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is thro' the faith of Chrift, the righteoufnefs which is of God by faith," Phil. iii. 8, 9. Is thy thirst unquenchable for this blood? Can nothing give thy heart and confcience contentment but this blood? The excellent ufes and ends of this blood fhould raise our eftimation of it: it is useful for juflification and falvation, Rom. v. 9. 18. and for obtaining communion with God: it is useful for. reconciliation, Col. i. 20. Rom. v. 1. God will become a friend, open his bosom, reveal his fecrets, exprefs his love to these that obtain interelt in this blood; it is ufeful for obtaining liberty for near approaches to God, Eph. ii. 13. "We are made nigh by the blood of Christ," Heb. x. 10. Sweet intercourfe is obtained this

way.

3. The witnefs of blood may be known by the renunciation of whatfoeyer ftands in competition with the blood of Chrift, in these uses and ends which it ferves for. The believer hath no confidence in the flesh, or his own righteousness. A believer may, through want of fufficient illumination, or through violent temptation, reft on fome particular duty; but his inward bent is against it. Many acknowledge that they could never have yielded perfect obedience to the law, and that they would have been under the curfe, if Christ had not taken away the rigorous exaction of the law; and now they build their confidence upon Christ, in conjunction with their own acting, their praying, hearing, reading, offering no wrong to their neighbour, loving, and ferving God, and the like; but if you look for juftification by any one work, and Chrift together, you will have no advantage by Chrift, Galatians v. 2, 3, 4. and are debtors to the whole law. Neither faith nor works can be the leaft particle of that righteoufnels which God hath promifed falvation to; because the two ways of faith and works are incompatible one with another, and fo admit of no mixture, Gal. iii. 12. “The law is not of faith;" that is, let no man think to mix them together: for the law prefents to God a man's own righteousness," He that doth them, fhall live in them;" but faith receives Chrift's righteoufnefs, and prefents this to God in the way of works, a man is to fulfil

this righteoufnefs himfelf; in the way of faith, it is fulfilled to him by his Surety, Jefus Chrift; and he is made partaker of it by receiving it, Rom, v. 17, 18, 19. 21. Heb. ix. 15. Gal. iii. 12, 13. If falvation were of works, then the reward fhould be of debt, but not of grace; either of which are contrary to Rom. iv. 4. Salvation is a debt to Chrift; but only free grace, and the fatisfaction of Chrift, can make it a debt to us.

4. The witnefs of blood may be known by the efficaciousness of that blood. What power and efficacy have you found it having upon your heart? Have you found it fprinkling from an evil confcience? Heb. ix. 19. 22. xii. 24. Have you found your heart fecured against the roarings of the law, and temptations of Satan, by oppofing the blood of Chrift thereto, and found a spi. ritual peace and tranquillity established by this blood? In a word, have you accepted of the blood of Christ, for the ufes and ends it ferves for, as recorded in the word, and made freely to choose it for these ends? Many are like him that has a gangrene, there is no way to fave his life but by fawing off fome member of his body; if the man fubmit to this, it is with abundance of unwillingnefs, not freely fo many may fee an abfolute neceffity of the blood of Chrift; they may choose it with reluctance: but the believer is made to choose it freely; and the heart is fet upon it, and made to fee that there cannot be a better or a sweeter way of falvation than by Chrift and his blood. A man may come to God as a Creator, and cry for mercy, and yet never have it; he may plead a promife, and that with importunity, and the utmost natural fincerity, and yet mifs falvation, if he take it not as in Chrift; for God hath made no promife but in Chrift, Eph. iii. 6. 2 Cor. Not one covenant-mercy but must pass through his hand to the foul. So that if your heart hath not freely owned his mediation, his blood cannot be witneffing; but the heart's freeness in choofing and accepting of the blood of Chrift, for the ends and ufes. for which it is defigned, may difcover that we have the witnefs of blood.

i. 20.

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[3.] How may a foul know if he hath the witness of water; or, if the Spirit witnefs in him by water in fanctification? There are two parts of fanctification, d the Spirit namely, mortification, and vivification;

witneffes by water with respect to both.

ft, The Spirit witneffes by water in refpe&t of mor tification, or dying unto fin. That this is a witneffing thing is evident from Rom. vi. 16. "His fervants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of fin unto death, or of obedience unto righteoufnefs."

Queft. How fhall I know if fin be mortified in me, or the dominion of it broken?

