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fear continually torments you.
Rest not in this state. * Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure." The authority of God, the claims of the Gospel, your own comfort, all call upon you to hasten out of this state of painful doubt. I will not flatter you with the belief that you will find no difficulty in it; it is often a work of difficulty. There must be searching, proving, trying. The candle of the Lord must be lighted in you, and with that you must search. The touchstone must be brought, and you must stand the test. The furnace must be kindled, and you must abide the trial. You must put yourself in the balance, which is held by the hand of him who weighs every action.
First. Do not, however, conclude that you are destitute of faith, because you have never experienced all which some others relate of themselves. Some, before conversion, have long and severe conflicts with sin, or about the law; some have much clearness and confidence when first converted, so that they are able to give a distinct account of the time, place, means, and manner of their conversion; and some have much joy and eminent manifestations afterwards; others have not. If you
come short of some others in these respects, do not from this conclude that you have no faith. What is absolutely necessary, is only such exercises as are sufficient to drive you from yourself to Christ. In some, these exercises are very long and intense. Others, in the mist of their own corruptions, and the temptations of Satan and the world, cannot discover the divine work upon their souls; they cannot reach that joy in believing which some experience; they are never permitted to see Christ upon the mount in high manifestations of his glory.
Second. Do not conclude that you have no faith, because you see not all things as they ought to be with you. Sin sometimes rages and tyrannizes in the heart even of a believer; and though it be a blot upon the Christian character, it does not of itself prove an entire destitution of faith, at least where the man mourns over it, and strives against it.
Third. You will remove many difficulties by studying well the covenant of grace. Ascertain the ground of your acceptance with God, and your admittance into a covenant relation. Whatever your sins, you cannot be ruined, if you are willing to owe salvation en
tirely to free grace in Christ according to the Gospel. The greatest sinner may be saved in
Fourth. Study the adaptation of the covenant of grace
to the state of believers, who still carry about with them a body of sin and death. It accepts of sincere obedience; it provides influences to enable believers to perform that obedience; and secures pardon for the failings of those who honestly and heartily endeavour to live a life of faith and godliness.
Fifth. Study the source of that peace which believers enjoy in their walk with God. This is not their own merit, but God's mercy.
It is not their own blamelessness, but the efficacy of Christ's blood to take away sin; it is not freedom from occasional irregularities, though these are inexcusable ; it is the testimony of a good conscience, that we make it our constant endeavour to keep that conscience void of offence towards God and towards
by entires dependence on God in Christ, for mercy to forgive sin, and for grace to help in time of need.
Sixth. Especially acquaint yourself with those marks of grace which are to be found in the believing soul under all its temptations; and which indicate the existence rather than the
degree of grace. These marks have before been mentioned.
Seventh. Pray fervently for the influences of the Spirit, which searcheth the deep things of God, and which can send such a beam of light into your soul as fully to show you your state.
Eighth. Wait upon the Lord in the use of all the means of grace. In matters of Christian assurance God exercises much sovereignty. “When he giveth quietness, who can give trouble ? and when he hideth his face, who can behold him ?" Trust in him, that in his own good time he will grant your requests. “ The husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain." Impatience, frowardness, sloth, and weariness, are not indications of a good state of the soul. “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
SECTION VI. Address to those who have good reason to say that they believe.—If you have indeed good evidence of faith, " Take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.” Bless his holy name. Prajse him
who remembered you in your low estate, for his mercy endureth forever.
You are by faith engrafted into Christ; then bring forth much fruit. Depend on Christ for strength and light, that he may be all in all to you. Above all things regard his honour and glory. Pity those who are without God, and without hope in the world. Labour for their salvation. Commend Christ and his religion to them by your holy walk and godly con versation. Sympathize with God's people in all their joys and sorrows, that you may appear to be members of the same body, of which Christ is the glorious and exalted Prince and head. Whatever God has done for you, ascribe all the glory of it to him alone. Dearly beloved in the Lord, since we “ look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ,” from heaven, “who shall change our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself,” stand fast in the Lord. Prepare for trials. If never called to meet them, rejoice in the deliverance; but if you are, think it not strange, think not that God is against you. They that will live godly in Christ Jesus, must travel through difficulties. “In the world ye shall