« ZurückWeiter »
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 it; 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 all diligence to make his calling and election sure ;m 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
again to fear but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
Eph. i. 13, 14. In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise; which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Eph. iv. 30. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 2 Cor. i. 21, 22. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God: who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
III. k 1 John v. 13. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. Isa. 1. 10. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Mark i. 24. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (See Psal. lxxxviii. throughout. Psal. lxxvii. to the 12th verse.)
1 Cor. ii. 12. Now we have received, not the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 John iv. 13. Hereby know we, that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. Heb. vi. 11, 12. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that you be not slothful, but followers of them who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises. Eph. iii, 17 to 19. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passethi knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
in 2 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
n Rom. v. 1, 2, 5. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord, Jesus Christ; by whom also we have
proper fruits of this assurance: so far is it from inclining men to looseness."
IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways 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
access by faith unto this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Rom. xiv. 17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Rom. xv. 13. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Eph. i. 3, 4. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us, in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love. Psal. iv. 6. 7. There be many that say, Who will show us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. Psal. cxix. 32. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
o 1 John ii. 1, 2. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. Rom. vi. 1, 2. What shall we say then? shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid: how shall we that are dead to sin, Eve any longer therein? Tit. ii. 11, 12, 14. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men; teaching us, that denying ungodliness, and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 2 Cor. vii. 1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Rom. viii. 1, 12. There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live after the flesh. 1 John iii. 2, 3. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is, And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Psal. cxxx. 4. But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. 1 John i. 6, 7. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.
such as fear him to walk in darkness, and to have no light :P yet are they never utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived, and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair.r
IV. p Cant. iv. 2, 3, 6. I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them? I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed, when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. Psal. li. 8, 12, 14. Make me to hear joy and gladness: that the bones, which thou hast broken, may rejoice. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation: and uphold me with thy free Spirit. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Eph. iv. 30, 31. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evilspeaking, be put away from you, with all malice. Psal. lxxvii. 1 to 9. I cried unto God with my voice: even unto God with my voice, and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart, and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. Mat. xxvi. 69 to 72. Now Peter sat without in the palace and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. Psal. xxxi. 22. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications, when I cried unto thee. (Psal. lxxxviii. throughout.) Isa. 1. 10. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. q 1 John iii. 9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin because he is born of God. Luke xxii. 32. But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Job xiii.
OF THE LAW OF GOD.
God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which he bound him, and all his posterity, to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it ; and endued him with power and ability to keep it.a
15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. Psal. lxxiii. 15. If I say, I will speak thus: behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. Psal. li. 8, 12. (See letter p immediately before.) Isa. 1. 10. (See letter p immediately foregoing.)
r Mic. vii. 7, 8, 9. Therefore I will look unto the Lord: I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. Jer. xxxii. 40. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Isa. liv. 7 to 10. For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord, thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee. Psal. xxii. 1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? (Psal. lxxxviii. throughout.)
I. a Gen. i. 26, 27. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him male and female created he them. With Gen. ii. 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Rom. ii. 14, 15. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. Rom. X. 5.
II. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness: and, as such, was delivered by God upon mount Sinai in ten commandments, and written in two tables; the four first commandments containing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty towards man.c
III. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions,
For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doth those things shall live by them. Rom. v. 12, 19. " Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Gal. iii. 10, 12. For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doth them shall live in them. Eccl. vii. 29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. Job xxviii. 28. And unto inan he said, Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil, is understanding.
II. b James i. 25. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James ii. 8, 10, 11, 12. If ye fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. Rom. xiii. 8, 9. Owe no man any thing but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Deut. v. 32. Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord, your God, hath commanded you: you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Deut. x. 4. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the Lord spake unto you in the mount, out of the midst of the fire, in the day of the assembly: and the Lord gave them unto me. Exod. xxxiv. I. And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone, like unto the first and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
c Mat. xxii. 37 to 40. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.