Burgess - Houston-Packer Collection BT715 .B85 1652

S a e r. L The Dacirine, Duty andüjëftslnefof Afurat.ce. 17 Rate, for whereas Becansu the Papiftwould argue againft Affurárice from the Text, That the Corinthian.rwere uncertain oftheir fpiritual eftate,`otherwife it had been a vain thing and abfurd to exhort a man to examinehimfelf about that ofwhich he is certain; Theanfwcr iseafie, That although they might de fatlo not have affurance, yet the Apontehis urging this upon them doth evidently fuppofe it poflible, andnot only fo, but their duty tohave it. Although none do hold fuch a certainty in this life, as the Saintsin Heaven have which exclu- deth allweakneffes ; Therefore the certainty Gods people do mach unto bath its degrees, and doth admit ofchanges. TheDoftrine, There are filch charatlers and f:ges of the fate of grace laid down in Seri- Obfrv.aà plure , that a godly man by the faithfall application of them to himfelf, being thereunto guided and inabled by the Spirit of God, may be affe red that he is its fuck a fate. In the Dodrine therearethree main particularsmull be fpoken unto andopen- ed: a. Affurance and Certainty : 2. TheSigns and Marks of Grace : 3. The work of GodsSpirit in this ; and much excellent pra lical matterwill flow from every one ofthefe fountains ; and marvel notif I be large ere thisfubjed beful- ly finifhed, for it is a fubjed of the greateft concernment that may be, and if men be willing to fpend fo much time and soft in evidencing their Titles and Proprieties inLand or earthly Goods, how diligent lhould we be about hea- venly I I (ball therefore fiat fpeak to the matter ofAffurance or Certainty; and for Twelve Pro- this take noticeof thefe particulars, pofic;on Firfi, ACertainty or Affurance may be had ofa thing divers waies,as There is a Afiùrance. certainty offenfe, filch as Thomas defred to have by putting his fingers into r. Chrifts wounds; and this Philofophers fay is infallibleabout its proper object, if there be nodefeet or impediment in the fenfrtive faculty. Again, There is a certainty ofScience or Know ledge, and that is either of firft principleswhich areaffented unto by all, without any difcourfe or debateat all, or elfeof Inch conclufions as are deduced from thofe principles. Laftly, There io a certainty ari frogfrom the Authority of thefe Who do declare or Witnefefuch things ; for the reftimonyof him whom I believeto be the fupream truthand infallibleabout fuck orfuch things, doth beget a firm and lure per- fwafion chat they are true ; now this Authority is two-fold, either Humane ; and as the men whowitneffe arefor numberfew or leffe, or forquality more or leffe worthy ofcredit, fo more or leffe is that Certainty ; and this breeds an humane faith, or moral certainty only (now it is much tobefeared that thegreateft part of Proteftantseven inmatters of Religion, have no more then this humane faith, believingupon no higher a motive then humane tradition, or theauthori- ty of man,) or elfe it is Divine, fromGods authority and revelation, and this be- gets anundoubted affent, which cannot be over- maftered by any contrary tem- ptation. Hence ir is that this certainty offaith is above all certainty of fenfe or reafon, becaufe theground of it is more firm and immutable; andalthough the nature of things believed be far aboveour underftandings (asin the dolrine of theTrinity and incarnation of Chrift) yet the teftimony of them is clear and evident, fo that thecertainty of faith may not be called obfcure, as Papifs term it, butclear and evident ; forthat is true which Aquinas faith, No man belie- veththat which he loth not feeto be credible, and therefore in every thing be- lieved there is evidentia credibilitato , a clearnefs and evidence of the grounds why I do believe, though therebe not alwaies evidentia rei, aclearnefs of the thingaffented to; now ifyou ask, Towhat kindeof certainty is that reduced, which thepeopleof Godhave abouttheir being in Chrift and in the flute of grace; I anfwerit is a mixt or compoundedcertainty, partly acertaintyoffaith, and partly of fen! .and in experience, which fenfe is fpiritual, andwrought by D the