Saving Faith Set forth In Three Dialogues, or Conferences:

  • 1 Between Christ and a Publican.
  • 2 Between Christ and a Pharisee.
  • 3 Between Christ and a Doubting Beleever.

Whereunto is added TVVO SERMONS One of them Preached before the Parliament the other Before the Lord Mayor of the City of LONDON.

By VAVASOR POWELL, Mi­nister of the Gospell.

LONDON, Printed by Robert Ibbitson for Li [...]ewell Chapman, at the Crown in Popes-head Alley. 1651.

THis Authour hath a­nother Treatise Ex­tant, called Christ and Mo­ses Excellency, &c. Distin­guishing and explaining the two Covenants, also treating on the Promises belonging to both Cove­nants; Directing to a right understanding of them.

[...]

To the Right Honorable the Parliament of the Com­mon-wealth of ENGLAND.

Most Noble, and ho­nourable Senators,

FOrasmuch as you were pleased, so to own mee, and this rude, & plain speech of mine, as to com­mand me to the Pulpit, and or­der it to the Presse.

I now humbly present it to you, with a small portall (or short Epi­stle) for the Edifice, it self, (being so little, and built with so many unhewne stones,) deserves not a great Porch, or Gate before it. [Page]That which I intended in this Discourse, and that which I do, (and shall) aime at and endea­vour, in my whole Course, was, and is the Exaltation of Christ, and the humiliation, and aba­sing of the Creature.

Christ was once humbled that wee might be exalted, and he is now exalted that wee might bee humbled. I may say without flat­tery, that God hath honoured you much, and you have honoured him not a little: Yet observe that Ho­nour is a fore-runner, either of the raising of Christ in mens hearts,Deut. 4.24 and esteem, or a signe of the utter ruining, breaking and sinking of them. The Lord is jealous for his owne, and zealous for his Sons glory;Esa. 9.7. and though he bee willing to impart his grace unto all,Esa. 42.8. yet his glory hee will not give to any other.

There bee two hard Lessons, which are as the Alpha and O­mega, in Gods Book. The one is to deny our selves, and the o­ther, to give glory to God: And hee is the compleatest Scholler in Christs Schoole, who is best vers'd in this divine learning.

Yee Worthy Rulers (of our Israel) Consider how God hath exalted You in the hearts of his People, over the heads of your Domestique Enemies, and in the eyes of your Foraigne foes. Now what doth the Lord require for all this from you againe? but that you walke humbly, and give his Highnesse his deserved, and due Glory.

Though Moses and Aaron, (two choyce Christians, and Cham­pions) did lead and govern Isra­el for a long time,Num. 20.12. (notwithstan­ding many dangers and difficul­ties) [Page]yet they were at last shut out of Canaan, because they did not sanctifie God, at the waters of Meribah. Also Eli (who was forty years a Priest of the Lord) was taken away,1 Sam. 2.29. and his posterity cut off, because he honoured his sons above the Lord. Would you stand your selves, and keep the ho­nour which God hath given you? and would you have your posteri­ty to prosper, and to have a name in the world, when you are gone out of it? then make it your businesse to exalt Christ. Oh remember that God puls downe some, Ezek. 31.14. to the end that others might not ex­alt themselves. The Lord of Hosts (saith Isaiah) hath purpo­sed to stain the pride of all glo­ry, and to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth. Esa. 23.9. There is a day comming, when all flesh shall be humbled, and [Page]the Lord alone exalted; & that day shal be upon every one that is proud and lofty, Esa. 2.11.12. and upon e­very one that is lifted up, & he shal be brought low. Humble your selves therefore, and exalt, neither your hearts, nor your gates, Seek not great things for your selves, Jer. 45.5. and let there not bee a lye in your right hands, Esa. 44.20 Mal. 2.16. neither cover violence with a garment. Propound nothing to your selves to seek for, but the honour of Christ, and the Saints, and Nations inte­rest, (wherein your interests and safeties are involved, and inclu­ded.)Neh. 5.14.18. Imitate good Nehemiah, who did twelve years hard service freely. And that because the bon­dage was heavy upon the peo­ple. The Lord hath hitherto made you friends to the Saints, and Fa­thers to the Nation. So that the former hath been countenanced, [Page]and both preserved through Christ, by your means.

Likewise your zealous and glo­rious Acts of Justice against sin, and your religious Acts of Grace (to the soules of men) in the propa­gating and promoting the Gospel,Especially those of Wales. doe, and will remaine engraven, (not in Marble but) in the mindes of us and our posterity.

And for the making of your actions yet more incomparable, (if your more publique and weighty businesse permit) to set some time, and persons aside, to hear, and re­lieve the private petitions, and grievances of the widdows, distres­sed, imprisoned, oppressed, and those that have suffered for Christs cause and your:Job. 31.16 19. that you may be able to say with Job: That you have not withheld the poore from their desire, nor caused the eies of the Widdow to faile: nor [Page]seene any perish for want of cloathing, nor any poor with­out covering.

Another desirable thing is, that all the REMAINDERS of Pa­ganisme, Popery and Supersti­tion, may be taken away, and that the places formerly consecrated, by Bishops, and still adored by the ignorant and superstitious (who call the Churches, and houses of God) may be declared to have no inherent holinesse in them: Also that the heathen names of dayes, and months may be abolished, that so the people may learne to speake the language of the Scriptures, and not of Ashteroth: and that Jehovah & not Jupiter; Christ and not Saturn, may be named; and written by us who professe our selves to be among the best, and the resormedst of Christians.

And that you may (to use the [Page]Apostles phrase) be perfect, and wanting nothing, to represent you excellent and eminent: Learne to say with Nehemiah, that though the former Governours were chargeable to the people: Neh. 5.15. and even their servants bare rule o­ver them: Yet so did not I (wee) because of the fear of the Lord This shall bee the prayer of him (for you) who can say as Debo­rah: Judg. 5.9. My heart is towards the Governours of Israel (England) that offered themselves wil­lingly among the people, blesse the Lord.

Your Honours much ob­liged, and most faith­full servant, for Christ and in his way. Vavasor Powell.

Three Divine Dialogues, OR, Conferences.

The first, betweene Christ, and a Publican.
The second, between Christ, and a Pharisee.
The third, between Christ, and a doubting Beleever.

The first Dialogue, between Christ and a Publican.

IN the great day of the Feast Jesus stood, and cryed, saying, if any man thirst, let him come to me, Joh. 7.31. Then drew neare all the Publicans and Sinners for to [Page 2]heare him, Luke 15.1. And he said unto one of them:

Jesus,

Poore Publican, What makes thee draw near to mee?

Publican,

Because they say (Lord) that thou art a friend of Publicans and Sinners, Matth. 11.19.

J.

So I am, and thou art welcome my beloved friend, sit downe therefore with me, and my Disciples, Mat. 9.10.

P.

Good Master, though I am unworthy to come into thy pre­sence, yet through thy leave, Ile sit here at thy feet to heare thy graci­ous words, Mar. 7.25. Luke 10.39. Joh. 12.3.

J.

How knowest thou that my words are gracious?

P.

Lord I have heard thee say, that Publicans and Harlots, shall enter into the King dome of hea­ven, before the Pharisees which thinke themselves far better then us, Mat. 21.31. Luke 18.11.12.

J.

And what say the Pharisees to that?

P.

They murmure among them­selves, and say, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them, Luke 15.2.

J.

Didst thou ever heare me preach besides that time?

P.

Yes, once besides, and it was the best, and comfortablest Sermon that ever I heard.

J.

Dost thou remember any of it?

P.

Yes, (though I have a bad me­mory, yet) I remember thou didst say, If a man had a hundred sheep, and did lose one of them, he would leave the ninety and nine in the wildernesse, and goe after that which was lost, untill he finde it: and when he had found it, he layeth it on his shoulders rejoy­cing, and when he commeth home, he calleth together his friends, and neighbours, saying unto them, re­joyce with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.

J.

Is that all thou dost remember?

P.

No, I remember somewhat more, that thou didst speake of a [Page 4]woman, that had ten pieces of sil­ver, and when she had lost one piece, she sought for it till she had found it, and then called her neigh­bours together to rejoyce with her: Also thou spakest of a man that had two sonnes, the one that lived still at home, and was obedi­ent to his father; the other that went away from his father, and spent his fathers means among harlots, till he came to poverty; and yet when he returned to his father, his father did receive him willingly, and made him great welcome, and entertainment.

J.

Well done my friend, thou hast well remembred; but dost thou know why I spake these comparisons?

P.

No Sir, I doe not well know that.

J.

It was to comfort, and encourage the Publicans and great sinners, that did heare me, and to silence the Jewes that did murmure, because they came to beare me, and because I received them.

P.

It is true Lord, there were [Page 5]many of us there then, but we did not know what thou didst mean by the lost sheep, the lost piece, and the wicked son.

J.

I did mean thy Country-men, and companions, the Publicans, Harlots, and Sinners, that are in a lost condition, because of your sinnes, and wickednesse in the eyes of others (as the Pharisees) quite lost, and adjudged to perish for ever.

P.

But who was it Lord, that did seeke for the lost sheep, and the lost piece of silver?

J.

It was I, who am the Saviour of sinners, and the Shepherd of the sheep, that am come to seeke and to save that which is lost, Luke 19 10. Matth. 18.11.

P.

Lord I am one of those that are lost, what shall I doe to be sa­ved? Acts 16.31.

J.

I am the way, and the doore, if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and who­soever beleeveth on me, shall not perish, but have everlasting life, Joh. 14.6. & 10.9. & 3.15.16.

P.

Lord canst thou save such a sinner as I am?

J.

Yes, I have power to save, and power to destroy, but I came not to de­stroy Greek, [...] the soules of men. mens lives, but to save them, Jam. 4.12. Luk. 9.56.

P.

And art thou willing Lord, that I should be saved?

J.

Yes, I am willing that all should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Tim. 2.5.

P.

But, Lord, I am a wicked and a sinfull man, Luk. 5.8.

J.

I know (deare soule) thou art so; But, I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance, Matth. 9.13.

P.

But Lord, I am not an ordi­nary, but an extraordinary sin­ner.

J.

Notwithstanding poore man, hear­ken for thy comfort, There was a certaine Creditor, that had two debtors, the one ought five hundred pence, and the other fifty; and when they had nothing to pay, be frankly forgave them both, Luk. 7.41.42.

P.

But Lord, I am a greater sin­ner [Page 7]then either of them both, for I have nothing, but sinned all my life time.

J.

What though, I am come to deli­ver those, that were all their life time subject to Or the bondage of sin. bondage, Heb. 2.15.

P.

Lord be mercifull to me be­ing a sinner, for I thinke there is not a greater sinner upon earth then I am, Luke 18.13.

J.

I am mercifull, and I will bee mercifull, and will pardon thy sins, Jer. 3.12. Heb. 8.12.

P.

Lord, I am such a sinner, I de­serve no pardon, for I have wearied thee with my sins.

J.

Though thou dost not deserve par­don, and though thou hast wearied me with thy sins, yet I will pardon thine ini­quities for my owne names sake, Esa. 43.25.

P.

Lord, I doe thinke my sinnes are so great, that it is impossible for them to be pardoned.

J.

Doe not thinke or say so, for all things are possible to him that beleeveth, Mark. 9.23.

P.

But my sins are so red, I think all the water in the sea cannot wash them away.

J.

Though thy sins be as scarlet, they shal be as white as snow, and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wooll, (if thou wilt turne to me from them) for my bloud can cleanse thee from all sin, Esa. 1.18. 1 Ioh. 1.7.

P.

But Lord if I should turne to thee from them, yet they are writ­ten downe, and thou wilt not blot them out, Ier. 18.23.

J.

I am be that blotteth out thy trans­gressions, yea, have blotted out as a thicke cloud thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins: returne therefore unto me, for I have redeemed thee, Esa. 43.25. & 44.22.

P.

But if I should returne unto thee, yet when I sinne againe, thou wilt remember my sins.

J.

No, I will pardon thee, and thy sins and iniquities will I remember no more, Heb. 10.17.

P.

Oh Lord! I am the childe of wicked parents, and thou ha [Page 9]said, thou wilt visit the sins of the fathers, upon the children, to the third and fourth generation.

J.

If a wicked father begets a son, that seeth all his fathers sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doth not such like; that sonne shall not beare the iniquity of the father; Ezek. 18.14.20. Ezek. 16.3. to the 13.

P.

But Lord, were there any wicked parents that had good children?

J.

Yes, many, as wicked 2 Kin. 16.20. with 2 Kin. 18.3 Ahaz had good Hezekiah: So 2 King 21 21, 22. with 2 Kin. 22.2 Idolatrous Amon, zealous Iosiah, and ungodly Saul, had godly Ionathan.

P.

Lord, what if I be a Bastard, and the childe of whoredome?

J.

That doth not hinder thee neither to be saved, for my servant Jud. 11.1 with Heb. 11.32. Jepthah was a Bastard; so was my servant Phares who is reckoned in my owne Genealogie. Compare Gen. 38.18. & 29 & Ruth 4.12. with Mat. 1.3.

P.

But Lord, is there not such a Scripture, that a Bastard shall not enter into thy Congregation [Page 10]untill the tenth Generation.

J.

Yes there is such a Deu. 23.2 Scripture, and that should make people shun the sin of whoredome, but that doth not exclude men, that are borne Bastards after the flesh, if they be borne againe of the Spi­rit, either out of my Church on Earth, (now in the dayes of the Gospell) or yet out of Heaven.

P.

But what Lord, if my father was a Bastard?

J.

Neither doth that binder, for Zarah the brother of Phares (who was a Bastard) begot my two wise and godly servants Ethan and Heman, com­pare Gen. 38.30. 1 Chron. 26. with Psal. 88. and Psal. 89. the titles of both being of Heman, and Ethan.

P.

Oh Lord, I am a very old sin­ner, and have one foot already in the grave, and I feare it is too late for me now to be called.

J.

No, it is not too late, for I call some at the ninth hour, yea some at the Which is but one houre be­fore night, or a little before Death. eleventh houre. And I will poure out of my Spirit upon old men in these Gospel daies, Mat. 20.6.9. Joel 2.28. with Act. 2.17

P.

But Lord, I have committed such great and hainous sins, both by speaking, and doing, that I am afraid it is in vaine for me to seek mercy.

J.

Though thou hast spoken, and done evill things, as much as thou couldest, yet returne unto me, and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon thee, for I am mercifull, Jer. 3.5.

P.

How shall I looke upon thee Gracious Lord, for I have multiplied sins against thee.

J.

As thou hast multiplied sins, so will I Or will abundant­ly pardon. multiply pardons, if thou wilt re­turne unto me the Lord, Esa. 55.7.

P.

Oh but Lord, I scarce think, that any so wicked as my selfe were saved, for I was an Idolater, an Adulterer, a Thiefe, a Drunkard, and what not, that was wicked.

J.

