Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

in my soul in measure; as it is written, Created anew in Christ Jesus, after the image of him that created him in righteousness and true boliness.

8. He assured me that I shall be made to persevere and hold out in a state of grace; and that I fhall be continued in the love and favour of God for ever and ever, in despite of all that the powers of darkness can contrive or act against me. The righteous shall bold on his way, and he that hath clean bands shall be stronger and stronger.

9. He assured me that the eye of Divine Provi. dence should be everlastingly fixed on me, and the right hand of God's righteousness everlastingly kept under me for my security, from being in danger at any time of finally miscarrying or pe-, rishing

10. He assured me that the very indwelling corruption in my nature, and whatever falls or miscarriage which should at any tiine be occasioned thereby in my life and conversation, should, with all the affictions attending me for the faid miscarriages, most certainly and infallibly work for my eternal good and welfare, whatever I myself or others should judge to the contrary; for all things do work together for good to them that love God.

11. He assured me that I should meet with great opposition and tribulation in the world; but that all mine enemies should find they laboured in vain; for that God was on my side to take my part against them: and who will most certainly

crown

crown all my straits and troubles with a happy success. The Lord will defend the just as with a field.

12. He assured me that God's special presence should be so with me in every change of condition in this world, as that nothing should harm or spoil me; yea, that death itself, the last enemy of nature, should neither terrify nor hurt me; the mortal sting thereof being by the death of my Redeemer taken away,

and death divested of his power to harm me, or any of Christ's redeemed ones.

These particulars discovered and set home by the Holy Ghost on my trembling panting soul, he working me powerfully to a believing each particular with application to myself, I was immediately surprised with a more astonishing and overcoming rapture of inexpreflible joy than before : I had clear manifestations of the love of God to me in particular, and of the great things done and prepared for me, to make me everlastingly happy in the beholding and enjoying himself as my God and my Father, and portion in Christ for ever ; according to the unconditional free covenant of his own grace, made and established in and with Christ his Son in the behalf of me and the rest of his elect.

No sooner did I look up to God and behold his reconciled face smile on me in the face of Jesus his fun, but I felt such inward foul-inebriating joy as I verily thought would cause my very soul to fly

out

out of my body, and my body to burst in sunder. The hardness of my heart under which I laboured all the time of my bondage state, and which I sensibly felt to grow and increase as I called to remembrance the many follies of youth, and the holy law of God, whereof those follies were so many breaches, each folly deserving, if it were possible, a thousand damnations, was melted and thawn like a lump of ice before the warm sun, by the sense and perception I had of the love of God vouchsafed to such a base and deformed sinner as God knows I was, and still am. I felt the servile and mercenary frame and disposition of my spirit take wing, and that filial child-like frame and disposition of spirit, which is suited to a gospel dispensation, succeed in its room; and looking up to heaven with the tears flowing from my eyes so extremely fast that I heard them drop, drop after drop, on the floor where I stood, continuing so long that I sensibly felt my cheeks to burn and scald me; my soul in a strange ecstasy running over those particulars which the Holy Ghost had assured me of. Here is the second rapture of joy.

What joy like to this I now feel? Who can poslibly relate or express it? What! hath God elected me-even me---sinful and vile me? And hath he done it before time ? and notwithstanding he perfectly knew what I should prove in time? Oh, wonderful love! Why'me, Lord? Why me?

And

And not one of the reprobates in hell who never finned against thee to that degree that I have?

And hath God laid mine iniquities, even all my iniquities, on the back of Christ, and charged them to his fcore as my surety ? Oh amazing mystery of divine love and grace! Who is able to know whether the Father or the Son loves me most? The Father, in laying my sins on his own and only Son, though innocent and harmless; or the Son, in condescending to bear them as his own sins? And are all those sins of mine discharged and satisfied for by the active and passive obedience of Christ my surety who hath kept the law for me? Oh, wonderful condescension both of Father and Son!

Is it so as I feel it is, that God the Father is fully satisfied with that his Son's obedience, and that I am now justified in his fight by the virtue thereof? Oh my foul, what cause haft thou to rejoice and adore God for ever?

And was the love of God set on me, even in a state of unregeneracy? Who but a mercenary lega list will not be hence convinced of the orthodoxy and foundness of that distinction which differenceth between the person of an elect sinner, and the sinful pravity of nature which cleaves to him ? Surely my foul, if God had really hated thee, and had he been wrath with thee as he is with all the wicked

reprobates who have no Mare in the redemption of his Son, even then, when thou wast uncalled, he might

have

[ocr errors]

grace, and

have sent thee to hell. Who could have hindered him? And were the reasons wherefore he handled thee so roughly by the spirit of bondage as have been discovered by the Holy Ghost, and not because he hated thee, or any way designed to satisfy his vindicative justice for thy sins. What cause haft thou to reflect on and abhor thyself for all thy hard thoughts and unbecoming apprehensions which were lodged in thee of God and his dealing with thee?

And is it certain, as most certainly it is, seeing God cannot lie, that I, poor sinful I, shall be made to persevere and hold out in a state of continue in God's favour for ever? Oh, what unspeakable cause hast thou to adore, love, and praise, Jehovah to all.eternity! And what little reason haft thou to be discouraged to think of what the powers of darkness can do to hinder thy perseverance.

And will the eye of Divine Providence be on me, and the right hand of God's righteousness kept under me, to secure me for ever from finally milcarrying or perishing?

How great encouragement is this to thee, my soul, to have the eye of faith and hope dependingly fixed on the faithfulness and almightiness of God; seeing the end and the means are ever inseparable.

And hath God, that cannot lie, promised and engaged that the being of indwelling corruption, with all the outbreaking thereof in my conversation, as

alto

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »