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CHAP. XVIII.

Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation.

1. Although temporary Believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes, and carnal presumptions, of being in the favour of God, and state of salvation, 297297 Job 8.13.14. Mat. 7.22 23.which hope of theirs shall perish; yet such as truely believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good Conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured 2982981 Joh. 2.3. ch. 3.14 18,19.21.24. ch. 5.13.that they are in the state of Grace; and may rejoyce in the hope of the glory of God which hope shall never make them 299299Rom. 5.2.5.ashamed.

2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural, and probable perswasion, grounded upon 300300Heb. 6.11.19.a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith founded on the Blood and Righteousness of Christ 301301Heb. 6.17,18.revealed in the Gospel; and also upon the inward 3023022 Pet. 1.4,5,10.11.evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made, and on the testimony of the 303303Rom. 8.15,16.Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our Spirits that we are the children of God; and as a fruit thereof keeping the heart both 3043041 Joh. 3 1,2,3.humble and holy.

3. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true Believer, may wait long and conflict with many difficulties before he be 305305Isa. 50.10. Ps. 88. & Psa. 77.1-12.partaker of it; yet being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may without extraordinary revelation in the right use of means 3063061 Joh. 4 13. Heb. 6.11 12.attain thereunto: and therefore it is the duty of every one, to give all diligence to make their Calling and Election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and chearfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper 307307 Rom. 5.1,2.5. ch. 14,17. Ps. 119.32.fruits of this Assurance; so far is it 308308 Rom. 6.1,2. Tit. 2.11,12.14.from inclining men to looseness.

4. True Believers may have the assurance of their Salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as 309309 Cant. 5.2,3.6.by negligence in preserving of it, by 310310 Ps. 51.8.12.14.falling into som special Sin, which woundeth the Conscience, and grieveth the Spirit, by some sudden or 311311 Psa. 116.11. Ps. 77.7,8. Ps. 31 22.vehement temptation, by Gods withdrawing the 312312Ps. 30.7.light of his countenance and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light; yet are they never destitute of the 3133131 Joh. 3.9.seed of God, and Life 314314Luk. 22.32.of Faith, that Love of Christ, and the brethren, that sincerity of Heart, and Conscience of duty, out of which by the operation of the Spirit, this Assurance may in due time be 315315Ps. 42.5.11.revived: and by the which in the mean time they are 316316Lam. 3.26.27-31.preserved from utter despair.


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