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that he would hastily withdraw himself, as if he would not be spoken to? This is a good sign of grace, much grace, covenant grace. Is not this the language of thy heart? in such a time, and in such a place I entered into a covenant with the Lord, he assisted my heart, I do not repent that agreement, it was the best match that ever I made, and though now for my sins God doth righteously hide his face, and I cannot feel the comforts of my covenant relation, yet I will follow him still; though he flee from me, "it is good for me to draw nigh unto God;"* if he seem to cast off my soul, I will not abandon his ways; the Lord will not cast off for ever, but though he cause grief, yet he will have compassion; though sorrow endure for a night, yet joy will come in the morning. † Let the Lord act as he sees good in his infinite wisdom and sovereignty, I will not dispute his ways, but walk in my way which he hath lined out for me, though storms of satanical temptations, law-challenges, yea, sad earthquakes within, and rebukes from God seem to undermine the house of my profession, yet I will (at what time I am afraid) trust in God, I am sure he can do me no wrong, and believe he will do me no hurt; as long as I am out of hell, if the Lord will give me a heart to adhere to him, I will bless him, let him deal with me as he pleaseth, I am sure he is a "God of judgment, blessed are they that wait for him." I will use God's appointed means, and give "diligence to make my calling and election sure;" || but if God see good to deny me the blessing of assurance, I will attend him still, he is not bound to my times or arrangements: it is after that persons believe, (how long after, who can tell?) that they are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. §


* Psalm lxxiii. 28. + Isa. xxx. 18.

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God is a free agent; "I will wait on him who hides his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him :" I will bless him while I live for all that kindness I have had from him, and if he should cast me into hell, yet might I then be in a capacity to praise and enjoy him, it would be some ease to me; however, in the strength of that good word I will go after him, Hos. vi. 3, "Then shall we know, (that is, we shall feel more of God, know him to satisfaction, be assured of covenant relation) if we follow on to know the Lord, (that is, if we keep close to God in holy duty) his going forth is prepared as the morning, (that is, he will in due time come with the light of joy and consolation, after a dark night of sorrow) and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth," to produce fruitfulness: this is the mercy I pray and faint for. But concerning the nature and symptoms of a Christian's doubtings, I refer you to Mr. Gurnal's Christian Armour, part 2, pp. 582-589.

Thus I have at last completed this extensive subject, and indeed it has become much larger than I designed at first, but upon a review I find that it cannot be curtailed; nor any thing material be left out without maiming it. I had also thought to have added further, 1. As a supplement, a short epitome or compendium of the aforesaid extended discussion for the help of the weak; 2. A triumphant extacy of the assured believer, under a due sense of his happy state. But others have done something in both these ways; such an addition also would swell this treatise to too great a bulk, and therefore I shall remove my hand from this table.

* Isa. viii. 17.



I AM sensible, that much of my labour will be lost, unless some persons, (for whose sake chiefly I have composed this Treatise,) be directed more plainly, and in fewer words to subscribe the covenant before described; therefore I shall upon a review of the whole, extract the sum and substance of the covenant, detailed in the eighth and ninth chapters, and leaving out the scripture proofs, present it in one view, as a short scheme and compendium of the former, and when you have read the whole book, and are convinced of the reasonableness of the proceeding, and importance of this design as warranted by the word of God, you may adopt the following form. Whether you read it only, or subscribe to it, let your hearts go along with the words, or the sense of them.

O eternal, infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, and glorious Lord God, I thy poor creature, that am fallen from thee by Adam's apostacy, and condemned by thy righteous law, for breaking the first covenant made with man in innocency; yet understanding by thy word the willingness of a gracious God, to enter into a covenant of reconciliation with fallen mankind, through Jesus Christ the mediator, I, even I, a poor miserable sinner, at thy footstool this day: being convinced of my miserable state by nature, the necessity I have of thee, and the equity of the terms of this gospel covenant, do here prostrate myself before thee, desiring in the singleness and sincerity of my heart, solemnly and

expressly to subscribe to the articles propounded in thy word, as the terms upon which thou receivest a poor sinner, without any let, reserve, or evasion. The affair is great, my strength small, my heart slippery, but in the name and strength of the Lord Jesus, I here set about it; Lord, assist and accept of me through the mediator of the new covenant.

First, I humbly desire to accept of God the Father, as my only happiness, in knowledge and enjoyment of whom consists my felicity; thou only art the rest and refuge, the suitable and satisfying portion of my immortal soul; thou art my utmost and ultimate end, I am resolved to look no where else for happiness, and to design nothing else but thy glory, as my highest end in all my actings, natural, civil, and religious; and O that my soul might glorify and enjoy thee, as God, and my God. And because God in himself absolutely considered, is a consuming fire to guilty sinners, and there is no approaching to thee but through a mediator, and thou hast sent thy well beloved Son, God equal with the Father, to take upon him human nature, and by his active and passive obedience to bring poor souls unto God. I am abundantly satisfied with this blessed contrivance of free grace, and humbly desire to take thee, gracious Saviour, as my high priest, to expiate for my sins, and by thy blood to reconcile me to God. Angels, men, duties, graces, are not a sufficient price to make compensation for the guilt of one sin, but I trust in the merits of Christ's death, and satisfaction only, for the pardon of all my transgressions. I humbly present my person and prayers to God in the name of Christ my advocate, who intercedes for poor souls at the right hand of God, answering the demands of justice, law, Satan, and conscience, and rendering our sincere but defective performances ac

ceptable unto God. I take Christ Jesus as the only prophet of his church, who revealed God's mind to mortal creatures, personally by his public ministry on earth, and by his Spirit, and the scriptures and ministers, since his ascension to heaven. I am sure he is infallible, and as long as I follow his guidance I shall not err; I will not follow men any further than they follow Christ. The Lord Jesus I own as king of his church, my sovereign Lord, humbly resolving to submit to thy goverment; conquer my stubborn will, subdue my lusts, and rule my heart and life by thy righteous laws and glorious sceptre. I humbly own and willingly embrace the Holy Spirit, that proceeds from Father and Son, yielding myself to his convictions, influence, and sanctifying operations, depending on his assistance, hoping for his quickening, sealing, and comforting impressions, resolving to be led by the Holy Spirit as long as I live.

I do also humbly embrace, and heartily subscribe to all the truths revealed by God in the scriptures, and being satisfied that they were dictated by the infallible God, I do venture my soul and eternal state thereupon, being assured that the God of truth cannot lie, though many things be above my reach or reason. I do also fully consent and subscribe to the equity of all God's laws and holy commandments, though contrary to my carnal interest, though difficult and hard to be obeyed, though hazardous and drawing on trouble and persecution, and will by the assistance of God's grace, address myself to comply with the most flesh-displeasing and self-denying duties prescribed in the word. Lord, give me an obedient heart; and whatever ordinances thou hast prescribed I will own; I will frequent the assemblies and societies of thy saints, hear thy word, honour and improve the seals of thy covenant, baptism, and

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