Saving-Beliefe: OR, THE READY AND RIGHT VVAY to Beleeve and be Saved. Wherein is the * Mysterie of Faith laid open: [* 1 Tim. 3.9.]

By Timothy Rogers, Minister of the Gospel (twixt Essex and Suf­folke) in Sudbury.

Mark 5.36.

Be not afraid, only beleeve.

Luke 7.50.

Thy Faith hath saved thee, goe in peace.

LONDON: Printed by G. M. for Edward Brewster at the Bible on Fleet-bridge. 1644.

TO THE Right Worshipfull Mr JOHN EDEN OF Ballindon Hall in Essex Esquire, my godly Patrone.

Right Worshipfull,

HAVING this small Treatise lying dead by me, or at least asleep; and be­ing provoked to give it more roome and some breath, that [Page]it might be awakened by the Presse and Printers hand to come to light; I could not be­thinke my selfe to make De­dication of it (as the use is) to any one more fitly then your selfe, and that for these reasons: First, you have been a good Disciple in the schoole of Piety from your very non-age, and education by that pi­ous Lady your ancient Mo­ther (whom I much honour) with the rest of that vertu­ous brood, some of whom it was my lot to seale up in their sepulchres, besides some of your owne. Secondly, you have been a constant hearer of these and other my Colla­tions [Page]when you have been in these parts. Thirdly, you are my loving Patrone, by whose meanes and instigation, ac­cording to the desire of the Congregation, I was (some yeares since) brought to this place. Fourthly, I therefore am peculiarly ingaged unto you, and love not to live or dye wholly in debt, (I look to lay downe my tabernacle daily) accept, I pray, this small Testimony of Grati­tude: I must say as Peter, Act. 3.6. Silver and gold have I not, but such as I have give I you, a little plaine fruit of my owne grafting, I therefore dedi­cate [Page]it unto your selfe, and by you to my well-affected friends, my constant, conscio­nable, and profitable hea­rers: (Never more need of Faith and living by it, then in this terrible tempest) the blessing of the Lord goe with it.

Yours faithfully obliged in the Lord, Timothy Rogers.

The Contents of the severall Chap­ters contained in this Booke.

Saving Beliefe
  • What it is. Chap. 1.
  • How it is called. Chap. 2.
  • How the Law workes toward it. Chap. 3.
  • How the Gospel works to bring to it. Cha. 4.
  • Questions resolved about the Gospels wor­king of it. Chap. 5.
  • The true Grounds of it. Chap. 6.
  • Objections answered that hold backe (one throughly humbled) from it. Chap. 7.
  • The maine Lets to the getting of it. Chap. 8.
  • Helps for distressed souls to it. Chap. 9.
  • The seat or subject of it. Chap. 10.
  • The immediate effects following it. Chap. 11.
  • The Excellencie of it. Chap. 12.
  • The Necessitie of it. Chap. 13.
  • 14. Sorts of Professors that want it. Ch. 14.
  • Generall notes of tryall whereby to know it. Chap. 15.
  • More speciall notes whereby it may be tryed, and knowne. Chap. 16.
  • The degrees of it. Chap. 17.
  • What we must doe with it, when we have it. Chap. 18.
  • What we must doe when we want it, and more of it desired. Chap. 19.

Imprimatur

JA. CRANFORD.

[Page 1]SAVING-BELIEF: OR, The Ready and Right way to beleeve and be saved.

CHAP 1. What it is; and the Definiti­on of it explained.

THat every one must beleeve that would be saved, is a truth out of que­stion, confessed by all that professe Christ; but yet every kind of Beleeving is not saving, Generall and com­mon faith for the [Page 2]Devills beleeve, Iam 2.19. and Simon Magus beleeved Acts. 8. [...]3. and was bapti­zed, and yet St Peter saith, he was in the gall of bitter­nes and bond of iniquity: now then what kind of Beliefe it is that will save, and that onely, this Trea­tise shewes; not therefore to meddle with historicall temporarie or miraculous faith, which are not sa­ving.

What is true saving Beliefe? Saving beliefe. The defi­nition of it.

A right applying of Christ to ones selfe: viz. by an hearty accepting of him, and a true perswasi­on [Page 3]of our Soules wellfare by him.

1 For better understan­ding whereof. 1 I say it's an applying of Christ, for as Manna did no good unlesse it were fetcht home, and fed upon, nor Physick doth good without applying, no more doth Christ unlesse he be applyed to the soule.

2 It's an applying to ones selfe, for to apply Christ to another, as when you are perswaded of such a ones Salvation by him, will no more save thy soule then another [Page 4]bodies feeding will nou­rish thee, or preserve thy life.

3 It's a right applying, for if it be wrong, it saves not.

Q. How may one know, whether it be a right applying of Christ?

A. If it set an im­pression of the likenesse of Christ on the soule, so as Christ is Gal. 4.19. formed in it, and it becomes like unto him in holynesse and true righteousnesse; as a seale being rightly set and ap­plyed to the wax leaves the right print of it selfe, behind it.

2 If it apply not a bare Christ, but Christ with his benefits, and one of them, as well as ano­ther; holinesse and mor­tification, Rom. 6.4. as well as pardon of sinnes and mercy.

3 If it make us let goe our hould of sinne: as a full hand must first open and let goe what is in it, before it can take hould of a better thing.

And this is the defini­tion of true faith; but I further add for Explana­tion, [by an hearty accep­ting of him and a true per­swasion of our soules welfare [Page 6]by him] because an hearty and unfained accepting of Christ is the true concep­tion of faith, and a true perswasion is the birth of it, as shall be further shew­ed. Chap. 5.

I say also a true per­swasion, for in a Tempo­rarie Hypocrite is found a particular perswasion or applying to himselfe, but it's not true.

Q. Is not true beleeving a resting upon Christ?

A. Yes; for a perswa­sion includes a resting on him; and a resting on him, implyes some (at least implicite) perswa­sion.

CHAP. 2. How it is called and the working causes thereof.

SAving beliefe, to diffe­rence it from that beleeving that will not save, is called by peculiar names, setting out the dignity of it, as saith of Gods elect. Tit. 1.1. the faith of Saints. Rev. 13.10. the faith of Iesus. Rev. 14.12. most holy faith. Iude. 20. worke of faith with power. 2 Thess. 1.11. faith unfained. 1. Tim. 1.5. Precious faith. 2. Pet. 1.1. No other faith can be properly so called.

The working causes thereof are either princi­pall or in strumentall: the principall is God him­selfe. Faith of the opera­tion of God. Col. 2.12. and therefore the blessed work of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Loe how goodly a thing it is, as a rare peece of a famous Artist.

The instrumentall cau­ses are Gods Ministers with the word preached in their mouthes; Faith cometh by hearing, and hea­ring by the word of God. Rom. 10.17. and how shall they heare without a [Page 9]Preacher. verse. 14. for though God could work faith in men wihout this, yet he will not; as he could, if it pleased him, preserve our life with­out food, but we doe not therefore expect, hee will doe it, and so refuse our food, because he can do it, but rather consider what he will doe.

There are two parts of Gods Word, Lawe and Gospell, they both con­duce to the work of faith, and goe to the making up of saving beliefe the Law, begins the worke, the Go­spell finisheth it: the Law [Page 10]makes way for Christ (and therefore is called our schoolemaster to bring us to Christ. Gal. 3.24.) the Gospell brings him into the soule, and brings the soule into saving acquain­tance with him.

Q. May not one be­leeve rightly without the working of the Law first?

A. No: 1. Because no part of Gods Word is in vaine, but serves to spe­ciall use to bring men to salvation.

2. This were to have the work finished before it be begun, for the Law begins the work, and [Page 11]Christ is the end of the law. Rom. 10.4.

3. They that beleeve by the Gospell without the working of the Law first doe but as one that is full fed, having a dainty mor­sell offered him, takes it indeed, but layes it by: or puts it in his pocket, not receiving it into the Stomack to nourish him.

CHAP. 3. How the Law workes to­wards the bringing us to beleeve.

1. The Law first en­lightens us, and [Page 12]makes us see our misery. Rom. 3.20.

2. It wounds us, and makes us feelingly affe­cted with our misery, and therefore is said to slay us. Rom. 7.9, 11. by both these it is said to humble us.

Q. Must one needs be wounded and humbled, distressed in soule for his sinne and misery?

A. Yes; there cannot be healing before there be a wound, nor a cure wrought till the patient be willing to put himselfe into the Phisitions hands to use his skill; he can­not be willing till he see [Page 13]and feele his danger of death; To see our mise­ry is to be lost in our selves; to feele it is to be sick, Christ came to seeke and save them that are lost. Luke. 19.10. and to be a physitian to those that are sick (of their sins) Mark. 2.17. and to heale the broken hearted, and bruised ones. Luke. 4.18. and none els.

2. Morever it is a con­dition which God requi­reth, Humble your selves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Iam. 4.10. and verse. 9. Be afflicted and mourne and weepe, &c.

3. It is the way to have a pardon, as a con­demned subject or leud child must first humble themselves before they be taken to favour.

4. It makes us willing, that Christ should take us up and beare us, or doe a­ny thing with us, as Saul. Acts. 9.6. Lord what wilt thou have me to doe? As a wearied Traveller ready to sinke under his burden is willing and thankefull to be taken up and carried, whereas a fresh and lusty Gentleman, that walkes upon his pleasure, scornes to be carried on a porters [Page 15]back, therefore of necessi­ty we must be first hum­bled before there can be any good done on us, for beleeving to Salvation.

The law (I say) by in­lightning and wounding the soule is said to hum­ble us, of which legall hu­miliation, are divers steps and degrees; for the law makes us see, and certain­ly beleeve.

1. That we are unbe­leevers; for none will seeke after beleeving, that thinkes he hath it alrea­dy.

2. Our wofull case and danger therfore, for [Page 16]he that beleeveth not shall be damned. Mark. 16.16. yea is condemned alrea­dy. Iohn. 3.18.

3. That we are nothing but sinne and vilenesse. Tit. 1.15, 16. all we have, or ever have done, being without faith; and therefore no better then Splendida peccata. matter of damnation displeasing God. Heb. 11.6.

4. It makes us abhorre, and loath our selves ther­fore. Ezek. 20.43.

5. Bitterly to lament for our lost miserable soule, as Zach. 12.10.

6. To be weary of our [Page 17]sinnes (and therefore would be ridd of them) and weary of our selves, and therefore cannot in­dure in that estate where­in we are. Math. 11.28. You that are weary come to me, saith Christ.

7. To be willing to forgoe our sinnes, and doe any thing, God shall bid us. Acts. 9.6. yet not out of true hatred of sin, or love to God (that the law workes not) but out of meere terrour and feare of hell.

8. To despaire of our selves, or as Homil. Falling from God First part. touching any hope that may be in our [Page 18]selves or any possibility to helpe our selves, but that all we can doe rather in­creaseth Gods wrath, a­gainst us, being still with­out faith.

But note that this des­pairing of ourselves is not the despairing of the grace of God; which faith comming in upon it, pre­vents, and keepes all those from, in whom it succee­deth; for the Law now hath brought the soule to the mouth of the gulfe of despaire ready to be swal­lowed up; but here comes in faith in his proper place to doe the soule good in [Page 19]all such as attaine it, who els would wholy despaire as Iudas.

1. Ob. You named in the 4. and 7. places an ab­horring our selves for our sinnes and a willingnes to forgoe them &c. how may these be before faith?

Answ. There is a kind of abhorring of our selves and our sinnes and a wil­lingnes to be rid of them before faith wrought, but not out of love to God or hatred of sinne, as it is sinne and unrighteousnes contrary to the pure na­ture of God, but as it is our torment; as a rare delici­ous [Page 20]confection that excee­dingly delighteth the tast, yet hath a malignant qua­lity, and being eaten, tor­ments extreamely and burnes the bowells, the party tormented therewith, abhorres to see, or thinke of it, and cryes away with it, fling it into the fire, and yet it it as pleasant to his tast as it was before: and as it was with Iudas his thirty peeces when his consci­ence was tormented.

2 Ob. You speake of seeing and feeling our mi­sery, must there needs be both these, will not see­ing [Page 21]alone serve turne?

Answ. No. Our see­ing of our soules misery, is the Lawes inlightning us; Our feeling it, is the wound it gives us, as Pe­ters hearers were pricked in their hearts Acts. 2.37. Many onely seeing their misery, but their hearts not wounded with a sense of it, go on still in their naturall state, and come not to the honour to be true beleevers in Christ; as one may see his dange­rous soare and Vlcer ha­zarding his life, and the Chirurgion comming to him with his lancing [Page 22]knife, but yet unlesse he indure the launcing, and feele the smart, he cannot be cured.

Thus the Law having done its part in humbling the soule both by inlight­ning and wounding it in those eight particulars aforementioned, next comes in the Eph. 1.13. Gospell to doe its part.

CHAP. 4. How the Gospell workes to the bringing us to be­leeve savingly in Christ.

THe working of the Gospell in this hum­bled soule consisteth in [Page 23]eight things also for the bringing forth of faith in him.

1. It inlightens him, to see two things.

First that God of his meere good will and mer­cy to miserable lost sin­ners hath provided them a sufficient meanes, viz. Christ whereby to be sa­ved and delivered 1 Thes. 5.9. from his eternall wrath. Iohn. 3.17. 1 Iohn. 2.2. not excluding any that will accept of it. Revel. 22.17. upon Gods termes; and in his order; that is by being first humbled and so made capeable thereof.

Secondly. That God is as willing to shew him mercy as any other Ioh. 3.16. yea will doe it, and save him by this meanes, Christ; if he will but trust God, on his word, and beleeve this his goodwill to him, and that he hath provided this meanes for him, so that if he be not saved, it is because he would not trust God; but thinkes that God meanes not so well to him, as he speakes. Iohn. 3.16. That whosoever beleeveth in him shall not perish.

Thus the doctrine of the Gospell inlightning [Page 25]the humbled sinner, is as a voice that comes from the Holy One, saying, Heare thou poore Soule & hearken unto me, now thou canst doe nothing for thy selfe, see what God is willing to doe for thee: hereupon followes.

2. Admiration, where­with he is so rapt, as that it is with him, as it was with the Church, upon their so strange Returne out of Captivitie, Psal. 126.1. they were like them that dreame. He wonders much at this a thing so admirable, that God should offer a Re­medie (and that such an [Page 26]one) to man so great a sin­ner, whereas not one of the Angels that sinned ever had such a favour of­fered them, though there be millions of them, this (I say) is wonderfull to him, though as yet, he be­leeves not this Remedie to himselfe, but under­stands a possibilitie wher­in he may be included; as to a miserable captive, the news of a release for some of the Company is admi­rable to him, upon the ge­nerall intelligence, though as yet he know not whe­ther he be one of them.

3. Conviction, the Go­spel [Page 27]holds him to it, whereas he goes about to put it from himselfe: O thinks he, this is good in­deed, but too good for me; that is not for me, I am so great a sinner; nay, saith the Gospel, Whosoe­ver beleeveth shall not pe­rish, and therefore (if thou wilt) that is for thee as well as any other, unlesse by not beleeving it, thou deprive thy selfe of it, and a broken heart, Psal. 51.17.God will not despise, (being offered to him) such an one is thy heart.

4. Consultation. He fals to reasoning with [Page 28]himselfe, what he were best to doe. What (thinks he) doth God indeed bid me beleeve his good will to me by Christ, and to be perswaded thereof? yes: and gives me good leave and warrant? yes: What, God to shew me mercie? Why to me? What is in me? What reason have I to be so per­swaded? none at all, but onely because God bids me; that is great reason: What danger is't, if I do not? oh the greatest sin of unbelief and contempt of the Grace of God, thus offered me, and it will be [Page 29]unrecoverable losse of my Soule: What danger is't if I doe now beleeve this his good will and mea­ning to me by Christ? None at all, but shall please God best, and shall find sure mercie and Sal­vation.

5. Resolution. He comes to resolve, and puts him­selfe upon this point with unfained Resolution thus to doe, he gives his mind and inclines his heart to it, thus; well then, seeing it pleaseth God best, and is best for my Soule, and no danger in it (I being right­ly humbled) I will then [Page 30]venture my Soule upon Gods word and bidding; and rest perswaded, that he meanes me well, even me and my poore soule by Christ. Yet now there is difference between this his Resolution and his doing of it, which fol­lowes afterward.

6. Longing affection: finding for all this his Re­solution, how unable he is to performe it, he fals to an heartie desiring and earnest longing for it; ve­ry highly prising of it; Oh (thinkes he) that I could so doe, that I could be so happie; the Lord, [Page 31]the Lord give me Grace to doe it, whatsoever be­tides me in this world, though I beg my bread: this desire is very earnest; longing for this rather then any thing, as one pressed to death, desiring water; or a condemned man a pardon, as David for the waters of Bethle­hem, and the chased heart after the water brookes: Psal. 42.1. this is the hungring and thirsting of the Soule, whereof the Scripture speakes, and whereto the Promise is made, Matth. 5.6. John 7.37.

7. Supplication. This [Page 32]his desire is so strong and vehement, that it can no longer hold in, but breaks forth in Prayer to God. 1 First, as the Prodigall and Publicane in humble and heartie Confession of his sinfull Condition, think­ing none so great a sinner as himselfe, feeling his owne burden best, and abasing himselfe to no­thing, in regard of his owne unworthinesse; 2 yet secondly in earnest fuit and petition to God to give him that blessed re­medie, and an heart to embrace it, which he sees of his good will he hath [Page 33]provided for him, even Iesus Christ; that he may be well perswaded of it, to his Soules Comfort; and thus continues every day praying, which is his hanging upon Christ, and crying after him, he will have no nay, nor let him goe, but thus clings close­ly to him.

8. At length God gra­ciously answers his re­quest, with Son thy sins are forgiven thee, be it unto thee as thou hast desired, and so workes it in him, as in the Creation, when God said, Let there be this or that, it was so; so now workes in [Page 34]him a true perswasion of his good will in Christ, even to him, and of be­stowing Christ a Reme­die on his Soule, and that by him, he shall have Grace and Mercie, and be saved: and that in this sort, the humbled sinner thinks thus, God hath gi­ven me an heart to desire it, and to pray unfainedly for it, and it is according to his will I should do so; now he heareth the desire of the humble, Psal. 10.17. and, If we aske any thing according to his will, he hea­reth us. 1 Joh. 5.14. Ther­fore I am perswaded he [Page 35]will grant it me, even the blessed Remedie Christ, with all his benefits to the everlasting Salvation of my Soule.

This now is a true per­swasion, and thus is faving Beliefe wrought and brought forth at length by the Gospel.

Object. But his prayer for it, is not altogether according to the will of God, and therefore is he not mistaken for his ground, 1 Iob. 5.14. and so his perswasion false?

Ans. Nor is any good thing we doe altogether according to Gods will; [Page 36]but, first, it is that which God requires, and so ac­cording to his will. Se­condly, it is upright, un­fained, and therefore also accepted, the weaknesse not imputed. Thirdly, he doth not desire to main­taine himselfe in doing it otherwise then Gods will is, nay, it is all his care, it may be according to his will every way, therefore It is accepted according to that he hath, and not accor­ding to that he hath not. 2 Cor. 8.12.

2. Object. But it is not in Faith, he praies thus; see­ing Faith is not yet [Page 37]brought forth till after his praying for it.

Ans. It is not void of all Faith, as is shewed in the Chap. following.

CHAP. 5. Questions resolved concer­ning the manner of the Gospels working of Sa­ving Beliefe.

Quest. HAd this hum­bled sinner sa­ving Beliefe till now that he is come to this true perswasion of mercie by Christ?

Ans. Yes; now it is brought forth, but it was [Page 38]conceived and in bree­ding before, namely in his Act. 11.21, 23. resolving, and earnest desiring it; the 5. and 6. points of the Gospels working mentioned be­fore; then it was in him more unsensibly and in conception; but when he comes to be truly persua­ded, this is the birth of it, now it is in him more sen­sibly, now he sees that he beleeves; as a woman hath a child in her womb before it be brought forth and she hold it in her armes and look upon it.

Quest. How can you prove that there was sa­ving [Page 39]Faith begun in him then?

Ans. 1. Because in his resolving upon, and ear­nest desiring of Christ, Gods Remedie, he gave his heart and will to Christ; for what wee greatly desire that hath our heart.

2. The Promise is made to this kind of desiring, Matth. 5.6.

3. He then yeelds to Gods demand and condi­tion, which is willingly to accept and make choice of Christ as God is wil­ling to bestow him; the Soul in this desiring him, [Page 40]saith, Yea, I make choice of him above all.

4. This resolving on, and accepting of Christ, Gods Remedie, is to be­leeve, for the Soule saith to Gods proffer, I will, and consents thereto; as in Marriage, Wilt thou have this man to thy wedded Husband? I will: This makes the match; so be­tween Christ and the Soul, God by his Proffer as­keth; the humbled soul by resolving and desiring it answers, yea, and consents thereto.

Plainly thus, the sinner rightly humbled by the [Page 41]Law, and being also con­vinced in Conscience by the Gospels enlightning, of Gods free proffer of the Remedie to him, as well as to any other, doth by his resolving on it, and fervent desiring it, shew his good liking thereof, yea, accepts thereof, as if he should say, yea let me have it, this accepting is weak implicite beleeving; the very beginning of it; but to be perswaded is stronger beleeving, the making up of it: but right applying of Christ (the definition of Faith, Ch. 1.) comprehends both.

