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really and personally through the same virtue, by his word and spirit dwelling in them, the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the severallasts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of all true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
II. This sanctification is throughout in the whole man, yet imperfect in this life, there abide still some remnants of corruption in every part, whence ariseth a continual and irreconcileable war, the flesh lusting a. against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.
III. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet through the continual supply of strength from the . sanctifying spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome, and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
CH A P. XIV.
Of Saving Faith.
THE grace of Faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the spirit of Christ in their hearts, . and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the word; by which also, and by the administration of the seals, prayer, and other means, it is in- . creased and strengthened.
II. By this Faith a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein, and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth, yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatnings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come. But the principal acts of saving Faith are, accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone, for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.
III. This Faith, although it be different in degrees, and may be weak or strong, yet it is in the least degree of it different in the kind or nature of it (as is all other saving grace) from the Faith and common grace of temporary believers ; and therefore, though it may be many times assailed and weakened, yet it gets the victory, growing up in many to the . attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our Faith.
CHA P. XV.
Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation.
SUCH of the elect as are converted at riper years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto life.
II. Whereas there is none that doth good, and sinneth not, and the best of men may through the power and deceitfulness of their corruptions dwelling in them, with the prevalency of temptation, fall into great sins and provocations ; God hath in the covenant of grace mercifully provided, that believers so sinning and falling, be renewed through repentance anto salvation.
III. This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person being by the holy Ghost made sensible of the manifold evils of his siri, doth by Faith in Christ humble himself for it with gedly sorrow, detestation of it, and selfabhorrency, praying for pardon and strength of grace,
purpose and endeavour by supplies of the spirit, to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things.
IV. As repentance is to be continued through the whole course of our lives, upon the account of the body of death, and the motions thereof; so it is every man's duty to repent of his particular known sins, particularly.
V. Such is the provision which God hath made through Christ in the covenant of grace, for the preservation of believers unto salvation, that although there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation, yet there is no sin so great, that it shall bring damnation, on them who truely repent; which makes the constant preaching of repentance necessary.
C H A P. XVI.
Of Good Works.
GOOD works are only such as God hath commanded in his holy word, and not such as without the warrant thereof are devised by men out of blind zcal, or upon any pretence of good intentions.
II. These good works done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and living faith, and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their
brethren, adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, that having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end eternal life.
III. Their ability to do good works is not at all of thermselves, but wholly from the spirit of Christ : and that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do, of his good pleasure; yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty, unless upon a special motion of the spirit, but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.
IV. They who in their obedience attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to superarrogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much, which in : duty they are bound to do.
V. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them, and the glory to coine ; and the infinite distance that is between 119, and God, whom by them we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins; but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty,and are unprofitable servants : and because as they are good, they proceed from his spirit, and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God's judgment.
VI. Yet notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him, not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreproveable in God's sight, but that he looking upon them in his Son is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, althougli accompanied with many weak. nesses and imperfections.
VII. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them, they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and to others; yet because they proceed not from an heart purified by Faith, nor are done in a right manner, according to the word, nor to a right end, the glory of God; they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, nor make a man meet to receive grace from
God; and yet their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing to God.
C H A P. XVII.
Of the Perseverance of the Saints.
THEY, whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.
Il. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own freewill, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father, upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, and union with him, the oath of God, the abiding of his spirit, and the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace, from all which ariseth also the certainty and infalibility thereof.
III. And though they may through the tercptation of satan, and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the negleet of the means of their preservation, fall into greirous sins, and for a time eontinue therein, whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve his holy spirit, conse to have their graces and comforts impaired, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded, hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves ; yet they are and shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
CHA P. XVIII..
Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation. ALTHOUGH' temporary believers, and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God, and state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish, yet such as truly believe on the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in a state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.
II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of Faith, founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ, revealed in the gospel, and also upon the inward evidence of those graces, unto which promises are made, and on the immediate witness of the spirit, testifying our adoption, and as a fruit thereof, leaving the heart more humble and holy.
III. This infallible assurance douh not sowelong to the essence of Faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficul. ties before he be partaker ofit; yet being inabled by the spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of ordinary means attain thereunto: and therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be inlarged in peace and joy in the holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance; so far is it from inclining men to looseness.
IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation dirers ways shaken, diminished and intermitted, as by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin, which woundeth the conscience, and grieveth the spirit, by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness, and to have no light, yet are they neither utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of Faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty, out of which by the operation of the spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived, and by the which in the mean time they are supported from utter despair.
CHA P. XIX.
Of the Law of God.
GOD gaye to Adam a law of universal obedience written in his heart, and a particular precept of not eating the fruit the tree of knowledge of good and evil, as a covenant of works, by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact and perpetual obedience, promised life, upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.