THE CHRISTIANS TRYVMPH.

Manifested By the Certitude of Saluation.

Deliuered In a Sermon at Pauls-Crosse on Trinity Sunday, the 15. of Iune. 1617.

By NATHANAEL DELAVNE, Mi­nister of the word of God at Saint Se­pulchers. And Chaplein in Or­dinarie to the Kings Maiestie.

LONDON, Printed by N. O. for Iohn Pyper, and are to be sold at his shop at Pauls gate next Cheap-side at the signe of the Crosse-keyes. 1617.

To the most Reue­rend Father in God, GEORGE by the Diuine pro­uidence, Lord, Arch-bishop of Canterbury, Primate and Me­tropolitan of all England, and one of his Maiesties most Honora­ble Priuie Counsell, grace and glorie bee Multiplied.

MOST REVEREND.

OF making many Bookes there is no ende. It is true.Eccles. 12.12. Because errour in Doctrine, corrup­tion in manners haue no end. What surcease therefore from preaching, yea from writing, [Page] as long as heresie dares shew shew her face, and wickednesse walke the streetes? Many friends desired to renew their memorie, and refresh their comfort in reading printed, that which once they heard preached. And after many de­layes, I was mooued to satisfie their godly affection. Neuer­thelesse experience shall finde it true, that there is great dif­ference betweene preaching, and printing; the tongue and the penne: as betwixt a quicke, and a dead body: Yet laying a side the Action, which is the life of perswasion, I made no difficulty to wrap my selfe in dead letters, to helpe memorie in those that were present, and to extend the benefit of Gods word to others that were ab­sent. [Page] And though the condi­tion of my person be to low, to clime so high: and the forme I haue giuen to this mysticall subiect be to meane, to be pre­sented to your Grace. Yet your manifold fauours seeme to challenge as due, and to draw from mee this token of thankefulnesse, in dedicating vnto your Grace this my first performance in so publike a place. For you cheered me in my calling at my first comming ouer from France in the yeare 1611. and now you haue re­newed your fauours in 1616. vpon the sight of my testimo­niall certificates from the Churches and Synods of France, concerning my thir­teene yeares seruice in the French Ministerie without spot [Page] or dis-reputation, and finally you haue admitted mee into this florishing Church of Eng­land, in the which I receiued my first breathing. This small offering is no more in regard of my debt, then Stillicidium de situla, or Spicilegium de messe, much like the short measures of this age, wherein many debtors pay by the shilling what they owe by the pound; as a shicle of siluer, for a talent of gold. Yet this small and light sheafe, which this weake hand hath brought for the making vp some of the bundle of Gods haruest, shall by your Graces acceptance become perhaps in reputation deare, and the bar­ren soile it selfe, which brought it forth, shall by the continu­ance of your wonted good [Page] aspect, be better heartened to bring forth hereafter Laetiorem segetem. So with my heartiest prayers vnto God for the en­crease of happinesse to your Graces person, and to this Church,Act. 20.28. ouer the which the holy Ghost hath made you a supreame ouer-seer. I humbly take my leaue, and euer will rest,

Your Graces in all Chri­stian duties to bee commanded, NATHANAELL DELAVNE.

The Contents of this Sermon.

  • 1. A Preface. 1. from a point of wisdome. 2. from the excellency of faith.
  • 2. The coherence. Where the que­stion is decided, of what faith Christ speaketh, and the diuers kindes.
  • 3. The maine doctrine. Of cer­titude of saluation against doubts. Where iustifying faith is defined, and diuided.
  • 4. Against the Church of Rome. Whose Doctrine is layed open, with the Originall, and state of this Controuersie.
  • 5. Part 1. [...]. The truth confirmed. By this Argument. [Page] The prohibition of doubt, and nature of faith.
  • 6. The grounds of this certitude. 1. Gods mercies. 2. Christs merrits, &c. 3. The Word and Sacraments. 4. Gods spirit and ours.
  • 7. Perseuerance certaine. Be­cause it is grounded, on God the
    • Father.
    • Sonne.
    • Holy Ghost.
  • 8. Part 2. [...].
    • Ob. 1. Against Certitude of faith. By testimony, out of the Old and New Testament.
    • Ob. 2. Against Perseuerance. By
      • 1. Testimony from the Old, and New Testament.
      • 2. Examples.
      • 3. Reasons. 4.
  • 9. Vse. And conclusion.
    • 1. [...]. Against Papists.
    • [Page]2. [...]. Against Hypocrites.
    • 3. [...] Consolation for the Weake.
    • 4. [...]. Exhortation to the Stronge.

A SERMON, Preached at Pauls-Crosse on Trinity Sunday, the 15. day of Iune. 1617.

MATH. 14.31.

[...]; O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Preface.

I RIght Honorable, Right Worship­full, and welbelo­ued in our Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ. The Souldier is trained vp at home, for warre abroad: The Marriner prouideth his Bisket, ere [Page 2] he strike vp saile: The Merchant assureth his wealth, and euery No­ble man his lands in the best fashion they can: And it is counted wise­dome in all these to settle their tem­porall estate for the encrease of their ioy and happinesse in this life.

It is no lesse wisdome (beloued) in a Christian in time of peace to foresee the calamities of warre; du­ring Health to preuent Sicknesse; during Life to bee armed against Death: that so assuring our spiritual estate before God, wee may with greater courage fight the Lords battailes; with greater boldnesse saile on this Ocean: with greater ioye embrace the riches of Gods mercies, pledges of that eternall inheritance reserued for his Saints in the Land of the liuing.

To this end haue I made choice of this Text, where Christ reproo­uing Peter for his wauering, shall teach vs to assure our selues fore­uer, saying, O man of little faith, wher­fore didst thou doubt?

[Page 3]II. Most glorious things are reported of thee O Citie of the li­uing God, and what wonderfull things doe wee heare of thee, O Christian faith? Thou art the Soule of our soules, for the iust shall liue by faith Abbac. 2. Thou clothest vs with righ­teousnesse before God and man; before God, for the righteousnesse of God is reuealed in the Gospell from faith to faith Rom. 1.17.. Before man, for thou art a mother-vertue, faith working by charity Gal. 5.. By thee Christ dwelleth in our hearts Eph. 3. Rom. 3.. By thee we are reconci­led to God, and iustified before him. By thee we are sanctified, and our hearts are purified Act. 15.. By thee wee are saued Eph. 2.. Without thee whatsoeuer is done, is a sinne Rom. 14.. Without thee none can please God Heb. 11.. None can pray aright Rom. 10. None can hope for any good thing Iam. 1.. If wee fight against sinne and Satan, the Spirit and the Word must bee our swords, but wee must take vp the shield of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked Eph. 6.. If wee conquer, it must bee by thy meanes, for this is [Page 4] our victorie, that ouercommeth the world namely our faith. 1. Ioh. 5

So that without faith, wee are dead in sinne, polluted in iniquity, odious to God and man. Wee lie open to all the wiles of Satan, and the world, and to all the iudge­ments of God, temporall and eter­nall.

III. And yet against this liuely and iustifying faith, the Church of Rome armes her selfe, troubles her braines, spends her wealth, wastes her strength, musters her men, ga­thers her forces, reares her battle­ments, as if there were no greater glorie in the house of faith, then to bee faithlesse, in the Temple of the LORD, then to bee a­gainst the Lord, in the Land of peace, then to bee in continuall warre.

Therefore to discouer the mise­rable condition of that Church, and our happy estate by reason of the Gospell, I haue fixed my meditati­ohs on this verse I haue read vnto you. Where Peters slidings, shall [Page 5] make vs stand fast, his sinking shall teach vs to swimme, and his doub­ting shall so confirme vs, that wil­lingly none of vs will euer be guil­ty of this reproofe. O man of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And so I come to my Text.

Coherence.

IIII. After the miracle of 500. men fed with fiue loues, and two fishes.

Christ constrained his disciples to get into a ship,Vers. 22. and to goe before him vnto the other side, while hee sent the multitude away. That don,23. he went into a mountaine to pray. But in the euening the ship being in the midst of the sea,24. tossed with waues, because the winde was con­trarie.Vers 25. In the fourth watch of the night, Iesus went vnto them wal­king on the sea.26. The disciples see­ing this were troubled, and said. It is a spirit, so they cried out for feare. But Christ assuring them,27. [Page 6] And Peter for greater proofe desi­ring to goe vnto him on the wa­ters.28 It was granted, and perfor­med.30 But the wind being great, Peter feared, and so sinking cried. Lord saue mee.31 And immediately Christ stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said vnto him. O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And when he was come into the ship,32 the winde ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him,33 saying, Of a truth thou art the Sonne of God.

This is the Coherence, and issue of the Historie. So that Christ gaue vnto Peter a sufficient proofe of his humane and Diuine nature. Of his humane nature, by walking on the waters: for it was not a spirit. Peter knew that by his owne experience, as Hierome obserueth against Marcion.

Of his Diuine nature, making the waters stiffe as a pauement to walke vpon.

Thus Peter beleeuing both, be­gan well, but continuing not in the like zeale, nay, fearing more the windes and waues, then hee trusted Christs power, and word, so hee sinkes. But Christ in mercie saues him, yet in wisdome checkes him, that all men might know this pe­rill of drowning, proceeded not from want of good will, and power in Christ; but from want of faith in Peter. And therefore hee said, O man of little faith, &c.

The Question is.

V.Diuerse kindes of faith. Of what faith Christ speak­eth, Diuines distinguish faith with the Schooles into fides quam, & fides qua credimus, a faith which, and an other wherewith wee doe beleeue. That is the Obiect and is in Scrip­ture. This is the habite, or guift of Gods Spirit, and is wrought in man.

Againe this faith, qua credimus, wherewith wee beleeue, is Common, [Page 8] or proper. Common to good and bad, Elect, and Reprobate, as the Histo­ricall faith, the Temporarie and Mi­raculous faith. The one Extraordi­narie, as the faith of miracles. The other two Ordinary.

That which is proper to the Elect, is the iustifying faith.