Quest. But what if this desire and resolution be not sound and unfained?

Answ. Then it doth no good, neither is it saving Beliefe, but only a coun­terfeit of it, but I speak all this while of that which is true and unfained.

Quest. How may it be knowne?

Ans. 1. It is a desiring of Christ above any other thing that can be thought or named, as one readie to die for thirst desires wa­ter above any thing else.

2. It is very earnest, pro­ceeding from the very A­gonie of Conscience, and [Page 43]will have no Nay, (as Ra­chel, Give me Children, or else I dye) it cannot be sa­tisfied, nor endure with­out him whatsoever else it hath.

3. It desires the Remedy not by haves, but as God hath provided it, whole Christ, as well for a san­ctifying Remedie, as a sa­ving, else it is not a true desire, nor a right accep­ting of him, such an one doth not apply the true Christ, but an halfe Christ, or an Idol-Christ of his owne making; viz. to save without sanctify­ing, which is not the [Page 44]Christ, that God hath ap­pointed for a Remedie.

And for as much as our first coupling and uniting unto Christ consisteth in this point, we must be so much the more carefull of it, that it be well done, for by Humiliation we are pluckt out of the old Stocke, by beleeving we are set into the new, that is Christ, there must bee great Care had that we be rightly joynted in, as the Science well set into the Stock at first, thrives more in one yeere, then another will doe in foure, if it grow at all.

1. First then, we must desirously and resolvedly accept of whole Christ (this is to be rightly joyn­ted into him) that is a Sanctifier as well as a Sa­ver of us, to make us holy, as well as to make us whole; as a Act. 2.36 Lord to have the whole command of us, and we to be ruled by him, to follow him, and doe as he would have us; we must be joyned to him as our Eph. 4.15, 16. Head, to in­fuse spirituall life and power of Grace into us, to vanquish corruption, and to delight in God, and to glorisie him in ho­linesse; [Page 46]else we shall be, as it were, ingraffed into a dead or saplesse Stocke, Can such a Science grow or prosper? Therefore we must take the whole Re­medie, not a Jesus onely, but a Christ too, and that not partly, viz. a Priest to die for us, but a King also to rule over us, and a Pro­phet to teach us.

2. We must be wholly joynted into him, not partly into our selves, and partly into him, as to thinke that though we have need of Christ, yet that Non in­telligit be­neficia di­vina qui se tantum­modò à Deo juvari pu­tat. Lac. li. 1. c. 11. Divi. Inst. there is some good­nesse in our selves.

3. To an holy end, viz. Not to take libertie to sin more, but with a Cove­nant in our hearts to sinne no more; that is, what we know to be sin, not wil­lingly to give our selves leave to do it for a world.

That humbled sinner, that by unfained desire and Resolution thus ac­cepteth of Christ is right­ly joynted into him and a true Beleever.

Quest. But can such be in danger of beleeving wrong, that have beene rightly humbled?

A. Not so, but they that are not thus rightly joyn­ted [Page 48]into Christ, have not beene rightly humbled, but only in part, to wit, to see themselvs in danger of damnation by sin, which therefore, they would have forgiven, but not to abhorre their sins and be wearie of them, willing to be rid of them, and to doe any thing that God shall bid them, or would have them do, which are parts of sound Humiliation, as CHAP. 3. was shewed: thus as they are humbled onely in part, so they ap­ply Christ onely in part (for one cannot desire or accept of Christ any fur­ther [Page 49]then he is sensible of his own necessitie) this is to divide him; therefore a false affection of desire to him, as the false mother, 1 King. 3.26. would have the child divided.

Quest. Whether are the Promises to be applyed to one truly humbled by the Law, and enlightened by the Gospel, &c. touch­ing the Remedie proffe­red to him, though not yet ressolved to rest per­swaded thereof, but puts it from himselfe, because of unworthinesse?

Ans. Apply the Pro­mises to him we may not, [Page 50]because they doe not be­long to him till he Gal. 3.22 be­leeve, but the precept of Beleeving ought to be ap­plyed to him, that is, he is to be exhorted to give his minde to be perswaded of Gods good will to him, in offering him the Re­medie in good earnest, and is as willing to shew him mercie and to be­stow the Remedie on him, as on any other, so that be refuse it not and so judge himselfe Act. 13.46. unworthy of everlasting life, therfore he is to be required by re­solving theron desirously, to accept thereof, which is to Beleeve.

CHAP. 6. The Grounds of true Belee­ving.

Qu. YOu have shewed how the humbled sinner, by the working of the Gospel, comes to be­leeve, but upon what Grounds doth he thus be­leeve?

A. He hath his Grounds, for else, that were as a building without a Foun­dation; but it is not any thing in himselfe (only he is prepared for, and made capable of the Remedie, by sound Humiliation, as CHAP. 3.) his Grounds [Page 52]are all in God: as

1. His Free Proffer and good leave, whosoever will, Rev. 22.17. and any one that thirsteth, Joh. 7.37.

2. His Will, who would have him do so, Ioh. 6.40.

3. His Desire, as though God beseech you by us, saith the Apostle. 2 Cor. 5.20.

4. His Command requi­ring and charging him to beleeve, This is his Cōman­dement, that we should be­leeve on the Name of his Son, 1 Joh. 3.23. so that he should highly offend God, Make him a liar, 1 Joh. 5.10. and set the Grace of God at naught [Page 53]if he did not.

5. His Promise, that he shall not in so doing have the Repulse: Him that commeth to me, I will in no wise cast out, saith Christ, Ioh. 6.37. and therefore most safetie herein.

Thus though he see no cause why in himself (any more then his own neces­sitie) yet because it is Gods Will, and Desire, Command, with Pro­mise, &c. he gives his minde and bends his will to rest perswaded of Gods good will to his Soule by Christ.

This is to beleeve meer­ly [Page 54]upon Conscience, when we see in our selves no reason, why we should doe so, yet because it is Gods will, this is the best beleeving; (for the lesse there is of our selves in beleeving, the better it is) and this will sticke surest by us, nor is so subject to waverings and reelings, as otherwise; Let it be well marked, for divers mista­king their Grounds, and looking for something in themselves to ground on, loose their way, and are so wofully bewilderd, that thereupon they are in great perplexitie See more Chap 9. the 6. help.

Now the partie draw­ing to a perswasion up­on the foresaid right grounds, this is such a thing as should be done, once for all, seeing it is done in Conscience and according to truth; ther­fore he should doe it with this mind and meaning to rest thus perswaded now and for ever, and never to deny it, or yeeld to doubt­ing of it afterward: it must be advisedly done, as in Marriage once for ever, wherein there is an accep­ting and covenanting, not for the Marriage day on­ly, but for all their life: [Page 56]this is a great setling to Faith.

Q. How may one know whether he beleeve thus on Conscience, because God wils and commands it?

A. Then he will as well make Conscience of o­beying God in other things, because he Com­mands us to be humbled for sin, to repent thereof, to renounce all knowne sin, yea, to part with our best beloved sins: and to take up the Crosse and follow Christ, to embrace self-deniall, true holinesse and Sanctification, and the like.

CHAP. 7. Divers Objections answered which hold back ones be­leeving after he is throughly humbled.

THE broken-hearted and humbled sinner (for of such an one I speake, and the Answers to the Objections follow­ing are only meant to such an one) is pestered with many Objections to keep him off from beleeving, some before the birth of Faith, and while it is in conception, some after­wards: for now Satan as­saults him, as the red Dra­gon [Page 58]stood before the woman ready to be delivered,Rev. 12.4.to de­voure her Child, as soon as it was borne; now that a Soule is breaking loose, or broken from him, he be­stirres himselfe to fetch back his prisoner: some of which objections most usuall are these:

1 Object. If I be not ele­cted, I cannot beleeve, doe I what I can, and whether I be elected, I cannot tell.

A. Trouble not your selfe with Gods secret will; Beleeve, and you are elected, then you shall know, and before you cannot; you must first [Page 59]know that you beleeve, before you can know that you are elected.

2 Obj. I cannot beleeve unlesse God inable me.

A. True; yet God re­quires you to be willing to take abilitie, when he offers you as now he doth. 2. To use abilitie as he be­stowes it on you; in ma­king you willing, therein he inables you in some measure, he would have you put forth this Strength to the uttermost, and doe what you can for your heart to beleeve, else it is as if one deadly hun­gry, having Food offered [Page 60]him, should say, I cannot feed unlesse God give me abilitie, and so not assay, nor trie to doe what he can to eat: or for leaving of sin, as if one should say, I cannot leave sin, unlesse God inable me, and so continue in sin; nay, thou must give thy minde and will, and yeeld thy selfe to doe it; and so it is for beleeving.

3 Obj. I feare I have not been rightly humbled, all my trouble was onely for feare of hell.

Ans. It can be no other till you beleeve; there is nothing but Law, till [Page 61]Grace come, there can be no love of God in you, till you taste the sweet­nesse of his love to you by Christ 1 Joh. 4.19. first; which is by beleeving.

2. If it be only therefore, it doth indeed prove you doe not as yet beleeve; but yet it proves withall that you are prepared to beleeve; and may so doe now safely and without danger.

4 Obj. But I feare I was never humbled enough; and as I see some others have been.

A. 1. Others must not be your measure, the Lord [Page 62]deales differently. If one woman have not so grie­vous paine in Child-bea­ring as another, doth it prove her no mother of a Child?

2. If you feare it, that is a signe you desire to be humbled throughly, an Argument of the Truth of it.

3. If you unfainedly desire whole Christ (to sanctifie as well as save you) above any thing, then you have been hum­bled enough.

4. If you can feelingly pitie others, that are hum­bled and distressed in soul, [Page 63]and not be angrie with them, nor count them fooles (as carnall people doe) thats a signe you know what belongs to it.

5. Have you been dri­ven out of all good con­ceit of your selfe, seeing nothing but matter of damnation in you, not thinking your selfe better but as bad as any bodie, and deserving damnation as much as any one? And secondly, your heart so oppressed with sorrow thereupon, that it would not let you be at quiet, nor content your selfe in the comfort of any thing [Page 64]without Christ, for griefe of your lost Soule, so that no worldly Joy could ex­tinguish it, nor rid you of this sorrow, but only the Joy of Beleeving; and thirdly, hath made you therefore resolve to get Christ, if possibly you could, though you loose all else? if it hath been thus with you, you have been humbled enough to make you capable of be­leeving.

Qu. What should they doe that have not beene humbled enough?

