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more or less of this witness, then it is plain you know nothing of true faith: for it is expressly said of all believers, weak or strong, “ He that believeth on the Son of God, bath the witness in himself.”

What have you to say, man, woman? If you were upon your deathbed, and we should ask you, as we have done at some, if ever you 'have been made to believe on the Son of God ? Yes, say you: but then we ask what evidence you can give of your faith? Can you produce your witness to attest? Can you bring forth the rings, the bracelets, and signet, the pledges and pawns of his love? Alas! that many people in that case, either they can say nothing to the purpose; and all that some can say, is much worse than if they could say nothing, while they were never brought out of their lying refuges, but go down to the grave with a lye in their right-hand.

3. Hence see, what is the true matter of a believer's confidence and assurance : why, they have the witness in themselves; and whenever the witness speaks, then they not only believe, but believe and are sure; not only that he is Christ, the Son of the living God, but that he is their Lord and their God. And thus the man's assurance is not built upon a wavering foundation : though he may waver himself, yet the foundation stands sure ; it is built upon the testimony of God, or God's witnesses and deponents within him, which cannot attest a lye.

-4. Hence see, that the believer's doubts, and fears, and jealousies are inexcusable and unwarrantable; for, he hath the witness in himself: and his unbelieving doubts do nothing but give the lye to God's witness that is in him. Indeed, the clamours of unbelief may sometimes drown the voice of this witness, when it is not speaking audibly; and the Spirit, who is the principal witness, being sometimes grieved, may cease to depone: but if the witness hath attested your interest in Christ, your sonship, your peace with God, O beware of such unbelieving jealousies as tend to deny what the witness hath declared; for, this is to bear false witness against God; if you be left utterly in the dark, rather suspend your judgment, and say nothing, than to say otherwise than the witness hath said ; delay your own verdict till once your witness speak again : and while it is silent, say not, that either its deposition was false, dark, or fallacious; that it was a fancy or delusion : speak not an ill word of your witness, lest you thereby reproach God. When matters are at the worst with you, rather speak for God than against him. Your fears and doubts are no religion, but so many lies against the witness.

5. Hence see, what it is that may support a child of God amidst trials that he meets with in the world. He may be tried before several bars. He may be tried at the bar of providence; one affliction on the back of another may try what metal he is of, and put him to all the corners of the saddle, as we speak. He may be tried at the bar of God's law ; it may examine and weigh bim in its balance, to see what weight he bears, what conformity he hath to its precepts. He may be tried at the bar of conscience, and there accused of innumerable imperfections. He may be tried at the devil's bar, and there he may be winnowed and sifted as wheat. He may be tried at the bar of men, and brought before governors and kings for Christ's sake, falsely accused. Well, whatever bars he be set before, the witness within him is ready to appear at the bar with him: and whenever it speaks, it will bear him out, and bear him up, and answer all that can be said against him, with one word : “ Jf God be for me, who shall be against me? It is God that justifieth me, who is he that shall condemn me?” One word of this wit. ness will answer a thousand accusations: the secret testimony thereof will bear up the soul under a world of difficulties. See Prov. xiv. 14. “ A good man shall be satisfied from himself.”

6. Hence see, what a lonely desolate state an unbeliever is in. If he that believeth hath the witness in himself, then he that believeth not hath no such witness. An unbeliever wants a good bosom friend a believer bath. He that wants this witness in himself, wants good company within doors. There is no better

company in the world than this witness that the believer hath. But the unbeliever is desolate and destitute in this respect : he hath no such company; yea, he hath the quite contrary, he hath the devil and an ill conscience within him : he may have an erring conscience, that may attest a lye unto him and deceive him; to which the devil may concur, by keeping all quiet within ; for, “ While the strong man keeps the house, the goods are at peace :” or he may have a seated conscience, that may attest nothing good nor bad, being stupified, and seared as with a hot iron.

The second Use may be for Examination. If he that believeth hath the witness in himself, then try if you be believers indeed; or, if you can produce the witnesses of your faith. This inquiry is necessary to give satisfaction to the doubling, by differencing the testimony of the Spirit from the delusions of Satan, and the single testimony of our own spirits; and necessary to confirm and establish these that enjoy this privilege of the witness within them. For your trial then, I would, 1. Offer some general marks of these that enjoy the true witness within them. 2. Some more particular marks of the witnessing of the Spirit, the water, and the blood.