They differ in their Obiect, and Subiect. In their Obiect, namely the Word, for if the word be but a narra­tion, then faith beleeuing it to bee true, is but Historicall. If the word containe a promise and guift of grace in Christ, then the vnderstan­ding apprehending it as a truth, and that with some ioy, makes a tempo­rarie faith. But applying it to the heart by the spirit of Adoption, creates a iustifying faith. And if the promise bee to shew forth Gods will and power, then it is a faith of miracles.

In their Subiect, for the one is in the vnderstanding onely, the other in the braine and heart; Nay it pos­sesseth the whole soule, and com­prehends [Page 9] all the other kindes of faith, as being the most perfect, I meane this iustifying, liuely, and sa­uing faith, which receiueth Christ, and maketh vs the children of God Ioh. 1.1..

Now Christ speakes heere of a faith of Miracles, which againe is two-fold, Actiue, or passiue, Actiue, when a man by Christs word and power is able to worke a miracle, of the which Paul speakes1. Cor. 13.. If I had all faith, and were able to transport moun­taines, If I had not Charity, I were no­thing.

Passiue. Paul seeing that man of Lystra had faith to be healed, hee said vnto him, Stand vpright on thy feete Act. 14.. Thus Peters faith was passiue, for hee beleeued Christ had power to make him walke on the waters, and to saue him when he did sinke. It was Actiue in Christ, Passiue in Peter, but fainting he is rebuked. O thou of little faith, &c.

The Doctrine.

Thesis.VI. Where Christ teacheth vs, that it is with the soule, as with the body, both haue their quames, and diseases. Therefore wee read of a great faith, O woman thy faith is great Mat. 15, I haue not found so great a faith no not in Israel Mat. 8. There is also a little faith, as in the Disciples.Mat. 8.26 Why are you fearefull, O yee of little fath? and here in Peter. O man of little faith Mat. 14..

There is also a slow faith. O fooles slow of heart to beleeue all that was fore­told by Moses and the Prophets Luk. 24..

But howsoeuer, Let vs discourse of what faith wee will, doubting is an enemie vnto it, and therefore it is condemned in Moses, and Aaron Numb. 20., & in the disciplesMat 8., and here in Peter & 14., as you see, for this Doctrine will al­wayes hold true.

That faith casteth out doubts, it be­ing of the nature and essentiall pro­perty of faith to assure the con­science.

To beleeue and doubt, is as fire, and water, light, and darkenesse, the spirit and the flesh, sworne ene­mies. And this is the scope I ay­med at, namely to treate of the na­ture of faith, and specially of iustify­ing faith, which is the principall.

And it is defined to be:Definit. a certaine knowledge, and confidence of Gods good will towards vs in Christ, reuealed in the Gospell, and wrought by the Spirit.

The parts are two. First,Diuision. Know­ledge with the assent of the minde. Secondly, Confidence with the con­sent of the will and heart.

Obiect. The Obiect is God in Christ re­conciling the world vnto him, by this faith grounded on the Gospell.

Property. The Property is Certiude, refer­red to both, knowledge, and con­fidence.

Against Papists.

VII.Romish abuse. And this is it I intend to proue against the Church of Rome, [Page 12] which erreth in both, as namely. In the genus, knowledge, by commen­ding the blinde deuotion of impli­cite faith. And in the forme, or dif­ference, sc: confidence of the heart, by condemning it as presumption, & recommending doubts, as Catho­like humility.

And thus shee hath obscured the counsell of the Lord, and falls into that curse, Woe bee to him that calleth good euill, and euill good: light darke­nesse, and darkenesse light, sweete bitter, and bitter sweete Esa. 5.. For thus shee establisheth the kingdome of Satan, and vnder shew of godlinesse ouer­throweth the Gospell of Christ, the Kingdome of Righteousnesse. Shee is therefore an enemie to true iustifying faith, without which there is no Church, no Christ, no sal­uation.

Romish policie.Nay her Obstinacie in defending this doctrine of doubts, sheweth shee hath a further reach, sc: a Poli­ticall plot to scrape vp wealth.

For knowing this great Babell [Page 13] of workes and merits would, fall to the ground, this masse of errour in the Masse, would bee dispersed, these lucratiue Indulgences, and cunning Alchimistrie, in changing lead into gold, would be lost as well art the art of Demetrius in making Temples for Diana Act. 16.. And with­all, that this fire of Purgatorie would be soone extinguished, if this Doctrine take place in mens hearts. That a man through faith in Christ a­lone, may bee assured of his saluation.

Therefore shee striueth with might, and maine to strenthen this contrarie aphorisme of doubts, that it may be a spur to hasten Pilgrims to Rome, a mill to grinde their wheare, and a bellowes to blow their coales, that the Ecclesiastical Order being built vpon the backes and bellies of the Laickes, those may sing whilst these weepe, those laugh, whē these lament, those fattē, when the faces of these are grinded through miserie. In breefe, that they may bee assured of temporalities, [Page 14] whilst these doubt of spiritualities: that they may possesse the earth, whilst they set others a working to seeke the way to heauen. Heere is a wicked craft, to make Religion a baud for the diuells pleasures, to make doubts a running streame to refresh Auarice and Ambition.

Therefore the Church of Rome is so diligent and earnest in deck­ing, and setting forth this Helena, that she feareth not to say, If a man rest in the remission of his sinnes by faith in Christ alone, etiam ideo non remittuntur: that therefore they are not remitted; as if death could bee found in life, and hell in heauen.

Nay shee knoweth that Certitude of saluation cannot agree with iusti­fication by workes, and therefore be­ing fully resolued to maintaine that former Doctrine for her gaine and greatnesse, shee will bend her selfe against this latter as her deadly ene­mie, and raise the Doctrine of doubts against this certitude of faith, as the Popes stirred vp new [Page 15] Emperous against the olde, that whilst they fight it out in a doubt­full field, he may settle his Chaire at Rome, and gaine by other mens losses.

And therefore this Church is not ashamed to confesse, that the Romish Religion cannot giue content to the con­science in life nor death. O iayle of conscience! O sinke of miserie! Let him bee of that Religion, who is an enemie to his owne soule, and whose minde the God of this world hath blinded, Lest the light of the glo­rious Gospell of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine vpon him 2. Cor. 4 4..

As for vs, knowing the Iesuiti­call plots, that trouble all the world to build their owne house. Let vs take vp the shield of faith, whereby wee may quench all the firie darts of Sa­tan, and bee able to stand in the euill day Eph. 6..

The Originall.

VIII. This doctrine of doubts [Page 16] was oft mooued by hereticks,When doubts first esta­blished. and answered by the fathers. But of late publikely confirmed by the Chapter of Trent, where ex profess [...], Italy and Spaine met to establish all the Popes errours, that they may not seeme any way to be instructed by Lutherans, and Protestants. This therefore amongst other Errours, was approoued by them, though contrarie to Scripture, to the fathers, and to some of their owne writers, as Ambrosius Catharenus who then writ for the certitude of faith a­gainst Dom. a Soto, and Antonius Marinarius, then preached openly, Wee wholy draw our mindes from any confidence in our owne workes, and re­pose our trust in the louing kindnesse and good will of our heauenly Father for­euer. They erre not in the maze of mistrust, who haue obtained righteous­nesse through Christ, but they dare bold­ly say in the security of minde, peace of conscience, ioy of heart. Abba, Father, and therefore, though heauen should passe, the earth consume to nothing, and [Page 17] the whole world should bee dissolued, I shall erect my selfe towards him. And though an Angell from heauen should goe about to perswade mee otherwise, I should call him accursed. O the happy assurance of a Christian soule!

Nay the Dominicans to this day are at variance with the Iesuites vp­on this ground: so that wee might well be dispenst to deale with them in this question, till they be agreed amongst themselues. But seeing the Iesuiticall opinion of doubts getteth ground of the others, and like a wild-fire is blowen abroad with the winde of Ambition and Auarice to consume our houses, and trouble our consciences; It is ne­cessarie euery one should bring his bucket from the well of waters to quench this fire, and to blow his Trumpet, that this wall of Ierico may fall before him.

And this will I labour to effect by Gods grace, and your Christian attention, after I haue layed open the state of the question.

[Page 18] State of the Que­stion.IX. Which is this. The Church of Rome teacheth: That though a man apprehend Christs merits by a liuely faith in the Gospell, yet hee may not bee perswaded that his sins are forgiuen him. He may hope the best of Gods mercies, but hee must stand in doubt of the fruition of them, quia fidei potest subesse falsum, there may some errour lurke vnder faith, & spes potest fallere, hope may deceiue: So then they account this doubting a vertue in faith, & no in­firmitie of the flesh, without which ornament faith is hereticall, and be­cause they see, that faith and doub­ting are contraries, they faine a ge­nerall faith which doth certainely beleeue whatsoeuer the Gospel re­uealeth of Christ, and the Sacra­ments doe seale vnto the belee­uer.

But for the particular appli­cation to euery conscience, that, they hold to bee hereti­call, that cannot bee, say they, [Page 19] without some particular reuela­tion.

So that in effect you see, their iustifying faith is nothing else but Historicall, such as the Diuels haue, fluttering in the ayre, and swim­ming in the braine, without sinking into the heart: Being then of the same nature, that those Vniuersals, Reals, Nominals, in the Schooles, and those Platonicall Ideas amongst the Achademikes, they would turne Christian faith into a meere con­templation, or in steed of Christians make vs turne Sceptickes.

Wee must then oppose against this Doctrine of doubts, for the glorie of God, the comfort of our consciences, & the preuenting of the Romish yoake, Let vs therefore take notice of this double errour. First, of the minde. Secondly, of the will, for we confesse, that there is in eue­ry one of vs liuing in this militant Church, an implicite faith, and igno­rance of particulars, & also too ma­ny doubts, distrusting Gods promi­ses, [Page 20] but God forbid wee should al­low of them, or hold them for ver­tues in our Religion. They are the fruits of the flesh, against which eue­ry Christian must fight, till hee bee finally conquerour with Christ in the heauens.

And that this is so, we prooue it

  • Diuision.
    1. [...].
  • 2. [...].

That is first affirmatiuely, confir­ming the truth, then negatiuely re­futing whatsoeuer our aduersaries can say against it. And first of the former.

