Of Assurance of Grace and Salvation.
I. Although hypocrites, and
other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and
carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and estate of salvation;a
which hope of theirs shall perish;b
yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity,
endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this
life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace,c and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; which hope
shall never make them ashamed.d
a Job 8:13,14; Micah
3:11; Deut. 29:19; John 8:41.
b Matt. 7:22,23.
c 1 John 2:3; 1 John
3:14,18,19,21,24; 1 John 5:13.
d Rom. 5:2,5.
II. This certainty is not a
bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope;e
but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon the divine truth of the
promises of salvation,f
the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made,g the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our
spirits that we are the children of God:h which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we
are sealed to the day of redemption.i
e Heb. 6:11,19.
f Heb. 6:17,18.
g 2 Pet.
1:4,5,10,11; 1 John 2:3; 1 John 3:14; 2 Cor. 1:12.
h Rom. 8:15,16.
i Eph. 1:13,14; Eph.
4:30; 2 Cor. 1:21,22.
III. This infallible assurance
doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait
long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of it:k
yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are
freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the
right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto.l
And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his
calling and election sure;m
that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost,
in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the
duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance:n
so far is it from inclining men to looseness.o
k 1 John 5:13; Isa.
50:10; Mark 9:24; Ps. 88 throughout; Ps. 77:1-12.
l 1 Cor. 2:12; 1
John 4:13; Heb. 6:11,12; Eph. 3:17-19.
m 2 Pet. 1:10.
n Rom. 5:1,2,5; Rom.
14:17; Rom. 15:13; Eph. 1:3,4; Ps. 4:6,7; Ps. 119:32.
o 1 John 2:1,2; Rom.
6:1,2; Tit. 2:11,12,14; 2 Cor. 7:1; Rom. 8:1,12; 1 John 3:2,3; Ps. 130:4; 1
IV. True believers may have the
assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted;
as, by negligence in preserving of it; by falling into some special sin,
which woundeth the conscience, and grieveth the Spirit; by some
sudden or vehement temptation; by Godís withdrawing the light of
his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness, and
to have no light:p
yet are they never so utterly destitute of that seed of God, and
life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity
of heart and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit,
this assurance may in due time be revived;q and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from
p Cant. 5:2,3,6; Ps.
51:8,12,14; Eph. 4:30,31; Ps. 77:1-10; Matt. 26:69-72; Ps. 31:22; Ps. 88
throughout; Isa. 50:10.
q 1 John 3:9; Luke
22:32; Job 13:15; Ps. 73:15; Ps. 51:8,12; Isa. 50:10.
r Mic. 7:7-9; Jer.
32:40; Isa. 54:7-10; Ps. 22:1; Ps. 88 throughout.
Confession of Faith (index)