A. Let them studie well and throughly of the vile [Page 65]nature of sinne which 1 Sam. 3.13. makes us vile, what infi­nite wrong it doth to God, what daring and provoking of him: what a poysonfull thing, and murderer of our souls, not the least Job 33.27. good to be got­ten by it, but the greatest losse, most hateful to God and hurtfull to our selves; they that plod well on this, it will make them thinke more basely of themselves, and humble them more: Hee that would be a meet subject of mercy, must bee throughly abased in him selfe; the world accounts [Page 66]of us thereafter as we set forth our selves; but God thereafter as we abase our selves.

5 Object. How is it like­ly, that God favours me so well as to give me Christ, whenas all good people have discounte­nanced me, and not cared for me for my naughti­nesse?

A. Both God and they have; so long as you fol­lowed your ignorant, pro­fane, or meer civill course, but now that you are changed, as sure as Gods people, so surely God himself makes reckoning [Page 67]of you, and likes you well.

6 Obj. But now my old friends and companions cast me off.

A. It's a signe of Gods better liking of you, for that which the world most despise is most wel­come to God, namely a dejected Soule and broken heart, this is a sweet Psal. 51.17. Sa­crifice to him.

7 Obj. But I am so un­worthy, &c.

A. If you stand upon worthinesse, Christ can profit you nothing, the more you see your un­worthinesse and groane under it, the fitter you are [Page 68]for him, and he for you: as if one readie to starve, having an Almes offered him, by one extreamely wronged by him, should say, O nay, I am unwor­thy, and so chuse rather to die, than to receive it; just so doe you.

8 Ob. If I could prevaile more over my corrupti­ons, I should have some good hope, but they alas are so many, & so strong, that my heart failes me.

A. The cause why your corruptions prevaile so much, is want in Belee­ving, and because you do not as God bids you, to [Page 69]beleeve, that he will save you by Christ; he will have you know, if you get any Grace at his hand, it must be by doing as he bids you, and not by dis­obedience: if you would beleeve this better, you should finde such admira­ble sweetnesse in Gods love, as should constraine you to love him more, and the more you love him, the more should you hate sin and corruption, which is contrarie to him; and the more you hate that, the more it would wast in you; for it is your love to it, that nourisheth it, and [Page 70]makes it thrive, and shoot up in you; In a word, your Beliefe must be stronger, that your corruptions may grow weaker, there­fore give your minde to it as good at first as at last; Beleeve stedfastly in the Grace of God.

9 Object. But I feare, if I should thus perswade my selfe, I should presume.

Ans. Feare not that, you being rightly humbled, for that perswasion, that goes before sound Humi­liation is presumption, but not that which fol­loweth it; if you can at­taine to a grounded per­swasion [Page 71]after, safe and good: to presume is to be perswaded, when one should not, not when hee should; as now you should and ought, feeling the burden of your sins, God requires it of you, Matth. 11.28.

10 Object. But there are a very few Beleevers; therefore I am afraid I am none of them.

A. Few indeed, yet not because God is un­willing to save more, but because so few will ac­cept of his proffer on his Termes; which if thou wilt, it's all one to thee, [Page 72]few or many.

11 Obj. I feare I have sin­ned against the Holy Ghost, because I have often resi­sted that good Spirit, and gone against my Consci­ence.

A. But thou wilt not re­nounce Gods Truth, nor as an enemie maliciously persecute it, therefore hast not committed that un­pardonable sin.

2. Thou grievest forthy resisting the Spirit, and wilt be more carefull not to doe so; how then hast thou committed that sin whereof one cannot re­pent, when thou seest, [Page 73]thou dost even now re­pent of it.

12 Obj. I feare (if ever I had it) that I have lost it again, because I have not such Joy and Cheereful­nesse as I had at first.

A. You cannot loose it, if you had it not before; and if you had it before, you cannot loose it, be­cause its a thing that 1 Pet. 1.5. and 9. can­not be lost; as for your Joy it is with you, as with the Church ravisht most with Joy upon their first deliverance out of capti­vitie, Psal. 126.2. and yet their deliverance lasted long after; or like the [Page 74]creeple, Act. 3.8. who up­on his unexpected cure, shewed greatest Joy at first, and yet he was as sound of his limmes long after.

13 Obj. I feare I shall not be able to hold out, because Satan and my corruptions are so strong, and my Faith so weake (if I have any)

Ans. God who hath be­gun the good worke, will fi­nish it, Phil. 1.6. and Christ is both Alpha and Omega, Rev. 1.11. not onely the Beginner, but also the Fi­nisher of our faith, Heb. 12.2. A living member [Page 75]of Christ cannot perish, unlesse he should perish with him, as the mem­bers of the body cannot be drowned without the head.

14 Ob. O it is a difficult matter to beleeve truly.

A. The matter of diffi­cultie is most in the will, be you more willing, and it will be more easie.

CHAP. 8. The maine Lets to the get­ting of saving Beliefe in meere naturall ones.

THere are many Lets and Hinderances that [Page 76]keep men from getting of it, some of the Chiefe are these:

1. Ignorance, not know­ing what it is, how good, and how they ought to labour for it, such God sweares, shall not enter into his rest, Psal. 95.10, 11. because they know not his wayes.

2. Feare and Distrust, lest God will not give it them, though they seek it, whereby they do him no small dishonour, seeing he hath promised the con­trarie. Matt. 7.7. Seeke, and ye shall finde.

3. Spirituall Pride, and well-conceitednesse of [Page 77]themselves, We are all by nature as full of pride and selfe­conceited­nesse, as a bladder is of wind, but when we are pricked with the Law, we finde our selves empty and lanke. and their do­ings; as he thinks scorn to beg, or be beholding to another, that hath of his own alreadie; Every one that is (thus) proud in heart is abomination to the Lord. Prov. 16.5.

4. Carnall Securitie, thin­king their Soules are not in danger, nor will be per­swaded of it; he that thinkes not himselfe in any danger of death, will not use Physicke to pre­serve his life; these are like Sisera fast asleep and se­cure, Judg. 4.21. when Jael was ready to pierce his braines.

5. Carnall Confidence, [Page 78]and trusting to their out­ward prosperitie, because they thrive and fare well in the world, in bodie and in outward Estate, there­fore are confident their soules doe so too; as if a Traitour in hold, finding good keeping, should be confident of a pardon.

6. Sloth, and a lazie hu­mour; whiles men, had ra­ther be without it, than to take paines for the get­ting of it, and to remove such logges out of the way, as hinder them to­wards it; as one in a swoune that had rather go away, then be rubb'd and [Page 79]struggled with, for the sa­ving of his life.

7. Delay, as men putting off so long the getting of a pardon (which they might have) that they are hanged before it come: thus many an one looseth the land of promise by lingring so long in the wildernesse of sin; as the old Israelites.

8. Presumption, which is not saving but deceiving Beliefe, false beleeving, where with Faiths roome is taken up, that there is no Roome for it to enter; these are they, that were never made so much as [Page 80]capeable of beleeving by getting a broken heart, and yet beleeve and ap­ply Christ to themselves after their owne fashion, without any ground or warrant from God, nay, against his Word; They doe not take Christ the Remedie, 1. in Gods or­der, by being humbled first; nor yet 2. upon Gods termes, viz. to be rid of their sins by him, as Act. 3.26. They that thus by presumption have falsly laid hold on Christ, it's an harder matter farre to make them loosen, and so take true and good hold [Page 81]of him, then those that have beene ever fearing and doubting, and never yet apprehended at all; As one at point of being drowned, having taken fast hold of a Bulrush in the water, it's harder (his Senses being stonied) to make him let goe, and take hold on a strong pole reacht to him, then if he had taken hold on nothing at all.

Carnall people are even shackled & fettered with these fore-named hinde­rances, and as it were with strong Chaines held in; which if they get not [Page 82]loose from, they are bond­men to Satan still, no free­men of Christ, to wit, true Beleevers; for all their smooth and civill beha­viour, wronging no body, paying every one their owne, keeping their Church, and professing true Religion.

CHAP. 9. Helps to saving Beliefe, for distressed Soules.

THese helps are onely meant for the affli­cted Conscience, and for weake wavering ones; for to offer helpe to a dead [Page 83]man is lost labour, but to a weake man is a benefit; they are therefore for those humbled sinners in whom Faith is to be con­ceived, or is conceived (as CHAP. 5.) and come to the birth, but there is no power to bring forth in a sensible persuasion, which yet their soules long for, (more then any woman for her deliverie) O say they that I had this assu­rance; that I could be so perswaded, (yea, some with many teares, thus ex­pressing their desires) to whom, I say, consider

1. God hath provided [Page 84]Christ a Remedie effectu­all for every poore di­stressed soule, that seeing and feeling it's necessitie, is truly willing and As Chap. 5. Q. 4. de­sirous to receive him, Isai. 55.1. Beleevest thou this? yes. Then also you see your soule is such a soule. yes. Therefore of necessi­tie you must yeeld, that God hath provided him such a Remedie for your Soule: what say you to this?

Ans. I am not able to contradict it; Go to then, now then you are perswa­ded, that God hath provi­ded the Remedie to be ef­fectuall, [Page 85]even for your Soul in particular, and for the Salvation thereof, which is to beleeve, yea, the birth thereof.

2. Are you unfainedly desirous of Grace, the fa­vour of God, and Salvati­on by Christ? Lord thou knowest I desire it with my heart: Well then, know that God is a thou­sand-fold more defirous of it, Ezek. 33.11. For thy defire is finite, his infinite, and if God be willing and you to, what should hinder? God and you are agreed upon it, there­fore so it shall be.

Object. The doubt is of his willingnesse, for I find willingnesse in my selfe to it.

Ans. Doe you beleeve you have deserved hell, because Gods Word saith so? yes. Why then doe you not beleeve, that Gods will and desire is to save you, seeing his Word saith so to; if it be true in one thing, it's true in another: Remember, If we (with humble and up­right hearts) confesse our sinnes, he is faithfull and just to forgive us, 1 Joh. 1.8 so then he is willing to shew you mercy; and that [Page 87]he can, you cānot doubt; if you thinke him Almigh­tie, and seeing he both can and will, you must be per­swaded so it shall be.

3. Further consider, that in a yeelding Reso­lution of an humbled Soule to Gods proffer, and in an heartie desire is faith conceived (though not brought forth) as was shewed CHAP. 5. Thus it is with you, therefore Faith is in you, though not seen, nor sensibly dis­cerned of you, and seeing it is in you, needs must you thinke that Christ is yours, and that you shall [Page 88]be saved by him.

4. To studie much & of­ten upon Christ, is a good help and meanes, to bring us to come to partake of him by Faith; for what our minde thinkes much on, it is by degrees trans­formed into, if of world­ly things into worldli­nesse; if of heavenly, into heavenly-mindednesse, if of Christ very much, into Christ at last; as that which lies soaking in fresh water, growes fresh; but if in salt water, it will grow brackish: We must not thinke to catch Christ swimming aloft, by su­perficiall [Page 89]and sleight thin­king of him now and then; but must dive deepe in serious studie and deep meditation of him, as Eph. 3.18, 19.

