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induc'd to a willing consent and chearful acquiescence in the word as coming from God. But the Lord when he gave the before mention'd outgate by the word, conveying a sense of his authority in it, by a light. and power that relieved my soul, repelled temptations, revived, composed, comforted, and strongly bore ip a foul before depressed and bowed down : This made me not only give an assent, but with much pleasure acquiesce in this word as the word of life; then I found his words, and did eat them, and I rejoiced as they that find great treasure, and they were to me the joy ant rejoicing of my heart: Jer. xv. 16. And hereon I was sweetly satisfied as to the scriptures being his word; for they did many ways evidence that they were from him....
1. All discoveries of guilt were convey'd by them, before and since iny outgate : God by it fpoke in mine ear fins, which none, fave God that searches the heart, could know; it made these sins manifest which I knew not, no creature else knew. I Cor. xv. 25. By it the recrets of my heart were made manifeft; and hereon I could not but fall down, and own that God was in it of a truth; and that indeed it was a beam from the fountain of light: For whatever maketh manifest is light. Eph. v, 13. And that it was from him who tries the reins, and sets our secret lins in the light of his countenúnce. Jer. xvii. 1o. It discerened the thoughts and intents-of my heart in such a quick and powerful way, Psalm xc, 8. and with that authority, Matth. vii. 29. that made me own it the word of God. And now I was ready to say, Come see a book that has told me all that ever I did in my life, is not this the book of God? John iv, 29.
2. All the discoveries that the Lord gave of his wrath were convey'd by the scriptures; it was by them that his wrath was dropp'd into my foul, and revealed from heaven against me. Rom. i. 18, The word as the arrow of the Almighty, Pfalm xxxviii.
2. thrown by an omnipotent arm, pierc'd and stuck in my soul, and the poison of it drunk up my Ipiril; Psalm xlv. 5. Job vi, 4. it was the rod vi God's Itrength, Pfalm xc. 2. whereby he broke and crushed, me while his enemy.
3. It was by the same word that he let in upon my soul that glorious discovery of his being, attributes, purposes, Rom. x. 8, 9. and his whole will in refe. rence to my salvation by Jesus Christ, whereof before ; 2 Tim. i. 15. Tit. iii. 4. hereby ise convey'd into my soul sweet and satisfying evidences as to his being, satisfying, consistent, and some way God-be. coming notions of his nature. Hereia it was that he proclaimed his name, the Lord God merciful and gracious unto finners in Chrifti; Exod. xxxiv. 5, 6, as I have before shewed.
4. It was by the word he convey'd all those converting, Psalm xix. 7. transforming, quickering, supporting, reviving, composing influences above-mentioned. It was his word converted my soul, while I lay in fin, Psalm cxix: 50,93. quickned me when I was dead changed me into his image in some meafure, 2 Cor. iii. 18. revived me and watered me, Isa. lvii. 15. when again I was weary, supported and stay'd me when I was ready to faint, P/alm xx. 2. Atts xx. 35, and composed me when I was like the troubled sea. Mark iv. 39.
5. It was by the same word that he let in glorious discoveries of all the truths of religion where with I was now made acquainted ; let me iee the wonders of his law, Pfalm cxix. 17, excellent things in counsel and knowlege. Prov. xxii, 20. By it he was pleas'd to difcover the craft, the power, the actings and designs of my enemies, and by it he satisfied me of my doubts, ler ne see his secret defigns in my trials, and somewhat of his designs in many of those his publick adminiftrations, whereat I had before taken excepsion. 6. As all these discoveries and influences were con
veyed by the word, so he now in the conveyance affected my conscience with this authority, and evidenced that his name was in it, by that light and power peculiar to God, that went along with it. Ga. iii. 2. Jer. xxiii. 29. It spake not in all thele things as the Icribes and Pharisees, the wisest, the greatest, or the best of men, but with another sort of authority and weight, it fpake as never man spake. Matth. vii 29. John vii. ' 46. Whatever it said, either with respect to God, or my case, or others, my conscience was made to stand to it, when he challenged by his word for things which I knew not to be faults, men notice not, conscience obeyed, and took the hint, and arm’d with this authority, accused, arraign'd, condemn'd, and, as it were, executed the sentence too. Nor would it stand to, or regard defences or pleas from any other airth. When God fpake wrath, he kindled a flame in my soul by the breath of this word, that many waters could not quench, he raised' a storm in it, that I could neither quiet, nor row against, so as to get to Land. Job xxxiv. 29. The heart that before was as unconcern. ed as a stone at reading the word, or hearing it, now trembled and quaked. In like manner.when he spoke peace he created it. Ifa. lvii. 19. He made the dead to hear, and the hearer to live. He fent his word and healed me. Plalm cvii. 20, 29. And imniediately there was a calm. The winds anil seas obeyed him, at his rebuke they fled. Markiv. 39. Temptations after it fpoke not again. When I was self-destroyed, selfcondemned, and by its power beat from all pleas; so that I durst neither deny, excuse nor extenuate, nor quarrel the hardest sentence which I dreaded most; and was hereon cast into the greatest agony of trouble, when I was ready to say with Job, · If i had called,
and he had answered me; yet would I not believe " that he had hearkned to my voice. Job ix. 16. When with him I refused to be comforted, and scarce did
· think comfort possible ; yet whenever he fent his
word, it heal'd me, and my soul was commanded to be at peace, a glorious calm alway ensued. Whereas on the other hand, when I or others endeavoured to fpeak peace to myself, mine enemies boldly repelled all, and flew on me, as the devil did on the cxorcists, Acts xix. 16.
