A TRYAL of FAITH, WHEREIN Is discovered the ground of the Faith of the Hypocrite, which perisheth, and the Faith of the Saints, which is founded upon the everlasting Rock, so all may see what their Faith is, and what they trust to.

Written to the intent, that e­very one may come to the true searcher of Faith, that their Faith which they speak of and trust to, may be searched, and the heart of the Pharisee ript open and searched, and that the poor ignorant blind Creatures may come to see and be deceived no longer in trusting to that which perisheth: Verily it is of much concern­ment to every one, even the soul; the tryal of your faith; written from the spirit of the Lord, and pub­lished for the good of all, that they may come to build upon the everlasting Rock, with him whose name ac­cording to the world is,

James Parnell.

Try your selves, prove your selves, know you not that Christ is in you, unlesse you be Reprobates,

2 Cor. 13.5.

LONDON, Printed in the year 1654.

The Tryall of Faith.

COme try your Faith all you Professors of Godlinesse, of God, and of Christ, who your Father, and Christ your Redeemer and Saviour, and say you believe in God, & you are saved through faith in Christ; come search the ground and bottom of your faith, what it is built upon, for the faith and hope of the Hypocrite perisheth, which stands in words, and on a­ny unsteadfast foundation. You say you are saved by the blood of Christ, and by his stripes you are healed,Job. 8.12 and so would make him the ground of your faith, but what are you saved from, and what are you healed of? Search & see within: Christ came to save and redeem sinners from their sin, and to heal them of the wound of sin, to bruise the Serpents head, and to bind the strong man, and cast him out of his house,1 Tim. 1.15. to cast out the buyers and sellers out of the Temple of God, which is made a Den of Theeves & to open the prison doors and to set at liberty the imprisoned and to lead captivity captive,Gen. 3.15, to throw Antichrist out of the Temple of God, who sits as God there,Mat. 21.12. & saith he is God; and he is come to rend that vaile of darkness & to o­pen the eyes of the blind, & to unstop the deaf eares, & to make blind those which can see,Luke 4.18. and to deaf those which can hear, and give strength to the weak, and to make weak those which are strong, and to feed the hungry,Isa. 42.6, 7. and to fa­mish that which is fed, and to make a separation betwixt the Pretious and the Vile,Luk. 4.18. betwixt the Wheat and the Tares, the Sheep and the Goats, and to purchase to man that which man hath lost,Luk. 8.10. and to this end is he come and who can witness this, can witness him, and may claim an interest in him, & hath an assurance of their salvation;Mat. 8.11. & their faith will stand against the beast & overcome; for the Lamb shall get the victory; but who cannot witness, this [Page 4] cannot witness Christ, and so are Reprobates concerning the faith. Now here all you Drunkards are shut out, here all you swearers are shut out, here all you proud & cove­tous & lustful ones are shut out, here all you scoffers and scorners, & backbiters, and revilers, and extortioners, and whoremongers, & envious ones, & Gamers, and sporters, and all you self-righteous professors, who live in the fashi­ons & customs of the world, delighting in the pleasures & vanities of the world, having fellowship with the world, whose conversation is amongst the Children of the world, all in one Generation, cleansing only the outside of the Cup, & the inside full of lust & filthiness, pride and cove­tousness, and all uncleanness, whited walls and painted Sepulchers, who deceive the carnal eye and ear, but the Lord searcheth the heart; here you are all shut out from the true faith which purifieth the heart, and the Serpent is head in you, and your strong man keeps the house, and a stronger then he is not yet come, and the buyers and the sellers are uncast out of the Temple, and Antichrist sits in the Kingdom and reigns as an Angel of Light, and the im­prisoned lies in prison, and the wound of sin is yet fresh, and the vail of darkness is yet spread over, & death reigns, and Christ lies low in the manger, and the Inne is taken up with other guests, and here you can challenge no inte­rest in the blood of Christ, & have nothing to do to talk of God and Christ, & have no assurance of your salvation, & all your faith is vain, & hope vain, & the foundation there­of is sandy, & will not stand in the day of tryal, but will be as a broken Reed to lean upon, and all your prayers, and prayses, and singings, and graces, and baptism, and Sacra­ments which you build your faith upon, & think to merit withall, is all in vain, the enflaming sword is set against it? being offered up from an unclean heart; for how can your hearts be clean while you live in sin, for sin lodgeth in your heart, & while sin is there, no purity can dwell, & nothing that is pure can come forth of an unclean vessel, and God doth not put his Treasure in an unclean vessel, and he is pure, & receives nothing that is impure, & here all your faith is vain, & here you destroy all your faith out [Page 5] of your own mouths, who say, you believe you shall never overcome your sins so long as you are here, or be made free from sin; and here you shew your faith is not built upon Christ, who came to destroy the works of the Devil, and to cleanse from all sin, & those whose faith was built upon him, did witness it, and said the blood of Christ hath cleansed us from all sin, and they that are Christs have cru­cified the flesh with the lusts and affections thereof, which is the ground of sin, and he that believeth is born of God, and he that is born of God cannot commit sin, and no un­holy nor unclean thing must enter; so now what assurance have you of your salvation, or what is your faith built up­on, when both Christ and the Scriptures witness against you? and faith which is not built on the Rock Christ Jesus, is vain and perisheth, and the that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure: here all your faith is searched, tryed and pro [...]ed, and is found all vain and pe­rishing and so is not built upon the Rock which perisheth not: therefore come down all you high-minded Phari­sees, and lay away all your profession, and throw down all your old building, and begin and lay a new foundation, for the higher the Pharisee climbs, the greater will be his fall; and he that would be wise, let him first become a fool, for