Baxter - BX5207 B3 A2 1696

128 2he LIFE of the LIB. I, his firft Witnefs ; and the Spirit by Miracles was the fecond ; and the Spiritby Renovation, Sanetification, Illumination and Confolation, affimilating theSoul to Chrift and Heaven is the continued Witnefs to all true Believers : And ifanyMan have not the Spiritof Chrift, the fame is none of his, Rom. 8. q. Even as the Ra- tional Soul in the Child is the inherent Witnefs or Evidence, that he is the Child of Rational Parents. And therefore ungodly Perlons have a great difadvantage in their refifting Temptations to unbelief, and it is no wonder if Chrift be a Humbling block to the Jews,and to theGentiles foolithnefs.There is many a one that hideth his Temptations to Infidelity,becaufehethinketh it a fhame toopen them,and becaufe it may generate doubts in others: but I doubt the imperfeetion ofmolt mens care of their Salvation, and of their diligenceand refolutionin a holy Life, doth come from the imperfe&ion of their belief of Chriftianity and the Life to come. For my part I mutt profefi, that when my belief of things Eternal and of the Scripture is molt clear and firm, all goeth accordinglyin my Soul,and all Temptations to finful Com- pliances, Worldiinefs or Flefb-ploafing, do lignifie worfe tome, than an invitation to the Stocks or Bedlam. And no Petition feemeth more neceffary to me than [Lord in- creafe our Faith : 1 Believe, help thou my unbelief.] f. Among Truths certain in themfelves, all are not equally certain unto me; and even of the Myfteries of the Golpel, I muff needsfay with Mr. Richard Hook- er Eccl. Polit. that whatever men may pretend, the fubje&ive Certainty cannot go beyond the objeítive Evidence : for it is caufed thereby as the print on the Wax is . caufed by that on the Seal : Therefore I do moreof late than ever difcern a necef- fit of a methodical procedure in maintaining the Doárine of Chrilianity , and of beginning at Natural Verities ,. as prefuppofed fundamentally to fupernatural ( though God may when he pleafe reveal all at once, and even Natural Truths by Supernatural Revelation ) : And it is a marvellous great help to my Faith, to find it built on fo fareFoundations, andfo confonant to the Law ofNature. I am not fo foolish as to pretend my certainty to be greater than it is, meetly becaufe it is a difhonour to be lefs certain ; nor will I by Iháme be kept from confefíing thole Infirmities, which thofehave as much as 1, who hypocritically reproach me with them. My certainty that I am aMan, is before my certainty that there is a God; for Quad facia notum eft magra notion: My certainty that there is a God, is greater than my certainty that he requireth love andhands of his Creature : My certain- ty of thià is greater than my certainty of the Life of Reward and Punishment hereafter: My certainty of that, is greater than my certainty of theendlefs dura- tion of it, and of the immortality of individuate Souls: My certainty of the Dei- ty is greater than my certainty of the Chriftian Faith : My certainty of theiChri- ítian Faith in its Effentials, is greater than my certainty of the Perfeótion and In- fallibility of all the Holy Scriptures : My certaintyofthat is greater than my cer- tainty of themeaning of many particularTexts, and fo of the truth of many par- ticular Doârines, or of theCanonicalnefi of fome certain Books. So that as you fee by what Gradations my Underftanding doth proceed, fo alfo that my Certain- ty differeth as the Evidencesdiffer. And they that have attained to greater Perfe- ¿lion, and a higher degreeof Certainty than I, Ihould pity me and produce their Evidence to help me. And they that willbegin all their Certainty with that of theTruth of the Scripture, as the PrinciptumCognofcendi, may meet meat thefame end ; but they muli give me leave to undertake to prove to a Heathen or Infidel, the Being of a God; and the necefïìty of Holinefs, and the certaintyof a Reward or Punishment, evenwhile he yet denieth theTruth of Scripture, and in order to his believing it to be true. 6. In my youngeryears my trouble for Sin, was molt about my Atïual failings in Thought, Word, or Helios, ( except HardneßofHeart, of whichmore anon). But now I am much more troubledfor Inward Defeat, , and omillion or want of the Vital Duties or Graces in the Soul. My daily trouble is fo much for my Ignorance ofGod, and weaknefs of Belief, and want of greater love to God, and //rangeneß to him, and to the Life to come, and for want ofa greater willingnefs to die, and longing to be with God in Heaven, as that I take not force Immoralities, though very great, to be in themfelves fo great and odious Sins, if they could be found as feparate from thefe. Had I all the Riches of the World , how gladly lhould I give them, for a fuller Knowledge, Belief, and Love of God and Everlafling Glo- ry I Thefe wants are the greateltburden ofmy Life, which oft maketh my Life it felf a burden. And I cannot find any hopeof reaching fo high in thefe, while I am in theFlesh, as I once hoped before this time to have attained : which maketh me the wearier of this finful World, which is honoured with fo little of the Know- ledge of God. .Here.