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now more than ever, when he finds the witnefs in himfelf.

2. This witness fills the foul with kindly forrow and felf-correction for former unkindnefs offered to the Lord. Oh! fays the foul, how miferably have I forgotten the Lord thefe many days and years by-gone! And yet now I fee he hath not been forgetting me; for, now I feel his love and fo the foul takes God's part against itself more than ever. The cleareft fight of God caufes greatest felf-abhorrency; whereas a delufion puffs up: and though hypocrites may have a fhadow of humility at other times; yet there is leaft appearance of it under their highest attainments. Peter, after a love-look of Chrift, O how he fighs and fubs, melts and mourns at the remembrance of his former denial of his mafter: under fuch heart-ravishing revelations this doth pierce and wound the foul, that the Lord fhould have had fuch unfuitable and ungrateful returns from it, after many large expreffions of his love: "He looks on him whom he pierced, and mourns."

3. This witnefs, when enjoyed, fills the foul with great defires and endeavours after heart-purification; John iii. 3. "He that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Delufions tend fome way or other to unholinefs; Satan drives at fome corrupt defign therein but the true witnefs procures an expulfion of Satan. As Chrift proved himself to be no impoftor, by his cafting out Satan, Matth. xii. 22.; fo, if the witness within tends to the calling out of Satan, this fhews it to be no delufion: for, the binding of the ftrong man nuft be by the Spirit; for he only is the ftronger and, indeed, when Satan fees himself caft out, he will be the incenfed; and hence floods of new temptations are to be expected, Rev. xii. 13, 14.And this is alfo part of Satan's fubtile engine of caufing the foul to doubt of the witneffes teftimony; though he feeks to prevent any doubts or fears in his own, yet where he is caft out, he will raife ftorms; yet still the more the witnefs is enjoyed, the more is he and his work ejected, and the foul prompted to the utmoft after holiness and purification. Again,

4. This

4. This witnefs fills the foul with earnest expectations of full communion with Chrift; for, the foul at fuch a time, is upon the mount of communion with the Lord, and is exceedingly watchful against any thing that would interrupt its communion with Chrift: and though the most glorious revelations are oft-times fol. lowed with the most horrid and violent temptations, 2 Cor. xii. 8, 9. Mat. iii. 16, 17. ; yet when the Spirit of God is the witnefs, he will make the foul watchful against fin, Song viii. 4. and ardently defirous after uninterrupted communion; Oh! "When fhall the day break, and the fhadows fly away?"

5. This witnefs fills the foul with a perfuafion of the Lord's affording fpiritual and fuitable provifion for it at all times, and on all occafions. Formerly it went drooping under fears that it fhould want protecting grace, under dangers; preferving grace, under trials; fupporting grace, under fufferings: the man feared he fhould never hold out to the end; and did mistrust God in every condition. But now, when the witness fpeaks, he is delivered from these fears, and made to fee the Lord's name to be JEHOVAH-JIREH, that the Lord fhall provide and fee; that the Lord is his fhepherd, he fhall not want. Thus you have fome of these general marks of the witnefs that the believer hath in himfelf.

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2dly, I would offer fome more particular marks, from the feveral ways of witneffing fpoken of in the doctrinal part; how a foul may know that the Spirit, the water, and the blood hath witneffed.

[1.] How may a foul know if the Spirit hath witneffed in a more immediate way, or not? It is true, every one is not capable to make trial here: it fuppofes, that fome strong impreffion of adoption be made upon the heart, otherwife there is no ground to pretend to an immediate teftimony; for the enquiry is, How we may know a ftrong opinion of our own spirits, and a delufion of Satan, from the teftimony of the Spirit? In answer then unto the question, I fay, in general, that the immediate teftimony of the Spirit is felf-evident, while a foul is in the actual enjoyment thereof. More particularly,

I offer.

I offer the following marks of the Spirit's immediate teftimony.