5. You must bargaine for Christ, and so you shall be assured that he is your owne; the Mat. 13.46. Pearle must be bought, doe then as the Buyer, 1 1. See you want the Commoditie; 2 2. That it is to be had; 3 3. What a pleasure it would doe you, and what a benefit to you to have it; 4 4. Thereupon take liking to it, to desire it; 5 5. Consi­der on what Termes, and [Page 90]at what Rate it is to be had, (for there is no ha­ving of Christ, but at Gods Rate, you must so take him, or let him a­lone.) 6 6. Consent there­to to give God his asking and demands, viz. to give him your heart, to be all for him; to renounce your sins and sinfull lusts, &c. If thus you consent to it, with good liking, the bar­gain is stricken up, Christ is yours; yea though, the whole be not performed in present, but an earnest laid down in true part of payment (for you must be in good earnest) and the [Page 91]Remainder from time to time continually after­ward, viz. daily to part with sin, and your corrup­tions more, and to grow more holy, to give the Lord your heart, in loving and delighting more in him, and seeking of him, &c. yet the Earnest makes the Bargaine, if in good Truth of heart you con­sent & begin these things. 7 7. Then take up your bar­gaine and carry it away with you rejoycing, as did the Eunuch, Act. 8.39. now you may be sure that Christ is yours, having thus made the Bargaine, [Page 92]unlesse you thinke God will fly from his bargain, and not performe; which farre be it from your thoughts. Num. 23.19. He is not as man that he should repent.

6. It is an especiall help to beleeving to observe well the right grounds thereof, shewed before CHAP. 6. and to take heed of the wrong grounds, which is when the hum­bled sinner lookes to find something in himselfe, to perswade him to it, as the fruits of Sanctification, and Evangelicall Repen­tance, to forsake his sins out of love to God, &c. [Page 93]and is afraid, and dares not be perswaded he shall be saved by Christ, un­lesse he finde these first, which as they appeare more or lesse, so he be­leeves accordingly; but when this humbled Soule longing truly after Christ findes not (for that fol­lowes upon our appre­hension of Gods love to us by Christ) though faith be conceived in him, yet hath he no power to bring forth in a setled perswasion, nay, he is so stumbled, that in stead of drawing on to the per­swasion of Faith, he is [Page 94]further set off from it.

So then there are two wayes in use with those that are honestly minded, thirsting after Christ, whereby they labour to bring forth Faith, in get­ting a true perswasion. The first is by pitching on the right grounds mentioned CHA. 6. wher­to I referre you, not loo­king to any thing in themselves, any more then Preparation by sound Humiliation: The other way is when they looke to finde first some fruits of sound Grace, before they be per­swaded [Page 95]of their Salvation by Christ, else think they should presume (but thats a great mistake) this is a further way about, and more uncōfortable, wher­in also when they have wheel'd about, perhaps a great part of their life, it must fall into the other way at last to.

1. These the Temptor playes upon exceedingly, as if a man should let a young Tree lie above ground, and not set it in the Soyle, till he first see what fruit it will beare, or as if one should be afraid, and refuse to eat, till he [Page 96]first feele some working and Effect of food in him.

2. They that take the former way, shall thrive and grow more in a moneth, then the other shall doe in a yeare, as a Science skilfully put into the Stocke growes more in one yeare then another in three, that is not well set in, and besides often cropt to, though some sap in it.

3. The latter way is full of continuall uncertaintie, perplexed with more cares, feares and doubt­ings; for as they finde abatings and coolings, [Page 97]ebbes and flowes, so doth their perswasion ebbe and flow; If one be set for­ward in it one day, he will be set back again two for it; he is so cloyed and ti­red with thoughts of his own unworthinesse, with fruitless fears and doubts, that he cannot apply him­selfe to goe on cheerfully in godly practice.

4. They that take this latter way, hang longer in the Birth with paine and discomfort; yea, they put themselves to a great deal more pain then they need, Paine which shall not profit: Jer. 12.13. whereas the former with [Page 98]more comfort are more speedily delivered, and to their great Joy bring forth Faiths true perswa­sion.

Obj. To what use then serve sanctifying Graces and Fruits, the signes of our Salvation? are they needlesse?

Ans. No: they are of excellent use, for they serve,

1. To discover to men their Estate that they be­leeve, for all that truly be­leeve have these things undoubtedly upon their beleeving, but not before; they serve not to put the [Page 99]Sience into the Stocke, that is, to set us into Christ, but to declare that we are in him.

2. They serve comfor­tably to confirme us in Beleeving, not to bring us to beleeve; as love-tokens betweene friends, which are not the Ground of their first good-will, but lively Demonstrations thereof, and so serve to confirme it further, as to this use serve the holy Sacraments.

3. They are Faiths sun­beames (as the Sun­beames are to the Sunne) whereby it hath its wor­king [Page 100]and operation in us and by us to the glorify­ing of God.

2 Object. Doth not the Scripture say, The unrigh­teous shall not inherite the Kingdome of God. Were it not folly then for me to beleeve I should be saved before I find my self such an one?

Ans. Beleeve, and thou art righteous, for first thy Faith is accounted to thee for Righteousnesse; and Christs Righteousnesse becomes thine; and se­condly, by Faith thou partakest of inherent per­sonall Righteousnesse.

3 Obj. None shall be saved, but they that are sanctified, Gods Word tels us; How can it then be safe or true for me to beleeve I shall be saved, till I see my Sanctificati­on?

Ans. It is true, you can­not be saved, unlesse you first be sanctified; but it's as true, you cannot be sanctified unlesse you first Immundi omnes quos non mun­dat sides Christi. Aug. En­clir c. 75. beleeve; and unlesse it be by this meanes you shall never be sanctified: San­ctification comes by Be­leeving.

2. You are as soon san­ctified as justified, and [Page 102]you might as well object, Should I beleeve that I unjustified shall be saved? No; for in beleeving thou art justified; and so it is for Sanctification. But re­member I have spoken all this while of the broken-hearted sinner, sufficiently humbled and prepared at least for beleeving, what­ever more he hath attai­ned; I speake of no o­ther, so understand me, and then you take me right.

CHAP. 10. The seat or subject of saving Beliefe.

THis is of some use, for one may the better finde a good thing, if he once know the very right place where it lieth; the Seat and proper place of its abode and residence, I take to be the Soule, ra­ther then any one particu­lar facultie of it alone; for Faith shewes it selfe, and its vertue in the severall faculties of the Soule; as in the Will by accepting of Christ, in the Heart by trusting and relying on [Page 104]him, in the Understan­ding by perswasion, in the Conscience by Assu­rance: And I conceive it to be after this order thus: after that the understan­ding of a distressed Soule is enlightned to see a suffi­cient meanes [Christ] of­fered freely to him, then first the heart (if one be­long to God) is affected therewith, and earnestly desires it, viz. whole Christ; here Faith begins, for this (in the humbled Soule) drawes with it insepara­bly secondly an act of the Will, to wit, the accep­ting of it, (for whatsoever [Page 105]is desired, the will choo­seth and accepteth of) it accepteth of it in making choice of Christ above all, and in Resolution to hold fast to him, and ne­ver to forgoe him; then the work runs back again to the heart to rest and trust on him; thence to the understanding to be perswaded of our Soules welfare by him, thence to the Conscience, when as the partie by a reflected act knowes that he be­leeves, that is, that he is perswaded truly, and so is assured of his Salvation, &c.

Object. Rom. 10.10. With the heart man beleeveth.

Ans. He saith not onely with the heart; but the heart here is put for the whole Soule, as it is frequently in Ezek. 36.26. Psal. 108.1. Job 38.36 1 Pet. 3.4. 1 Joh. 3.20. Isai. 6.10. Scripture elsewhere; and that it is so meant here, appeares by the contra distinction it beares to the mouth and outward man. ver. 9.

CHAP. 11. The immediate Effects fol­lowing upon sound Belee­ving.

HEE that hath it wrought in him, is [Page 107]presently brought as it were into a new world, and like as it was with Pe­ter, when he was come to himselfe, after his mi­raculous deliverance out of prison by an Angel, loosed from his Chaines, and passing through the iron gate, the case was much altered, and he in an Extasie. These Effects or gratious dispositions im­mediately follow in the true beleever.

1. True Love to God, which could not be be­fore, for the apprehension of his love to us, kindles love in us to him, as a [Page 108]Sparke or burning Coale lights the Candle, or sets the wood on flame: Now we love God cordially, more then one that should save our life: it appeares thus:

1. It makes us love him above our selves, or any other; in that we see he hath done more for us then we could or would doe for our selves, or any other could doe for us.

2. To study how to grati­fie him, and to think what shal I render to the Lord? Psal. 116.12. and willing to be at cost and paines for him, and how to please him best.

3. To love as he loves, and hate as he hates.

2. Hatred of sin, not as before, viz. because our bane only; but because it's cleane contrary to God, and his holy and pure Nature, for if we love one thing of necessitie, we hate the contrarie to it, thus loving sweet we hate sowre, loving Light we abhorre darknesse, loving pleasure, we cannot abide paine.

3. Godly or Evangeli­call Sorrow, which is sor­row for our sinnes, out of love to God, and because they are offence and [Page 110]wrong to him, who is so infinitely good to us: It differs farre from world­ly sorrow which was in Nabal, Ahab, &c. for that worketh death, 2 Cor. 7.10. but this life: and it differs from Legall sorrow for sin, which was in Iudas, for,

1. That breakes the heart, but this melts it, as if the Icicles have the Sun shine on them, they must needs melt, and if Christ the Sun of Righteousnesse be rightly applyed to the Soule, this melting Effect will undoubtedly follow in the heart, making it [Page 111]plyable to receive any gracious Impression.

2. That is chiefly in time of Humiliation, for as Godly sorrow comes on, so the other weares out.

3. That arises out of horrour of Conscience, but this out of love of God and his goodnesse.

4. That is only for the punishment, but this for the sinne.

4. Sound and sweet peace inwardly, which though it's not perfect, yet Con­sciences trouble is finely allayed, and it is better sa­tisfied and findes more [Page 112]ease then before; as after the plucking out of a sting or thorne is more ease, yet not perfect riddance of all paine; Being justified by Faith, we have peace with God, Rom. 5.1. the sting of sinne is the damning power of it, which upon our beleeving is plucked out and taken away. Rom. 8.1. hereupon followes ease in Conscience.

