Burgess - Houston-Packer Collection BT715 .B85 1652

S a e T. I. TheDocrine,.Duty andUUfefttlneßof Affurance. 5 Fourthly, Thispratiical difcerning ì, ofconfequence , becaafe of the difficulty to Reafon 4. finde out the true diferences between truegraceand itu counterfeit: It ishard doc`tri- nally to lay down the bounds, wherein-theydiffer, in fomuch that fome Divines make the work ofgrace inthe believer to differ from that of the re- generatedperfon, gradually only, notfpecifically, but that is falte. If then it be thus hard by way of DottrineCo let thebounds, howmuch more is it diffi- cult for Chriftians in their practiceto mark out the right way ? Thehyp e-rite feels!, a joy, feels aforrow, feeleth afweetnefs in the Ordinances , and lo doth the godly, but to thew how one is fure he is not deceived,and the other is, this is hard, though indeed they do diner as much as one ina dream, or madnefs, that is really perfwadedof, and affèftedwith Inch great advantages, loth from him that is trulyawake, andknoweth he is not in a dream. Therefore the words to try andprove, do fuppofe that a manmuff have knowledgeof the rule : and the charaders which do deferibefilch a grace, he muff alto haveskilfulnefs in mana- gingby wayofapplication thefe notes to himfelf, and thismull be done out of atemptation, with muchattending and perfeveringthereunto. For as indoetri- nalcontroveries, that is the great Queftion, Which is the true Church, and that whichdoth not erre? as allo, What are theeffential marks that do confti- tute aChurch ? So in praditals, This is the great doubt, What is the truth of grace ? Whether 1 be the man that have it? Andwhat are the notes to decipher it? Andas for the former Quelion, we would fain have fome vifible infallible Judge todetermine it.that theremightbe no More difpute: So here,we would de- fire fuck a peculiar revelation from heaventhat fhouldby name fay unto us, we are thofe Chriftians in whomateno guile. Fifthly, It is of concernment, becaufe of the manifold advantages that will Reafon g. come to at , when We have attained to fach an experimentall 1 nowledge of oar Advantages of felves. As this experi- . mental F_rii, We fhall accountall ourformer knowledgeofdivine things, andall our' ledgeof ourW +parts though never foadmirable,to have beenbut likea tinkling cymbal. When felvesr thoucornett to have this inward feeling of holy things upon thy heart, thou I. wilt bewail ail thyduties, and conferences, and religious performances done by thee, as a Parrat that had nounderftandingof thefe things. If :a man reade ina book,orfee in mapfuch and fuch countreys,he bath indeed force confufed knowledge, but ifhe travel himfeif into thofe countreys, and fee the Towns and buildings, hewill fay hisformer apprehenfionofthemwas but lame to' what he bathnow,or as the Queenof Sheba,who had heard rumours ofSolomonwifdom, when thecame tohave anexperimental knowledge of it, thenthe was altonith- ed , and Paid, All that fhehad heard was nothing to that Whichfbefaw; So it is in matter ofgrace, ifGÓd work thefe favoury inward experiments in thee, thou wilt beattonifhed to fee thedifference between thyPelfnowand once; all that thou haft heard, reador preached, is nothing to that thou feeleft ; But how is r it befeared, that many haveken godlinefs but in the Map only, theynever badexperience of the thing it fell. How manyare there that talkofconverfion orrepentance, as men doof bringing forth a childe, who never had the experi- enceofehe throbs and pains that then areepdured. Paul, what a long time did helive n a road of religiousdutii:s, but when he came tohave an experimental workupon him, hedied, whereas he wasalivebefore, that is, hebecamefenlble oftbe damnable anddangerous efface he was in, whereas he had great confi- denceof his good life and falvation before. And thus it is withevery man that bathgottenexperimental knowledge; Alas (faith he) I wasalive once, I thought my felffome body, when Icould pray, write Sermons, difpute fo underftand- ' ingly, but now I fee I did not knowWhat thatfaith was, orgodlinefs was that Idid argue fo muchabout, I never knew any thingof God, or ofhis gracious works till now, will that foul fay. r , Secondly,Where there is this experirnel knowledge,that mans heart is as it I Ie _ 3 _ bYtCÇ