man by his wisdom knowes not God, here the Pharisee is shut out from the knowledge of God, who stands in his own wisdom. And all you wilful, blind, car­nall, ignorant creatures, whom my soul pittieth to see how ignorantly you are led, who pin your faith upon the sleeves of your fore-Fathers, and live in lightness and wantonness, spending your youth in vanity, in gaming, pleasures and sporting, in drunkenness, in swearing and ly­ing, in vain talk, and foolish jestings, in pride and lust, and filthiness, and say you follow your fore-Fathers, and say, what is become of them? and say, your pleasures is pastime and recreation, and your vain talk and foolish jesting, is pastime and merriness, and so you passe the time away, & lay your drinking & rioting, & feasting is good fellowship and neighbourhood, and so you cover o [...]er your sins and iniquities, but woe unto him that hides his sin, and co­vers [Page 6] his iniquity, & all this will not profit you any thing, neither can your fore-Fathers excuse you before the Lord; for in the beginning it was so, that Evah could not justifie Adam, neither could be any excuse, but rather condem­ned him, because he hearkened to the voice of the woman & disobeyed the Lord; so Adam suffered for his own sin & so did Eve for hers. And so this will be no excuse for you, in the day of account, to say you followed your fore-Fa­thers, & did as they did before you; but then will the Lord say, because you followed the traditions & fashions, and customs, and inventions of man, & have hearkened to the voice of the Serpent, and have disobeyed my voice, & my command, and slighted my counsel, and would none of my reproof, but cast my Law behind your backs, & tram­pled my mercy under foot, & have turned my grace into wantonness, & have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter, and have spent my creatures upon your lusts, & stoned, stocked, buffeted & imprisoned, and shamefully in­treated my messengers which I sent unto you to forewarn you of your iniquity, & have killed my Son, therefore de­part ye workers of iniquity, I know you not, into ever­lasting torment prepared for the Devil and his Angels; to see now how vain your hope is, and how unsteadfast your faith is, when you have more assurance of your damnation then your salvation; for the Lord saith, no unrighteous person must enter into his Kingdom, nor no unholy nor unclean thing. Therefore all you who desire salvation to your souls, try and prove your faith and hope which thou dost trust to, and take heed of trusting to a broken reed, lest it deceive you. Experience hath taught you, that if a foun­dation of a building be decayed, and wasted & naught, the building will fall when a storm comes: so let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall; so every one whose desire is after righteousness, hearken to that in your con­science, which raises up desires after righteousness, and which shews you the vainness of your lives, & checks you when you do amiss, and troubles you, and torments you in conscience when you have been drunk, or have done [Page 7] some evil act; be willing to be guided by that, & that will lead you to repentance and a newness of life, to forsake those things which it discovers to be contrary to the will of God: and if you be willing to follow this, and be guided by it, you shall finde a teacher continually present, check­ing in the conscience for vain thoughts, and for vain and idle, and needless words and actions, and so will crucifie the lust which is the ground of those things, and which will lead you out of the paths of death, into the way of life, our of the traditions and customs, and fashions and opinions of the world, into the assurance of the eternal Truth; and thou that art willing to follow this, and be guided by this, shalt need no man to teach thee, but it will be a teacher unto thee, teaching and directing in righteousness, purity and holiness; and if thou beest di­ligent, keeping thy mind within, with an ear open to the pure voice, thou shalt find it present with thee wheresoe­ver thou art, in the fields, in thy bed, in Markets, in com­pany, or wheresoever thou art, when thy outward Priest or Teacher is absent, it may be in the Ale-house, or at his pleasures and delights, or far off, it will be present with thee, and will check thee, and condemn thee, for that which no outward eye can see, and will cleanse thy heart from lust and deceit, and uncleanness, and will purifie thy heart, and will make it a fit Temple for purity to dwell in, and then thy sacrifices will be pure, which comes from a pure heart: the Lord will accept them, for Abels sacrifices he receives, but Cains he denies; but if thou wouldest at­tain to this, thou must be willing to deny thy lusts, thy va­nity, thy delights, or whatsoever hath been thy life; for he that will save his life, shall lose it, and he that will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it: So there is no obtaining of life but through death, nor no obtaining the Crown, but through the Crosse: so thou must deny thy self, and take up thy Crosse daily and follow Christ, if thou wouldest be his Disciple, and give up thy self wholly to be guided by the will of God, that all which is contrary to the will of God may be crucified, though it be never so [Page 8] near and dear to thee, and be forsaken; Lands or Livings, Wife or Children, friends and acquaintance, or all the world, and all delights in the world; for he that loveth any thing better then me, is not worthy of me, and all things below the Lord vanisheth, but he endureth for e­ver. So the Lord God Almighty prosper all the tender de­sires which are raised up towards him, and feed the hun­gry and thirsty souls, as he hath promised, and raise up his own in all his, that he alone may be glorified, praysed, and honoured, who is worthy, and to whom all belongs.

And this is the desire of his soul, who is a seruant of the Lord, who is hated, reviled, and derided of the world, be­cause he hath no fellowship with the world, nor the va­nities of the world, but testifies against their wayes, fashi­ons, traditions, customs, fellowship, words and worship, and sees them all to be formal imitation, and the inventi­on of man out of the Covenant of God, so cannot but de­ny them; and for this cause he is hated of all, both Priest and People, whose name according to the world is,

James Parnell. The Servant is not greater than his Master.

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