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THE PRACTICAL USE OF SAVING KOWLEDGE.
Christ presupposeth three things: 1. That we have heard the joyful sound of the gospel, making offer of Christ to us, who are lost sinners by the law; 2. That we have heartily embraced the gracious offer of Christ; 3. That by receiving of him we are become the sons of God, John i. 12. and are incorporated into his.mystical body, that he may dwell in us, as his temple, and we dwell in him, as in the residence of righteousness and life: So our abiding in Christ importeth other three things: 1. An employing of Christ in all our addresses to God, and in all our undertakings of whatsoever piece of service to him; 2. A contentedness with his sufficiency, without going out from him to seek righteousness, or life, or furniture in any case, in our own or any of the creature's worthiness; 3. A fixedness in our believing in him, a fixedness in our employing and making use of him, and a fixedness in our contentment in him, and adhering to him, so that no allurement, no temptation of Satan or the world, no terror nor trouble, may be able to drive our spirits from firm adherence to him, or from the constant avowing of his truth, and obeying his commands, who hath loved us, and given himself for us; and in whom, not only our life is laid up, but also the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth bodily, by reason of the substantial and personal union of the divine and human nature in him.
Hence let every watchful believer, for strengthening himself in faith and obedience, reason after this manner :
"Whosoever doth daily employ Christ Jesus, for clean"sing his conscience and affections from the guiltiness and "filthiness of sins against the law, and for enabling him to
give obedience to the law in love, he hath the evidence of "true faith in himself.
"But I (may every watchful believer say) do daily employ Jesus Christ, for cleansing my conscience and affec"tions from the guiltiness and filthiness of sins against the "law, and for enabling of me to give obedience to the law ❝ in love.
"Therefore, I have the evidence of true faith in my"self."
And hence also, let the sleepy and sluggish believer rea+ son, for his own upstirring, thus:
"Whatsoever is necessary for giving evidence of true "faith, I must study to do it, except I would deceive my"self and perish.
But, to employ Christ Jesus daily, for cleansing of my
"conscience and affections from the guiltiness and filthiness "of sins against the law, and for enabling me to give obe"dience to the law in love, is necessary for evidencing of "true faith in me.
"Therefore, this I must study to do, except I would de"ceive myself and perish."
And, lastly, Seeing Christ himself hath pointed this forth, as an undoubted evidence of a man elected of God unto life, and given to Jesus Christ to be redeemed, "if he come "unto him," that is, close covenant, and keep communion with him, as he teacheth us, John vi. 37. saying, "All that "the Father hath given me, shall come to me; and bim "that cometh to me, I will, in no wise, cast out:" Let every person, who doth not in earnest make use of Christ for remission of sin, and amendment of life, reason hence, and from the whole premises, after this manner, that his conscience may be awakened :
"Whosoever is neither by the law, nor by the gospel, "so convinced of sin, righteousness, and judgment, as to "make him come to Christ, and employ him daily for re"mission of sin, and amendment of life; he wanteth not "only all evidence of saving faith, but also all appearance "of his election, so long as he remaineth in this condition. But I (may every impenitent person say) am Deither "by the law nor gospel so convinced of sin, righteousness, "and judgment, as to make me come to Christ, and employ "him daily for remission of sin, and amendment of life.
"Therefore, I want not only all evidence of saving faith, "but also all appearance of my election, so long as I remain "in this condition."
SUM OF SAVING KNOWLEDGE.
Our woful condition by nature.
II. The remedy provided in CHRIST JESUS.
The Use of Saving Knowledge,
Of righteousness to be had only by faith in CHRIST.
For strengthening a man's faith, &c.
2. His earnest request to be reconciled.
3. His command charging all to believe.
4. Much assurance of life given to believers, &c.
1. Conviction of the believer's obligation to keep the
4. The keeping of strait communion with CHRIST, the
fountain of all grace and good works.
For strengthening the believer in faith and obedience,