Part. 1. [...].

X. The argument whereby I prooue that a Christian ought to assure his vnderstanding by know­ledge, and his heart by confidence in Gods mercies towards him in Christ, is taken. First, from the pro­hibition of doubts. Secondly, the nature of faith.Mat. 8. & 14. & 21.21.

First doubts are condemned, Mat. 8. in the disciples, Mat. 14. in [Page 21] Peter, and Mat. 21.21. If yee haue faith and doubt not. Rom. 4. Abra­ham commended for not doubting. Hee doubted not of the promise of God through vnbeleefe, but was strengthned in faith. The words in the Originall are emphatical. [...] Mat. 14., signifies to be driuen heere and there in our af­fections, [...] Rom. 4. Iam. 1. Mar. 11., is opposed to faith, and signifies to dispute with our selues. Luke Luk. 12. insteed of [...] a little faith, vseth the word [...], that is, to hang in suspence, as a leafe that is driuen with euery winde. And therefore that which the Chapter of Trent, Dubitante conscientia laudat, tan (que) vir­tutem fidei, commends in a doubting conscience as a vertue of faith, that Saint Paul makes a sinneRom. 14, and therefore concludes that whatsoeuer is without faith is a sinne.

In the second place, Scripture ex­pressing the nature of faith, vseth these words, [...], &c. All which inti­mates vnto vs a certitude, for Ex­ample [Page 22] Heb. 11. [...].. Faith is a substance of things hoped for, and an euidence of things not seene saith Paul. AndRom. 8. [...]. I am perswaded, that neither death nor life nor Angels, &c. can seperate vs &c. For I know whom I haue beleeued, and I am perswaded that hee is able to keepe that which I haue committed to him against that day 2. Tim. 1.12.. Let vs therefore goe boldly vnto the throne of graceHeb. 4.16. [...].. Let vs draw neere with a true heart in full assurance of faithHeb. 10.22. [...].. In whom wee haue boldnesse, and accesse with confidence by faith of himEph. 3.12. [...]..

Thus Abraham being fully per­swaded Rom. 4. [...]., that what God had pro­mised, he was able to performe, &c. And hauing receiued the spirit of Adoption, wee crie Abba, Father Rom. 8. Gal 4.. All this continued stile of Scrip­ture teacheth that the nature of faith is to assure the heart, and cast out doubtings.

Wherefore Saint Iohn saith often,1. Ioh. 3. Wee know that wee are the children of God. That wee are translated from [Page 23] death to life. By this wee know wee loue him, when we keepe his commandements. By this wee know that hee dwelleth in vs, by his spirit which hee hath giuen vs. Therefore haue I written vnto you, that you may knew you haue life euerlasting, &c.

These places are stones as the fa­thers speake, quibus lapidantetur here­tici, wherewith heretiques are sto­ned. They are as many smooth stones taken from the brooke of Scriptures to strike this Goliath of Romish doubts in the forhead, and lay it groueling in the dust, to the great reioycing of the LORDS hoast.

Againe, to what ende is it said that faith bringeth Peace Rom. 5.1.5., and Ioy & 14 Act. 8. & 10. Luk. 10., for being iustified wee haue peace with God and reioyce in afflictions.

The kingdome of God, is Righteous­nesse, Peace and Ioy in the holy Ghost. The Eunuke reioyced, and so did the Centurion after they had beleeued, and Christ said to his disciples re­ioyce, that your names are written in [Page 24] heauen, &c. To what end I say, all this Peace, and Ioy? but to insi­nuate that faith assureth the con­science, and expelleth feare: and doubts: for where doubts raigne, there is neither Peace, nor Ioy, no sound comfort nor rest, and there­fore Christ reprooueth Peter, sc: O man of little faith wherefore didst thou doubt?

Ob.XI. I denie not, but that euery beleeuer is subiect to doubts, nay I adde more: where no doubts are, there is no true faith, as long as wee carry about vs this body of death Rom. 7..

Ans. But this is it, I vrge vpon your faith, that these doubts are infirmi­ties of the flesh, and not vertues of the spirit, and therefore wee are to pray, and fight against them all the dayes of our liues.

Amplified.When the eye of faith is dimme, the eye of the flesh is too much ope­ned,Ob. when wee feele our miseries, more then Gods mercies: when the Lord seemes to stand a farre off, to hide his face, and hold his hand [Page 25] in his bosome, and to be deaf at our cries. Then the Saints of GOD power out these dolefull songs, My God, my God, why hast thou forsa­ken mee Psal. 22? Will the Lord absent him­selfe for euer? will hee shew no more fa­uour? Is his mercie cleane gone for e­uer? doth his promise faile for euer­more? Hath God forgotten to bee gra­tious? doth hee shut vp his mercies in displeasure? Psal. 77 Lord how long wilt thou hide thy selfe, and shall thy wrath burne like fire?

The arrows of the Almighty are with­in me, the poyson wherof drinketh vp my spirit. The terrors of God doe set them­selues in array of battell against mee Iob. 6.4. Hee teareth mee in his wrath, who ha­teth mee, hee gnasheth vpon me with his teeth, mine enemie sharpeneth his eyes vpon mee Iob. 16.9, strange words, not farre from despaire.

Ans. But these are the conflicts, which the Captaines of the Lords armies, & the most chosen children of his right hand sometimes endure, the Lyons themselues sometimes roare [Page 26] with such passions; how, shall not the lambs tremble? If the soules of the perfit, which haue beene fed with the marrow of fatnesse, and haue drunke of the fulnesse of Gods cup haue thus fainted for want of releefe? much more the vn­perfet and weake consciences, which scarse haue tasted how good the Lord is.

All this is true, and cannot bee gaine-said. But after a time the faithfull gather strength againe, and are heated at the Sunne-shine of Gods mercies. They enter into the Sanctuarie of the Lord, and there behold their infirmities with griefe, and reprooue themselues, because their feete was almost gone, and howsoeuer they say in their haste, that all men are liars, yet by leasure they repent of it: and so Iob after his doubts, is strengthned by faith, and faith, I know that my Redeemer liueth. Though hee kill mee, yet will I trust in him Iob. 15. & 19.. And Dauid checks his soule, Why art thou disquieted within [Page 27] mee? hope thou in God Ps. 42.11.

The Apostle pithily expresseth our meaning, haesitantes, sed non pror­sus haerentes, staggering, [...]. but not who­ly sticking2. Cor. 4. So that at last faith doth ouercome these doubts, and triumpheth euer ouer death, saying, O death where is thy sting, O graue where is this victorie 1. Cor. 15?

Nay vnder the thickest clouds, shee beholdeth some beames of Gods mercies, in the shaddow of death, shee embraceth life, in the pit of despaire shee casteth the anchor of her hope in the bowels of Gods compassions, and being cast downe by the flesh, shee is rai­sed by the spirit, that shee may say with Paul, Who shall seperate vs from the loue of Christ Rom. 8?

For as the springs are dried vp in a hot Summer,Simile. and the trees are without leaues in a cold win­ter. As the Sunne is hidden with a cloude: the Starres with the Sunne, and the Fire with the ashes. As in a Sound the actions of life appeare [Page 28] not. So in the heate of Gods wrath the cooling waters of his grace are dried vp: In the winter of our afflictions, our faith lieth hid in the ground without leaues, flower or fruit. The cloudes of Gods indignation doe hide the beautie of his face, whereby wee should bee comforted. The bright­nesse of his Maiestie obscureth the lights of our persons, & the sparkes of grace lie hid vnder the ashes of our crosses: Being in this sound, and sleepe, wee are liker dead, then liuing men. But waite a while, then comfort will come againe, and faith will conquer, and bud foorth, re­pentance will yeeld her fruits, and charity will shine bright to our comfort, and Gods glorie. For in a moment haue I hid my face from thee, but in great mercies will I gather thee. The mountaines shall depart, and the hills bee remooued, but my kindnesse shall not depart from thee, neither shall the couenant of my peace be remooued, saith the Lord, that hath mercie one thee Esa. 54..

Nay euen against sense and rea­son faith layeth hold on Gods mercies, as Christ did, saying, My God, my God, &c.

And when the Diuell tempteth, the world allureth, the flesh yeeld­eth, then faith resisteth. And if our faith were perfit, wee should not doubt at all. And without this cer­titude, faith is but a maske, and the beleeuer but an hypocrite: and therfore, Christ saith to Peter. O man of little faith, &c.

The Grounds.

XII. The Grounds Grounds. of this cer­titude are not our merits or works. For what can wee merit of God, that cannot challendge a pecce of bread as our owne without Gods grace and guift? and to whom God saith in his law, that hee sheweth mercie to a thousand generations, euen then when wee loue him, and keepe his commaundements? This sandy ground of workes, is it whereon [Page 30] the foolish Romanists haue built the houses of their consciences, and therefore when the winds of Gods wrath doe blow, or the waues of temptations beate against them, they cannot stand as they confesse it. Their houses fall, and the ruine is great, so that their Religion can­not afford them any sound comfort in life nor death.

But wee like wise men (so called by our Sauiour, Mat. 7.Math. 7.) haue built our house vpon a Rocke, that can­not be mooued, nor sapped, namely, the Rocke, of 1. Gods mercies, 2.Diuis. Christs merits, and efficacie, 3. The Word and Sacraments, 4. The testimonie of Gods Spirit, and ours.

Part 1 XIII. For when wee endeauor to settle our consciences,Mercie. and assure our saluation, wee goe out of our selues, knowing that in our flesh their dwelleth no good thing Rom. 7.. And we doe fixe our faith in the bowels of Gods mercies, from whence the day starre from one high hath visited vs Luk. 1.. And so [Page 31] anchoring our hope within the vaile, where Christ is, wee say vnto God in our Prayers.

Behold we are miserable sinners, and who more miserable then wee, we are miserie it selfe: and thou art merciful, & who more merciful then thee, thou art mercie it selfe. Doe then thine office, O Father of mer­cies, and take away my miseries, for thine owne names sake. Thou hast done it to others. To Dauid a mur­therour, Salomon an idolatour, Ma­nasses a sorcerer: To Peter that de­nied thee, Paul that persecuted thee, and to many of the Iewes that cru­cified thee; why then doe it vnto me, who am a man, as they, a sinner as they, thine enemie, as they were. For thou art alwaies the same Ps. 102: Thou art the Lord, and art not chan­ged.

