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which is joined with impurity, in an unpurged con. science, is but carnal security, peace in a dream, which will end in a fearful surprise. Now there are two things necessary to the purging of conscience.
(1.) Removal of guilt, in pardon thereof, which brings the finner into a state of peace with God, Pfal. xxxii. I. Guilt felt or unfelt, is a band on the soul binding it over to God's wrath; it is a disease in the conscience, which will make it a fick conscience at length. But a pardon takes away guilt, Jooses the band, removes the deadly force of the difease, and lays a foundation for carrying off the fickpels, Il. xxxiii. ult.
(2.) Removal of the conscience of guilt, in the fense of pardon, Heb. X. 2. Though a matefactor's pardon be passed the seals, and he is secured from death, yet till he know it, he cannot have peace. So the pardoned linner, who knows not his mercy, though he has peace with God, yet wants peace of conscience, Pfal. li. 8. So the conscience is purged, when the sting of felt guilt is drawn out of it. • 2. The parts of this peace. These are two.
(1.) An inward calm of the soul, and quietness of the mind, wherein it is not disturbed with the fears of God's wrath, nor frighted with the judgements which its fins do in themlelves deferve, Prov. i. 33. A troubled conscience is full of fears, of terrible fore.. bodings, and fo torments, i John iv. 18. When peace enters the conscience, the mist clears up, the fears are scattered, and the conscience has a serenity and quiet within itself.
(2.) Consolation and comfort of heart, 2 Cor. i. 12. If. Ivii. 19. Peace of conscience is not a mere negative, or indisturbance, which floth and negligence of soul. matters may procure to the unpardoned : but it is an active chearfulness of fpirit, in the foul's looking up towards God, and reflecting how matters stand be. tixt heaven and it, Col. ii. 15.
Conceive the whole thus. Sin entering into the
soul casts the conscience into a fever, and guilt makes the rage of it. The great Physician gives the proper remedy: and so the conscience gets a cool, the sickness is removed, and the man gathers health, strength, and foundness, Job xxxiii. 22.-26. Heb. ix. 14.
II. I shall shew the excellency of it. It is Abraham's bosoin on this side of heaven, the lower para. dise; it is like the shore to the shipwrecked soul; and life from the dead. I will only say three things of it.
1. It is the wine press of the grapes of heaven, that squeezeth out into the man's mouth the fap of the covenant, Pfal. cxix. 102. 103. It was a sad tale of the good Afaph's, Psal. Ixxvii. 3. I remembered God, and was troubled : I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmede · Peace of conscience makes a man remember God, and be comforted; to suck the sap of promises, and all the declarations of God's love and favour iu his word, as the same Afaph did, Psal. lxxiii. 24. 25. 26. · 2. It is fap and foison to all earthly comforts, Prov. XV. 15. A fick man can take no pleasure in the comforts of life, as a healthy. man does. An uneasy conscience sucks the lap out of all. But peace there makes coarse fare, and little of it, very sweet, Prov. xvii. l. And whatever a man has, it puts an addie tional sweetness in it.
3. It is sweet sauce to all afflictions, 2 Cor. i. 12. Jolin xvi. 33. When there is no peace within, little thing makes people fretful ; even a scratch of a pin is a wound with a sword. But this makes a man, ealy in the middle of the little annoyances of the world, though they be great in themselves, Col. iii. 15. Phil. iv. 7. Coinpare Heb. x. 34. When a man meets with disquietments and vexations abroad, he is helped to bear all, when he is comforted and cheered coming into his own house. But heavy is their case, who come from bitterness abroad, and are met with bitternels at home. The former is an emblem of peace of conscience, the latter an emblem of the soul in afflictions.
III. I am to shew how this peace, of conscience is obtained. This peace is peculiar to the faints. Others may have false peace, Luke xi. 2 1. but only they have or can havc true peace, Rom. v. 1.
1. It is obtained for them by Jesus Christ dying and suffering to procure it, If. liii. 5. Eph. ii. 14. There can be none of this peace without reconciliation with God, and there could be no reconcliation without his blood. The convinced finners could have had no more inward peace than devils have, if Christ had not died to procure it; but their wound had been incus rable, stood open and gaping for ever.
