passed from of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: death unto life, because we love the Ver. 18. That by two immurable brethren: he that loveth not his bro. things, in which it was impossible for ther, abideth in death. Ver. 18. My God to lie, we might have a strong fittle children, let us not love in word, consolation, who have fled for refuge neither in tongue, but in deed, and in to lay hold upon the hope set before truth. Ver. 19. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and sha!l as- 2 Pet. j. 4. Whereby are given sure our hearts before him. Ver. 21. unto us exceeding great and precious Belored, if our heart condemn us not," promises ; that by these ye might be then have we confidence towards God. partakers of the divine nature, having Ver. 24. And he that keepeth his com escaped the corruption that is in the
Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God h: which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption i
III. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of itk : yet being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto!, And therefore it is the duty of every one to give world through lust. Ver. 5. And be, demption of the purchased possession, sides this, giving diligence, add to unto the praise of his glory. Eph. your faith, virtue; and to virtue, know. iv. 30. And grieve not the Holy Spiledge. Ver. 10. Wherefore the rather, rit of God, whereby ye are scaled unbrethren, give diligence to make your to the day of redemption. 2 Cor. i. calling and election sure: for if ye do 21. Now he which stablisheth us with these things, shall never fail : Ver. you in Christ, and hath anointed us, 11. For so an entrance shall be minis. is God; Ver. 23. Who hath also sealtered unto you abundantly into the e- ed us, and given the earnest of the verlasting kingdom of our Lord and Spirit in our hearts. Saviour Jesus Christ. 1 John ii. 3. III. k 1 John v. 13. These things And hereby we do know that we have I written unto you that believe know him, if we keep his command- on the name of the Son of God, that ments. 1 John iii. 14. We know that ye may know that ye have eternal life, we have passed from death unto life, and that ye may believe on the name because we love the brethren : he of the Son of God. Isa. 1. 10. Who that loveth not his brother, abid. is among you that feareth the Lord, eth in death. 2 Cor. i. 12. For that obeyeth the voice of his ser. our rejoicing is this, the testimo. vant, that walketh in darkness, and ny of our conscience, that in simplici. hath no light? let him trust in the ty and godly sincerity, not with Hesh. name of the Lord, and stay upon his ly wisdom, but by the grace of God, God. Mark ix. 24. And straightway we have had our conversation in the the father of the child cried out, and world, and more abundantly to you. said with tears, Lord, I believe ; help ward.
thou mine unbelief.
[See Psal. b. Rom. viii. 15. For ye have not lxxxviii. througbout. Pasl. Ixxvii. to received the spirit of bondage again the 12th verse. to fear: but ye have received the Spi- 11 Cor. ii. 12. Now we have receive rit of adoption, whereby we cry, Ab- ed, not the spirit of the world, but the ba, Father. Ver. 16. The Spirit itself Spirit which is of God; that we might beareth witness with our spirit, that know the things that are freely gives we are the children of God.
to us of God. 1 John vi. 13. Here. i Eph. i. 13. In whom ye also trust- by know we that we dwell in him, ed, after that ye heard the word of and he in us, because he hath given us truth, the gospel of your salvation; of his Spirit. Heb. vi. 11. And we in whom alse, 'after that ye believed, desire that every one of you do shew ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit the same diligence, to the full assuof promise, Ver. 14. Which is the rance of hope unto the end : Ver. 12. carnest of our inheritance, until the re- Tkat ye be not slothful, but followers
all diligence to make his calling and election sure tn ; that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience", the proper fruits of this assurance : so far is it from inclining men to looseness o
of them, who, through faith and pa. wine increased. Psal. cxix. 32. I will sienice, inherit the promises. Eph. iii. run the way of thy coinmandments, 17. That Christ may dwell in your when thou shalt enlarge my heart. hearts by faith ; that ye, being rooted o 1 John ii. 1. My little children, and grounded in love, Ver. 18. May these things write I unto you, that ye be able to comprehend with all saints, sin not. And if any man sin, we have what is the breadth, and length, and an advocate with the Father, Jesus depth, and height; Ver. 19. And to Christ the righteous. Ver. 2. And he know the love of Christ, which pass- is the propitiation for our sins : and eth knowledge, that ye might be filled not for ours only, but also for the sins with all the fulness of God.
of the whole world. Rom. vi. 1. What m 2 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the ra- shall we say then ? shall we continue ther, brethren, give diligence to ma in sin, that grace may abound? Ver. your calling and election sure : for if 2. God forbid : how shall we that are ye do these things ye shall never fall. dead to sin live any longer therein ?