Q. How may one know whether it bee sound peace?

Ans. If it follow a sound cure of the wound first made and felt in Consci­ence; for else it's but a [Page 113]still and secure Consci­ence, and like one that hath a thorne in his flesh, and he asleep, though he feele it not, the raging of it is as much and the dan­ger greater, for so long he useth no means against it.

5. Spirituall Joy, The God of hope fill you with all Ioy and Peace in beleeving, saith PAUL, Rom. 15.13. and my heart trusted in him, therefore my heart greatly rejoyceth, saith DA­VID, Psal. 28.7. This is not naturall Joy, rejoycing in things pleasing to nature; nor worldly Joy, in the things of this world, [Page 114]much lesse wicked Joy in doing evill, but spirituall; Joying in the Spirituall benefits and priviledges of Grace, called Joy of the Holy Ghost, very like that new Song, which no man could learne, but they which were redeemed from the earth. Rev. 14.3.

6. An holy Consecra­tion or Resigning up our selves wholly to Christ, Rom. 12.1. For if we be­leeve truly that Christ gave himselfe to death for us, it will make us accor­ding to reason give our selves wholly to him a­gaine; as in Marriage, very [Page 115]Reason requires a mutuall giving of themselves each to other.

Q. How?

Ans. By making a Co­venant in good earnest with Christ to be all for him, and not to be any more for the world, or for dearest Friends, or our owne selves any further then will agree with our being for him.

7. Love to the Godly, which before we could worst abide, as Paul new­ly converted cleaves hear­tily to those whom before he persecuted, Act. 9.19, 26. and as new kindred [Page 116]that come by Marriage, are much made on, being before but as strangers and of ordinarie account: Faith in Christ and love to all the Saints go toge­ther, Eph. 1.15. Such now are called to us, Ps. 66.16. Come all ye that feare God, others are shaken off and sent packing, Psal. 119.115. Depart from me, ye evill doers; though before our greatest Companions.

8. Unfained Wishing, and endeavouring of o­thers beleeving, Act. 26.29. Rom. 10.1. because now (and not till now) we have true love in us to [Page 117]God, and others; for true Charitie is a proper fruit of true Faith only; ma­king us aime at the grea­test good of others, that is of their Soule.

These are some imme­diate Effects, or holy stir­rings following instantly upon our quickning by Faith in Christ, in every one more or lesse, though not in all alike: where­withall note, that Faith quickens, as soone as it is conceived, as in CHAP. 5.

CHAP. 12. The Excellencie of saving Beliefe.

WHo is able to sound forth all its praise, whose Price is above the Pearles? yet to give a taste, It is more worth then the whole world, or any precious thing therein, yea, then Gold, 1 Pet. 1.7. we may say, Glorious things are spoken of thee, thou Grace of God, and (as the queen of Sheba of Salomon) thou exceedest the fame that we have heard: no money, or monies-worth can buy [Page 119]it if one have it not, and if he have it once, no­thing can make him part with it.

1. It is a defence against all evill, as against the De­vill, it's a shield where­with we quench his fiery darts, yea, a shield of Gods own making, Ephes. 6.11. and 16. so against the world, the victory that overcomes the world, Joh. 5.4. against sinne and the flesh, They that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts, Gal. 5.24. against men: Heb. 11.33, 34. &c. It made David not afraid of ten thousands of people, [Page 120] Psal. 3.6. against the Crea­tures, the very Lions could doe Daniel no man­ner of hurt, because he be­leeved in his God. Dan. 6.23.

Object. But sometimes they both hurt and kill the faithfull.

A. It is no hurt, though it seemes so, Rom. 8.28. what hurt doth the Chi­rurgion in lancing the flesh to cure an Im­posthume and save the life? nay, they hurt not the faithfull, though they kill them; for what hurt is death to a good man? so that Faith is a Coat of [Page 121]Male, and Armour of proofe against all evill, yea spirituall also, as death of Soul, He that beleeveth in me shall never dye, saith Christ. Ioh. 11.26. the curse; Christ hath redee­med such from the curse of the Law, Gal. 3.13. Con­demnation there is none to such. Rom. 8.1.

2. It is as all the five Senses to the Soule, It tastes and sees that the Lord is good. Psal. 34.8. It heares the Lord speake peace. Psal. 85.8. It smels the savour of Christs good Oynt­ments. Cant. 1.3. It touch­eth Christ, and feeles his [Page 122]vertue. Luke 8.46, 47, any one Sense is of much esteeme, but all in one is of most excellent worth, such a thing is Faith to the Soule, and that Soule that wants it may be said to want its Senses.

3. As the Soule is to the Body, that which keeps it alive, so is Faith to the Soule; nay more, for it keeps it alive for ever, that it shall never die more: What would men give for such a thing as would keep the body ever alive? how much better is this? It is as Salt that keeps the Soule from corruption, [Page 123]nay, which is more it fetcheth it againe when before it was most odi­ously corrupted.

4. It is a deare Friend indeed unto us, that will stand us more in stead, and doe more for us then all our friends, then all the world, yea then our own father and mother, wife or husband, &c. It doth us many excellent Offices: It's as the hand to receive Christ, Ioh. 1.12. to helpe the hungry soule to food, and the thirstie Soule to drink, Isai. 55.1. to clothe the naked soule with the best Rayment, it puts the [Page 124]Lord Jesus on us, Rom. 13.14. It puls out sin as a Thorne in the heart, Act. 15.9. and applies Christ as a plaister to the wound. All these offices it doth as a blessed hand.

5. It helps us to every good thing. Whatsoever you shall aske in Prayer be­leeving, ye shall receive. Matth. 21.22. so that if we want not faith, we cannot want any good thing.

6. It is of that excellent vertue, that it turnes all our Crosses and Losses into gaine unto us, Rom. 8.28. if not one way, yet another; if not in one [Page 125]yeere, yet in another; that our losses shall be but as the letting out or losse of superfluous bloud, for the gaining of more health and saving of life.

7. It prevents time, and makes things future to be present, as an Optick Glasse, that drawes things neere and presents them to the sense, that were a great way off before. Heb. 11.13.

8. It is our Ballast in the dangerous Seas and waves of Temptations, that keepes us well set­led; and from perishing by an unballast lightnesse [Page 126]tottering and reeling eve­ry way, 1 Cor. 15.58.

9. This of all things is that for which God re­specteth us; our wealth, beautie, wit, learning, ho­nour may make us accep­ted of men, but it is our Faith onely, that maketh God in love with us.

10. It is like the Load­stone, for as that pointeth ever at the North, and hath power attractive; so Faith pointeth ever at Christ, for any thing the Soule needs: yea, drawes him to the Soule.

11. It is such an admi­rable thing, as Christ him­selfe [Page 127]wonders at it, as we see in the Centurion, Mat. 8.10. we never finde him wondering at Silver or Gold, or costly apparell, or goodly sights, no not at the Frame of Heaven and earth, but at this he doth: Oh then how good, how great a thing is true Faith! how rich a Jewell!

12. It is our Credit and good report, Heb. 11.2, 3, 13. it payes all our soules debts, that none can claime any thing. Rom. 8.33.

CHAP. 13. The Necessitie of it.

SAving Faith is of ab­solute Necessitie; not such a Thing as is conve­nient and usefull as a good helpe, yet so as that a man may make shift without, like a Staffe to a Travellor, this is not so; but as Legs and Eyes to a Travellor, without which is no travelling in the way to Heaven possibly.

1. Without this we are destitute of all Friends, we have never a friend to help us, being forsaken of all, of God, of Christ, and [Page 129]the Creatures, for they take part with the Crea­tor, and are Friends to none but his Friends.

2. Without this all such on­ly materi­alitèr. good works are lost un­to us, as 1. Hearing Gods Word. The Word preached profited not them, being not mixed with faith. Heb. 4.2. yea, though we goe never so farre, or heare never so often, with great paines, and no lesse cost. 2. The Use of the Sacraments, as the Israelites that did eat the same spirituall meat, and dranke the same spiri­tuall drinke, sacramentally as we doe, yet With many [Page 130]of them God was not well pleased. 1 Cor. 10.4, 5. for want of Faith. 3. Even Prayer is but prating and lying without this, Psal. 78.34, 36. and for all other works either of pie­tie towards God, or Cha­ritie toward men, they are all but meerly lost unto us, if we have not saving Beliefe within us, as it was with them that took pains in helping to build Noahs Arke, but perished them­selves at last in the floud: or as they which take paines in digging, setting, & planting seere boughes of Trees, doe but loose [Page 131]their labour and shew their follie.

3. Nay one cannot pos­sibly doe a viz. For­malitèr. good worke without this, for without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb. 11.6. It being a Christians chiefest instru­ment, as the work-man can doe no worke, if he want his principall Toole as Axe, or Hammer, &c. or if he doe any thing, it will be but a Botch, that will give no good liking: therefore this we must have, and that of Necessi­tie whatsoever shift we make for it, whatsoever it cost to get; or else it had [Page 132]been better for us, if we had never been born.

Which seeing it is of such absolute necessitie, it behoves every one to make as much speed to get it as may be.

Quest. But may not one make too much haste to beleeve?

Ans. Yes, if they over­run sound Humiliation, they make more haste then good speed, but if one have been soundly humbled as was shewed CHAP. 3. then let him make as much hast as he can to beleeve; for these Reasons:

1. We cannot beleeve too soone, if we beleeve truly; we cannot make too much haste to obey God, who bids such be­leeve. Matt. 11.28.

2. God doth not stint us to any certaine time of continuance, in the com­fortlesse condition of Hu­miliation, so it be sound.

3. Those Act. 2.37. and Lydia, Act. 16. and the Jaylor, Act. 16.34. and the Eunuch, Act. 8.30. and Paul, Act. 9. and many o­thers beleeved immedi­ately upon the proffer: yea, God himselfe prea­ched comfort to Adam [Page 134]and Eve immediately up­on their Legall Conster­nation.

4. One may be in dan­ger of doing himselfe mischiefe in the Interim, out of horrour before some sparke of Beleeving bring light and comfort to prevent it.

5. As to delay our re­penting when God bids us is a great sinne, so to deferre our Beleeving, is no lesse, if not a greater sinne.

CHAP. 14. How to know whether we have this saving Beliefe or no.

THe first way to know whether we have it, is duly to consider whether we be not of the number of those that have it not: Who are they?

1. Grosse ignorant ones, I meane such, who as they have not heavenly know­ledge; so they desire it not, nor care to take pains for it, this is a blind Faith which cannot see to get into Heaven; Flaming fire is provided for such, [Page 136]2 Thes. 1.8. if the Sun look into a dungeon it must needs be inlightned, so is Christ to the Soule.

2. Loose ones, and such as are of prophane life, who shall receive the same reward of Vengeance with the former in fla­ming fire at Christs com­ming, because they obey him not now, 2 Thes. 1.8. Gal. 5.21.