If Satan obiect,Ob. knowest thou not that God is iust, and thatExod. 34. & 20. He will not hold the guilty, as not guilty, but will punish the iniquity of the fathers vpon the children, to the third, and forth ge­neration, [Page 32] thinkest thou that God can denie himselfe?

Answ. No Satan, I doe not thinke so, I doe not thinke so: But rather I ac­knowledge that God in his wis­dome hath so tempered iustice and mercie, in Christ, that both haue their full accomplishment to Gods glorie and our saluation in him.

And this is the second ground of my confidence.

Part. 2 XIIII. Namely Christs merits, For God hath made him, Merits. that knew no sinne, to be sinne for vs, that wee may be the righteousnesse of God in him 2. Cor. 5.. For he hath borne our sorrowes, and through his stripes, wee are healed Esa. 53.3.. Hee died for our sinnes, and rose for our iustifica­tion Rom. 4.25.. Hee hath freed vs from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for vs Gal. 3.. And so hee hath redeemed vs by his bloud out of euery tribe, and tongue and nation Reu. 5 9.

Ob.And you neede not say, This is true in generall, but may not be ap­plied in particular.

Ans. For whatsoeuer Christ did, hee [Page 33] did it for vs. And without this particular faith, Christs merits would bee no more beneficiall to mee,Simile. then a feast to him that cannot enioy it, then a potion to the sicke, and a salue to the wounded being not applied.

To vs a childe was borne, to vs a Son was giuen Esa 9.5 Luke 2.. Hee was our Emanuel Esa. 7.. God with vs: And was made of God his Father, our wisdome, iustifi­cation, sanctification, and redemption 1. Cor 1.. Ours I say, seeing we are his people, for hee was called Iesus, that hee might saue his people from his sinnesMat. 1.2.

He saued Vs, I say, seeing wee are penitent sinners, for this word is certaine, and worthy to bee receiued, that Christ came into the world to saue sin­ners 1. Tim. 1. Vs I say, seeing we groane vnder the burden of our sinnes. For hee crieth, Come vnto me all you that are loaden, and I will refresh you Mat. 11..

You, saith Christ, that are my sheepe, for my sheepe heare my voice and follow mee, and I will giue them eternall life Ioh. 16.

And I may not doubt of Christs Merits, seeing they are sufficient. Nor of his efficacie in applying them by this Spirit, seeing all power is giuen him in heauen and in earth. Nay hee maketh Intercession for vs, and wee know that his Father hea­reth him alwaies Ioh. 11 Heb. 4.. Seeing then wee haue such a high Priest Iesus the Sonne of God, who hath peirced the heauens in our name, and there prepareth vs a place, hauing accomplished on earth all his fathers will concerning our saluati­on. Let vs hold fast our profession, and let vs goe with assurance of faith to the throne of grace, that wee may obtaine mercie, and finde grace to helpe in time of need.

If any one yet doubt, may wee not rebuke him as Christ did Peter, saying, O man of little faith, &c.

Now whatsoeuer hath beene de­liuered touching Gods mercies, and Christs merits, that is, of Gods good will towards vs in Christ, wee haue learned it out of Gods Word, which is the externall obiect of our faith.

[Page 35]XV.Word and Sacra­ment. And this is the third ground of our assurance, namely the Word of God: Not the Law, but the Gospell, to speake properly. The pro­mises reuealing Gods will in Christ: Therefore not Legall, but Euange­licall.

The Gospell speakes but in gene­rall,Ob. therefore your faith can bee but generall, and you haue neede of a particular reuelation to assure your conscience by a particular faith.

Answ. I answere, that asRom. 4 Abraham, Ioh. 20 Thomas, Gal. 2 Paul, 1. Ioh. 3 Iohn, did applie vnto themselues the promises of God by a particular faith; so ought we to doe.

1. For what they did, was not by a speciall reuelation, but by the Spirit of Adoption, and the nature of a true iustifying faith common to all the Elect. And therefore they speake in the plurall number in the places alleadged. And Paul saith, of Abraham, Rom. 4.23.24. That it was not written for him alone, but for vs also, to whom faith shalbe imputed [Page 36] for righteousnesse.

And Christ said of Thomas, Ioh. 20. Because thou hast seene thou hast beleeued, blessed are they that haue not seene, and yet haue beleeued. Whence appeares that neither Abraham, nor Thomas, nor Paul, nor Iohn, in assu­ring themselues, & applying Gods promises to their consciences, did any thing extraordinarie, but that which is required of euery belee­uer to bee saued: for wee haue the same spirit they had 2. Cor. 4, though not in the same measure.

2 Againe. Though Christ in his Word speake not to euerie one of vs, in particular, as he did to the sick of the palsey. Cofide fili; bee of good cheere my sonne, thy sinnes are forgiuen thee Mat. 9. And to the woman, Thy faith hath saued thee, goe in peace Luk. 7. Yet the indefinite propositions of Scripture are equiualent with a thousand par­ticulars.

1 Therefore when wee heare, That hee which beleeueth, shall not pe­rish Ioh. 3. That hee which calleth vpon the [Page 37] name of God shalbe saued Ioel. 2. That Christ came to saue sinners 1. Tim. 1, to heale the sicke Mat. 9, free the captiues Esa. 61, refresh the wearie Mat. 11., satisfie the hungrie Math. 5 Iohn 6., To quicken the dead Eph. 2., saue what was lost, To saue his people Mat. 1., his sheepe Ioh. 10., those that were giuen him Ioh. 6.; that morne Esa. 61., in Sion, & are of a contrite Ps. 51., poore Mat. 5., and humble Esa. 57. spirit. And many such like comfortable senten­ces in Scripture.

2 The sanctified conscience will draw the Assumption. I know I am such, I feele it, as well as I can feele, I liue, see and walke: for na­ture is not more powerfull to per­swade me that I liue as a man, then grace can be to assure me that I liue as a Christian.

3 Therefore faith will make the conclusion of this Demonstration, and say, I shall not perish, but I shall liue for euer, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Heauen and earth shall passe, but one iote of Gods word shall not passe without his full ac­complishment Mat. 5. Luk. 21..

And to what end else all our Christian meetings? Doth not the Minister stand in Christs roome; threatning and promising, instruct­ing and rebuking, planting, and roo­ting out, building and destroying, loosening and binding, opening and shutting, as hauing the keyes of heauen. Doth not hee speake sometimes in generall. Beleeue, and repent, and you shalbe saued, but some­times in particular, as Paul to the Centurion, Act. 10. and Nathan to Dauid. Tu es homo, Thou art the man, and Christ to Peter. Simon dormis? Peter sleepest thou? Mar. 14.

And therefore saluation is of faith, that the promise may bee sure to the whole seed Rom. 4.. Not sure in gene­rall, but to the seed in particular ap­plied.

Sacra­ments.And to what other end, the ad­ministration of the Sacraments? doth not the Pastor applie the signes of Baptisme, and the Lords Supper, and euery child, or beleeuer receiue the same signes, with this [Page 39] vse and relation, that as truely as they are made partakers of the one, so truly they receiue the other to the encrease of faith, and assurance of saluation? And therefore.

Circumcision is called the seale of the righteousnesse of faith Rom. 4.. And those that are baptised haue put on Christ Gal. 3.. And Christ saith to his disciples. Take, eate, this is my body, which is gi­uen for you Mat. 26.. The name of the thing signified is attributed to the exter­nall signe, to assure vs, that in be­leeuing wee shalbe as certainely made partakers of all Christs merits; as by taking with the hand, and ea­ting with the mouth wee enioy the terrestriall elements for the preser­uation of this temporall life.

Now euery Christian knoweth hee doth beleeue, by the roote, groath, and fruits of his faith.

By the roote, because it procee­deth from the spirit crying in the heart, Abba Father, and is grounded vpon the pure word of God.

By the groath, because it is nur­rished [Page 40] by the same meanes, it was conceiued in our mindes and hearts, as the childe is nursed with the same bloud hee was first concei­ued.

By the fruits. For his heart is to­wards God as the drie land Psal. 143. As the heart panteth after the water brookes, so panteth his soule after his God Psal. 42..

O when (saith hee) shall I enter, and present me before thy glorious face, euen in that house, whereof thou art the Maister builder, and not man? O who shall deliuer me out of this body of death Rom. 7.! I desire to be dissolued, and to be with Christ Phil. 1.. O when shall I say with Simeon. Now lettest thou thy seruant depart in peace Luk. 2.. And yet, nec pudet viuere, nec piget mori. I am neither a shamed to liue, nor grieued to die.

If it be thy will, O Lord, I should liue to serue thee, thy will bee done. If thou sayest to my heart, seeke my face, I wil answer, I will seeke thy face, O my God Ps. 27.8..

If thou sayest, Do my wil, I will an­swer, [Page 42] Here I am come, I take a delight to doe thy will, O my God. Thy lawes are written within mee Ps. 40.7.. My heart is dis­posed, O my God, my heart is disposed, I will sing, and giue praise. Awake vp my glorie, awake Psalterie and Harpe, I will praise thee amongst the people, I will sing vnto thee amongst the Nati­ons Ps. 57.8..

Thus the roote, groath, and fruits. The disposition of the heart, the o­bedience of life, the petition of the lips, with the desire of death to glo­rifie God, are euidences of my faith, and that in truth I haue applied the Gospell to my saluation. And therefore the mercies of God, the merits of Christ, and the truth of the Gospell shalbe sure grounds for my faith to build vpon. And if any yet doubt, wee may say vnto him, as Christ to Peter. O man of little faith, &c.

But in comes Bellarmin with his.Ob. Bell: de Iustif: l. 3. cap. 8. Nemo tenetur, nec potest, nec expedit; No man ought, or can, or may so assure himselfe.

Ans. (Beloued) hold this for one of the greatest lies, that euer came from Rome. What? that no man is bound to haue that which God com­mandeth? That none can haue, that which God promiseth? that none may haue that which hee giueth? who will not hold him for a liar, that publisheth such vntruths?