Such were many of my servants that are now in heaven, but I accor­ding to my owne kindnesse, and pitty to them, saved them by washing, sancti­fying, and justifying them, by my owne Or power Name, Blood, and Spirit, [Page 12]1 Cor. 9.6, 9, 10, 11. Tit. 3.3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

P.

Oh but mercifull Saviour, I was a Ring-leader of others into sinne, and I enticed, and drew ma­ny into wickednesse, and therefore my case is far worse then others.

J.

As thou wast a Ring-leader, and Enticer of others into sin, so I can make thee a guide and leader of others into, and in the way of righteousnesse, as I made thy Country-man Levi and others.

P.

But that which makes me fear most, is because I was a Blasphemer, Reviler, and Persecutor of thy peo­ple, yea many of thy Saints, did I shut up in Prison.

J.

Yet thou shalt have mercy, be­cause thou didst it ignorantly through un­beliefe, 1 Tim. 1.13.

P.

Oh but Lord, I finde my heart is hardened, through the deceitful­nesse, and custome of sinne, that I cannot hope it will ever be other­wise.

J.

I can, and will take the stony heart [Page 13]out of thy flesh, and I will give thee a heart of flesh, Eze. 36.26.

P.

Lord wilt thou doe all for mee?

J.

I must do all for thee, for without mee thou canst doe nothing, Phil. 2.13. Joh. 15.5.

P.

Lord, what then shall I do?

J.

Before I teach thee what thou must doe; I will first shew thee, what I have done, and suffered for thee.

P.

Good Master I desire to know that.

J,

1. I left my own glory, and came into the world to save thee, and such sinners as thou art, John 17.5. 1 Tim 1.15.

2. Though I was the onely Son of my Father, and in his own forme, and e­quall to him; yet I tooke upon mee the forme of a servant, for thee and thy bre­threns sake, Joh. 1.14. Phil. 2.6, 7, 8.

3. Though I was Heire of all things, and Possessour of heaven and earth, yet I became poore and hungry, that thou mightest be made rich, Heb. 1.2. Gen. 14.19. and 2 Cor. 8.9.

[Page 14]

4. Though I deserved honour, and glory; yet I was reviled, threamed, and persecuted by my owne creatures, and all for my good will to thee, Heb. 2.9. 1 Pet. 2.23.

5. Though I had no sinne, yet I was made sin that thou poore sinner mightest escape sin, 1 Pet. 1.19. and 2.22, 2 Cor. 1.21.

6. Though I was a Law-giver, and Law-maker, yet I became under the curse of my own Law, that I might re­deem thee from that curse, Esa. 33.22. Gal. 3.13.

7. When I had power over mine own life, and no man could take it from mee, yet I laid it downe for thee, that thou mightest have life, Joh. 10.18. Rom. 5.6.9. 1 Ioh. 3.16.

8. Though I was my fathers delight, and an object of his love from everlast­ing: yet I became an object of his wrath, for my love to thee, Prov. 8.30. Psa. 88.16. & 102.10.

9. When thou wast an enemy, and stranger to God my father, I made peace betweene him, and thee, and re­conciled [Page 15]thee to him by my death, and jufferings, Rom. 5.10. Col. 1.20, 21. Eph. 2.12, 13.

10. When thou wert a slave to the Devil, and a fire-brand of hel; I did rescue thee from the power of the one, and redeem thee from the plague and punishment of the other, 2 Tim. 2.25. Amos 4.11. Heb. 2.14, 1 Thes. 1.10.

P.

Oh Lord I did not deserve a­ny of this from thee.

J.

True thou didst not deserve it, but yet I did it freely, and out of my love to thee, Rom. 3.24. Eph. 5.2.

P.

Are all my sins, Lord, satisfied for, and done away by thy death.

J.

Yes, they are perfectly satisfied for, and absolutely don away out of my fathers sight, never to be imputed again to thee, 2 Cor. 5.19.

P.

And is there nothing now in the way that hinders me to bee saved?

J.

No, there is nothing, for I have taken all things out of the way, that hin­dred thee to be saved, Col. 2.14.

P.

And am I to do nothing to be saved?

J.

No, nothing at all towards thy owne salvation, for I have bought thee from death, and purchased thee life, and salvation, 1 Cor. 6.20. 1 Pet. 1.18, 19. Eph. 1.14.

P.

Shall I then be saved Lord?

J.

Yes, if thou wilt beleeve, and trust wholly and onely upon me, and upon my righteousnesse and merits, thou shalt bee saved, Joh. 3.36. Rom. 9.33. and Ro. 10.9.11.

P.

Lord I would beleeve, but I partly am afraid to beleeve; and partly, I am so weak I cannot be­leeve.

J.

Thou poor fearefull heart, feare not, but be strong Esa. 35.4. But tell me why thou art afraid.

P.

Least I should presume, or least I should beleeve, and have no ground for my faith.

J.

It is not presumption for thee to do what I command thee, but it is obedience, and is not my word of promise a sufficient ground for thy faith? 1 Ioh. 3.23. Joh. 5.24.

P.

Doest thou then Lord com­mand [Page 17]me to beleeve?

J.

Yes, feare not, beleeve on me, and thou shalt be saved, Lu. 8.50. with Act. 16.31.

P.

But Lord though thou com­mandest me, yet I have no power to beleeve.

J.

I will write my law in thy heart, and will inable and give thee power to be­leeve, Heb. 8.10. Mat. 12.21.

P.

Lord if thou wilt also give me power to beleeve, I will ac­knowledge I am nothing, but what I am in thee; and that I have no­thing, but what I have received from thee.

J.

Doest thou not beleeve?

P.

Oh yes, now Lord I do be­leeve, Ioh. 9.38.

J.

This is the worke and gift of God that thou dost beleeve; for flesh and blood hath not wrought this in thee, Ioh. 6.29. Eph. 2.8.

P.

Oh Lord, I do acknowledge it to be thy worke, but I am afraid I shall loose this faith againe.

J.

I that am the Authour of thy faith, [Page 18]will also finish it: be therefore of good cheare, for thou art one of my Fathers children, and of my Saints, and my spi­rit shall abide in thee for ever, Heb. 12.2 Iohn 1.12. Iohn 4.14. Iohn 7.38 39.

P.

Lord I have sinned against thy father, and against thee, and I am unworthy to bee called either his Son, or thy Servant, Luk. 15.21.

J.

Sonne, thy sins are forgiven thee, sinne no more, Luke 5.23. Iohn 8 11.

P.

Lord I am afraid I shall sinne againe, though I desire, and resolve never to do it. But what Lord, if I should sinne against my will?

J.

Thou canst not sinne willingly and wilfully; for my seede of grace will remain in thee, and if thou sinnest through weaknesse, and frailty, I will be an Ad­vocate, and propitiation for thy sinnes, 1 Ioh. 3.9. 1 Ioh. 2.12.

P.

Is it then thy will Lord, that I should have forgivenesse of my sins, and doubt no more?

J.

Yes sure, for these things have I [Page 19]spoken, that thou shouldest have a full assu­rance, and doubt no more.

P.

But what if Sathan, when he sees me sinne, will tempt me to doubt again?

J.

Say unto him, that I am faithfull and just to forgive thee thy sinnes, and that my blood cleanseth thee from all sin. 1 Ioh. 17.

P.

But Lord wilt not thou have me to confesse my sinnes?

J.

Yes, I will have thee confesse them, be sorry for them, and forsake them, 1 Ioh. 1.9. Prov. 28.13.

P.

But Lord, is it thy minde, that I should alwayes be sorrow­full?

J.