1st, In general, I would offer you these marks of a person that enjoys the witness in himself, upon his be. lieving in the Son of God.

1. This witness fills the soul with a high and ivexpressible admiration of the love of God, in bringing it into the number of his children: “Behold! what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the son's of God!" i John in.l. The soul sees God's wonderful love of good-will in the contrivance of its adoption and salvation, and sees that it would have nonplust all the creatures, and so admires that ever God so loved the world. The man admires God's love of compassion towards it, in the many strive ings with it, while it was in a natural condition. He admires his love of delight which is discovered : O that ever he should take pleasure in such a worm! And so also admires his infinite condescension that ever he looksuch an unworthy wretch. He admires and wonders at the glory and excellency of the things which he is by the witness assured of: does he find the cleansing virtue of the blood of Christ ? O then, he sees an extraordinary glory and excellency in this blood and righteousness of Christ; he prized it before, but now more than ever, when he finds the witness in himself,

2. This witness fills the soul with kindly sorrow and self-correction for former unkindness offered to the Lord. Oh! says the soul, how miserably have I for, gotten the Lord these many days and years by-gone ! And yet now I see he hath not been forgetting me; for, now I feel his love; and so the soul takes God's part against itself more than ever. The clearest sight of God causes greatest self-abhorrency; whereas a delusion puffs up: and though hypocrites may have a

Jeast pearance of it under their highest attainments.' Peter, , after a love-look of Christ, 0 how he sighs and sobs, melts and mourns at the remembrance of his former denial of his master: under such heart ravishing reve, lations this doth pierce and wound the soul, that the Lord should have had such unsuitable and ungrateful returns from it, after many large expressions of his love: “ He looks on him whom he pierced, and mourns."

3. This witness, when enjoyed, fills the soul with great desires and endeavours after heart-purification : John ii. 3. “ He that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Delusions tend some way or other to unholiness ; Satan drives at some corrupt design therein ; but the true witness procures an expulsion of Satan. As Christ proved himself to be no impostor, by his casting out Satan, Matth, xii. 22.; so, if the witness within tends to the casting out of Satan, this shews it to be no delusion : for, the binding of the strong man must be by the Spirit; for he only is the stronger; and, indeed, when Satan sees himself cast out, he will be incensed; and hence floods of new temptations are to be expected, Rev. xii. 13, 14.-And this is also part of Satan's subtile engine of causing the soul to doubt of the witnesses testimony; though he

seeks to prevent any doubts or fears in his own, yet where he is cast out, he will raise storms'; yet still the more the witness is enjoyed, the more is he and his work ejected, and the soul prompted to the utmost after holiness and purification. Again,

4. This witness fills the soul with earnest expectations of full communion with Christ, for the soul at such a time, is upon the mount of communion with the Lord, and is exceedingly watchful against any thing that would interrupt its communion with Christ: and though the most glorious revelations are oft-times followed with the most horrid and violent temptations, 2 Cor. xij. 8, 9, Mat. iii. 16, 17. ; yet when the Spirit of God is the witness, he will make the soul watchful against sin, Song viii. 4. and ardently desirous after uninterrupted communion; Oh! “ When shall the day break, and the shadows fly away?"

5. This witness fills the soul with a persuasion of the Lord's affording spiritual and suitable provision for it at all times, and on all occasions. Formerly it went drooping under fears that it should want protecting grace, under dangers; preserving grace, under trials; supporting grace, under sufferings; the man feared he should never hold out to the end; and did inistrust God in every condition. But now, when the witness speaks, he is delivered from these fears, and made to see the Lord's name to be JEHOVAH.JJREH, that “the Lord shall provide and see;" that the Lord is his shepherd, he shall not want.--Thus you have some of these general marks of the witness that the believer hath in himself.

2dly, I would offer some more particular marks, from the several ways of witnessing spoken of in the doctrinal part; how a soul may know that the Spirit, the water, and the blood hath witnessed.

[1.] How may a soul know if the Spirit hath witnessed in a more immediate way, or not? It is true, every one is not capable to make trial here : it supposes, that some strong impression of adoption be made upon the heart, otherwise there is no ground to pretend to an immediate testimony; for the inquiry is, How we may

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