Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

Chap. 8.] THE SAINTS' REST. 119 anxious doubtings whether they have any or none ; and layout those serious affections in praying for more grace, which they bestow in fruitless complaints ! I beseech thee,. Christian, take this advice as from God ; and then, when thou believest strongly, and lowest fervently, thou canst no more doubt of thy faith and love, than a man that is very hot can doubt 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 themwhat 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 weep- ing because he is not pardoned, when his prince stands by all the while, offering him a pardon, and persuading him to accept of it? Justifying faith, Christian, is not thy per- suasion of God's special love to thee, but thy accepting 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 Chris- tians is, their mistaking assurance for the joy that some- times 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 ordinary way of God's conveying comfort. They think they have nothing to do but to wait when God will bestow 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 ones : add to this, their expect- ing a greater measure of assurance than God usually be- stows. As long as they have any doubting, they think they have no assurance. They consider not that there are many degrees of certainty. While theyare here, they shall "know but in part." Add 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 doth not see them.