No, but it is my mind, rather that thou shouldest always rejoyce, and have strong consolation, Phil. 4.4. Heb. 6.18.

P.

Oh Lord, I cannot chuse but cry, and mourn and be ashamed, and hate my selfe for all my for­mer wickednesse, and ungodlinesse Ezek. 16.61.

J.

Thou maiest do that, and yet hold [Page 20]fast thy confidence; for the spirit of mour­ning, and the spirit of grace, and adop­tion, may be in thy heart at once, and the one not destroy the other, Zac. 12.10.

P.

Lord how is that?

J.

Thou maist mourne at the sight of thy sins, as they were comitted against me, and for thy denying, selling and crucifying me, and yet thou maiest beleeve (because I have said so) that they are all pardoned. As Josephs brethren, cryed, and com­plained for their guiltinesse in selling him, yet they were glad that he was alive, and could helpe them in their distresse, Gen. 42.21, 22.

P.

Now Lord thou hast taught me, what I should do in respect of my selfe; but now Lord I would do something for thee.

J.

Come then and follow me, Mat. 9.9. And he arose and followed him.

The second Conference between Christ, and a Pharisee.

Pharisee.

THen one of the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, what shal I do to work the work of God Joh. 6.28?

Jesus.

This is the worke of God, that thou beleeve in him (viz. me) whom he hath sent, Joh. 6.29.

Ph:

But Master what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternall life, Mat. 19.16.

J.

If thou wilt be saved by doing, then keep the Commandements.

Ph:

I have kept them all from my youth, Mat. 19.20.

J.

Then thou art no sinner.

Ph:

Yes, we are all sinners; but I thanke God I am not as other men are, Extortioners, Unjust, Adulte­rers, or even as this Publican, Luke 18.11.

J.

Why, what doest thou more than this Publican?

Ph:

I fast twice in the weeke, and give tithes of all that I possesse, and concerning the Law, I live blame­lesse, Luk. 18.12. Phil: 3.6.

J.

Hast thou never read, that they which followed after the Law of Righte­ousnesse, have not attained to the Law of Righteousnesse, Rom. 9.31.

Ph:

No, I never observed that, but I remember another text, where God saith, I gave them my Sta­tutes, and shewed them my Judge­ments, which if a man do, he shall live in them, Ezek. 20.11.

J.

Doest thou then think to go to hea­ven by doing?

Ph:

Not by doing onely, but by doing good, and departing from e­vill.

J.

But doth not the Law say, cursed is he that observeth not all things that are written in the words of the Law to do them, Deut: 27.26.

Ph:

Yes, that is, whosoever breaks the Law is accursed, unlesse hee re­pents for it

J.

The Law doth not say, unlesse men repent for breaking it, they are accursed, but it says absolutely they are cursed, and I say whosoever keepeth the whole law, and yet offendeth in one point, he is guil­ty of all, Gal. 3.10. Jam: 2.10. Mat: 5.19.

Ph:

I say so too, that except men keep the law of Moses theyActs 15.1.24. can­not be saved, and whosoeverJoh. 7 49 know not, and keepe not the Law, they are accursed.

J.

Doest thou know the Law?

Ph:

Yes, I know the Law, for I am instructed daily out of the Law, by ourZeph. 3.4 Doctors of the Law and holy Priests.

J:

The Priests have done violence to the Law, and they that Jer. 2.8. handle the Law know not the Lord.

Ph:

Jehovah, hath said, that the Law shal not perish, from the Priests for the Priests lips is to keep know­ledge, and we are to seek the Law at his mouth, Jer: 18.18. Mal: 2.7.

J.

God hath said also, that the Law shall Ez. 7.16, perish from the Priests, and that [Page 24]they Jer. 31.4 shall not every man teach his neighbour any more, for all shall know the Lord, from the least to the grea­test.

Ph:

I perceive thou goest about to destroy the Law.

J:

Thinke not so: for I am not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it, Mat: 5.17. Luke. 16.17.

Ph:

I Sir, I like that, that wee should fulfill the Law, for Moses gave us the Law, that wee should performe it.

J:

Yes, Moses gave you the Law, but Joh. 7.19 none of you keepeth it, but Mal. 2.9. you have beene partiall in the Law. mat. 23.23 Ye pay tithe of Mint, Annis, and Cum­ming, and have omitted the weightier matters of the Law, Judgement, Mercy, and Faith.

Ph:

It is true, we may come short in some things, but he that keepeth the Law happy is he.

J.

Thou that Ro. 2.17. vers. 23. restest in the Law, and makest thy boast of the Law, through breaking the Law thou doest dishonour God; and causest many to Mal. 2.8. stumble at [Page 25]the Law, verily I say unto thee, thou Ro. 2.12. shalt be judged by the Law.

Ph:

No, I hope rather, to be ju­stified, then to bee judged by the Law.

J.

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, by the deeds of the Law, there shall no flesh be justified in Gods sight, Rom. 3.20. Gal: 3.11.

Ph:

How then shall I bee justifi­ed?

J.

The righteousnesse of God without the Law is manifest, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, Rom. 3.21.

Ph:

What Righteousnesse is that?

J:

Not a mans Phil. 3.9. own righteousnesse, which is called, the Ro. 2.26. Righteousnesse of the Law: but the Ro 4.13. righteousnesse which is of God by faith.

Ph:

What difference is there be­tweene the righteousnesse of the Law, and the righteousnesse of faith?

J:

Moses describeth the righteous­nesse of the Law, thus, that the man [Page 26]which doth those things which the Law requireth shall live by them: but the righteousnesse of faith, saith, whosoever beleeveth on me shall be saved, Ro, 10.5.6.11.

Ph:

How can men bee saved by beleeving in thee, for thou art but one?

J.

As by one Rom. 5.7 mans offence death reig­ned, by one much more, they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousnesse, shall reigne in life by mee, who am the Mal. 4.2. sonne of righteousnesse, Cor. 1.30 and made by God my Father to bee righteousnesse unto men.

Ph:

Thou bearest record of thy selfe, Joh. 8.13.

J:

Joh. 8, 14. Though I bear record of my selfe, yet my record is true. Joh. 5.11 My Fa­ther also beareth witnesse of mee, and this is his witnesse, that he hath given life, and this life is in (me) his son.

Ph:

But what sayest thou, how was our father Abraham and his seed (who lived before thee) justified and saved?

J.

Joh. 8.56 Your Father Abraham, re­joyced [Page 27]to see my day, and be saw it, and was glad, for Ro. 4.3.11, 13, 16. Gal. 3.14.18.20: I was before Abra­ham, and be and his spirituall seed, were justified and saved by faith in me.

Ph:

But was not Abraham justifi­ed by workes?

J.

If Abraham were justified by workes, he hath whereof to glory, It is true, Abrahams faith was accompa­nied with workes. but net before God: for what saith the Serip­ture. Abraham beleeved God, and it was accounted to him for righteousnesse, Ro. 4.2.3.

Ph:

If I bee not justified by my good works, to what end should I performe them?

J:

Though thy good workes cannot ju­stifie thee before God, yet they may glo­rifie God, and be profitable unto men, Mat. 5.16. Tit. 3.8.

Ph:

Well then, I am glad my good workes bee good for some­thing.

J:

Yes, thy good workes would bee good for something, if thy faith (like A­brahams) did work with thy works: but thou doest not beleeve, and all thy good works, thou doest, to be seen of men, Iam. [Page 28]2.22. Mat: 23.5.

Ph:

No, I doe not do my good workes to bee seene of men, but to please God.

