Marshall - BT765 M37 1788

bireEt. 19. Of.Sane catkin . YÓá as well as in other graces, were well confidered, this ancientProteftant dot-trine wouldbe freedmuch from prejudice, and gain more efleem among us. Fourthly, In the Ian place, let it be well obferved that the reafon why we are to affure ourfelves in our faith, that God freely givethChrift and his.falvation to Us particularly, is not, becaufe it is a truth before we believe it, but becaufe it becometh a certain truth when we believe it, and becaufe it will never be true, except we do, in forne rneafure, perfuade and affure ourfelves that it is fo. We have no abfolute prornife or declaration in fcripture, that Godcertainlywill or loth give Chrift and his falvation to any one of us in particular, neither do we know it to be true already by fcripture, or fenfe, or reafon, before we allure ourfelves abfolutelyofit: yea,we are Without Chrift's falvation at prefent, in a state of fin and mifery, un- der the curfe and wrath of God. Only I fhall prove, that we are bound, by the commandof God, thus to affure ourfelves : and the fcripture doth fuiciently warrant us, that we thould not deceive ourfelves r* believing a lie : but, according to our faith, fo fhall it be to us, Matti'. ix. 29 This is a ftrange kind of affurance, far different from other ordinary kinds; and therefore no wonder if it be found weak and im- perfe&, and difficult to be obtained, and affaulted with manydoubtings. We are conf}rained to believe other things on the clear evidence we have that they are true, and would remain trove, whetherwe believe them or no fo that we cannot deny our affent, with- out rebelling againft the light of our feufes, reafonn or confcience. But here our affurance is not impref- fed on our thoughts by any evidence of the thing; but we muff Work it out in ourfelves by the affiftance of the Spirit of God, and thereby we bring our own thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Chrift. None but God can juftly require of us this kind of affurance, becaufe he only " calleth thofe things that sb are not, as though they were,'" Rona. iv rq. He X