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un, and join th The spouse treft there, but
ént defires: But oh take heed now left this prove but as the early dew, none of which is to be seen at doon. . ; *. Quest. But what ihould I do to preserve these impreffions? . .
I anfwer; 1. If thou hast got this heat in a sermon, or aor other public ordinances, betake thyself to thy closet, and there labour to take the advantage of thy present frame, for the more effectual pouring out of thy foul to God. Oh beg of God! that now he will oot leave thee short of faith, which begio's in desires, but that he will cherish these beginnings, and remember his promise, for he hath said, that he will not quench the smoaking flax, nor break the bruised reed, until he bring forth judgment unto viêlory, Mat. xii. 20. ' 2. If thou hast got this heat in prayer, or any other private or secret duty, hold out in that duty be. guo, and join therewithal a waiting op God in the use of public means: The spoufe that sought Jesus Christ by night on her bed, would not rest there, but now that her
delire was up, she would up too, and go to the publical* Semblies: I will rise now, and go about the city,, in the ftreets, and in the broad ways I will feck him whom my foul
loveth, Cant. iii. 2. The soul that would persevere in her · desires, will go from duty to duty, from public to private, and from private to public, and never faiat: What, faith the soul, Is Christ whom I breathe after to be found ia public? why then to those public assemblies let me go
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so my soul panteth after thee O God, my soul thirsteth for God, ! for the living God; Oh when shall I come and appear bei fore God!' Psal. xlii, 1, 2. "O God thou art my God, early will I seck thee, my soul thirltech for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, to fee thy power, and thy glory, as I have seen thee in 'the fanctuary,' Psal. lxiii, 1, 2. .
2. Try your desires by the touch-stone of God's word, that you may not be baffled out of them, as if they were (purious: But what are those signs, or marks, by which I may try, and be assured that my desires are right? I an. (wer, 1. Every true desire is erer joined with an hearty wil.
Hingness, and unfeigned resolution to sell all for Christ, to - part with all fin, to bid adicu for ever to thy darling de,
lights; it is not an ordinary with of a natural appetite, like Balaam's; we have many that desire to be happy, but are
unwilling to be holy; they would be glad to be saved, but . are loath to be fanctified: Now, if thou desirest truly,
thou wilt live accordingly, and willingly part with any fin ☺ for Christ: What? Is Dot Christ better than fin, wilt thou . fay? Oh that I may fin do more!
2. True desire is ever quickaed and eplivened with a continued and confcionable use of the m ans, and it draws from them, by little and little, spiritual strength and vi. gour; it is not an idle, ignorant, unexercised desire; it were very vain and absurd, to hear a man talk of his deíire to live, and yet would neither eat, nor drink, gor fleep, por exercise himself; "It is as fruitless and foolish for any one to pretend to a desire of grace and falvation, and yer he would not prize and ply the word, prayer, meditation; conferences, and all the means and ordinances appointed and sanctified by God; desires themselves will quickly var ailh, if they be nat nourished in the use of means. Take heed then of living above ordinances, if thou loveft thy foul or wouldt have any part in Jesus Christ.
True desire is ever constant, and importunately greedy after supply and Gatisfaction, it is not begot by the tempest of some present extremity, and then quite vanishing away, when the storm of terror, and temptation is over; this is that the devil looks at, he observes how many in a fic could be cop tept to leap out of their skin to get heaven, and to keep out of hell, but after this is over, they cannot away with croslog their nature, fighting against lufts, wref. thing agaiait Satan, labouring for the rightsonfoels of God, and of Jesus Christ above all things, and therefore their wishing, apd wouldings come to nothing. Come then, and try thy desire by ibis mark, which utterly confounds Satan, if thy desire takes toot in a truly humbled heart, and never determines nor expires, till thou hast what thou defrest after, if thou criest, Oh give me Christ, or I will never be satisfied! My soul is restless, and if thall be reltless, till I have Çhril in my arms and hand of faith; iure
ly this a good fign, and thou mayest build upon it, and at last thou shalt see, he will fulfil the desire of them that breathe thus after him.
SECT. XIV. Of Satan's Afaults upon relying on Christ. pe HE holy Spirit that leads on the foul by steps begios
1 Dow to work in the soul a relying op Christ. And this is that act of faith to which justification is usually promised; it is called an affiance, dependance, adherence, reliance, or if there be any word that expresseth the act of an humbled soul, whereby it calteth and reposeth itself upon the promise of God in Christ, for the obtaining remission of fias, and everlasting life, that is it which now the Spirit works in the fouls of those whom he pur: poseth to save.