J:

I tell thee that without faith it is impossible to please God, Heb: 11.6.

Ph:

But God hath said, if a man doe well, hee shall be accepted.

J.

It is not for their well-doing that men are accepted with my father, but they are made acceptable in mee, and their works are accepted for my sake, Eph. 1.6. 1 Pet: 2.6.

Ph:

But am I no nearer Heaven, that performe good workes, than this sinfull and ungodly Publican?

J.

Thou Hypocrite that justifiest thy selfe, and judgest another: I tell thee, that Publicans and Harlots, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven before such as thou art, Mat: 7.5. and 21 31.

Ph:

Oh untrue, and false-doct­rine, to say, that those cursed men who know not the Law, should bee saved before us, who are the children of Abraham, Ioh. 7.49. & 8.33.

J:

Thou blinde, and selfe-conceited Pharisee, understandest thou not the Scripture? I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. And I say unto thee, un­lesse thou doest beleeve in mee, thou art not the child of Abraham, Mat. 9.13. Gal. 3.26.

Ph:

I beleeve in the God of A­braham, the God of Isaack, and the God of Jacob, whose child and ser­vant I am.

J:

If thou didst beleeve in God, thou wouldest also beleeve in mee, but thou art the child of the devill, and in bondage to this day, Ioh: 8.44. Gal. 4.25.

Ph:

How am I in bondage?

J:

Thou art under the curse of the Law, and under the power of sinne and Sathan; and canst never be made free, unlesse I make thee free, Ioh: 8.34, 35, 36.

Ph:

How doest thou free men?

J:

By my Gal. 3.13 death, and sufferings, I satisfie the Law; by the 1 Cor. 15.55, 57. power of my resurrection, I overcome death; and [Page 30]by my Spirit, I Mat. 12.28 cast out Sathan, and Rom. 8.2 subdue sinne.

Ph.

Sir, I hope to be freed ano­ther way, to wit, by my sacrifices prayers, and good works.

J.

Thy sacrifices and thy prayers, are an abomination unto me, and thy workes are not found perfect before God, Esa. 66.3. Prov. 15.8. and 28.9. Rev. 3.2.

Ph.

What dost thou thinke to beat me off from my long prayers, and good workes? I hope by these, together with my fasting, and mourning, to lay a sure, and hap­py foundation for my soule, for ever.

J.

Thou worker of iniquity, that dost Esa. 32.6 practice hypocrisie, I tell thee, thy prayers are Ps. 109.7 sinne, thy workes are done to be seen of men; thou also fastest for Es. 58.4.5 strife, and thy mourning is but hypocriticall: therefore instead of lay­ing a sure and happy foundation, thou Iob 36.13 heapest up wrath to thy selfe, against the day of wrath.

Ph.

Sir, I am not a hypocrite, [Page 31]but a true childe of God, and I hope I shall be saved, for I know most good men take me for a god­ly and righteous man.

J.

Though thou dost outwardly Mat. 23.28 ap­peare righteous unto men, yet within thou art full of hypocrisie and iniquity; thou seed of the Serpent, thy Job. 8.13. hope will perish, for thou canst not Mat. 23.33. escape the damnation of hell.

Ph.

I doe not feare what thou saiest, for I am better perswaded of my selfe.

J.

Though thy seared conscience, and hardned heart hinders thee yet from fea­ring; yet feare, terrour, 'and trembling shall Es. 33.14 Deu. 32.22 surprise, and fill thy spirit, that thou shalt roare in Luk. 3.17 Mark. 9.43 44, 46. flames of fire, and in everlasting burnings.

Ph.

I have joy and comfort in my spirit often from my perfor­mances, and I know that God will heare my prayers, that I make publickly and privately unto him.

J.

Thou painted Sepulchre, hast thou not read! that the Iob. 20.5 joy of an hypocrite [Page 32]is but for a moment? and that an hypo­crite shall not Iob 13.16 come before God. And dost thou not Iob 15.4 restraine prayer before God; and when thou prayest, dost thou not doe it publickly to bee Mat. 6.5 seen of men?

Ph.

I pray in private also.

J.

Then it is either when some Esa. 26.16 punishment is upon thee, or else to quiet thy carnall conscience.

Ph.

Mr. why dost thou reproach me in saying thus?

J.

Thou dissembler that Ioh. 5.44 seekest honour of men, and not the honour which commeth from God: thou art to expect nothing but shame, and Dan. 12.2 everlasting contempt.

Ph.

Sir, thou judgest rashly.

J.

No, as I heare, I judge, and my judgement is just and true, Joh. 5.30. and 8.16.26.

Ph.

How knowest thou what I am, that thou so judgest?

J.

I am he that searcheth the heart, and trieth the reines, and I will give to every one of you according to your works, Rev. 2.23.

Ph.

When thou judgest the world, what difference wilt thou make between us that served God, and the Heathens that served him not?

J.

The difference will be this, that your Mat. 23.14. Mar. 12 40. Lu. 20.47. condemnation will be the greater, because (though ye knew God, yet) ye served him Mat. 15.9 vainly, falsely, and Esa. 57.4 hy­pocritically.

Ph.

Good Master, I would es­cape this condemnation, for I be­leeve it will be great, and thy words begin to terrifie mee al­ready.

J.

I have told thee already, that there is no other way for thee to escape it, but onely by me, but yet thou dost not beleeve me, Joh. 10.25.

Ph.

How wilt thou have me be­leeve in thee?

J.

First, I will have thee see thy selfe to be the 1 Tim. 1 15. greatest and vilest of sinners, and then see all thy Esa. 64 6 owne righteousnesses, services, and performan­ces, to be as filthy and menstruous rags: And after thou hast denied and Eze. 36.31. ab­horred [Page 32]thy selfe, then cry out, Master, save me, or else I perish; for the Mat 9.12 whole need not a Physitian, but those that are sicke.

Ph.

I doe see my selfe a sinner, and I am sorry for my sinnes. And doth not God say, that whosoever con­fesseth and forsaketh his sins shall finde mercy.

J.

I say unto thee (thou luke-warme Professor) Except thou eatest my flesh, and drinkest my bloud; and submittestun­to my righteousnesse, thou canst not be sa­ved, Joh. 6.53.

Ph.

Well then; If I cannot be sa­ved by my owne workes, and righ­teousnesse, Master, let mee bee be­holding to thee to save me.

J.

Hast thou not read, that Psal. 3.8. Sal­vation belongeth onely to the Lord, and that men are saved by grace, without the workes of the Law; why then dost thou so Deut. 32 15. lightly esteem of the Rocke of thy Sal­vation? by seeking to be justified and sa­ved (as Ro. 9 32. it were) by thy owne workes: I tell thee againe, thou must Phil. 3.9 deny thy owne righteousnesse wholly, and looke to [Page 33]be found in my righteousnesse onely, else thou canst not be saved.

Ph.

Indeed Master, thou makest the way to Heaven very hard.

J.

It is so hard, that many shall seeke to enter in, and shall not bee able, Luke 13.24.

Ph.

If it be as thou sayest, I am afraid that many of our best Scribes and Pharisees will come short of Heaven.

J.

Thou maist be sure of that, for veri­ly I say unto thee, Except thy righteous­nesse, exceeds the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisees, thou shalt in no case enter into the Kingdome of Heaven, Mat. 5.20.

Ph.

But Master, there be some that doe great works in thy name, shall not all such be saved?

J.

No, for many will say unto mee hereafter, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devills, and in thy name done ma­ny wonderfull things; and then will I professe unto them, I never knew you, depart from mee yee workers of [Page 34]iniquity, Matth. 7.22.23.

