Marshall - BT765 M37 1788

172 The Gofpei- Myfdery Dire}. X, rnility to doubt, and that they were not bound to be confident of God's falvation, becaufe then many might be bound tò believe a lie. It is hard to find a- nyof thefe occafions of doubting under the Old Tef- tament, though they are grown fo rife amongus now under the New Teftament. In the time of the apoftles, we may well expea that the affurance of faith grew higher, becaufe the falvation of Chrift was revealed, and the Spirit of adoption poured forth plentifully, and the church made free from its former bondage under the terri- fying legal covenant. Paul could prove to primitive Chriftians, by appeals to their own experience, that they were the children and heirs of God, " becaufe " they hadnot received the fpirit ofbondage again " to fear, but the Spirit of adoption, whereby they " cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itfelf bearing wit- " nefswitho:rfpirits,(orbeareth ourfpritswitnefs," as the Syriac and vulgar Latin render it, and as the like Greek phrafe s rendered,Rom. ix. t ) "that we " are the children MGod. And, if children,. then " heirs," Rom. viii. 'iS,. 16, 17 Gal. iv. 6. And the apoftle tells the Ephefians, that after they believ- ed, " they were fealed with the Holy Spirit, which " was the earheft of their inheritance," Fph. i. 13, r4i i. e. They were fealed from the fame time that they believed; for the original Words are in the fame tenfe. If this"witnefs, teal, and earnest of, the Spirit had not been ordinary to believers, it wouldnot have been fuicient to prove, that they were the children of God; and fuch manner of arguing might have driven force to defpair, thatwanted this witnefs, lean and carnet. Let us enquire now, whether the Spirit beareth witnefs'thatwe are the children of God, and enables Us to cry, Abba, Father, by the dire& aft, or by that Which they call the reflex aft of"faith i For we muff not think that it is done by an enthufiafm, without any ordinary means: nor can we reafonably imagine,