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, (a)
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 (b)
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 (c)
a Job 8.13.14. Mat. 7.22 23.
2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural, and
probable perswasion, grounded upon (d)
a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith founded on the Blood
and Righteousness of Christ (e) revealed
in the Gospel; and also upon the inward (f)
evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made, and
on the testimony of the (g) Spirit
of adoption, witnessing with our Spirits that we are the children of God;
and as a fruit thereof keeping the heart both (h)
humble and holy.
d Heb. 6.11.19.
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 (i)
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 (k) 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 (l) fruits of this Assurance;
so far is it (m) from inclining
men to looseness.
i Isa. 50.10. Ps. 88. & Psa.
4. True Believers may have the assurance of their
Salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as (n)
by negligence in preserving of it, by (o)
falling into som special Sin, which woundeth the Conscience, and
grieveth the Spirit, by some sudden or (p)
vehement temptation, by Gods withdrawing the (q)
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 (r)
seed of God, and Life (s) 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 (t) revived: and
by the which in the mean time they are (u)
preserved from utter despair.
n Cant. 5.2,3.6.