n Rom. v. 1. Therefore, being jus. Tit. ii. 11. For the grace of God that tified by faith, we have peace with bringeth salvation hath appeared to God, through our Lord Jesus Christ : all men; Ver. 12. Teaching us, that, Ver. 2. By whom also we have access denying ungodliness, and worldly by faith into this grace wherein we lusts, we should live soberly, righstand, and rejoice in hope of the glory teously, and godly, in this present of God. Ver. 5. And hope maketh world. Ver. 14. Who gave himself not ashamed; because the love of God for us, that he might redeem us from is shed abroad in our hearts by the Ho- all iniquity, and purify unto himself dy Ghost, which is given unto us. Rom. a peculiar people, zealous of good xiv. 17. For the kingdom of God is works. 2 Cor. vij. 1. Having therenot meat and drink; but righteousness, fore these promises, dearly beloved, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. let us cleanse ourselves from all file Rom. xv. 13. Now, the God of hope thiness of the flesh and Spirit, perfectfill you with all joy and peace in be. jng holiness in the fear of God. Rom. lieving, that ye may abound in hope, viii. 1. There is therefore now no conthrough the power of the Holy Ghost. demnation to them which are in Eph. 1. 3. Blessed be the God and Fa. Christ Jesus, who walk not after the ther of our Lord Jesus Christ, who flesh, but after the Spirit. Ver. 12. hath blessed us with all spiritual bless. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, ings in heavenly places in Christ : not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. Ver. 4. According as he hath chosen 1 john iii. 2. Beloved, now are we the us in him before the foundation of the sons of God, and it doth not yet apworld, that we should be holy, and pear what we shall be; but we know, without blame before him in love.. that when he shall appear, we shall Psal. iv. 6. There be many that say, be like him; for we shall see him as Who will shew us any good? Lord, he is. Ver. 3. And every man that lift thou up the light of thy counte. hath this hope in him purifieth himself, nance upon us.
Ver. 7. Thou hast even as l:s is pure. Psal. cxxx. 4. put gladness in my heart, more than But there is forgiveness with thee, in the time that their corn and their that thou mayest be feared. 1 John
IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers way's shaken, diminished, and intermitted ; as, by negligence in preserving of it; by falling into some special sin, which woundeth the conscience, and grieveth the Spirit ; by some sudden or vehement temptation; by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness, and to have no light P: yet are they i. 6. If we say that we have fellow- refused to be comforted. Ver. 3. I reship with him, and walk in darkness, membered God, and was troubled : I we lie, and do not the truth: Ver. 7. complained, and my spirit was overBut if we walk in the light, as he is whelmed. Selah. Ver. 4. Thou holdin the light, we have fellowship one est mine eyes waking : I am so trouwith another; and the blood of Jesus bled that I cannot speak. Ver. 5. I Christ his Son cleanseth us from all have considered the days of old, the sin.
years of ancient times.. Ver. 6. I call IV. p Cant. v. 2. I sleep, but my to remembrance my song in the night: heart waketh : it is the voice of my I commune with mine own heart, and beloved that knocketh, saying, Open my spirit made diligent search. Ver. to me, my sister, my love, my dove, 7. Will the Lord cast off for ever? my undefiled: for my head is filled and will he favoura! no more? with dew, and my locks with the drops Ver. 8. Is his mercy clean gone for of the night.' Ver. 3. I have put off ever? doth his promise fail for evermy coat; how shall I put it on ? I have more ? Ver. 9. Hath God forgotten to washed my feet; how shall I defile be gracious ? hath he in anger shut up them? Ver. 6. I opened to my be- his tender mercies? Selah. * Ver. 10. loved; but my beloved had withdrawn And I said, This is my infirmity : but himself, and was gone ; my soul fail. I will remember the years of the right ed when he spake : I sought him, but hand of the Most High. Matt. xxvi. I could not find him; I called him, but 69. Now Peter sat without in the he gave me no answer. Psal. li. 8. palace; and a damsel came unto him, Make me to hear joy and gladness: saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of that the bones which thou hast broken Galilee. Ver. 70. But he denied be. may rejoice. Ver. 12. Restore unto fore them all, saying, I know not what me the joy of thy salvation : and up- thon sayest. Ver. 71. And when he hold me with thy free Spirit. Ver: 14. was gone out into the porch, another Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O maid saw him, and said unto them that God, thou God of my salvation : and were there, This fellow was also with my tongue shall sing aloud of thy Jesus of Nazareth. Ver. 72. Andarighteousness. Eph. iv. 30. And grieve gain he denied with an cath, I do not not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby know the man. Psal. xxxi, 22. For ye are sealed unto the day of redemp- I said in my haste, I am cut off from tion. Ver. 31. Let all bitterness, and before thine eyes: nevertheless thou wrath, and anger, and clamour, and heardest the voice of my supplications, evil speaking, be put away from you, when I cried unto thee.
[Psal. with all malice. Psal. Ixxvii. 1. I cri- lxxxviii. throughout.] Isa. 1. 10. Who ed unto God with my voice, even unto. is among you that feareth the Lord, God with my voice; and he gave ear that obeyeth the voice of his servant,
Ver. 2. In the day of my that walketh in darkness, and haik no trouble I sought the Lord; my sore ran light ? let him trust in the name of the in the night, and ceased not: my soni Lord, and stay upon his God.