Ph.

But why should not such rather be saved then cast away?

J.

Because they did (as thou dost) doe all these things to be seen of men, and to gaine honour unto themselves, and so built their Salvation upon this false foundati­on, as the foolish builder built his house upon the sand, which in i.e. Times of triall and perse­cution. Luke 8.12 time of flood, and winds, could not stand, but fell, Mat. 7.26, 27.

Ph.

I see thou dost reject mee, I thought to be one of thy Disciples, and to follow thee.

J.

No, I doe not reject thee, but am very willing to receive thee; but first consider, what thou dost, and what it will cost thee, if thou wilt be my Dis­ciple, and follow me.

Ph.

What will it cost mee Ma­ster?

J.

Thou must i.e. In compari­son of Christ, & when they come in competiti­on with him. Mat. 10.37. hate thy father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, and thine owne life also; yea thou must goe, and sell all that thou hast, and take up thy crosse daily, and follow mee, else thou canst not bee my [Page 35]Disciple, Luke 14.26, 27.

Ph.

This is a hard saying, who can hear it, and he went away sor­rowfull, and followed him no more, Joh. 6.60.66. Mat. 19.22.

The third Dialogue between Christ and a Doubting Beleever.

Christ.

COme unto me al ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, Mat. 11.28.

Beleever.

Oh Lord, I am a poor heavy laden sin­ner that would come unto thee, but cannot come.

Ch:

It is true O soule, no man can come unto me, except the Fa­ther which hath sent me draw him, Joh. 6.44.

Bel.

How then Lord shall I come un­to thee?

Ch:

I and my Father are one, and we give power to the faint, and to them that have no might, we adde strength,Or in­crease. Joh. 10.30. Esay 40, 29.

Bel:

Lord, I am altogether without strength, therefore draw mee unto thee, and I will come.

Ch:

I will draw thee unto mee with the cords of a man, with bands of love, and with loving kind­nesse, Hos. 11, 4. Ier. 31.3. Ioh. 12.32.

Bel:

But Lord now I looke upon my selfe, I see I am unworthy to come unto thee; yea, unworthy of the least of thy mercies.

Ch:

So said my servantMat. 3 11.6 Iohn the Baptist, andGen 32.10 Iacob, andLuk. 7.7. Mat. 8.8. others. yet do not judge thy selfe (as theActs 13.46. Jewes did) unworthy of eternal life.

Bel:

If such men as John Baptist, and Jacob did judge themselves unwor­thy; how many thousand times more ux­worthy am I, a wretched and wicked sin­ner?

Ch:

It is true, neither they, nor thou, As the Prodigalls Father did his son Lu. 15.21, 22. could be worthy of your selves, but yet I am willing to account you worthy, Luk. 20.35. and 21.36. Rev. 3.4.

Bel.

But Lord, if there were any thing that were good in me, it might a little incourage me to come unto thee, but I find nothing but evill in me.

Ch:

Dost thou not know, that without me thou canstIoh 15.5. doe no­thing; and that a man canJoh 3.27. re­ceive nothing, except it bee given him from heaven. Why then dost thou stay away from me who mustEsa. 26.12.2, 12. worke all thy workes in thee. And

2. Because thou seest nothing but evill in thee, thou shouldst the rather come unto me, who am theZac. 13.1 Fountaine wherein thy unclean soule must be washed; and unlesse IEze. 36.25. & 1.9 wash thee thou canst not bee cleane, nor have anyJoh. 13.8 part in me.

Bel:

True Lord, thou art the Foun­taine and wel-spring of life, and it is thy blood (and nothing else) that can wash away my sins: but how can I come near to thee, who am so wicked, that for ought I know, have counted thy blood an Heb. 10.29 un­holy thing.

Ch:

Thou poor,Ac. 2.36.41 dear, and doub­ting soule, what if thou hadst had a hand in crucifying mee (as the Jewes had?) yet cannot I forgive thee, as I did many of them. But [Page 39]thou hast not accounted my blood an unholy thing, for thou still desi­rest to have thy sins washed away by it.

Bel:

What the Iewes did, they did ignorantly; but I have sinned against knowledge, which makes my sins worse then theirs.

Ch:

If thou hast finned against knowledge, yet thou hast not sin­ned so, but that thou maist be for­given: For my deare Disciple Pe­ter sinned against knowledge, when hee denied with an oath that hee knew me not, Mat. 26.72.

Bel.

Oh but yet my sinnes are worse then his, for his sin was but one sin, and that a suddaine and short sin; but I have sinned many sinnes and continued long in them.

Ch:

So did my beloved servant David (who was a man according to my owne heart) commit severall sinnes together, as Murther, Whore­dome &c. and continued a while too in his sinnes.

Bel.

Oh but Lord, those servants of [Page 40]thine, though they sinned against thee, yet they expressed a great deale of sence of their sins, and sorrow for them; but I can neither be sensible of, nor sorrowfull for mine.

Ch:

Oh sweet soule, thou mistak­est, and forgettest thy selfe, for thou dost often confesse thy sinnes before me with sence, shame, and sor­row. And I hear thee daily bemoa­ning, and complaining, and saying I have Iob 7.20. Psal: 51.4. Lam. 5.16 sinned against the Lord, woe is me for I am undone.

Bel:

Oh good Lord, it is not without cause that I cry, wo is me I am un­done; for I thinke there is no soule in such a dangerous, and desperate condition, as mine is in.

Ch:

Why doest thou thinke, and say so?

Bel.

Because I have sinned that un­pardonable sin against thy spirit.

Ch:

Oh thou poor and precious soule, thou dost but thinke so, and feare so: But tell mee how canst thou sin, that sin against my Spirit, and yet pray for more of my Spirit, [Page 41]and so much prize my Spirit as thou dost?

Bel:

Oh Lord, I have often grie­ved, and quenched thy Spirit, and is not this to commit that unpardonable sin?

Ch:

My owne deare and loving children may, and doe sometimes grieve my spirit by sinning, and quench the gracious motions of it, and yet doe not sin that unpardon­able sinne, Eph. 4.30. 1 Thes. 5.19. Esay. 63.10.

Bel:

Oh but I can thinke no lesse, but that I have committed that sin, for I have had hard, cruell and desperate thoughts in my heart, against the Holy Spirit.

Ch:

Though (my childe) thou hast had such thoughts in thy heart, yet thou hast not spoken e­vill of my Spirit (as the Jewes did) which is the sin of blasphemy, and that unpardonable sinne, Mat. 12.24, 28, 31. Mark. 3.22, to 30.

Bel:

Lord I am not sure but that I have spoken evill words of thy spirit; for I know I have many times uttered vile, [Page 42]bitter, and cursed words.

Ch:

Notwithstanding thou didest through the violence of thy temp­tations and in the bitternesse of thy Soule speake such words (as my servants Job, Iob 3.1 to 13 & 10: 18 & 23.15, 16. Ps. 31.22. & 116.11. Ier 20.14, &c. Ionah 4.3, 4, 9. Mat. 26, 72, 74 David, Jeremy, Jonah, and Peter did) yet thou hast not done despight (nor sinned malici­ously and willfully) against my Spirit of grace as Reprobates doe, Heb. 10.29.

Bel.

Oh I have been and still am very wilfull, and have often sinned wil­fully, and thou sayest in thy word that if any sinne wilfully after they receive the knowledge of the truth there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. Heb. 10.26

Ch:

Thou deare soule, have not I heard thee often in prayer complaining of, and bewailing thy sins, and beging earnestly for power against them; therefore it is rather against thy will (then wilfully) that thou dost sinne.