1. These irradiations of the Spirit do carry with them fuch a clear demonftration of their coming from the Spirit, as puts it in fome meafure out of doubt, there are fuch fparklings of divinity in them: according to the degree of clearness in which the Spirit manifefts his prefence, fuch is the degree of the perfuafion, weaker or ftronger. The Spirit is appointed to this witneffing work as you fee, ver. 6. of this chapter: and he is the highest witnefs; there can be none higher: for, it is the Spirit that makes other things have a witneffing power. No grace or experience can witnefs without him; and he is given for this end, among others, to make the children of God to know the things that are freely given them of God, 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11, 12. 2 Cor. iii. 16, 17, 18. and 1 John ii. 27. All which fhows that the teftimony of the Spirit hath a property to difcriminate and difference itfelf from thefe flashes that come from Satan. The Spirit's inhabitation and indwelling is appointed to be an evidence of our adoption; and this is made the rule for trial, Rom. viii. 9. Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. 1 Cor. vi. 19. Know ye not that your bodies are temples of the Holy Ghoft, that is in you." By all which it is evident, that the Spirit gives teftimony to himself in his operations, fo as neither Satan, nor any creature, can be the author thereof. For, though the Spirit be not difcernable in his effence, but in his operations; yet, as the Spirit gives effectual conviction of fin, that the foul cannot deny its guiltinefs, and that without enquiring whether the Spirit hath done this or not; fo the Spirit doth work effectually in affuring and comforting the foul, though the foul doth not, till afterwards, reflect or enquire whether it was the Spirit or not: and fo the effence of the Spirit may not be difcernable, and yet the teftimony may be fure to the foul, while the Spirit not only gives the foul fuch a fweet perfuafion, but allo difcovers fuch invincible grounds, and undeniable demonftrations of what he witneffes, that the foul muft fall down before it, and fay to the Spirit, as the disciVOL. IX. + C


ples did to Chrift, John xvi. 29. "Lo, now, fpeakest thou plainly, and fpeakeft no proverb :" but this will be more clear by a

2d Mark of this immediate teftimony, or witness of the Spirit, namely, that the Spirit, when he thus wit neffes, makes fome divine attribute to fhine forth eminently in these witneffing acts; for inftance, the Spirit caufeth the foul to take notice of the divine wisdom that fhines in the application of the promife, which is a fpecial work of the Spirit, wherein his prefence is as difcernable as in any other operation; now, the foul is made to see what wifdom fhines in the time and feafon, when the promife came with light, life, and power to them wisdom in the fuitableness of the promife to their condition; wifdom in the manner of its working; the foul finds how the heart was ravifhed, how Satan was defeat, how corruption was depreffed thereby; and then the man cries out, "O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!"— The Spirit gives the foul alfo to fee divine power improved for it in a glorious way; even fuch power as raised Chrift from the dead; the exceeding greatnefs of his almighty power, Eph. i. 18, 19. The child of God fometimes feels a divine power in the application of the promife, or prefenting thereof to the heart; but, perhaps, cannot tell who is the agent, whether Satan or the Spirit: and therefore the apoftle, in that place, speaks by way of queftion, with three remarkable whats: "That ye may know what is the hope of his calling; what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the faints; and what is the exceeding greatnefs of his power to us-ward who believe" importing, that it may be known to be indeed the Spirit's power by its actings; for, the Spirit's power is exerted in overcoming the heart, and power. fully perfuading it to accept of the promife: the foul fees its own infufficiency to make the application, which now it hath felt, and an averfion thereto; yea, was ready with Sarah, to laugh at the promife; and to say with thefe, 2 Kings vii. 2. "If God fhould make windows in heaven, can fuch a thing be done ? And yet now it was not able to withstand the fweet power that

did draw it that way. The Spirit's power is thus exerted in overcoming the heart, and overcoming Satan, and difcovering his fubtilties. Again, the Spirit caufeth the foul to obferve the divine faithfulness that fines herein, Pfalm lxxxix. 2. " Mercy fhall be built up for ever" and then it follows, "Thy faithfulness halt thou establish in the very heavens." After the Lord hath promifed fo and fo to the foul, the foul faints and gives over hope; yet the Lord returns to the man, throws the promised mercy into his lap, and fo difcovers his faithfulness. O! how is the foul then taken up with the Lord's truth and veracity! "Faithful is he that promiled, who alfo will do it."-Again, the Spirit: convinces the foul of the divine goodness, when he thus comes and makes application of the promife, Pfalm xxxi. 19. 21. "O how great is thy goodness, which thou haft laid up for them that fear thee!" &c. The man is fwallowed up with admiration.-The Spirit caufes the man to fee how ready he was to fay, God had neglected him, yet neverthelefs now he fees that God hath dealt graciously and marveloufly, and nothing can make him deny divine love at the time. It would therefore feem needlefs to afk this queftion, By what evidence we may know the Spirit's immediate teftimony? Because thus it is alfo felf-evident to fuch as actually enjoy the fame; but yet, because, after the Spirit may fufpend his operations, and then the foul may question it;and because fome have ftrong opinions, that they enjoy this immediate teftimony, when yet they are under a delufion. Therefore,

3. Another evidence of the Spirit's more immediate tellimony, is, the eminent acts of faith upon the promife, drawn out thereby. If the foul hath affurance, faith hath a hand in it, Heb. x. 22. and lives upon Chrift in the promife for it, Pfalm xxv. 2. "O my God, I truft in thee." When the foul hath a fight of its propriety in God, and intereft in Chrift, this puts it upon renewed actings of faith; if it can fay, My God; it cannot but fay, with holy boldness, I truft in thee. Delufions rather hinder the actings of faith.

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