3. Worldlings, they are enemies to God. Jam. 4.4.

4. Such as are meere Civill ones, in whom the Plague-sore of sin is but stricken in, not cured, but more dangerous: they [Page 137]cannot be saved. Matth. 5.20.

5. Such as have not so much as historicall Faith, viz. to beleeve that God speakes true in all points: as that giving is the way to have more, Luke 6.38. that we must not labour to be rich, Prov. 23.4. that Godlinesse is most gaine­full, 1 Tim. 6.6. that no­thing is to be gotten by sin, Iob 33.27. that ill got­ten wealth shall doe us no good, Prov. 10.2. that a broken heart pleaseth God best, that to loath our selves is the way to have the Lord to love us, &c.

6. Hypocrites, Mat. 24.51. contenting themselves with the formes of God­linesse, but care not for the inward power and true efficacie of it: these have but a rotten heart skinned over.

7. Such as make light of it, and thinke it is easily gotten without any great adoe; they that slight it, want it.

8. They that thinke it impossible to be got; these [...] Cowards are unbelee­vers. Rev. 21.8. who shall have part in the burning lake.

9. Slothfull ones, Prov. [Page 139]19.15. that though they thinke it may be had, yet are so lazie, they will not take paines for it; remem­ber Mat. 25.26. thou wic­ked and slothfull servant.

10. Presumers, who are like dreamers, Isai. 29.8. that have alwaies thought they had it alreadie, and therfore never went about the getting of it.

11. Such as were never rightly humbled and bro­ken hearted for their sins; the Grace of Faith, and Grace by Faith is given to none but the humble, 1 Pet. 5.5. The stout-hearted are farre from righteous­nesse, [Page 140]saith God, Isa. 46.12.

12. They that content themselves with some flitting motions and vani­shing flashes of desire af­ter it sometimes; but be­ing quenched with the world come to nothing, as the young man, Matth. 19.16.

13. Intire Familiars and Associates with the un­godly; for they that give their heart to Gods ene­mies, give it not to him, he wants it if they have it: David liked not such fel­lowship, Psal. 26.5.

14. Ambitious persons, Christ saith, how can [Page 141]they beleeve? Ioh. 5.44. Here are 14. severall forts of unbeleevers (though professing the Gospel) if you find your selfe of the number of any of these, you may easily know how it is with you for the matter of saving Faith, namely that you have it not.

CHAP. 15. Generall Notes of Tryall whereby to know it.

I Hope none will be of­fended with me, for let­ting in more light into their hearts, to see them­selves [Page 142]the better by it. Thus then you may know whether you have this saving Faith.

1. If it hath something to shew for that which it beleeves concerning your Salvation, that is some word or writing from God to prove it to you, as one that is confident of a State of Land, or summe of Money belonging to him, will have something to shew for it.

2. If you be willing to prove and trie it your selfe, 2 Cor. 13.5. and wil­ling that any body else should try it, yea the Lord [Page 143]himselfe, Psal. 139.23.

3. If there be a Spiritu­all Struggling and Con­flict in you betweene the flesh and Spirit, not, that between Conscience con­vinced and will, as was in Joh. 19.12. & 16. Pilate, but that, between the part regenerate and unregenerate, as was in Paul, Rom. 7.22, 23. which goes with an hatred of the flesh, and love of the Spirit, holding with the Spirit against the flesh, as true a Signe of our con­ceiving Christ by Faith, as Rebekahs struggling was of her Conception.

4. If it grow, 2 Thes. 1.3. [Page 144]as a living Child, or Tree is knowne from a dead one by the growing of it.

Object. I feele not a Growth and stronger Be­leeving, though I much desire it.

Ans. If you grow stron­ger in desire, and endea­vour, then it growes stronger inward and in the Root, though not to sight.

2. If it make you daily more conscionable and give you better warning of sin, as a Clock giving warning is known to goe on, though you cannot see it move forward.

5. If it gaine by Oppo­sition, and wax stronger by Resistance (as one by often wrastling growes more expert) and holds faster to Christ, as the Travellor being assaulted by stormy weather holds his Cloake the faster to him.

6. If your End and Aime in beleeving, be (not to sin more boldly and securely, for then it's naught, but) to be able by that meanes to leave sinning, and only to please GOD in all things, then well & good.

CHAP. 16. More speciall Notes where­by saving Beliefe may be tried, and knowne.

DIstinctly thus; It may be known, first, by its Antece­dentia. foregoers; and secondly, by its Gonse­quentia. followers.

For the first, if it be lawfully come by, viz. by good and lawfull meanes, as Gods Word and wor­king of his Spirit, not by flattering Nature, selfe­conceit, &c. That Faith is but as a stolne thing.

2. If it be well bred, that is both by Law and Gospel (as CHAP. 3. & 4.) [Page 147]things of the right breed, are of the right kind.

3. If it were much lon­ged for, and with difficul­tie obtained, as Hannah obtained her Samuel.

4. If it came by way of bargayning for Christ, as CHAP. 9. was shewed.

For the second, it may be known by its Followers, as a Noble man by his Traine and Reteinue; Nay, Faith may be more readi­ly and easily knowne by the A Poste­riori. Fruits and Effects following, then by A Priori. the Causes, and things fore­going (though this be the surer) but both together [Page 148]do best, as life by motion, fire by heat, the Sun by its Reflection on the wall, or in the water, a Seale by the print on wax may be as verily known, as if you looke upon the things themselves: Now then besides those immediate effects of true Beleeving, mentioned CHAP. 11. it may be discerned by di­vers other, in time and af­terward, as thus:

1. It is a Living Faith, both because it hath Life and Operation in it Gal. 5.6. (It will Si malè & non be­nè opera­tur mortua est. Aug. Enchir. cap. 67. worke for God and against sin) as al­so because it makes us a­live [Page 149]to God, Rom. 6.13.

2. It loves and desires the Word, Gods Ordi­nances, and holy meanes. Psal. 84.2. because first it's begotten thereby (as a Childe or young thing beares love to the bree­ders) secondly, they are nourishment to it, as we being hungry love our food.

3. It makes a new Crea­ture, purifying the heart, Act. 15.9. and playning the life. Rom. 6.4. It makes them vertuous, knowing Gods will, temperate, pa­tient, godly, which before were contrarie. 2 Pet. 1.5. [Page 150]they therefore that joyne not to their Faith, vertue, but vice; not knowledge, but ignorance; not Tempe­rance, but intemperance; not Patience, but impati­ence; not Godlinesse, but ungodlinesse, their Faith is vaine: and they not be­ing new Creatures, are not true Beleevers; For Christ will draw all those his way in conformitie after him, that partake of him; as the Loadstone will draw the iron after it that comes within the reach of its vertue.

4. It works repentance, and abandoning of sin, for [Page 151]a true hold of Christ, will make us let goe our hold of sinne.

Obj. There is sin in the best.

Ans. Sinne in the faith­full is like an harlot bea­ten out of doores, which yet lies lingring in corners and out-roomes of the house, though detested and not endured in sight; but sin in unbeleevers is like an harlot harboured and maintained in the best roomes, and delighted in.

Faith makes us grudge sinne any roome in this house of Christ, whose honse are we. Heb. 3.6. and [Page 152]this is Repentance.

5. It will make one not content with thinking he hath it, but to be very de­sirous, and take paines to be sure and certaine he hath it. 2 Cor. 13.5.

6. It will worke selfe­deniall in us; because we have given our selves away to Christ now, (as the wife to her husband,) Rom. 7.4. 1 Pet. 4.2, 3. Selfe-deniall. First, in re­gard of God, for having, doing, suffering as he will, and not as we would our selves; so Christ, Not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matt. 26.39. Secondly, in re­gard [Page 153]of our neighbour (in and for God) Rom. 15.2. in Col. 3.13. forgiving, for bearing, not doing them the least wrong, to doe our selves the greatest benefit, see­king and heartily desiring their good, as if it were our own, 1 Cor. 13.5. well requiting, though they ill­deserving.

7. A true Touch of Christ by Faith will draw vertue from him as Luk. 8.46. Matt. 14.36. as to the health of their Bo­dies, so will it for the Soul much more; and for the working of a Cure there­on, it drawes from Christ [Page 154]the vertue of Holinesse; and the closer we stick to him, the more shall we draw from him, as a plai­ster, the closer it sticks, the more it drawes.

8. It makes us com­plaine of much want in our Faith, and weaknesse in our Beleeving, out of a sense of unbeliefe in us, as a burden to us, as Mark 9.24. Lord help my unbe­liefe.

9. It desires more and more earnestly the Fa­vour of God, and still bet­ter Assurance of it, and therefore will make us:

1. Not to favour our [Page 155]selves so much in sinne, which stands not with Gods Favour.

2. Not to be contented in any prosperitie with­out it.

10. To long more after the Sweetnesse of Christ, as Lovers that are agreed and contracted, long for the Marriage day, and the perfecting of their loves: and as a Child that hath once tasted the sweetnesse of the bigg, hunts more earnestly after it. Faith longs therfore for Christs comming. 2 Cor. 5.28. Cant. 8.14. Rev. 22.20.

11. It expels worldli­nesse [Page 156](from ruling in us) 1 Ioh. 5.4. with 2.16. Heb. 11.26. So as a true Belee­ver cannot be a world­ling (that is, to love worldly things more then Grace and Godlinesse) no more then he can be a Iu­das; because Faith findes All-sufficiencie in Christ; as Iacob for his Ioseph, Gen. 45.28. so the true Belee­ver for his Iesus; he can be content to want all, so he have him.

12. It exchades boast­ing of our gifts, good parts, good deeds; Rom. 3.27. For first, the more we perceive Gods mercie [Page 157]and love to us; the more his Excellency and boun­tifulnesse appeares, which will make us adore and reverence him in the more humilitie, as a great personage, the better he is knowne, the more he is honoured. Secondly, the more we comprehend his mercie and Favour, the more we apprehend our miserie, standing in need thereof; which will make us the more humble.

13. It workes in us in­ward Spirituall Life, now Christ liveth in us, Gal. 2.20. and we in him, which may be knowne [Page 158](as the naturall life.)

1. By the Palpita­tio cordis. working of the heart, panting after God, Psal. 42.1. and by beating of the pulses in our regular motions of constant endeavours, and Holy Obedience, Psal. 50.23.

2. By the Operation of the Senses, Discerning good and evill (effectually) Heb. 5.14.

3. By breathing a spiri­tuall and a sweet breath of Grace. Eccl. 10.12. Col. 4.6.

4. By the motion of hand and foot, which move to God and for God in all [Page 159]holy Actions, contrary to the wicked mans speak­ing with his feet, and in­structing with his fingers, Prov. 6.13.