1 As oft as God cammands vs to beleeue in the Gospell Mark. 1.. To aske in faith Iam. 1., And condemneth doubtings Mat. 21.: so oft doth hee command vs to ap­plie in particular the remission of our sinnes. For, I doe proue that the faith required in the Gospell is a particular, not a generall faith, a iustifying, not an hystoricall faith.

2 Againe, as oft as God promiseth to heare such prayers, so oft hee pro­miseth to graunt vs this particular remission of sinnes.

3 And lastly, as oft as the Gos­pell is preached, so oft this particu­lar faith, and remission of sinnes is graunted vnto the Elect. This be­ing the difference betweene the [Page 43] Law, and the Gospell. That the Law commandeth and sheweth our dutie, but giueth not power to per­forme it. The Gospell in comman­ding giueth the hability, power, and effect, to beleeue and obey, where­upon it is called the Ministery of the spirit 2. Cor. 3.

Therefore I conclude, that either a man may be assured of his saluati­on resting vpon these fore-named grounds, or else Gods mercies are changeable: Christs merits and power in-sufficient; The Word is a fable. The Sacraments are false seales: But cursed be hee that saith and beleeueth this. Therefore A­nathema, Anathema, to the Church of Rome, that saith a man ought not, nor cannot, nor may not, assure him­selfe in particular of the remission of his sinnes, and of life euerlast­ing.

XVI.Part. 4. Gods Spi­rit and ours. The last ground for the assurance of our saluation, is the te­stimonie of the spirit of God, and of our spirit. The holy Ghost witnessing [Page 44] to our spirits that we are the adopted sonnes of God Rom. 8.. And that after this manner.

Because wee are sonnes, God the Fa­ther hath sent the Spirit of his Sonne in our hearts crying. Abba Father Gal. 4.4.. Thence we conclude, that wee are the sonnes of God, and therefore heires of God, and coheires with Christ Rom. 8.. Because our hearts are mooued to crie with confidence vnto God, as vnto a Father, and this spirit of pray­er, and of faith, is giuen onely to the sonnes of God.

2 Now when our spirits being sanctified, are enlightned with this faith, and our consciences purified from dead workes, then euen our spirits can witnesse with the spirit of God within vs, that wee are the children of God, and therefore shall not perish, because this faith, and repentance bringing forth good fruits are giuen only to the elect, to Gods chosen sonnes and daughters.

Hence the Holy Ghost is called a seale Eph. 1.13. & 4.30.. Yea were sealed with the Holy [Page 45] Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance. Greeue not the Ho­ly Spirit of God, whereby yee are sealed vnto the day of redemption.

It is also called, A pledge, an ear­nest penny. For God who hath sealed vs, hath giuen vs the earnest of his spirit in our hearts 2 Cor. 1.2..

This seale, this earnest penny are notes of the assurance of our hearts, where the Holy Ghost dwelleth as in his Temple.

And now if our Conscience na­turally is instar mille testium, as good as a thousand witnesses: how much stronger is it to perswade vs, being sanctified by the spirit of truth Ioh 14. and 36..

And thus in the Law, vnder the witnesse of two or three, euery thing was confirmed, and ratified. Now wee haue foure witnesses vnreproo­uable: two externall, the Word and Sacraments: two internall, the Spirit of God, with our spirits.

Therefore either my conclusion is true, That a man may assure him­selfe [Page 46] of his saluation, or else the pre­mises are false.

But cursed be hee that saith, God is not constant in mercie: Christ is not of sufficient will and power to saue; The Word and Sacraments, are false badges. The Spirit of God, and our spirit are false wit­nesses.

Therefore Anathema, Anathema, to the Church of Rome, that teacheth a man may not be assured of his sal­uation.

Of perseuerance.

XVII. But the Romanists say, Though now you may bee assured of Gods fauour,Of our perseue­rence. and of your salua­tion, yet you cannot bee assured to continue to the end: For the way to heauen is long, tedious, very hard to keepe. Multa cadunt inter calicen suprema (que) labra. Many things fall betweene the lip and the cup, and therefore you cannot bee assured of your saluation.

I answere, Ans. Hee that giueth this good beginning for his owne names sake, will perfit the worke­manship of his fingers, for his glory sake.

The plant which the Father hath not planted shalbe rooted out Mat. 15. There­fore that which hee hath planted shall neuer bee rooted out. That which hee builds shall neuer bee throwne downe: Therefore the iust is like the tree planted by riuers of waters Psal. 1.. Like the greene Olius tree in the house of the LordPsal. 52.. Like the Palme tree, or like the Cedars of Lebanon Psal. 92., and like vnto the mount Sion, that cannot bee moouedPs. 125., and therefore hee is perswaded Rom. 8., that nei­ther high nor low, things present, nor things to come, can seperate him from the loue God beareth vn­to him in Christ.

The Grounds.

XVIII.The Grounds. And the grounds of this perseuerance, are not our merits [Page 48] or workes: for that is the reddiest way to assure our damnation. If wee should any wayes trust in our selues, wee could not stand one mo­ment. Thus wee should fall away totaly, and finally, as all hypocrites doe.

But the foundation of our perse­uerance, is God, the Father the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Part. 1 The Fathers, 1. loue. 2. decree, 3. promise.

1 His loue, for saith he, I haue lo­ued thee with an eternall loue. There­fore haue I prolonged my kindnesse vnto thee Ier. 31.3..

Loue I say so great: That he hath giuen vs his onely Sonne, Ioh. 3. &c. and therefore hee will not deny all other things with him Rom. 8..

Ob. If wee be surprised in some fault, He will visit our tansgressions, and cha­stice vs with stripes; Answ. but he will not take away his louing kindnesse from vs for euer Psal. 89. Nay, hee will rather send vs a Nathan to reprooue vs, as hee did to Dauid 2. Sam. 12.. Or looke vpon Luk. 22.6 vs, as [Page 49] Christ did one Peter. And though we fall, yet shall we not be vtterly cast downe, for the Lord vpholdeth vs with his hand Psal. 37..

Otherwise hee were not a true, and heauenly Father: seeing hee hath the will and power to make vs such as is fitting, by taking away our stony hearts Ezech. 36..

2 And it must be so, because of Gods decree. His knowledge is certaine, his will is iust, & power in­finite. Therefore the foundation of the Lord is sure, hauing this seale, GOD knoweth who are his 2. Tim. 2..

Therefore the false Prophets, and false Christs with their lying mi­racles would seduce euen the Elect, if it were possible Mat. 24. Though Marie Magdalin haue seuen diuels. Peter denie Christ; Paul persecute him. Yet not one of them shall perish, because those that he hath predestina­ted, he hath called; and those that hee hath called, hee hath iustified; and those that he hath iustified, he hath glorifi­ed Rom. 8.. The future glorie of the Elect, [Page 50] is as certaine, as if it were past. And hence ariseth this confidence.

Hee that hath begunne this worke in vs, will perfit it, till the day of the Lord Iesus Phil. 1.9. And thus the doctrine of predestination is so farre from sha­king the faith and hope of our sal­uation, as that rather it doth con­firme it, as the principall ground thereof.

3 Now God will bee iustified in all his workes, and therefore hee will performe whatsoeuer hath proceeded out of his lippes. God is not a man, that he should lie, neither the Sonne of man that hee should repent: hath he said, and shall he not doe it? Or hath he spoken, and shall hee not make it good Numb. 23.? I will (saith hee) giue them one heart, and one way, that they may feare me for euer: I will make an eter­nall conuenant with them, that I will not turne away from them to doe them good, but I will put my feare in their hearts that they shall not depart from me Ier. 32..

And this promise of the new Co­uenant [Page 51] is not conditionall, for so none should bee saued, if GOD should waite for our faith, and per­seuerance, but it is absolute, pro­ceeding from his free grace.

Part. 2 Againe, this perseuerance is grounded on Christs merits, and power. And therefore (saith hee) whatsoeuer my Father giueth mee com­meth vnto me, and I will not cast him out, but I will raise him againe, and giue him eternall life Ioh. 6..

No man shall take my sheepe out of my hands, for my Father which gaue them me, is stronger then all, and no man can take them out of his hands Ioh. 10.. To this end hee Prayed for Peter Luk. 22., and for Vs Ioh. 17., and was heard Ioh. 11.. And who would suffer one of his members to be cut off, if he could otherwise pre­uent it? And hath not Christ bought vs at a high rate, with his pretious bloud 1. Pet. 1.? And thinke you hee will loose, that which hath cost him so deere?

Part. 3 Last of all: This perseuerance is grounded on Gods spirit: for (saith [Page 52] Christ) hee shall dwell with you for e­uer Ioh. 14.. And hee shalbe the earnest of your inheritance, vntill the redemp­tion of the purchased possession Eph. 1.. Hence it is compared to a spring of water Ioh. 4.. And as you haue heard, to a seale, or earnest penny. And all this in truth Ioh. 16., for hee cannot, and will not deceiue vs.

Therefore, either this Conclusion is true. That we may be assured of our perseuerance in faith, and loue, vnto the end of our full redemption, or else these premises are false.

But cursed be he that saith, God is no sure ground for vs to trust vpon. His loue is variable, his will change­able, his promise deceitfull. Christs merits are made voide by our sinnes, his arme is too short to deliuer vs, and his prayers are neglected. The Holy Ghost is a false messenger, a counterfet seale, and a troublesome host: for if this were so, the Bible were but a fable, the Gospell a ridle, and Religion but a tricke of wit and policie.

Therefore, Anathema, nay Ma­ranatha, is denounced and decreed in the Counsell of Heauen, against the Chapter of Trent, for teaching that a man may not bee assured of his saluation. If therefore any one of you (beloued) laying hold one these hookes, and building vpon such a rocke, doth neuerthelesse wa­uer in his heart, wee may reprooue him, as Christ did Peter, saying. O man of little faith wherefore didst thou doubt?

And thus much for the first part, sc: The confirmation of the Truth.

Part. 2. [...].

