Owen - Houston-Packer Collection BT768 .O9 1654

Groundsofjudgingmens fpirituall condition. C'n PA. 4tto4.1. nocomparifon to be instituted between the obedience and flukes ofRighte- 7 oufnes inothers,whereby abeliever makes a judgement ofthem, and that in himfelfe from whence the teftimony mentioned doth flow : that of othermen being their vifibly prathicall converfation, his being the hidden habituall frame of heart and fpirit in his waies and a&ings; fo that, though through the fallingsof them, he thould be occafioned to queflionhis own faith,as to triad and examinatian;yet nothing can thencearife fufficient to inforce him to let goe even that part ofhis comfort, which Howes from the weakefi witneffe, and one ofthe loweft vcsyces ofall hisftore. Hee eyes others without doores, buthimfelfwithin. Fourthly, whereas r iahñ3.7. Little children let no man deceive you, he that 4. rod clothrighteoufraefé is righteous, is produced, /and two things argued from thence, Firft, that the caveat (be notdeceived) plainly intimates, that trae be- lievers may verypojbly bedeceived in the eflimate of a righteous man, andfe- condly that this is'pokenofaman judging himfelfe , and that emphatically and exclufively, he andhe only is to bejudged a righteous man. I fay, I. That though I grant the firft, thatwe may very eafly be and often are At deceived haour eftimateofrighteous perlons, yet I doe not conceive the infe- rence tobe inforced from that expreffion,( let noman deceive you) the Holy Ghoftufing it frequently, or what is equivalent thereunto , not fo much to caution men in adubious thing, wherein poffibly they may bemiftaken, as in a wayofdeteftation, fcorne,andrejectionofwhat isoppofite to that which he is urging upon his Saints,which he preflèthasa thingofthe greateft evidence and cleerneffe , as I Cor: 6. 9. chap: s 5.32. Gal: 6.7. neither is any thing more intended in this expreffionofthe Apo(tle, then in that of r Cor:6.g. be not deceived, no unrighteous perfon'hall inherit the Kingdome ofheaven: fohere, no perfon not giving himfelfe up tothe purfuit ofrighteoufneffein the Gene- rail drift and fcopeof his life, (cafesextraordinary and particular a&s, being alway in fuch rules excepted) is, or is to be accounted a righteousman. Secondly alfoit may be granted, (though.the intendment of the place leads us another way)that this is fo farce aRule offelfejudging,thathe,whofe frame anddifpofition fuits it not , or is oppofite unto it, cannót keep up the power or vigordaily other comfortableevidenceofhis (late and conditions But that it Ihouldbe fofarre extended,as to make theonlyfolid andpregnant foundation that any man bath ofaffuranceandconfolation, toarife and flow from the Teftimonyofhis own confcience,concerning his own regular walk- ing in waies of Righteoufnefs, (feeing perlons thatwalk indarknefs andhave no light are called to flay themfelves on God, Ifai:50.ro. and when both heart da flefhfaileth,yet Godis the firength of theheart,Pfal:737-6. )is no way cleare in it felfe, and is not by M. Goodwin afforded the lean contribution of affi_ fiance for its confirmation. Toreturne then from this digrefiion : a rempta_ tion weacknowledge, andan offence to begiven to the Saints by the Apo,- ftafie ofProfeffors: yet not fuch, but as the Lordbath in Scripture made gra- cious provifion againfttheir fuffering by it, orunder it, fo it leaves them not without fufficient teftimonyoftheir own acceptance with God, and fincerity in walkingwith him. This then was the hate ofold, thus it is in the claies wherein we live. As theprallice andwales offome, fo theprinciples and teachings ofothers, 4. t havean eminent tendance untooffence and fcandall. Indeed ever fencethe Reformation, there havebeen fome indeavours againft this truth to corrode it, and corrupt it: The firft ferious attempt for the totali intercfon ofthe faith of truebelievers,though not afinal excifionofthe faith ofdell believers, was made by one in the other Univerfity, who being amanof adebauched and