Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

1R 128 OUR TITLE TO [Chap. 8. or pleasure, or other worldlyends. And if he would give thee leave, thou hadst far rather live after the world and flesh, than after the Word and Spirit. And though thou mayst now and then have a motion or purpose to the con- trary, yet this that I have mentioned is the ordinary de- sire and choice of thy heart. Thou art therefore no true believer in Christ; for though thou confess him in words, yet in works thou dost deny him, " being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." This is the case of those that shall be shut out of the saints' rest. Observe, it is the consent of your hearts, or wills, which I especially lay down to be inquired after. I do not ask, whether thou be assured of salvation, nor whether thou canst believe that thy sins are pardoned, and that thou art beloved of God in Christ. These are no parts of justifying faith, but excellent fruits of it, and they that receive them are comforted by them ; but, perhaps, thou mayst never receive them while thou livest, and yet be a true heir of rest. Do not say then, " I cannot believe that my sins are pardoned, or that I am in God's favor and therefore I am no truebeliever." This is a most mistaken conclusion. The question is, whether thou dost heartily accept of Christ, that thou mayst be pardoned, reconciled to God, and so saved. Dost thou consent that he shall be thy Lord, who bath bought thee, and that he shall bring thee to heaven in his own way ? This is justifying, saving faith, and the mark by which thou must try thyself. Yet still observe, that all this consent must be hearty and real, not feigned or with reservations. It is not saying as that dissembling son, " I go, sir; and went not." If any have more of the government of thee than Christ, thou art not his disciple. I am sure these two marks are such as every Christian hath, and none but sincere Christians. O that the Lord would now persuade thee to the close performance of this self-trial ! that thou mayst not tremble with horror of soul, when the Judge of the world shall try thee; but be so able to prove thy title to rest, that the prospect and approach ofdeath and judgment may raise thy spirits, and fill thee with joy. On the whole, if Christians would have comforts that will not deceive them, let them make it the great labor of their lives to grow in grace, to strengthen and advance the interest of Christ in their souls, and to weaken and subdue