1 Now it is high time for vs to examine our Aduersaries Obiect: It may be, I haue wearied the patience of some, in this first part. But they who know the weight of this Con­trouersie, know, that a building which must reach to heauen, ought to haue a deepe foundation. The taller Oke, and the higher Ceder; the more compasse the roote re­quires [Page 54] vnder earth. And those who are exercised in this spirituall building, or planting, know I haue omitted of set purpose many orna­ments from the Fathers, and others, euen from our Aduersaries store-house, to beautifie this worke.

But the desire I haue to finish it, and to giue it his full proportion in all points necessarie, I haue conten­ted my selfe hetherto with Christ the corner-stone, and with the te­stimonie of Scripture, the onely rule for Articles of faith, and salua­tion.

Behold then the suttlety, and di­ligence of Satan to trouble, and de­stroy. The Romanists alledge out of Scripture.Diuision. First, Testimonies. Secondly, Examples. Thirdly, Rea­sons, to prooue that faith cannot be a certaine particular perswasion, & much lesse assure vs of our perseue­rance till wee come to perfection.

Obiections agains Certitude of faith.

Ob. 1 1 The Testimonies are drawne from the Old, and New Testament.

From the Old Testament. As,

Who can say I haue cleansed my heart. Prou. 20.8

Men know neither loue nor hatred by all that is before them. Eccles. 9.1

Who knoweth whether the Lord will returne, and leaue meate offerings, &c? Ioel. 2.14.

From the New Testament. As,

I finde my selfe guilty of nothing, 1. Cor. 4.4. yet am not I iustified thereby.

Worke out your saluation with feare, Phil. 2. &c.

Be not high minded, but feare. Rom. 11.

Blessed is he that feareth alwayes. Prou. 28.

I answere. Answ.

1 To the Prou. 20.

1 It is true, no man can say hee hath purged himselfe, that commeth from God.

2 No man is throughly clean­sed in this life.

2 To that of Eccles. 9.

1 The Text alledged by the [Page 56] Romanists is corrupt.

2 True, none can know by our externall estate the condition of the Elect, or Reprobate, because God maketh his sun to shine vpon good and bad. Mat. 5. Otherwise, by in­ternall, and externall tokens (as we shewed before) Paul, Iohn, Abraham knew they were loued of God, and so all beleeuers know.

3 To that of Ionas, and Ioel, wee answere.

1 Who knoweth? intimateth the difficulty to haue such hainous sins pardoned, to rouse them to a seri­ous repentance.

2 Or else he speaketh of tempo­rall blessings, which being asked with condition, wee depend on Gods will, as Mat. 8. If thou wilt thou canst heale me.

4 To that of Paul. 1. Cor. 4.4. I an­swer. True, Paul was not iustified by his workes, though innocent in his Ministerie.

5 But the last testimony of Feare, seemes to crosse the assurance of faith [Page 57] diametrially: therefore more labor is here required. And if we breake this speare or staffe, they haue no­thing left to runne against vs, or to leane vpō, with any hope of victory.

This will giue Bellarmine the lie, & stop with a wisp Stapletons crowing throate, that they shalbe able to finde nothing henceforth to insult against the Gospell.Feare 4.

Consider then foure kindes of feare. 1. Natural. 2. Of distrust. 3. Seruile. 4. Filiall.

1 The Naturall feare, is an infir­mitie, but no sinne, and therefore was found inHeb. 5.7 Christ.

2 That of diffidence, is a hainous crime, when we feare man more then God, or trust man, more then God, and Christ. And this is oft ioy­ned with a seruile feare.

3 The Seruile, and Filiall feare wher­of is spoken Rom. 8. Differ thus.

1 In Subiect: for that is in the Re­probate this in the Elect: that in a polluted, this a sanctified conscience.

2 In the Obiect. For that looketh [Page 58] to the punishment, this to the sinne: that commeth after, this goeth be­fore sinne: If the wicked feared not Hell, he would harden his heart, and sell himselfe to doe euill in Gods sight: but though there were nei­ther Heauen nor Hell, the righteous would not sinne, because it is euill in his owne nature, and offendeth the Maiestie of so good a Father.

3 In Effects. For that is full of anguish and dispaire; And there­fore it maketh Adam to flie, Cain to forsake Gods seruice, and Iudas to hang himselfe. Whereas the o­ther, begets in vs a great care not to sin, and a ioy, that we cannot perish.

Simile.As he that frō the steeple lookes downe-wards, and trembles; but considering how hee is fenced, and mured in with battlements, reioy­ceth in his assurance, & layeth hold on them with greater care. Where­upon the Psalmist saith, Serue the Lord with feare, and reioyce with tremb­ling Psal. 2. There feare and ioy, assurance and trembling are ioyned together.

[Page 59]4 They differ in the End: for seruile feare deserueth death Reue. 21.8.. But this filial feare maketh a man happy Prou. 28.. Feare then is so farre from shaking my former foundation of confidēce, as that it doth rather establish it. According to the prouerbe. Timere qui scit, scit tuto aggredi. He that can feare, will make sure worke.

Now this feare of distrust, or ser­uile feare is alwaies condemned in Scripture. Feare not, O house of Israel, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God, I haue redeemed thee, and called thee by thy name, thou art mine Esa. 41..

And this feare God takes away from beleeuers, That being freed from the hands of all our enemies, wee may serue him without feare, in holinesse and righteousnes, all the dayes of our liues Luk. 1.. For wee haue not receiued the spirit of bondage to be againe in feare, but wee haue receiued the spirit of adoption, by the which we crie, Abba, Father Rom. 8.. And therefore Christ said to his disciples,Luk. 12. feare not little flocke. And he rebuketh them for this feareMat. 8.. As hee doth [Page 60] here Peter, sc: O man of little faith, &c.

Now compare these prohibitions with the Romish iniunctions, and they agree as fire and water.

And yet this doth not exclude that filiall feare, wee owe vnto so good a Father: that feare I say, which proceedeth from loue, and a­greeth with Christian humility, or modestie, grounded vpon our owne weakenesse, and Gods Maiestie.

Therefore Paul exhorts vs to worke out our saluation with feare and trembling Phil. 2., because God worketh in vs the will and the deed according to his good pleasure, we are able to doe nothing of our selues.

And hee perswadeth the Romans not to be high-minded but feare Rom. 11, be­cause of Gods iudgements hee had sent vpon the Iewes, who were Ex­amples 1. Cor. 10 for vs, that we should stand by faith, and feare lest we fall 1. Cor. 10., by presumption as the Iewes had done.

And the more wee feare thus in humility in modestie, the more wee are assured of Gods protection, for [Page 61] this is the head of wisdome Prou. 1., and the whole of man Eccles. 12..

And thus wee haue broken our enemies speare to the gantlet, and haue wringed the staffe out of their hands. And if neuerthelesse they will perfeuer in their feares and doubts; wee may iustly reprooue them, as Christ doth Peter. O man of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And thus much against the cer­tainty of faith.

Obiection against perseuerance.

Ob. 2 III. Now they Obiect against Perseuerance, after this manner.

When the righteous shall forsake his righteousnesse &c Ezech. 18.. The parable of the seed Luk. 8. &c. Hee shalbe cut off, Ioh. 15.3 &c. Charity shall waxe cold, Mat. 24. &c. Many shall depart from the faith, 1. Tim. 41. &c. Some haue made shipwrake of faith 1. Tim. 1.19.. It is vnpossible that those if they fall, should be renewed vnto repentance Heb. 6.4..

Examples. 1. The Diuels. 2. Adā. 3. Saul, Dauid, Salomon, Peter, Paul, [Page 62] Iudas, Simon Magus, &c. All fell from grace, therefore there is no as­surance for our perseuerance.

Answ. I answere by distinguishing.

  • 1. The righte­ous.
  • 2. Faith.

Part. 1 1 There are two kinds of righteous, the one in their owne opinion, or the Churches, and such may deceiue, and be deceiued; they may fall finally, & totaly, as Saul, Iudas, Simon Magus, &c. and of such Christ said, I came not to call the righteous, Mat. 9. &c. Such as the proud Pharisie Luk. 18.. And of such Ezechiel speaketh. The other are righteous in truth, before God, and such if they fall, they shall not vtter­ly be cast away, for the Lord vphold­eth them with his right hand Psal. 37. And of such, if you vnderstand the Prophet Ezechiel. The condition if, implies not a possibility on Gods part, that he will forsake them so farre, as to suffer them to walke in all the waies of the wicked to the end.

2 Faith is two-fold, as you haue heard, quam, & qua credimus: The [Page 63] which, and with the which wee be­leeue. This is common, as the Extraor­dinary and miraculous, or Ordinarie, as the historicall, and Temporarie faith. The other is proper to the Elect, as the iustifying faith.

Many haue forsaken true Religi­on, and the profession of faith. Nay, they are fallen away from a miracu­lous, temporarie, and historicall faith, totaly and finally, as all the hypocrites, and reprobates. But though the Saints haue felt their iu­stifying faith much decayed in tēp­tations, yet it was neuer rooted out of their hearts, and these quames endured not to the end, as you see in Dauid, Peter, Paul and others.

3 The Hypocrites may bee thought in the iudgement of the Church, and in their owne conscience to bee members of Christ, and of his Church. But when the Lord of the Vineyard shall begin to prune his vine, and take in hand the sickle of iustice, he will then cut off these dead branches that seemed to bee [Page 64] grafted in the Vine, and cast them into the fire. For they were in the Church as vermin in a mans head, or as a woodden leg tyed to the body, but drawes not a drop of bloud frō thence, and therefore being cut downe, the Church is rather eased, then diminished by their losse.

4 And as for those that sinne a­gainst the Holy Ghost, it is impossible they should bee renewed vnto re­pentance. So that all these former testimonies fight not against the na­ture of iustifying faith, and the per­seuerance of the Saints whereof is our question.

Part. 2 And as little doe the Examples preuaile against it.Example.

For they alledge the Examples of euill Angels, and we speake of men.

