« ElőzőTovább »
suffer the heart to entertain the love of sin, but sets the man on work to fear God for his mercy, and to obey all his commandments, out of love to God, for his free gift of justification, by grace bestowed on him: “ For this is the end of the “ law indeed," whereby it obtaineth of a man more obedience than any other way: The fourth thing requisite to evidence true faith is, the
keeping strait communion with Christ, the fountain of all graces, and of all good works; holden forth Yohn xv, 5.
I am the oine, ye are the branches : he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit : for without me ye can do nothing.
Wherein Christ, in a similitude from a vine-tree, teach
1. That by nature we are wild barren briers, till we be changed by coming unto Christ; and that Christ is that noble vine-tree, having all life and sap of grace in himself, and able to change the nature of every one that cometh to him, and to communicate spirit and life to as many as shall believe in him: “I am the vine, (saith hey) and ye are the “ branches."
2. That Christ loveth to have believers so united unto him, as that they be not separated at any time by unbelief: and that there may be a mutual inhabitation of them in him, by faith and love ; and of him in them, by his word and Spirit; for he joineth these together, “ If ye abide in me
, " and I in you," as things inseparable.
3. That except a man beingrafted into Christ, and united to him by faith, he cannot do any the least good works of his own strength ; yea, except in as far as doth draw spirit and life from Christ by faith, the work which he doth is naughty and null in point of goodness it God's estimation : “ For without me (saith he) ye can do “nothing."
4. That this mutual inhabitation is the fountain and infallible cause of constant continuing and abounding in well. doing : For " he that abideth in me, and I in him, (saith “he,) the same beareth much fruit.” Now, as our abiding in Christ presupposeth three things ; 1st, That we have
card the joyful sound of the gospel, making offer of Chris:
to us, who are lost sinners by the law; 2d, That we have heartily embraced the gracious offer of Christ ; 3d, That by receiving of him we are become the sons of God, John i. 12. and are incorporated into his mystical body, that he may dwell in us, as his temple, and we dwell in bim, as in the residence of righteousness and life : so our abiding in Christ importeth other three things, (1.) An employing of Christ in all our addresses to God, and in all our undertakings of whatsoever piece of service to him. (2.) A contentedness with his sufficiency, without going out from him to seek righteousness, or life, or furniture in any case, in our own or any of the creature's worthiness. (3.) A fixedness in our believing in him, a fixedness in our employing and making use of him, and a fixedness in our contentment in him, and adhering to him, so that no allurement, no temptation of Satan or the world, no terror nor trouble, may be able to drive our spirits from firm adherence to him, or from the coi:stant avowing of his truth, and obeying his commands, who hath loved us, and given himself for us ; and in whom not only Our life is laid up, but also the fulness of the Godhead dwell. eth bodily, by reason of the substantial and personal union of the divine and human nature in him.
Hence let every watchful believer, for strengthening himself in faith and obedience, reason after this manner:
- Whosoever doth daily employ Christ Jesus for cleans“ing his conscience and affections from the guiltiness and “ filthiness of sins against the law, and for enabling him to
give obedience to the law in love, he hath the evidence of true faith in himself:
“ But I (may every watchful believer say) do daily em“ploy Jesus Christ for cleansing my conscience and affec« tions from the guiltiness and filthiness of sins against the “ law, and for enabling of me to give obedience to the law * in love :
“ Therefore I have the evidence of trúe faith in myself.”
And hence also let the sleepy and sluggish believer reason, for his own upstirring, thus :
“Whatsoever is necessary for giving evidence of true « faith, I study to do it, except I would deceive myself and "
“conscience and affections from the guiltiness and filthiness “ of sins against the law, and for enabling me to give obe“ dience to the law in love, is necessary for evidencing of true “ faith in me :
“ Therefore this I must study to do, except I would de" ceive myself, and perish."