7. The Lord now sweetly relieved me as to my doubts about the scriptures. 1. Whereas mine enemies had oft pushed me with this, that there were many pretenders to revelation, and hereon to difficult me, asked how I would or could distinguish the word of God from these pretenders. The Lord himself now gave a quieting reply : Jer. xxiii. 28, 29. The pro. phet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream ; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully : What is the chaff to the wheat, faith the Lord? Is not my word like as a fire, faith the Lord? And like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? 2. He was pleased particularly to speak these things, whereae I had Numbled, to my soul, and oft to evidence his authority in and by these passages which I took exception at. And this condescension was of manifold use; it satisfied as to those passages, it reprov'd and humbled me for my unbelief and ignorance in quarrelling at them; it rendered me jealous of the like temptations with respect to other passages. It put me to plead clearing as to what was dark from the Lord, it gave me hope as to the issue. « These thing under• stood not his disciples at the first, --They said there• for, What is this that he laith, A little while? We I cannot tell what he faith. But when he had ris«en from the dead, his disciples remembred that he « had said this unto them ; And they believed the • fcripture, and the word which Jesus hath faid,' 7ohn Chapter xii. 16. compared with Chapter xvi. 18. and with the Chapter ii. 22. Then was I made to say with the disciples, Chapter xvi. 29. Lo, now speakest thou
plainly, and speakest no Proverb. 3. Where I was not presently clear'd, the Lord gave me fubfittence, as it were something to live on till light came, he fatisfied me from the word, of the reasons of his expreffing himself in the scriptures in parables to the multirude; and he told me, That what he did and said, I knew not now, but encouraged me to hope, that I should know hereafter, John xiii. 7.' when my pced requir'd it 4. He was as good as bis word; for when I was alone with him, he opened what before was fpoken in parables, and while he opened the scripture, and discovered my ignorance, he often made my Heart burn within me. Luke xxiv. 32.. Again, 5. He satisfied me as to many things, that I was not yet able to bear them; Mark iv. 33. John xvi. 12, 13. as to others, That it was not for me to know them at present, that the proper season of light as to them, would come when he would shew ne plainly of them, and then should I know thcm, 6. He let me fee his wisdom and goodness in training me up to depen. dence, for opening of my eyes to see the wonders of his law, Pfalmi čxix. 18. Job xxxiv. 32, and leading me to importune him that what I knew not he might teach;" John xvi. 12, 13. and discovering hereby that'I knew but in part, and stood in need of the /piril to guide unto all truth, to bring all to remem, brance ; 1 Cor. xiii. 12. and that it was my dury to meditate on God's law day and night, Psalm i. 2. and Scarch the fcriptures, and that with much humility, since the fecret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he Thews them his covenant, and he guidles the meek in judgment, and elearly teaches them lis way. Pfalm: xxy. 9, 10, 12, 14. : i .:'
8. When afrer this I now read the scriptures, and found not that powerful light thining with that warm-' ing, quickening and sparkling glory; 2.Cor. ii, 15. yet I found niinc eyes opened, and an habitual light planted in my foul, John X. 4, 5. whereby I was e.