Bel.

Oh but I finde sinnes in power in my soule, which if I were a Saint they would not be so.

Ch:

My servant Paul found sinne so strong in him that he confessed he was carnall, and sold under sin; and that he found a law in his members,Sin was in power in Paul when it could carry him captive. warring against the law of his minde, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sinne, Rom. 14.23.

Bel.

Oh but neither Paul nor any other Saint, hath sinned presumptuously as I have done.

Ch.

My servant David prayed, that hee might bee kept from pre­sumptuous sins, for he was subject thereunto;Psa. 19.13. It is proba­ble that David sined presump­tuously in killing V­riah. and so are the best of my Saints.

Bel.

But Lord I have rebelled against thee.

Ch:

So did my servants ofIs. 1.2. & 63.20. old but I have receivedPs. 68.18 gifts for the Rebillious: and to me belongs mer­cies and forgivenesse, though thou hast rebelled against me, Dan. 9.9.

Bel:

Oh but my Rebellion is the worst Rebellion of all, for I have re­belled against the light: I have profes­sed [Page 44]thee, and yet I have belyed thee, and made an hypocriticall profession; I seemed like Judas, to be thy friend, whilst in my heart I did not love thee.

Ch:

The house of Israel and the house of Judah dealt treacherously against me the Lord, and belied me, and Ephraim my deare sonne, com­passed me about with lies, yet was I gracious to them, Jer. 5.11.12. Hos. 11.12. with Jer. 23.6. and 31.20.

Bel.

But Lord Ephraim was never so wicked as I am, and guilty of such Lukewarmnesse, Hypocrisie and Backe­sliding as I am guilty of.

Ch:

Yea, Ephraim was as a cake not turned. And Ephraim fed up­on winde, and provoked mee to anger most bitterly, yet my bow­ells did still worke toward Ephraim, that I could not destroy him, Hos. 8.8. and 12.1.14. with 11.8.

Bel:

But I increased in sin, and the more mercies I received the more my heart was exalted.

Ch:

Even so did Ephraim sin more and more, and according as hee [Page 45]was filled so his heart was exalted, Hos. 13.2, 6.

Bel:

But Lord what didst thou do to Ephraim?

Ch:

I drew them with the cords of a man, and with bands of love, and I was as the dew unto them, Heb. 11.4. and 14.5.

Bel:

Oh but I have forsaken the Lord, and backeslided from thee.

Ch:

So did Israel and Judah, Jer. 2.13. and 3.6. and 4.16.

Bel:

But Lord I find that my heart is bent to continuall backesliding, yea, my backeslidings are encreased.

Ch:

So wereHos. 11.7 Ier. 5.6. they yet I healed their backslidings, so will I heale thine also, Hos. 14.4. Jer. 3.14.22.

Bel:

But I fell into grosse sinnes that hath dishonoured thee, and caused thine e­nemies to blaspheme.

Ch:

So did my servant David, 2 Sam. 12.14. and other of my Saints.

Bel:

I but then he did mourne and re­pent greatly for his sins, but I cannot do so, for I find my heart as hard as an Ada­mant.

Ch:

So my people Israels hearts formerly, were as hard as a Rocke, Adamant, and Flint, Jer. 5.3. Ezek. 3.9.

Bel:

Oh but I have been long (yea e­ver) troubled with this hardnesse of heart.

Ch:

Though thou hast, yet I wil take the stony heart out of thy flesh and I wil give thee a heart of flesh, Eze. 36.26.

Bel:

But I cannot repent mee of the hardnesse of my heart.

Ch:

What though, yet I am exal­ted to give repentance unto thee, Act. 5.31.

Bel:

Oh but I doe not find that I am sensible enough of my sin; for if I were I should mourne, and be ashamed for all the wickednesse which I have committed against thee.

Ch:

When thou doest see mee whom thou hast pierced, and when thou seest that I am pacified to­wards thee; then thou shalt mourn, loath thy selfe, and bee ashamed, for all thy sinnes and abominati­ons which thou hast committed [Page 47]against me Rev. 1.7. Ezek. 6.9. & 16.63.

B.

But Lord I am a very great sinner, and I would faine see the na­ture and number of my sins, that I might truly repent me of them, and be humbled for them.

C.

If thou didst se all thy sins with their nature, number, and aggrava­tions: thou couldst never look upon them,Gen. 4.13. Mar. 27.3, 4, 5. but with despaire as Cain and Iudas. And it is not so much the sight of sin as the sight of my Love, Grace, Goodnesse, and Glory, that will lead thee to repentance, and humble thee for thy sins. Luk. 7.42.47. Zach. 12 10. Rom. 2.4. Esa. 6.5.

B.

Oh Lord I know I am as wic­ked a sinner and as ungodly a wretch as ever lived: but though I know this yet methinks I am not broken with the sence thereof, I cannot weep nor shed tears for my sins, Oh no! I go many times to prayer and to heare Sermons, and there is no more wor­king, nor relenting upon my soule, then if J were a dead stock, or stone.

C.

Oh my deare soule do not thou belye thy selfe, for I have heard ma­ny a sorrowfull sigh comming from thy heart, and I have seene many a teare drop from thine Eyes:Ezek. 9.4 Psal. 34.17 Zack. 12.11. Heb. 5.7. and I will yet poure out more of the Spirit of mourn­ing upon thee. But what if thou didst not finde these things in thy selfe, yet I have offered up strong cries and teares unto my Father for thee.

B.

Oh Lord that I had but faith to beleeve that for my selfe.

C.

Have faith in me, and be not faithlesse but beleeving. Mar. 11.22. Ioh. 20.27.

B.

Lord I find so much Atheisme and unbeliefe in my heart that I have often times questionings in my selfe concerning God, and concerning the Scriptures, and word of God.

C.

These are the temptations and suggestions of Satan, and my own Dis­ciples were, and are troubled with them. Luk. 24.25.

B.

Oh Lord, J am troubled with a thousand temptations.

Yet feare not (my loving and [Page 49]deare Child) for though thou hast di­vers temptations,Jam. 1.2. 1 Cor. 10.13. Heb. 2.18. 2 Pet. 2.9 yet it is that which my best Saints have had, and I will not suffer thee th be tempted above what thou art able, but I will succour thee in thy temptations, and I will make away that thou shalt escape, and be de­liver out of temptation.

B.

But I think that no Saint hath such temptations as mine, for some­times, I am tempted to kill my selfe, and sometimes to kill others; inso­much that J cannot look upon any weapon, waters, or the like, but I am ready to do my selfe away there­with.

C.

Satan tempted me to cast my selfe of the Pinacle of the Temple and he also tempted many of my deare Children, to destroy themselves: but do not thou hearken to the Accuser (for he doth accuse thee to me and me to thee) but rather say unto him,Mar. 4.5. Rev. 12.10 Job. 12.31. Satan it is written, my Lord Jesus hath over­come thee, and I hope through his bloud, and through his might, and spi­rit to overcome thee likewise: say also [Page 50]my God hath commanded me not to kill another,Exod. 20.13. Act. 16.28 Job. 13.15 nor to doe hurt or vio­lence to my selfe: therefore get thee behind me thou lier, murtherer, and Enemy, for I will put my trust in Christ though he kill me, and I will endeavour to live to serve him, though he should afterwards damne me.

B.

Though I do sometimes resolve against Satans temptations, and la­bour to resist them: yet I find my temptations are renewed; and I am not able to withstand them, for they come in as a floud upon me.

C.