14. It cannot abide, but driveth out Hypocrisie (which serves not God for love, but for by-ends) for hypocrisie is all in feigning, but Faith is un­fained, 2 Tim. 1.5. as con­trarie as light and dark­nesse.

15. It will not let us make haste, to use ill, or forbidden meanes to help our selves, Isai. 28.16. Psa. 40.1. as it kept David from killing of Saul, to [Page 160]hasten into the Throne; for, beleeving in God will not make us goe away from God; as to hasten by evill meanes is to run away from him, and we must be faine to come backe againe by Repen­tance.

16. True beleeving ob­taines what it beleeves, viz. things for present, in present, Mat. 8.13. Things to come, in their due time, Matth. 21.22. so the bene­fits of Christ, as delive­rance from the raigning power of sinne, Rom. 6.14. Sanctification and Grace (as well as Salvation) de­pendance [Page 161]on God, suffici­encie in him, patience, contentedness, &c. which if it obtaine it's true, else false; for how shalt thou thinke thy beleeving thy Salvation shall bring thee that; when as thy belee­ving thy Sanctification doth not bring thee this? nay, no more the one then the other, as the one is false, so is the other; how shall thy Faith prove true for another world, when it proves false in this? But if thy beleeving thy San­ctificatiō brings thee this, thē as certainly thy belee­ving thy Salvation shall obtain that.

CHAP. 17. The Degrees of saving Be­liefe.

THere is a weake be­leeving and a strong, Examples many in Scrip­ture of both, & 1 Iob. 2.13. Children and strong men. Weake

1. In regard of know­ledge, for the Faith that sees but dimly, beleeves but weakly in compari­son.

2. In regard of Applica­tion, apprehending weak­ly, as a palsie hand, that receives a gift, but with much shaking.

There is also weak be­leeving,

1. In those that were never yet strong as a Child, that after becomes a man.

2. Sometimes in those that have been strong, but now fallen weake, as a strong man weakned by some sore sickness; so Da­vid, Psal. 27. &c. with Bsa. 22.14. and so Peter.

Strong Faith, some; but in regard of that which is weake, for elfe there is some want and weaknesse in the strongest Faith, something lacking, 1 Thes. 3.10. with Chap. 1.7, 8.

Things common to both, these are

1. Sight and Sense of our sins driving us out of our selves.

2. High-pricing of Christ, and hungring af­ter him, even whole Christ.

3. Earnest prayer, daily.

4. Use of good meanes out of good affection thereto.

5. Discerning and la­menting some unbeliefe in us, with desire of strengthening: It is nei­ther weak nor strong, nor any true beleeving at all, that wants these things.

The difference between them is, weak Faith is,

1. More troubled with quaking fears and doubt­ings.

2. Sooner damped and discouraged when it is checked.

3. Relyes more on see­ing and feeling, as it was with Joh. 20.25. Thomas.

4. Hath lesse Experi­ence, as it was with Sa­muel at first.

5. Is in more danger of sinning, and so of sorrow, and is put more to its shifts.

Strong Beliefe 1. Hath Knowne it selfe in former times [Page 166]very weake and much weaker then now: as 1 Cor. 13.11.

2. Is fuller of Courage for God, as was Nehemiah Chap. 6.11.

3. More constant in the holy course, as 2 Sam. 6.22. David being mocked by Michal.

4. Hath a more un­daunted apprehension of death, as Paul, Act. 21.13.

5. It makes one of strength and abilitie to beget other Christians, as a man growne.

If thy Faith be weake:

1. Slight it not, for Good-will from God is in it, (a small gift of a ve­ry [Page 167]friend must not be slighted) yea, a blessing is in it.

2. Be thankfull and ac­knowledge it, it's the way to have more, and as small as it is, it is more then thou canst be thankfull enough for.

3. Rest not in it, but get more, as one that hath weak diet, defence against danger, evidence for land, resteth not satisfied, but labours to be better pro­vided.

Object. Weak Beleeving will save me, if it be true.

Ans. True; but with more difficultie and dis­comfort, [Page 168]as a crazie, or lea­king vessell, that with much adoe makes shift to get to shore, and that is all; but what feare and disheartment in the meane time?

If thy Faith be strong,

1. Be not high-minded, but more humble, for thou art the more indeb­ted to God, and the stron­gest may take a fall, and become weak as a Child; as a lustie man with a bruise by a Fall, may goe halting to his grave.

2. Despise not weake Beleevers, but beare with them, yea, beare them in [Page 169]your armes. Rom. 15.1. use them tenderly, as men do with their weaker lambs, bring them home, and lap them up: and as a strong man doth not scorne a lit­tle child, or kick it up and downe, because its a weak thing; but dandles it in his lap.

CHAP. 18. What we must doe with sa­ving Beliefe, when we have it.

WE must be very carefull to use it well, when we have got­ten it, and that thus:

1. Setting great store by it, not to blow it away at every word, nor pawne it for every Trifle, as it is too usuall a Custome.

2. Be very charie of it, not to wrong it in any kind; as Parents are ten­der and doile of their on­ly Darling.

3. Allow it good kee­ping, as an husband that hath all his meanes by his wife, will be carefull of her, and keepe her well: We must keep it as our life.

Quest. How must Faith be well kept?

Ans. Thus:

1. It must be fed with holy meanes, Word and Sacraments, for as the body, if it want food a­while, growes weake and faint, so surely will Faith, if it want its spirituall Feeding: yea, it must be fed with the Word of God every day, specially, that provision we made at Gods Market in his publike Ordinance the last time, which we must by daily meditation and practise feed on, till new Supply come, hereby our Soule shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatnesse, Psal. 63.5.

More principally our Faith must be fed with the Promises, and that every day; for which pur­pose, we must get a good stock and store of Promi­ses, both concerning tem­porall things, and this present life; as also spiri­tuall and eternall life, as the Book of God, like a rich Treasure, is full of both sorts.

These I counsell every good Christian to cull out and get by heart, as he meets with them, to stand him in stead upon every Occasion, that he may be able to bring forth a spe­ciall [Page 173]Promise to comfort his heart, and cheere his Faith, at all times, what­soever Occasion happen; Oh, that more would be perswaded hereto, thus to doe; they that have done so, have found by Experi­ence how good it is, and that a Promise sometimes hath been better to them then all their Friends. Make a beginning then, get some principall Pro­mises by heart, & though your stocke be small to begin with, yet increase it, by gathering and adding still more to it, and so make use of any Promise, [Page 174]as each Occasion shall re­quire, you shall finde it a very great maintainer of Faith, and to keepe it in excellent thriving case; Trie, and you will say so.

2. Joyne good works to your Faith, they that beleeve in God must be care­full to maintain good works. Tit. 3.8. These strengthen Faith; as Children begot­ten and brought up by their parents at length are able to defend and main­taine them, and become a stay unto them.

3. Experience is a great helpe to Faiths good kee­ping, as Davids Lion and [Page 175]Beare stood his Faith in great stead, when he had to doe with Goliah: Make use of your former Expe­rience you have had of Gods dealing with you. Psal. 77.5, 6.

4. Examples of others that have beleeved, and how well they have sped, must be much thought on, Our fathers trusted in thee, (saith David) and thou deliveredst them. Psal. 22.4, 5.

Yea, the weak Belee­ving of some, and how they have overcome, it may hearten us much this way; One saith, THOMAS [Page 176] his doubting hath done me more good then MARIES ready beleeving. Plus mihi prosuit du­bitatio Thomae quàm cre­dulitas Mariae. Gre. Mag.

5. Keepe a good Con­science, which is a great nourisher of Faith, and Nurse unto it. 1 Tim. 1.19.

CHAP. 19. What we must doe when it is wanting, and more of it desired: with Exhortati­on to all.

1. LET every one for himselfe apply him­selfe unto the meanes and manner of working there­of, shewed in the begin­ning of this Treatise [Page 177]with a yeeldable heart: especially attend upon Gods Ordinance the Mi­nistery of the Word.

1. Acknowledge Gods 1 Cor. 3.4. Ministers his Instru­ments for it, yea being well perswaded, they are the parties God hath ap­pointed (especially your owne faithfull Pastour) purposely to work Faith, or more of it in you.

2. Acquaint them how it is with you for belee­ving, as Act. 8.37.

3. [...] Cor. 16.16. Put your selfe into their hands, to be ordered by them (having more skill then your selfe) con­cerning [Page 178]your Beleeving, and how to doe therein; as a sick patient puts him­selfe into his Physicians hands for his body.

And thus lye waiting at the poole of Bethesda for the stirring of the water by divine power.

2. Let every one ende­vour the bringing of others also to beleeve. Ioh. 4.29. and Joy therein, Act. 15.3. We account it a good and blessed worke to helpe one into this, though a miserable sinfull world; and there­fore every one thinkes himselfe beholding to the [Page 179]Midwife; how much bet­ter work is it, to help one into that other most hap­pie and blessed world by beleeving?

To conclude; let my Counsell be acceptable to three sorts of people.

1. To those that were never humbled; Consider if your breath were but gone, you were in Hell; Be content therefore to suffer the paine of a bro­ken heart (and to be cut to the heart, as Act. 2.37. now) rather then torment in hell for ever: as we see some are perswaded [Page 180]to be cut for the Stone, or searched of a wound, which else will cost them their life, and will not you be perswaded to endure this for your Soule?

2. To those that are, or have been rightly hum­bled I say; to beleeve is to betake our selves to a safe place, as the usuall Chasab. Hebrew word signifies, and as David did, Psal. 57.1. Therefore fly with all speed to Christ, as the Citie of Refuge, to get in­to him. For if death, the Avenger of bloud over­take you first, you are un­done for ever. And know [Page 181]that when the distressed Soule, seeing its selfe pur­sued with sinne and spiri­tuall dangers, feares and flies out of its selfe to Christ, desiring to be sheltered under him, it is sure and safe.

Object. But will not he refuse it?

Ans. No. Ioh. 6.37. Psal. 9.9, 10. figured by the Citie of Refuge, to which the man-slayer flying for safetie, could not be kept out.

2 Object. May not an Hypocrite do so much?

Ans. No: he onely dreames of comming to [Page 182]Christ, but doth not so indeed; or else makes some flourish of com­ming, but comes not home to Christ.

3. To those that be­leeve in truth; I say, Cast not away your confidence, which hath great recom­pence of reward. Heb. 10.35. Holy Confidence is like a Garment which the Soule wraps it selfe in; the flesh and world goe about subtilly to steale it from us, but the devill with his terrible blasts of Temptation, to make us let goe, or loosen our hold at least: but God [Page 183]bids us hold fast, for else the poore Soule will be naked and destitute. Hold fast therefore what you have. Rev. 3.11. Goe on in this your Strength, you Saints of God; and the Lord be with you, and send you good speed to Hea­ven.

FINIS.

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