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perity for ever if I ask it, this sinful desire and expectation is not the work of faith, but of presumption. What if God will not abate me my last, or daily pains ? What if he will continue my life no longer, whoever pray for it, and how earnestly soever ? Shall I therefore forget how oft he hath heard prayers for me? and how wonderfully he hath helped both me and others ? My faith hath oft been helped by such experiences, and shall I forget them? or question them without cause at last ?
Sect. 1. VIII. And it is a subordinate help to my belief of immortality with Christ, to find so much evidence that angels have friendly communion with us here, and therefore we shall have communion with them hereafter. (Psalm xxxiv. 7, and xci. 11, 12; Luke xv. 10; 1 Cor. xi. 10; Heb. i. 14, and xii. 22, and xiii, 2; Matt. xviii, 10, and xxv. 31, and xiii. 39, 49; Acts v, 19, and viii. 26, and xii. 7, 23.) They have charge of us, and pitch their tents about us; they bear us up; they rejoice at our repentance; they are the regardful witnesses of our behaviour ; they are ministering spirits for our good; they are our angels beholding the face of our heavenly Father. They will come with Christ in glorious attendance at the great and joyful day, and, as his executioners, they will separate the just from the unjust.
And it is not only the testimony of Scripture by which we know their communion with us, but also some degree of experience. Not only of old did they appear to the faithful as inessengers from God, but of late times there have been testimonies of their ministration for us. Of which see Zanchy de Angelis, and Mr. J. Ambrose, of our communion with angels. Many a mercy doth God give us by their ministry, and they that are now so friendly to us, and suitable to our communion and help, and make up one society with us, do hereby greatly encourage us to hope that we are made for the same region, work, and company with these our blessed, loving friends. They were once in a life of trial, it seems, as we are now, though not on earth. (Jude 6 ; 2 Pet. ii. 4.) And they that overcame and are confirmed rejoice in our victory and confirmation. It is not an uninhabited world which is above us, nor such as is beyond our capacity and hope. We are come to an innumerable company of angels, and to the spirits of the perfected just, who together have discreet quantity, or numerical difference, notwithstanding their happy union and communion.
Sec. 1. IX. And Satan himself, though unwillingly, hath many ways helped my belief of our immortality and future hopes. 1. I have had many convincing proofs of witches, the contracts they have made with devils, and the power which they have received from them. * Beside the volumes of Remigius and Bodin, and the Mallei Maleficorum, Danæus, and others, we had many score of them detected, and many executed in one year in Suffolk and Essex, + about 1644. And I have at this present a flint-stone, which was one of about 160, which was voided by the urinary passage, by a bewitched child in Evesham, yet living, some of near an ounce weight, which was fully proved, the witch executed, and the child, upon her imprisonment, freed. To pass by many others.
Sect. 2. 2. And I have had convincing testimony of apparitions, besides that famous one, the devil of Mascon, and that in the shape of lieutenant-colonel Bowen, in Wales, mentioned elsewhere, and besides many I testimonies of haunted houses, (however many, or most such reports, are but deceits).
Sect. 3. From both these I gather, 1. That there are indivi. dual inhabitants of the invisible world, and that spirits have their numerical differences, whatever unity is among them, and therefore we have reason to judge the same of separated souls. 2. That our souls are designed to future happiness or misery, which is implied in the foresaid contracts and endeavours of devils for our ruin. 3. That faith and holiness are the
of life, and unbelief and sin the way to misery, which also is in these implied.
Sect. 4. 3. And I have both read, and partly seen, convincing evidence, that there is such an exercise of diabolical power as we commonly call possession. Whether all, or most madmen are under such a power, as some think, I determine not, but that some are under it is evident. The motions of the body, which I have seen, seem beyond man's natural power. The telling of secrets and things absent, the speaking of languages never learned, the vomiting of nails, glass, hairs, &c., and other such effects, which the most learned, sober, impartial physicians profess to have seen, are credible testimonies.
Sect. 5. 4. And I have felt, and heard, and known from others, of such sorts of temptations, as show themselves to be
* Of this see the second edition, by Dr. More, of Mr. Glanvil's book of apparitions called Atheismus Triumphatus. # For the truth of this read Mr. Fairclough's lise.
See what I have said of particular testimonies in my Saint's Rest,' and « Unreasunableness of Infidelity.'
the acts of malicious spirits, enemies to mankind. The advantages that Satan taketh of a corrupted fancy, which hath once taken in such an image as may be his matter to work upon, is very remarkable. I have known a worthy, learned, pious person, who from his youth to old age, upon such an advantage, hath been so tempted, with pleasure, to torment himself, even his own flesh, as that for many years together, in a partial melancholy, at divers fits he was not able (though conscience also tormented him for it) to forbear. Many, by an immodest look or touch, have given Satan such a power upon their fancies, as no reason, conscience, or resolution could of a long time over
Few men, I think, that observe themselves, have not at some time had experience of such inward temptations, as show that the author of them is an invincible enemy. All which tells us, 1. That there are individual spirits. 2. Yea, devils that seek man's misery. 3. And that by the way of sin, and consequently that a future happiness or misery must be expected by us all.
Sect. 1. X. But the great and sure prognostics of our immortal happiness, is from the renewing operations of the Spirit of holiness on the soul. 1. That such a renewing work there is, all true believers in some measure feel. 2. And that it is the earnest of heaven, is proved thus.