I would have this well understood and felt; this is that hinge on which the doors of heaven do 'turn. In this act the poor soul inlightned and affrighted with the sense, and fight of its fia, and misery for lia, and having a fight of Christ, which breeds in it fome desires after Christ, it throws itself into Christ's arms, grasping fast about him, and hiding itself in the clefts of this rock, crying and fay. ing, My Lord, and my God, o save me, or I fink! 0 hold me fait, or I perish for ever. By this act we are ac. cepted for just before God, for the fake and sufferings of Jesus Christ.
Now when the devil perceives this, he sees himself gone, and the foul in safety out of his power, only he will not cease to tempt and trouble; aod to that purpose, if he canDo: prevail against the effe of a Christian, he wrestles against the bene esc; If he cannot keep off the hand of faith, for layiag hold on Christ, yet he will trouble the head and heart of a Christian with cloudy vapours and mi'give ing thoughts. Bat first sometimes he keps off the land of faith, darkning the foul with a deep melancholly, that it cannot fee and remember the promise; or if it be remembred, yet he scars the foul from off the promise; q.d. What do you meddle with the promise; it does not belong ynto you, you have finged so and so, and therefore the threaçaings and not the promise belong to you.
Do previse bene effe in Chrif
2. Sometimes he breeds in the foul a jealous and fufpicious frame, that it will not believe that it doth believe. And hence we have these cries, Alas! I cannot thiók that I do really rest, and rely on Christ; or if sometimes I be in such a frame, yet at some other times I cleave again to a sensual good, more than to a spiritual promise, or to an Cheavenly Christ. Oh I do not fully and constantly cling -URCO the ble:ding wounds of Jelus, I am up and down, I rast not continually on the freeness of his love, and merit of his passion, aod truth of his promise, as upon a rock of eternity; and is this to rely on Jesus Christ? Oh the depths
of Satan! E 1. He designs to keep the soul from believing, but if he cagaot keep the edifice of faith from being built in the fonl, yet he will keep it (if possible) from Nanding fure, Simon, Simon, faith Chrift, Satan bath desired to winnow thee like wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith
fail not, Luke xxii. 31, 32. The word wiadow figoifies - to ih ake up and down, as with a fan the wheat is used.
Look how he dealt with Job, because Satan had no power i over his life, he executed his power to the utmost upon the i comforts of his life. So he deals with the soul of a Chrif.
tian, if he have no power over the life of faith, then he will execute his power to the utmost, that ihe soul may Qever come to have the comfortable sense of faith; and when he brings his rams to batter his comforts, vo wonder if the poor mud wall of a Christian shakes up and down.
1. To that of Satan's endeavouring to sunder or sever the soul from the promise, and to keep it off from faith, do you take this course:
1. Do you gather in promises, that you may have them at hand. I shall instance in such as these, Let him that ' is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take of the • water of life freely. Come noto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will ease you. If any man
- thirst, let him come unto me and drink. These thing
are written, that ye might believe, aod that believing "ye might have life thro' his pame. Believe on the
Lord Jefus Christ, and thou shalt be fayed,' Rev. xx 17. Mat. xi, 28. Joha yii. 37. John xx. 31. Acts xvi. 31..
2. Take poffeffion of the promises, and value them 2 your own. The prophet recording a promise in ka. lie 37., adds thus, This is the heritage of the servants of the
Lord, and their righteousness is of me, faith the Lord If you look into God's book, and find any promise of Christ, or of Christ your righteousness, you should make it your own; for it is your heritage; O lay hold on those pronil. es, and say, This is mine, it is a part of my heritage, and I am to live upon it.
-3. If Satan stave you off, saying, Hands off! the threx tenings, and not the promises belong to you; tell Sata? again, that when you went on in a way of fia, he could tell you otherwise; viz. The promise, and not the threa tening belonged to you; but now it is not with you, as it · was then, now all sig is to you as a burthed, and now ever ry promise, is to you as a world of gold, and therefore, Satan, didst thou tell me that the promise did belong to me then? surely Dow much more. Avoid, Satan, for it is written, Come to me ye that are weary and heavy laden
with sin. - 4. Remember that the fame Lord Jesus that iovites you,
commands you to believe, and rely upon him, and there fore to apply the promises to yourselves, this is the comme mandment, that we bould believe on the name of his son je
us Chrift, i John iii. 23. Luther was a map that laboys. ed under great temptations, and being once forely temp.: ted, and the tears Erickling down his cheeks, My friend, faith he, came unto me and said, O my son, why dot thou mourn? Dost thou not koow that God hath calmanded thee to believe? When, says Luther, F heard that
word command, it prevailed more with my heart than al - that was said or thought on before; fo say I now do
thee, Does Satan come with this temptation, and tell thee, :, The promise belongs not unto theç? Answer, Ay, but