And, lastly, Seeing Christ himself hath pointed this forth, as an undoubted evidence of a man elected of God unto life, and given to Jesus Christ to be redeemed, “ if he come “ unto him," that is, close covenant, and keep communion with him, as he teacheth us, John vi. 37. saying, “ All that “ the Father hath given me shall come to me ; and him that o cometh to me I will in no wise cast out;" let every person, who doth not in earnest make use of Christ for remission of sin, and amendment of life, reason hence, and from the whole premises, after this manner, that his conscience may be awakened :
“ Whosoever is neither by the law, nor by the gospel, so “ convinced of sin, righteousness, and judgment, as to make “ him come to Christ, and employ him daily for remission of " sin, and amendment of life; he wanteth not only all evi. “ dence of saving faith, but also all appearance of his elec“tion, so long as he remaineth in this condition :
“ But I (may every impenitent person say) am neither by " the law nor gospel so convinced of sin, righteousness, and “ judgment, as to make me come to Christ, and employ him " daily for remission of sin, and amendment of life:
“ Therefore I want not only all evidence of saving faith, “ but also all appearance of my election, so long as I remain 46 in this condition."
Con. signifies the Confession of Faith. The first number denotes the Chapter,
the following figures denote the Paragraphs.
Cat. signifies the Larger Catechism, and the figures denote the numbers of the
ed at his pleasure in the administraCCEPTANCE. The persons of tion of his power, mercy, and jus
tice, ib. Not to be worshipped, con. ous in the sight of God only for the xxi. 2. cat. 105. obedience and satisfaction of Christ, Antichrist, what, con. xxv. 6. The con. xi. 1. cat. 70. Which is impu- Pope is Antichrist, ib. ted to them by God, and received by Antiquity, no pretence for using the faith, con. xi. 1.-cat. 70, 71, 72. How devices of men in the worship of their good works are accepted in God, cat. 109. Christ, con. xvi. 6. Acceptance in Anxiety about the things of this life prayer through Christ and his me- sinful, cat. 105, 136, 142. diation, cat. 180.
The Apocrypha, not being of divine Access. No access unto the presence inspiration, is of no authority in the
of God without the Mecliator Jesus church, con. i. 3.
God not to be carelessly or wilfully Actions. God orders and governs all neglected, con. xxi. 6.
the actions of his creatures by his Assurance of grace and salvation atmost wise and holy providence, ac- tainable in this life, con. xvii. 1, 2. cording to his infallible foreknow- cat. 80. Without extraordinary reledge and immutable decree, con. v. velation, con. xviii
. 3. cat. 80. Upon 1. cat. 13. See Proviilence.
what it is founded, con. iii. 8. xvii. 2. Actual sins proceed from the original cat. 80. It is strengthened by good
corruption of nature, con, vi. 4. cat. works, con. xvi. 2. Believers may 25. See Sin.
want it, con. xviii. 3. cat. 80, 172. Adinonition of the church, con. xxx. 4. They may have it diminished and inAdoption, the nature and privileges of termitted ; and be deprived of comit, con. xii. cat. 74.
fort, and the light of God's counteAdultery, a just ground of divorce, nance, con. xi. 5. xvii. 3. xviii. 4. cat. con. xxiv. 5, 6.
81. But they are never utterly des. Aggravations of sin, cat. 151.
titute of that seed of God, and life Amen, the meaning of it, cat. 196. of faith and love, &c. out of which Angels, God's decree concerning them, assurance may, by the Spirit, be in
con. üi. 3, 4, cat. 13. How created, due time revived, con. svüi. 4. cat. cat. 16. God's providence towards 81. And by which, in the mean them, cat. 19. They are all employ. time, they are supported from utter
despair, ib. It is the duty of all to Vows of Celibaey unlawful, con. Axö.
Who are to be proceeded against by
4. xxix. 8. xxx. 2. They are to be
the crime, and the demerit of the
person, con. XXX. 4. Penitent sin-
165. To continue to the end of the sures, con. xxx. 2.
as profess the true religion are mem.
bers of the visible church, con. XXV.
Christ, why so called, cat. 42. Is the
invisible church enjoy by Christ, cat. man,, con. viii. 1. cat, 36. Who be
equual with the Father, con. vüi. 2.
the sacrament, con. xxix. 7. cat. became man, con. viii. 2. cat. 36,
37. The necessity of his being God
believers are members of Christ's ordained by God from eternity to be
viii. 3. And willingly undertook
and at the resurrection, cou. xxxi. perfect obedience and sacrifice of
2, 3, cat. 86, 87. Of the wicked, ib. himself, he purchased reconciliation..
viii. 5. cat. 38. Ta whom, in all
ages, the benefits of his mediation
have a lawful calling, and to be dili- 8. Christ's offices of prophet,
priest, king, cat. 43, 44, 45. See