Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

118 OUR TITLE TO [Chap. 8, . false faith and hope, commonly called presumption, which bears up the hearts of the greatest part of the world, and so keeps them from suspecting their danger. And if a man shouldbreak through all these hinderances, and set upon the duty of self examination, yet assurance is not presently attained. Too many deceive themselves in their inquiries after it, through one or other of the follow- ing causes ; there is such confusion and darkness in the soul of man, especially of an unregenerate man, that he can scarcely tell what he doth, or what is in him. As in a house, where nothing is in its proper place, it will be diffi- cult to find what is wanted, so it is in the heart where all things are in disorder. Most men accustom themselves to be strangers at home, and too little observe the temper and motions of their own hearts. Many are resolved what to judge before they try; like a bribed judge, who examines as if he would judge uprightly, when he is previously re- solved which way the cause shall go. Men are partial in their own cause; ready to think their great sins small, and their small sins none; their gifts of nature to be the work of grace, and to say, " All these have I kept from my youth ;" I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing. Most men search but by the halves. If it will not easily and quickly be done, they are discouraged, and leave off. They try themselves by false marks and rules ; not knowing wherein the truth of Christianity doth con- sist; some looking beyond, and some short of the Scrip- ture standard. And frequently theymiscarry in this work, by attempting it in their own strength. As some expect the Spirit should do it without them, so others attempt it themselves, without seeking or expecting the help of the Spirit. Both these will certainlymiscarry in their assurance. Some other hinderances keep even true Christians from comfortable certainty. As, for instance; the weakness of grace. Small things are hardly discerned. Most Christians content themselves with a small measure of grace, and do not follow on to spiritual strength and manhood. The chief remedy for such would be to follow on their duty, till their graces be increased. Wait upon God in the use of his prescribed means, and he will undoubtedly bless you with increase. 0 that Christians would bestow most of that time in getting more grace, which they bestow in