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houfe of God, when he has given thee the bencfit of the covenant, even himfelf, in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwells, if thou doubtest of thy title to them, for fo thou doft in effect queftion his commiffion and right. Glorify the Son of God, then, and honour the infinite virtue and merit of his blood, by claiming God as your God upon this ground. I know we are apt to think, we do but doubt the truth of our taking. God in Chrift as our God. But do we doubt of the offer? Do we doubt of our foul's faying Amen to it on any terms? Do we not? Take heed, then, that the doubt run not upon another ground, whatever our unbelieving heart may fuggeft.
(2.) When thou doft fit down at the table of the Lord, thy foul hungering for Chrift, the bread and wine are given thee by his minifters in his name, and with his own words, "This is my body," &c. doft thou believe these words? If thou doft believe them, thou darest not, with many profane fpectators and communicants, alfo look upon thefe facred fymbols as naked figns of Chrift's body and blood, but muft believe, that by, and. with thefe figns, the body and blood of Chrift, which were never feparated from his Godhead fince they were firft united, are really and truly exhibited, and given to thee, to thy faith, and thou receiving the fame in faith, art as really made partaker of his body and blood, as thou art of that. bread and wine: 1 Cor. x. 16. "The cup of. bleffing which we blefs, is it not the communion of the blood of Chrift? the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" What, then, fhould hinder thee to claim God as thy God in Christ, without doubting of your title, when you have a sealed gift of him made you by his authority before the world,
angels, and men ?---This drawing near with full affurance of faith is in its nature,
3. To improve your intereft claimed, without doubting of fuccefs. Feed with a fear of circumfpection; but the lefs unbelieving fear, the better. This you are to do ftill in the way of believing, believing the promises, without doubting of their being accomplished to you for time and for eternity, for grace and glory: Matth. xxi. 22. "And all things whatfoever ye fhall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Rely on the word of grace, the covenant in his blood, that for as poor and mean as you may appear this day, ye fhall be pillars in the temple of God, feeing he has faid it; for as black and deformed as you are this day, ye fhall fhine as the ftars for ever and ever. Is there a luft, or lufts, you would have fubdued, believe, with full affurance of faith, the promise fuited to that cafe, as in Mic. vii. 19. " He will turn again, he will have compaffion upon us; he will fubdue our iniquities; and thou wilt caft all their fins into the depths of the fea." And fo in other cafes.
What way can one imagine we fhould fuck the fap of these promises, but by believing them, and fo relying and trufting on the Lord according to his word? The heavenly treasures contained in them are unseen things, they are known to us only by the testimony of the word, and the inward fenfation which they experience upon believing them. How, then, can we think to get the benefit of them, but in the way of believing them? Suppofe fome rich prince beyond feas, who can, nevertheless, at any time convey his treasures hither, fhould find means to get proclaimed among a company of poor people here, that, whofoever will take him, and him only, for their Provider,
shall be seasonably and suitably supplied out of his treasures. They never faw the prince, they know nothing of his treasures, but by the teftimony of his word fent to them. The heralds commend the prince, they aver it is the fureft way of supply to these who are poor. Some of these poor count these things idle tales, and go their way, one to his day-labour, to earn a penny, another to the begging through the country. When the fupply comes to the country, have these any ground to expect a fhare? No; they did not believe his proclamation. But as for those who were fo foolish in the eyes of their neighbours, but fo truly wife, as to believe the proclamation, and venture their fupply upon an unfeen provider, and an unseen treasure, it lies on his truth and honour to fee them abundantly fupplied. I fhall no further apply this, than to fay, that God's truth and honour is most undoubted fecurity: Rom. ix. 33. "As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a ftumbling stone, and rock of offence; and whofoever believeth on him fhall not be ashamed."
To conclude, think not that I have been teaching you to prefume, nay, but to draw near with a true heart, in the full affurance of faith; not to lay afide humility, for the greateft humility is to deny ourfelves, and obey the call of God, though it be an high calling. It is not humility, but unbelief, which is the fpring of the true heart's doubtings in drawing near to God. They are but warts and moles in the face of Chrift's bride, and fo far mar her beauty; though he does not caft her off for them, if faith do but peep, as it were, out among the crowd of these deformities, as if fhe could fee only with one eye: Song, iv. 9. "Thou haft ravifhed my heart, my fifter, my fpoufe; thou hait ravished
ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck." Matth. xiv. 31. “ And immediately Jefus ftretched forth his hand, and caught him, and faid unto him, O thou of little faith! wherefore didst thou doubt?" The rule is, "According to thy faith, fo be it unto thee." So little faith, little comfort; but, what is worse, little faith, little fanctification. Amen.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED
HEB. X. 22.-Let us draw near with a true heart, in full affurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil confcience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Tis by no means only at a communion-table that we are to draw near to God, but also in all other parts of his worship; yea, in the whole of our conversation we must be drawing near, and keeping near to God, till we at length appear before him in heaven: I say keeping near; for certainly, the text points not merely to a drawing near, just for a start, and away again; but it is to draw near to the house over which Chrift is fet, as a house where we are to abide; and it is such a drawing near, so as not to draw back.
You may remember, I told you, drawing near to God is by faith, and that this lies principally in three things. 1. Accepting God as our God in Christ. 2. Claiming God for our God in Christ.
* Delivered, June 1715.