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Anfw. This may be known by the choice of the heart to part with fin. The very reign of fin confifts" in the voluntary fubjection of the whole man to it; and therefore, a thorough unwillingness to fin, must argue freedom from the reign of it. A choofing and confenting doth exprefs Paul's fubjection to God's law, when he falls fhort in practice, Rom. vii. 16. ; and fo a hearty confenting to part with fin doth argue freedom from the reign of it, even though you may be rufhed into the act of it. Measure yourself by your choice. You may be reftrained from grofs fins, which others commit; but, if you choofe fin, it is all one in God's account as if you acted it, Mat. v. 28. But because wicked men may have fone unwillingness to commit fome fins, I would give you fome account of this right choice of freedom from fin.

1. It is free. When a man is free in his choice, and without co-action, then it evidences liberty from the dominion of fin. The apoftle makes an oppofition betwixt doing by constraint, and doing willingly, 1 Peter v. 2. Many would choose rather to part with fin, than be damned; as the mariner would rather part with his goods, than be drowned: this is not willingly. But if it be a free choice, that though there was no danger, no fear of hell, yet the nature cf fin would make you deny subjection to it; then you are not ̄uns der the dominion of it, Romans vi. 16. 22. John viii? 34.36.

2. When

2. When the choice is univerfal, then it evidences freedom from the dominion of fin; when the man confents to part with all fin. Not that a man can really be freed from one fin, who is under the reigning power of other fins; but he may be reftrained from many, and yet not be freed from the ruling power of any, Pfal. cxix. 104. 128. The fubduing of one fin may difcover freedom from the dominion of all, when the heart is carried out against the nature of fin in that one; but the heart indulging one fin, tho' never fo fmall, argues the dominion of all, James ii. 10, 11.

3. When the choice is abfolute, without condition. If there be any condition in the world, that will allure you to fin, it is not a hearty choice. Herod was unwilling to behead Jolin the Baptift; but, for Herodias' fake, he would do it. A true choice is abfolute, with. out condition; as alfo without parley, or any condition of agreement with fin. When there is a conflict betwixt the flesh and the Spirit, it difcovers the truth of this choice, Gal. v. 17, 18, 19.

Queft. But may there not be a conflict with fin, that doth not evidence the dominion of fin being broken?

Anfw. Yea, when it is not between the right parties, the flesh and the Spirit. There may be a firuggle in a man's fpirit, by the interfering of one fin with another; or betwixt the inclination of the will to the commiffion of fome fin, and the dictates of the natural confcience; but the true conflict is betwixt the flesh and the Spirit, corruption and grace: but then is the oppofition and war with fin, an evidence of fin's dominion being broken, when the oppofition is made by the hiding of the word in the heart; "Thy word have I bid in my heart, that I might not fin against thee," Pfalm cxix. 11. When the word within us is a feed that oppofes fin, then it is evidential of fin's power being broken, 1 John iii. 9. You may have an hundred fcriptures forbidding fin, which the Beh lufteth after; and as many promises of help against it: all fin may be eyed and thought upon, and your affections may be flightly touched therewith: but if thefe words be not

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treasured up in your hearts, you may be into fin in the face of all thefe: but, when the heart engages against fin, by the word, then it is evidencing; for, the word is the fword of the Spirit; when, for example, faith acted upon a word of promife difcerns the love of God, which conftrains the foul not to meddle with the abominable thing he hates, and difcerns the power of God therein engaged for its through-bearing, and hereupon is encouraged to oppofe fin: the choice, I fay, of freedom is abfolute, without condition of agreement. A right choice is also abfolute, without condition of reconciliation. There is an irreconcileable oppofition in the foul against fin: mountains of gold cannot win the leaft token of favour or refpect in the foul towards fin; but it cries out under it, "Oh! wretched man that I am! who will deliver me from the body of this death?" In this cafe the foul may conclude, that it is free from the dominion of fin, having the Spirit witneffing by water; for fuch a choice of freedom from fin does lead to, and end in the mortification of it, which is an evidencing adoption and spiritual life; "If ye live after the flesh, ye fhall die; but if ye, thro' the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, ye fhall live," Rom. viii. 13. There may be ceffation from the actings of fin, and yet no mortification of it; there may be a change of fin, and no change of heart: but mortification firikes at the root of fin, and aims at the deftruction of it, Rom. vii. 24: vi. 6.

4. When the choice of freedom from fin is evangelical, and upon evangelical accounts. A man may be incenfed against fin, upon natural accounts; and yet be under the dominion of fin ftill, Rom. x. 2.

Queft. When is a man's choice of freedom from fin evangelical, or upon evangelical accounts?

This being a material queftion, I would anfwer it in fome particulars.

1. When the heart is difengaged from fin upon the account of its contrariety to the will of God in Chrift. We are, indeed, to look upon fin as a violation of the Father's will; but it is his will, not according to the

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