They of Adam in his Creation, we of man redeemed in Christ, who knowes not that their conditions are farre different? And yet Adam fell not finally, but was restored by grace, Gen. 3. And therefore our doctrine is confirmed by this exam­ple. [Page 65] As for Saul, Achitophel, Iudas, Simon Magus; They were hypo­crites, and we speake of the righte­ous. As for Dauid, Salomon, Peter, Paul. They fell grieuously, but nei­ther totally, nor finally, as appeareth by their repentance, and Salomons Ecclesiastes, and Peters bitter Teares, and Pauls Conuersion.

And thus though our aduersaries mingled examples of diuers natures, and conditions, the wicked with the iust, the chaffe with the corne, to delude our eyes, yet you see how lit­tle they haue preuailed. And there­fore I come to my former Conclu­sion, that the righteous are assured of perseuerance, and who doubteth, is guilty of this censure. O man of little faith, &c.

Part. 3 Reason. Now I come to their Reasons: And they are foure.

Reas. 1 1 This particular faith is not com­prehended in the Creed, and therefore it is not to be allowed say they amongst Christians.

Answ. Bellarmin thou neuer knewest the [Page 66] true meaning of the Christian Creed, though thou takest vpon thee to be a chiefe Rabbi in Israel. For why doe I confesse, that I do be­leeue, but to note my particular faith, hauing God for mine Obiect? The Father, and here note his will and power, both pillars of my faith.

The Sonne: where obserue, his person, and offices, with his estate of humiliation, and exaltation, the spe­ciall obiect of my faith. And then the Holy Ghost, the efficient cause of faith. Then proceed to the Catho­like Church, of the which I beleeue, I am a true member; and therefore that here I receiue the remission of sinnes, and hereafter I shall rise in the flesh to meete Christ in the aire, and so be made partaker of eternall life in him. Take away this appli­cation, and you drie vp the verie fountaines of true Christian cōfort.

Reas. 2 But why then, saith Bellarmine, do you aske for that you are assured of? Your prayers for remission of sins, and for saluation are in vaine.

Ans. No Bellarmin they are not in vaine, but rather meanes, to receiue the blessings contained in the pro­mises. Dauid beleeued the promise, that his throne should bee establi­shed for euer, and yet he prayeth for it2. Sam. 7, Elias beleeued God would send raine according to his word, and yet he prayed on the mount for raine1. King. 18..

Daniel, was assured God would de­liuer his people out of Babylon, the captiuity of 70. yeares being expi­red, and yet he prayed for itDan. 9.. Christ knew he should bee glorified, and those his father had giuen him, and yet hee prayeth his Father to per­forme itIoh. 17.. Paul, knew that one of the ship should perish, and yet hee would not suffer the Mariners to ship away, & forsake their labourAct. 27.. Ezechias had a grant of 15. yeares longer to liue, yet must hee vse a plaster of drie figges for his soare2. King. 18.. Wee know GOD hath a care of vs, and will giue vs our dayly bread, and yet we must labour, and pray daily for it.

This is Gods wisdome, to make our prayers meet with his blessings. Thus mercie and iustice doe kisse each other. If faith and obedience doe ascend to glorifie God; grace and peace, shal descend to saue man.

Reas. 3 Many doe perswade themselues they shalbe saued, but are deceiued, for there are many presumptuous hypocrites, and Atheists. No man can know certitudine fidei, that hee hath faith and repentance, and shall be saued. All the promises of God to this purpose are but conditionall, if you beleeue, and perseuer: therefore none can be assured of saluation.

Answ. 1 If wee should reply the like vpon Bellarmine, I know he would not be well pleased. There are some Fooles, Hypocrites, and Atheists at Rome, therefore Bellarmin is one of them There haue beene Popes Sor­cerers and Atheists, therefore Paulus 5. is one. Who knoweth not, that from a particular to a ge­nerall affirmatiuely the conclusion followes not? There were fiue [Page 69] foolish Virgins, but there were also fiue wise. Some presumptuous hy­pocrites do deceiue thēselues, being drunke with their owne conceite; but others, who haue the spirit of truth, which is not deafe, dumb, nor dead, but quicke, and burning like fire in their bowels, know of a cer­tainty that God is their Father, and will so continue in Christ for euer, and therefore they are bold to crie vnto him, Abba, Father.

2 All the promises of God are not conditionall. Those that are essentiall to the Gospell are abso­lute, depending of Gods free and effectuall grace. For though hee require faith and repentance as con­ditions to be saued, yet by his Gos­pell he conferreth to his Elect these graces effectually, and powerfully in his due time: that the glorie may be wholy his.

3 Faith and workes are requi­red, not as merits, but as the way to saluation, sunt via regni, non causa regnandi. They are the way to the [Page 70] Kingdome of Heauen, not the cause why we raigne.

4 We need not certitudinē fidei, a cer­titude of faith to beleeue the remis­sion of sins, but only sense & feeling. As wee need not an other soule to perswade vs wee haue a soule, but onely let vs consult our reason and sense, wee shall be fully perswaded that we are men, & liue. And so by the roote, groath, and effects of a true iustifying faith, wee know that we beleeue, that we are iustified, and shalbe saued.

Thus the Patriarks, Prophets, & Apostles knew in whom they had beleeued, and reioyced that their names were written in heauen. And we haue the same spirit of faith that they had, and therefore we are boūd to the same duties to glorifie God our Father with our faith. For wee haue receiued the spirit that is of God, that we may know the things that are of God 1. Cor. 2.. And I pray you, is not faith on of the principall. Therfore he ex­horteth vs, saying. Proue your selues [Page 71] whether you be in the faith, or no, and if Christ in you, vnlesse you be reprobates 2. Cor. 13.5.. Where you may obserue these 3. things. 1. That wee may know we doe beleeue. 2. That by faith Christ dwelleth in our hearts. 3. That he which feeleth not this, is a reprobate.

The heart of man is deceitfull aboue all things, and who can know it Ier. 17.. It is true of an vnregenerate heart, but not of the renued heart, which is single, simple, pure, vpright, per­fect, and hath (as you haue heard) receiued the spirit of God to know the things that are of God.

Reas. 4 But carnal men, cal this presumptiō, and doubts, they esteeme as the ver­tue of humility & perfection of faith.

Answ. 1 Bellarmin, your too great con­ceit of your selfe, hath put you be­side the truth: you reele like a drunkard, and take white for black, light, for darkenesse.

Will you know what presumpti­on, and arrogancie is? and doe you hate these vices? forsake then your merits, and workes of supereroga­tion, [Page 72] your counsels of perfection, & such like.

2 If you account this presumption to beleeue in the Gospell, and obey Gods commandements, which wee esteeme Christian humility and mo­destie, we may then say with Augu­stin. Bona praesumptio est. Wee will bee thus presumptuous still, with the Pa­triarks, Prophets, Apostles, and Saints of God, that our Father may bee honored by our humility, wee may be eternally blessed in his wel­beloued.

3 But you that make the Diuell a Saint that you may worship him without remorse. Obserue here the difference betwixt a carnall, and spi­rituall security, betwixt presumptiō, & the confidence of a true Christian.

1 That is in the reprobrate, and is a vice: this is in the elect, and is a vertue, that comes from the flesh, this from the spirit.

2 That resteth one it selfe, this one God: that one surmises, this one the Word.

[Page 73]3 That despiseth the meanes, and yet will enioy the benefit: this vseth all good means, & by faith depends one Gods prouidence for the issue.

4 That comes one a suddaine, as a passiō or a flash of fire: this groweth vp by degrees, & that very slowly.

5 That is rash, & impudent, this is humble, modest, but very iealous.

6 That is licentious, and trouble­some, this is pure and quiet. That is oft drousie, & a sleepe, the Diuell keeping his hold: this is oft assaulted by Satan, but the issue of this warre is peace.

7 That is bold in prosperity, and forsakes in aduersity, as wee see in Balthasar, Dan. 5.9. But this is care­full in prosperity, and valiant in ad­uersity till shee ouercome. As the Palme tree she reares herselfe vp the more she is oppressed, as Christ did, who fled vnto his FatherMat. 26.. The dis­ciples to their MaisterMat. 8., and Peter to his SauiourMat. 14., so faith neuer ceaseth giuing and receiuing woonds, till shee obtaine the victorie through [Page 74] Christ, that strengtheneth her Phil. 4. Conclu­sion..

Thus hauing stripped our aduer­saries of all their weapons, and hun­ted them out of their lurking holes. Let vs returne to our fortresse: And with a garland of bayes on our fore­heads, and a palme in our hands, let vs sing praises vnto our Michael for this glorious victorie ouer the Dra­gon and his angels, and let vs bee ashamed of our manifold infirmities and doubts, whereby God is disho­nored, Christ denied, and our con­sciences troubled: and let this re­proch euer ring in our eares to quic­ken vs; O man of little faith, &c.

Vsus.

Vse. IIII. (Right honorable, Right worshipfull, and welbeloued) I haue by Gods grace,1. [...] Reproofe. and your honorable patience, layed open the error of the Romish Church in this one ar­ticle of the assurance of our Christi­an faith, Iudge you of their obstina­cie, and you shall conceiue of their malice, as was specified at the be­ginning of this Controuersie. The [Page 75] summe of all, will shadow out vnto your vnderstandings, the power & malice of Satan, with the miserie of Romish CatholikesEph. 2., the children of disobedience, who haue loued darke­nesse better then light Ioh. 3.. Then compare their Clergie with ours, you wil cry out. Twice & thrice happy England, by reason of the Gospell. For heere euery soule submits her selfe to higher powers Rom. 13., according to the Word, Rom. 13.1. The reuerend fathers of this Church waste thēselues as can­dles to giue light vnto others: the inferour Ministers labour to settle your consciences in the peace of God, though many wage warre a­gainst them for their paines. This Gospell of saluation brings peace to your consciences, ioy to your fami­lies, wealth to your cities, and glory to this nation. Take notice of this blessing, and giue God the praise.

Those that assure you in your tem­poralities, require a duetie at your hands, and that with good reason: But for my part, hauing assured your [Page 76] spirituall estate before God, all the acknowledgement I desire is, that you would honour my Ministerie this day with obediēce to this Gos­pell, that through my perswasion, you would hold doubts, as fruits of the flesh, and no part of faith, wor­thy of this censure. O man of little faith wherefore didst thou doubt?

