Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

TO THE SAINT'S REST. 143 rise and fall with our diligence in duty. As prayer 4nust have faith and fervency to procure it success, besides the blood and intercession of Christ, so must all other parts of our obedience. If thou growest sel- dom, and customary, and cold in duty, especially in thy secret prayers to God, and yet findest no abate- ment in thy joys, I cannot but fear thy joys are either carnal or diabolical. Besides, grace is never apparent and sensible to the soul, but while it is in action; therefore want of action must cause want of assurance. And the action of the soul upon such excellent ob- jects naturally bringeth consolation with it. The very act of loving God in Christ is inexpressibly sweet: The soul that is best furnished with grace, when it is not in action, is like a lute well stringed and tuned, which while it lieth still maketh no more music than a common piece of wood ; but when it is handled by a skilful musician, the melody is delightful. Some degree of comfort follows every good action, as heat accompanies fire, and as beams and influence issue from the sun. A man that is cold should labour till heat be excited ; so he that wants assurance, must not stand still, but exercise his graces, till his doubts vanish. The want of consolation in the soul is also very commonly owing to bodily melancholy. It is no more wonder for a conscientious man, under me- lancholy, to doubt, and fear, and despair, than for a sick man to groan, or a child to cry when it is chas- tised. Without the physician in this case, the labours of the divine are usually in vain. You may silence, but you cannot comfort them. You may make them confess they have some grace, and yet cannot bring them to the comfortable conclusion. All the gciòd thoughts of their state, which you can possibly help them to, are seldom above a day or two old. They cry out of sin, and the wrath of God, when the chief cause is in their bodily distemper. 10. (3) As for motives to persuade to the duty of self examination, I entreat you to consider the fol- owing....To be deceived about your title to heaven