Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

TO THE SAINT'S REST. 141 of his warmth, or a man that is strong and lusty can doubt of his being alive. Christians hinder their own comfort by looking more at signs, which tell them what they are, than at precepts, which tell them what they should do As if their present case must needs be their everlasting case ; and if they be now unpardoned, there were no remedy. Were he not mad, that would lie weeping because he is not pardoned, when his prince stands by all the while offering him a pardon, and persuading him to accept of it ? -3 ustifving faith, Christian, is not thy per- suasion of God's special love to thee, but thy accept - ing Christ to make thee lovely. It is far better to accept Christ as offered, than spend so much time in doubting whether we have Christ or not. Another cause of distress to Christians is, their mistaking assurance for the joy that sometimes accompanies it. As if a child should take himself for a son no longer than while he sees the smiles of his father's face, or hears the comfortable expressions of his mouth : and as if the father ceased to be a father, whenever he ceased those smiles and speeches. The trouble of 'souls is also increased by their not knowing the ordi- nary way of God's conveying comfort. They think they have nothing to do but wait when God will be- stow it. But they must know that the matter of their comfort is in the promises, and thence they must fetch it as often as they expect it, by daily and diligently meditating upon the promises : and in this way they may expect the Spirit will communicate comfort to their souls. The joy of the promises ; and the joy of the Holy Ghost, are one. Add to this, their expecting a greater measure of assurance than God usually bestows. As long as they have any doubt- ing, they think they have no assurance. They con- sider not that there are many degrees of certainty. While they are here they shall know but in part.-- - And also, their deriving their comfort at first from insufficient grounds. This may be the case of a gra- cious soul who hath better grounds, but Both not