Sect. 2. 1. If it be a change of greatest benefit to man. 2. And if heaven be the very sum and end of it. 3. And if it overcome all fleshly, worldly opposition. 4. And can be wrought by none but God. 5. And was before promised by Jesus Christ to all sound believers. 6. And is universally wrought in them all, either only, or eminently above all others. 7. And was promised them as a pledge and earnest of glory; then it can be no less than such a pledge and earnest; but the former are all true, &c.
Sect. 3. 1. That the change is of grand importance unto man, appeareth in that it is the renovation of his mind, and will, and life. It repaireth his depraved faculties, it causeth man to live as man, who is degenerated to a life too like to brutes. By God's permitting many to live in blinduess, wickedness, and confusion, and to be tormenters of themselves and one another, by teinptations, injuries, wars, and cruelty, we the fuller see what it is that grace doth save men from, and what a difference it maketh in the world. Those that have lived unholy in their youth, do easily find the difference in themselves when they are renewed. But to them that have been piously inclined from their childhood, it is harder to discern the difference, unless they mark the case of others. If man be worth any thing, it is for the use that his faculties were made, and if he be not good for the knowledge, love, and service of his Creator, what is he good for? And certainly the generality of ungodly worldlings are undisposed to all such works as this, till the Spirit of Christ effectually change them. Men are slaves to sin till Christ thus make them free. (John viii. 32, 33, 36; Rom. vi. 18; Acts xxvi. 18; Rom. viii. 2.) But where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Cor. iii. 17.) If the divine nature and image, and the love of God shed abroad on the heart, be not our excellency, health, and beauty, what is? And that which is born of the flesh, is flesh, but that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John iii. 6.) Without Christ and his Spirit, we can do nothing. Our dead notions and reason, when we see the truth, have not power to overcome temptations, nor to raise up man's soul to its original and end, nor to possess us with the love and joyful hopes of future blessedness. It were better for us to have no souls, than that those souls should be void of the Spirit of God.
Sect. 4. 2. And that heaven is the sun and end of all the Spirit's operations, appeareth in all that are truly conscious of them in themselves, and to them and others by all God's precepts, which the Spirit causeth us to obey, and the doctrine which it causeth us to believe, and by the description of all God's graces which he worketh in us. What is our knowledge and faith, but our knowledge and belief of heaven, as consisting in the glory and love of God there manifested, and as purchased by Christ, and given by his covenant ? What is our hope but the hope of glory. (See Heb. xi. 1, and throughout; 1 Pet. i. 3, 21; Heb. vi. II, 18, 19, and iii. 6; Tit. ii. 13, and iii. 7; Col. i. 5, 23, 27.) And through the Spirit, we wait for all this hope. (Gal. v. 5.) What is our love but a desire of communion with the blessed God initially here, and perfectly hereafter ? As the sum of Christ's gospel was, " Take up the cross, forsake all here, and follow me, and thou shalt have a reward in heaven.” (Luke xiv. 26, 33, and xviii. 22, 23.) And the consolation of his gospel is, “ Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven." (Matt. v. ll, 12.) So the same is the sum of his Spirit's operations, for what he teacheth and commandeth that he worketh. For he worketh by that word, and the impress must be like the signet, what arm soever set it on. He sendeth not his Spirit to make men craftier than others for this world, but to make them wiser for salvation, and to make them more heavenly and holy. For the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. Heavenliness is the Spirit's special work.
Sect. 5. 3. And in working this it conquereth the inward undisposedness and averseness of a fleshly, worldly mind and will, and the customs of a carnal life, and the outward temptations of Satan, and all the allurements of the world. Christ first overcame the world, and teacheth and causeth us to overcome it ; even its flatteries and its frowns : our faith is our victory. Whether this victory be easy, and any honour to the Spirit of Christ, let our experience of the wickedness of the ungodly world, and of our own weakness, and of our falls when the Spirit of God forsaketh us, be our informer.
Sect. 6. 4. And that none but God can do this work on the soul of man, both the knowledge of causes and experience prove. The most learned, wise, and holy teachers cannot (as they confess and show); the wisest and most loving parents cannot, and therefore must pray to him that can ; the greatest princes cannot; evil angels neither can nor will. What good angels can do on the heart we know not ; but we know that they do nothing, but as the obedient ministers of God. And (though we have some power on ourselves, yet) that we ourselves cannot do it: that we cannot quicken, illuminate, or sanctify ourselves, and that we have nothing but what we have received, conscience and experience fully tell us.
Sect. 7. 5. And that Christ promised this Spirit in a special measure to all true believers, that it should be in them his advocate, agent, seal, and mark, is yet visible in the gospel; yea, and in the former prophets. (Isa. xliv. 34 ; Ezek. xxxvi. 26, and xxxvii. 14; Joel ii. 28, 29; Ezek. xi. 19, and xviii. 31; Eph. i.
John iii. 5, and iv. 23, 24, and vi. 63, and vii. 39; John i. 33, and xiv. 16, 26; Acts i. 5, 8; John xv. 26, and xvi. 7-9; &c.) Indeed the Spirit here, and heaven hereafter, are the chief of all the promises of Christ.
Sect. 8. 6. And that this Spirit is given (not to hypocrites that abuse Christ, and do not seriously believe him, nor to mere pretending, nominal Christians, but) to all that sincerely believe the gospel, is evident not only to themselves in certainty, (if they are in a condition to know themselves, but to others in