Marshall - BT765 M37 1788

146 fpel-My ery t. irea. IX. 7'fie Go the foul from oppreffing fear, grief, defpair ? Can the falvation of Chrift be comfortlef{, or the bread and water of life without any fweet relih, to thofe that feed on him, with - hungering and thirfting ap- petites ? God will not give fuch benefits as thefe to thofe that do not define and efreem them above the world. And certainly the very receiving of them, will be comfortable to fuch, except they receive them blind fold: which theycannot do, when the very giv- ing and beftowing them, openeth the eyes of a fin - ner, and turns him from darknefs to light, whereby he loth, at leaft in fome meafure, fee and perceive fpiritually the things that concern his prefent and fu- ture peace, and reap fome encouraging and ftrength Bening comfort thereby to the pra&ice ofholinefs. Secondly, Peace, joy, hope, are recommended to us in Scripture, as the fpring of other holy duties and fear and oppreffing grief forbidden, as hinderan- ces to true religion: " The peaceof God keepethour it( heartsand minds through Chrift Jefus,Phil. iv 7. ac Be notlorry: for the joy of theLord is your ftrength, cc iy'eli: viii. to. Every man that bath this hope in if him, purifieth himfelf, even as he is pure, r John cc iii. 3. Fear hath torment: he that feared', is not cc made perfel in love," t John iv. '8. This is the reafon why the Apoftle cloubleth his exhortation, to rejoice in the Lord alway, as a duty of exceeding weight and neceffity, Phil. iv. 4. What are fuch du- ties, but comfort itfelf ?. And can we think that thefe duties are neceffary to our continuance in an holy practice, and yet not to the beginning of it, where the work is moft difficult, and encouragement moft needful. Therefore we muft make hafte, in the firft place, to get a comfortable frame of fpirit, if we would make hafte, and not delay, to keep God's holy commandments. Thirdly, The ufual method of gofpel-doarine, as it is delivered to us in the holy Scriptures, is, firft, to comfort our hearts, and thereby to eftablifh usin