I that say unto the proud waves hitherto shalt thou come but no fur­ther; I will by my spirit put the Ene­my (Satan) to flight when he comes in like a floud against thee.Job. 38.11 Se Esa. 59.19. marg.

B.

But Lord I find I am not only troubled with feare and sad tempta­tions: but also with strong and powerfull corruptions.

C.

I will subdue all thy iniquities, and thy sins shall not have dominion ouer thee, Mich. 7.19. Rom. 6.14.

B.

Oh but this doth much trouble [Page 51]me, that I do not find any love in my heart to thee. Deut. 30.6 1 Joh. 4.19.

C.

What though thou dost not, yet I will circumcise thy heart and thou shalt love me: and when thou appre­hendest my love to thee, thou wilt love me againe.

B.

I have sinned (Lord) against thy mercies and abased thy love, yea loved my sins more then thee, there­fore I cannot think that ever thou wilt look upon me with any love or delight.

C.

So did my servant David, 2 Sam. 12.8, 9. Hos. 2.5, & 14.4. & 2.9. and my people Jsrael doe, yet as I loved them, so will I love thee freely, and betroth thee to me in loving kindnesse and mercy.

B.

But Lord I have not only sin'd against thy mercies, but against thy corrections, and chastisements al­so.

C.

So did my people Israel formerly doe,Esa. 57.17 18. for when I smote them they went on frowardly in the way of their evill heart, but I lead them and restor'd comforts to them.

B.

I bui my condition is worse then all that, for I have been long under the means of grace, and yet I am al­together fruitlesse; and like the bar­ren Fig-tree.

C,

Thou troubled soule in me is thy fruit found,Joh. 15.5. Psal. 92.12, 13 14. and I will purge thee, and thou shalt bring forth fruit abun­dantly, for they that are planted in my house shall flourish and be fat and like a green Olive Tree.

B.

I Lord, its true, if J were a branch in thee and a true member of thy house, then I could beleeve these promises of thine; alas! I am neither of both, but separated from thee, and thy people.

C.

Do not say that thou art none of mine (for I have bought thee with my blond) and do not speak that thou art separated from my people;Esa. 56.3.5 for I will give thee in mine house, and within my walls, a place, and a name, better then the name of Sons and Daugh­ters.

B.

Sure if I were not an out-cast and a Reprobate, I should not be thus [Page 53](as I am) in a wildernesse condition.

C,

Israel was accounted an out-cast and she cried out;Jer. 30.16.17, 22. yet I was then a God to her, and she a people to me.

B.

Oh if I were but one of thine, I should then count my selfe the happi­est in all the world.

C.

Feare not my Spouse, for I am thy Husband, and thy Father.

B.

If I were one of thy Children thou wouldst not hide thy selfe from me as thou dost.

C.

I have hid my selfe and my face from some of my Prophets and people of old and yet it was in love to them, and so it is to thee, Psal. 88.14. Esa. 8.17. & 64.7.

B.

But thou hast hid thy selfe from me, and thou seemest also to be angry with me. Esa. 54.5. Jer. 31.9.

C.

Fury is not in me (towards thee) and though I be angry, yet my anger is but for a moment, Esa 27.4. &. 54.8.

B.

Yet Lord thou hast been angry with me a long time, for thou hast for gotten me.

C.

Zion did say so, the Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath for­gotten me: yet I had not forgot her; for she was graven upon the palmes of my hands Esa 49.14, 15. Ier. 51.5.

B.

But Lord if thou had'st not forgotten me, thou would'st never have left me, in such a wildernesse and barren condition as I am in.

C.

I have allured thee into the wil­dernesse, that I might speak comfor­tably unto thee. Hos. 2.14.

B.

I have been may years in trou­ble, and terrours and wanting peace in my soule, which could not possibly have been, if I had truly beleeved in thee.

C.

But now will I speak peace un­to thee, and I will guide thee into the way of peace. Psal. 85.8. Luk. 1.79.

B.

How Lord wilt thou speak peace unto me, i. e. The Prea chers Lips that preacht peace. and guide me into the way of peace?

C.

I will create the fruit of the lips Peace, Peace, and my spirit shall be [Page 55]in thee and his fruit shall be peace to thy soule: Esa 57, 19. & 55.12.

B.

But Lord thy word saith; there is no peace to the wicked.

C.

No not to a man that will per­sist in his wicked way, and doth not, nor will not beleeve in me, but thou art one of those that I bore the cha­stizement of thy peace, and one of the Children of peace: Esa 53.5. & 54.13.

B.

But Lord how can I have peace, seeing a man cannot have peace be­fore (and without) he does beleeve?

C.

Thou shalt have faith and peace, and I will give peace through belee­ving: 2. Thes. 3.16.6.

B.

But Lord then J must know that I am one of thine.

C.

Thou shalt know that I am the Lord thy God, and that thou art one of my people: Ezek. 34.30.

B.

Oh how shall I know that.

C.

My spirit shall beare witnesse with thy spirit that thou art my Child. Rom. 8.16.

B.

But how shall I know that it is thy [Page 56]spirit that beareth this witnesse, and that it is not the spirit of de­lusion?

C.

Thou maist know that by its power in working in thy heart which no other spirit can work alike: as al­so by the earnest and fruits there of: 2 Cor. 5.5. & 7.22. Gal. 5.22, 23.

B.

Lord what else shall I beleeve, besides being one of thine?

C.

Dost thou beleeve that?

B.

Yes Lord, J do beleeve, that thou art Iesus the Son of God and the Saviour of the world: Act. 8 37. Joh. 6.69. & 11.27.

C.

But dost thou beleeve that I am thy Saviour.

B.

Lord I do beleeve that there is no other way to be saved but only by thee: Act. 4.12.

C.

But dost thou beleeve that thou shalt be saved by me.

B.

Lord I do beleeve, help my unbeliefe: Mark 9.24.

C.

To thee it is given to beleeve: Phil. 1.29.

B.

Now Lord I doe beleeve.

C.

What dost thou now be­leeve?

B.

I beleeve that thou lo­ved'st me and did'st give thy selfe for me, and that thou art my Lord, and my God, and that I am justified and shall be saved by grace: Gal. 2.20. Joh. 20.28. Act. 15.11.

C.

How cam'st thou tobeleeve this?

B.

Lord it is by thy gift and work that J do beleeve it: Eph. 2.8. Heb 12.2.

C.

Well; now thou dost beleeve, what wilt thou do?

B.

Lord what wilt thou have me to do? Act. 9.6.

C.

If thou love me keep my words: Ioh. 14.23.

B.

What are those words of thine?

C.

Search the Scriptures, for they are able to make thee perfect and wise unto salvation, and to fur­nish thee for every good work: [Page 85] Ioh. 5.39.2 Tim. 3.16.17.

B.

But Lord how shall I under­stand thy word?

C.

I will make known my words unto thee: Pro. 1.23.

B.

But Lord is there no danger of my departing and falling away from thee now I do beleeve?

C.

No, the Mountaines shall depart, and the Hills be removed, but my loving kindnesse shall not depart from thee: Esa 54.10. Ier. 32.40.

B.

Lord I will keep thy pre­cepts with my whole heart Psal. 119 69.

C.

I have redeemed thee, that thou should'st serve me with­out feare, in Holinesse and Righ­teousnesse, all the dayes of thy life: Luk. 1.69.

B.

Come ye Children and I will declare what my Lord hath don for my soule.

My SOVLE shall make her boasts of the LORD, [Page 59]the humble shall be are this and be glad, and magnifie the LORD with me, and let us Exalt his Name together: Psal. 34.11.2, 3.

FINIS.

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