And if any in this noble company hath heretofore graced the Romish Religion with their approbations, let thē distast it hence-forth, know­ing it is not able by their owne con­fession to giue any sound comfort to a Christian conscience. And if it maintained no other error, this were sufficient in Luthers iudgementLuth. in Gen. 41., to withdraw our selues from it. For e­uery Religion hath some doubts, but to command ignorance and distrust as vertues, this is to liue vnder a per­petuall curse Esa. 5. [...].. Therfore you that are yet intangled in the snares of super­stition, and in Gods election are the people of the Lord, come out of Baby­lon Reu. 18.. Saue your selues from that wic­ked [Page 77] generation Act. 2.: And be not partakers of other mens sins. 1. Tim. 5.2. [...] Correcti­on. But whilst I la­bour to roote out heresie out of the hearts of obstinate Papists. The pre­sumptuous hypocrite, had almost es­caped my censure. Come hither thou dissembling Protestant, and close Atheist, stay & take thy lesson with thee. Much hath beene said of the nature of faith, but thou hast no part, nor lot in this businesse, vnlesse thou repent, for thou art captiue in the snares of Satan, and in gaule of bitternesse Act. 8..

Thou saist thou beleeuest, that thy heart is assured, that thou fearest no man, no not the Diuell, that thou didst neuer doubt of thy saluation. Hypocrite thy heart is not right be­fore God. It cannot indite a good word Ps. 45.1., and thy workes are for the diuell. Thou approchest to GOD with thy lips, but thy heart is farre from him Esa. 49.. Thy peace is a carnall security; The diuell rockes thee a sleepe, that thou maist not auoide the perill. If thou neuer hast any doubts, thou neuer knewest what [Page 78] faith ment, and the combat of the flesh with the spirit. Thou knowest neither thy selfe, nor thine enemies.

Let my aduise please you at this houre. Pray God, that if it be possible this wickednesse may be pardoned Act. 8.. Did you neuer heare of Peters presūption? Or to come nerer vnto you. Looke vnto Saul, Achitophell, Iudas, Simon Magus, and by their falls labour to stand; by their finall destruction, striue to saue thy soule. And therefore vnto you I say; Behold the seuerity, and good­nesse of God. His seuerity on them that are fallen, his goodnesse towards thee if thou perseuerest in his goodnesse, other­wise thou shalt also be cut off. Therefore be not high-minded, but feare Rom. 11..

3. [...]. Comfort.But whilst I reason with the hy­pocrite to snatch him as a fire-brand out of the fire Iud. 6.. I see the weake Christian inclyning to dispaire. To applie then this balme of Gilead to the soares of Gods people for whom it was prepared. Let mee talke with thee a while.

Deare brother, what fearest thou? [Page 79] that Gods mercies are shut vp in displea­sure Psal. 77.? Harken what the Lord saithEsa. 54.7.8.. I haue forsaken thee for a moment, but with great mercies will I gather you. A little while haue I hid my face from thee in the time of my displeasure, but with euerlasting kindnesse will I returne vnto thee, saith the Lord, who hath mercie on thee. What fearest thou? That thou art not worthy of Gods fauours? If thou wert worthy, grace should not be grace: But harken: I, euen I, am he that blotteth out thy sinnes for mine owne names sake Esa. 43.. What fearest thou then? that thy sinnes are infinite? Know that where sinne aboundeth, there grace doth sur-abound p.Rom. 5. What fearest thou yet? that God hath for­gotten thee? Behold, though a mo­ther should forget the fruit of her wombe, yet I will not forget thee, O Sion, saith the Lord Esa. 49.14.. What fearest thou? that God hath altered his affection? The mountaines passe, and the hills are re­mooued, but my kindnesse shall not passe, nor the Couenant of my peace bee remoo­ued, saith the Lord, that hath compassion [Page 80] one thee Esa 54.10.. But yet thou shakest more then before. What fearest thou? That God is iust! know that God hath made him which knew no sinne, to be sinne for vs, that we might be the righteousnesse of God in him 2. Cor. 5.. But Christ died not for me. Art thou not a sinner? nay loaden with the bur­den of sin? then hearken, This word is certaine, and worthy to be receiued, that Christ came into the world to saue sin­ners, 1. Tim. 1.5. I am not come to call the righte­ous, but sinners to repentance Mat. 9.. Come vnto me all yee that are heauy loaden, & I will ease you Mat. 11.. Either then thou art partaker of Christs merits, and in him assured of thy saluation. Or Christ is not a perfect Iesus, and the Gospell is a fable. Therefore be of good courage deare brother, gather thy spirits againe, returne to the bat­tel. O man of little faith, wherfore &c.

But yet my thinks thy face is cast downe, more then before, what fea­rest thou? that thy faith and repen­tance are but fained? Hearken, thy heart is brused, thy spirit humbled, [Page 81] thy lips confesse, thy desire aspireth to God-wards, & wouldst not com­mit the least sinne for a thousand worlds: then be of good cheere: thy faith is true, thy repentance sound, thy sinnes are forgiuen the, thy faith hath saued thee, goe in peace Luk. 7.. What fearest thou yet? that thou hast lost this faith? It may be decayed, but not finally lost: For such guifts of God are without repentance Rom. 11.. But why doth thy heart melt within thee, why is thy countenance cast downe without? Feelest thou no comfort from God, seest thou no fruit of thy faith? Thy temptation is great,Heb. 6. deare brother, yet hold fast the An­chor of thy hope. Thou art in a soūd, but not dead. The seed of grace 1. Ioh. 3. is within you, though the fruit appeare not as yet.Similie. Thou art in the winter of thine affliction, stay till thy spring returne, and then thou shalt see the greene blade push out of the earth, and shalt enioy the fruit of thy heart. The heate of Gods wroth hath dried vp the waters of comfort, but let [Page 82] hot Summer passe, then the liuing waters of Gods spirit shall refresh thy soule, and spring vp to life euer­lasting Ioh. 4.. The sparkes of repentance are hid vnder the ashes of temptati­on, the winde of Gods spirit will blow ouer the ashes, & quicken the coales of zeale in his due time. The beames of Gods fauour are hin­dred by the cloud of thy sins, and he hath wrapped himselfe vp in a cloud Lam. 3., that thy prayers should not passe. But waight a while. The Lord is faithfull, who hath promised, He will come, and will not tarry Abbac. 2. Beleeue a­gainst sense and reason as Abraham didRom. 4., for faith is an euidence of things not seene Heb. 11.1., know that thy saluation consists more in Gods apprehention then in thinef.Phil 3. In that God knowes thee Tim: 2., then in thy knowledge of God, for alas this is vnperfect, but that is perfect Cor. 13., though all sense of grace faile on thy side, yet thinke not that your vnbeleefe can make the faith of God without effect Rom. 3.3.. Looke on the Example of the Saints as Iob, Dauid, [Page 83] &c. who haue bin in the like temp­tations, and yet haue bin deliuered in an acceptable time. Consider thy wayes of olde, the dayes of solace wherein thou tookest thy delight, & remember that sauing grace cannot finally be lost, Bee not faithlesse then, but beleeue Ioh. 20.. O sweete words! O how beautifull vpon the mountaines are the feete of those that bring good ti­dings Esa. 50. My heart is reuiued, & my spirits cheered, blessed be the Lord, who hath sent his Messenger to speake a word in season to the di­stressed conscience. Hence-forth I will sing vnto the God of my salua­tion. O man of little faith, wherefore did I doubt? But yet, lend mee thy hand againe, for my faith is weake. Behold, the mercies of the Lord are infinite. He will not bruse the broken reed, nor quench the smoaking flaxe Mat. 12.. If onely thou canst, hunger, and thurst after righteousnesse thou shalt be satisfi­ed Mat. 5.. And if thy faith bee but as a graine of mustard seed Mat. 17. for quantity, yet it shalbe of such vertue for qua­lity, [Page 84] that it may say to the moun­taines of thy sins, cast thee into the sea of Gods free grace, and they shal appeare no more before God to op­presse thee.

And so I leaue thee, deare bro­ther, recouering thy spirits. They say Diseases come a horse-backe, but goe a­way a foote. Finde it not strange then, if thou pausest a while in thy weakenesse.Simile. Hee that com­meth out of a dungeon, cannot so soone behold the Sunne. Hee that is new come a land, thinkes for a while that the earth shaketh. After a tem­pest, the waues are not so soone set­led. Therefore walke one in your weakenesse, and you shall grow vp from strength to strength Psal. 84., til you come to the perfect stature Eph. 4., of Christ in heauen.

4. [...]. Exhort.And now to conclude with you (right Honorable, Right worship­full and welbeloued) who stand by faith, who are fed with stronger meates, whose hearts are replenish­ed with the fatnesse and marrow of [Page 85] Gods house; whose spirits are wed­ded vnto the Lord, and who medi­tate in his Law day and night.

Goe on, goe on in this Christian course. Be sure and stedfast, abounding alwaies in the workes of the Lord, know­ing that your labour is not vaine in the Lord 1. Cor. 15. You doe honor God with your faith, for you seale his truth, & acknowledge him to bee the true God, infinite in wisdome, iustice, mercie, and power. Be assured hee will honor you, for saith the Lord. Them that honour me, will I honor, and they that despise me, shalbe lightly estee­med 1. Sam 2.30.. And thus will he honor you. He will come and dwell with you Ioh. 14.. Hee will sup with you, and you with him Reu. 3.. And loe, hee will not come with an empty hand, but as Christ brought saluation to Zacheus his house; so will hee bring peace to your soules, and ioy in the Holy GhostRom. 14, which passeth all vnderstanding Phil. 4.. And so he will leaue peace in your families, prosperity in your Pallaces, and blessings in the Church. And ha­uing [Page 86] fought the good fight, finished your course, and kept this faith, the crowne of righteousnesse shalbe giuen you in that day by the iust Iudge 2. Tim. 4., and at your de­parture out of this world, you shall say; Now lettest thou thy seruant de­part in peace according to thy word Luk. 2., and GOD will answere you as Christ did to the theefe one the crosse; This day thou shalt be with me in Para­dise Luk. 24..

Grant this O Lord for thy Sonnes sake. Amen.

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