2. It is obtained by them, by these two methods.
(1.) By a believing application of the blood of Christ, Rom. xv. 13. Job xxxiii. 23. &c. This is the only medicine that can draw the thorn of guilt out of the conscience, and heal its wounds, i John i. 7. Medicines prepared by men, may cure bodily disteinpers, and a vitiated fancy, or disordered imagination, among other things. Confefling, mourning, reforming, watching, &c. may give a palliative cure even to the conscience, fcurfing over its fores. But no. thing but a believing application of Christ's blood will give true peace of conscience; and do what ye will, if ye do not that, ye will never get true peace, II. vii. 9.
(2.) By God's speaking peace thereupon to the soul, 'If. Ivii. 19. The soul resting on Christ by faith; brings it into a state of peace with God; but for peace of conscience, more is required, namely, à fense of that peace. And this none but God can give, Pfal. li. 8. He speaks peace in the word ; but a work of the Spirit on the conscience is necessary to make the application, as appears from 2 Sam. xii. 13. compared with Pfal. li. And this is a light struck up in the foul, discovering the soul to be at peace with God, an overpowering light that filences doubts and fears, and creates a blessed calm. This also is obtained in the way of believing, in the reflex act of faith. VOL. II.
IV. I shall shew how this peice is maintained. The apoitle tells us it was his exercise to maintain it, Acts sxiv. 16. And if we be not exercised in it, it will foon be lost. Now, it is maintained by,
1. Keeping up a firm and settled purpose of heart to follow the way of duty, and to stand aloof from fin, coft what it will, Acts xi. 23. David kept up his peace that way, Phil. xvii. 3. This is the breast-plate of righteousness, Eph. vi. 14. the which if it fall by, one may quickly be wounded to the heart. Unsettledness of heart, one's being at every turn unresolved what to do, cannot miss to leave him in the mire.
2. Living a life of dependence on the Lord, for light and life, direction and throughbearing, Prov. ii. 6. Gal. ii. 20. And this will keep a man from prefumption, and doing any thing with a doubting conscience, which will soon mar one's peace.
3. Watchfulness against fin, fnares, and tempta. tioni, i Cor. X. 12. One that would maintain bis peace, must be upon his guard, otherwise it will foon be disturbed, in this evil world.
4. A strict, holy, gospel walk, in all known du. ties, towards God, and towards man, Gal. vi. 16. He that will adventure to balk any of them, thalt soon losc it.
5. Lastly, Frequent renewing of our faith and repentance, for purging away the fins we fall into, i Pet ii. 4.
v. I proceed to talle peace.
i had David
V. I proceed to fhew how peace of conscience is distinguished from talse peace. A godly man may have a false peace, Cant. v. 2. Such had David be. fore Nathạn came to him after his fall. An unregenerate man can have no peace but what is false, I. Ivii. ult.
1. True peace, built on the ground of God's word, is establiiired by the word, however fearching; the other is weakened by it. For God's word is a friend to God's peace, but an enemy to delusion, 1 John iii. 20. 21. But this is ineant of God's word rightly un. derstood, (if we misunderitand it, it is not his word, but our own mistake); and such mistakes may have the quite contrary effect.
2. True peace cannot be maintained but by a holy tenderness, and conitant ftruggle against lin: but falle peace is maintained without it, i John iii. 3.
Inf. 1. The unconverted finner, and the untender Christian too, are in a very unfit case for a time of common calamity, If, lyii. 20. 21. Mitth. xxv. 5. Only the man that has peace of conscience is prepared, Il. xxxiii. 14: 15.
2. Let all who would have their consciences to be their friends, flee to the blood of Christ, and lead a holy life.
3. Lastly, Let those thąt want it, labour to get it; and they that have it, be exercised to keep it.
III. Of Joy in the Holy Ghost. SPIRITU AL jog, or joy in the Holy Ghost, is a bene
fit frowing from justifications Now to fhew fuift of all what spiritual joy is : lov in general is a pleasing passion, arıling from the enjoyment, or hope of the enjoyment of a desired object. Spiritual joy is a joy arising from the enjoyment, and hope of the enjoyinent of Spiritual blessings.
Here I shall shew,
1. The subjects of this joy, who they are that partake of it,
II. The objects of it, or what they joy in.
V. The means the Spirit makes use of to convey it into the hearts of the saints,
VI, The difference betwixt it and the hypocrites joy, VII. Lastly, Apply.
I. I shall consider the subjects of this joy, who they are that partake of it,