The Christian's Great Interest 
by the late Rev. William Guthrie, Minister of the Gospel, Fenwick 
with a Memoir of the Author 
To the Reader 
Memoir of the Author 
Part I. The Trial of a Saving Interest in Christ 
   Quest. I.--How shall a man know if he has a true and special interest 
      in Christ, and whether he has, or may lay claim justly to, God's 
      favour and salvation? 
   Chapter I.--Things premised for the better understanding of the trial 

      I.--A man's interest in Christ may be known 
      II.--Importance of having an interest in Christ 
      III.--We must allow our condition to be determined by Scripture 
      IV.--Causes why so few attain to a distinct knowledge of their 
      V.--Some mistakes concerning an interest in Christ removed 
   Chapter II.--Marks of a Saving Change 
      A preparatory law work 
      I.--Some called from the womb 
      II.--Some called in a sovereign gospel-way 
      III.--Some graciously called at the hour of death 
      IV.--God's more ordinary way of calling sinners to Himself 
      V.--Objections and difficulties considered 
   Chapter III.--Evidences of a Believing State 
      I.--Mistakes as to what faith is 
      II.--True saving faith described 
      III.--Farther explanatory remarks concerning saving faith 
      IV.--Difficulties as to what seems to be faith removed 
   Chapter IV.--Evidences of a Renewed State 
      I.--The whole man must be to some extend renewed 
      II.--He must be, to some extent, renewed in all his ways 
      III.--The supposed unattainableness of such evidences considered 
      IV.--The special attainments of hypocrites considered 
      V.--Doubts because of prevailing sin considered 
      VI.--Doubts arising out of a want of Christian experience 
PART II.--How to Attain a Saving Interest in Christ 
   Quest. II. What shall they do who want the marks of a true and saving 
      interest in Christ, already spoken of, and neither can nor dare 
      pretend unto them? 
   Chapter I.--Some Things Premised for the Information of the Ignorant 
   Chapter II.--The Duty of Closing with God's Plan of Saving Sinners by 
      Christ Jesus 
      I.--What it is to accept of, and close with, the gospel offer 
      II.--This the duty of those who would be saved 
      III.--What is required of those who would believe on Christ Jesus 
         and be saved 
      IV.--Some of the properties and native consequences of true 
      V.--Some of the effects of saving faith 
   Chapter III.--Objections and Difficulties Answered and Explained 
      I.--The sinner's baseness rendering it presumption to come to 
      II.--The singularity of his sin barring the way 
      III.--Special aggravations a hindrance 
      IV.--Sins not named a barrier 
      V.--The sin against the Holy Ghost alleged 
         I.--What it is not 
         II.--What the sin against the Holy Ghost is 
         III.--Conclusions bearing on the objections 
      VI.--Objections from the want of power to believe answered 
      VII.--Objection arising from the complaints of believers as to 
      VIII.--Objection from ignorance regarding covenanting with God,-- 
         The nature of that duty unfolded 
      IX.--Doubts as to the inquirer's being savingly in covenant with 
         God answered 
      Certain things premised concerning personal covenanting 
         I.--The thing itself is warrantable 
         II.--The preparation needed 
         III.--How the duty of covenanting is to be performed 
         IV.--What should follow this solemn act 
      X.--A want of proper feeling considered as an obstacle in the way 
         of covenanting 
      XI.--The fear of backsliding a hindrance 
      XII.--Objection arising from past fruitlessness considered 
   Conclusion--The whole Treatise resumed in a Few Questions and Answers 
The Christian's Great Interest was fist published in 1668, and many 
editions have appeared since. As it is now almost unobtainable, it is 
reprinted by the Publications Committee of the Free Presbyterian Church 
of Scotland, with the fervent hope that it will have a further wide 
circulation, and prove a continued blessing to many. 
   Dr. Owen said, "I have written several folios, but there is more 
divinity in it (The Christian's Great Interest) than in them all." 
   William Guthrie, of Fenwick, was a cousin of the eminent martyr, James 
Guthrie, who refused a bishopric and died on the scaffold at the Cross of 
Edinburgh in 1661. William desired to go to the execution of his valued 
cousin, but was prevented by friends who feared for his life. 
   It was while a student under Samuel Rutherford, and through his 
instrumentality, that he received a calling to the ministry. He was 
accounted one of the greatest preaches of his day. His labours were 
abundantly blessed. He was banished from his church, amidst bitter 
persecution, and died a few years later in 1665, at the age of 
forty-five, sweetly assured of the crown that awaited him in glory. 
                                                           W. Grant,       
Halkirk, 1951 
To the Reader 
Christian Reader, 
   While the generality of men, especially in these days, by their eager 
pursuit after low and base interests, have proclaimed, as upon the house 
tops, how much they have forgotten to make choice of that better part, 
which, if chosen, should never be taken from them; I have made an essay, 
such as it is, in the following Treatise, to take thee off from this 
unprofitable, though painful pursuit, by proposing the chiefest of 
interest, even the Christian's Great Interest, to be seriously pondered 
and constantly pursued by thee. Thou mayst think it strange to see 
anything in print from my pen, as it is indeed a surprise to myself; but 
necessity has made me, for this once, to offer so much violence to my own 
inclination, in regard that some, without my knowledge, have lately 
published some imperfect note of a few of my sermons, most confusedly 
cast together, prefixing withal this vain title, as displeasing to myself 
as the publishing of the thing, 'A Clear Attractive Warming Beam,' &c. 
Upon this occasion was I prevailed with to publish this late piece, 
wherein I have purposely used a homely and plain style, lest otherwise-- 
though, when I have stretched myself to the utmost, I am below the 
judicious and more understanding--I should be above the reach of the rude 
and ignorant, whose advantage I have mainly, if not only, consulted. I 
have, likewise, studied brevity in everything, so far as I conceived it 
to be consistent with plainness and perspicuity; knowing that the persons 
to whom I address myself herein, have neither much money to spend upon 
books, nor much time to spare in reading. If thou be a rigid critic, I 
know thou mayst meet with several things to carp at; yet assure thyself, 
that I had no design to offend thee, neither will thy simple approbation 
satisfy me. It is thy edification I intend, together with the incitements 
of some others, more expert and experienced in this excellent subject, to 
handle the same to greater length, which I have more briefly hinted at,-- 
who am thy servant in the work of the gospel, 
William Guthrie   
Memoir of the Author 
William Guthrie, one of the holiest and ablest of the experimental 
divines of Scotland, was born at Pitforthy, the seat of his ancestors, in 
the shire of Angus, in the year 1620. The branch of the house of Guthrie 
from which he sprang was ancient and honorable; and its interest in the 
cause of truth and godliness was proved by the fact, that four of the 
children had early been devoted to the ministry of the gospel. The only 
one of these who did not obtain a fixed charge was Robert, who soon lost 
health and life by his abundant labours in the cause of Christ; Alexander 
was settled at Strickathrow, within his native shire, in 1645, and 
continued there till his death, in 1661; while John, the youngest of the 
family, became minister of Tarbolton, Ayrshire, from which he was 
ejected, for adherence to Presbyters, after the restoration of Charles II 
to the throne of Britain, and speedily sank under the hardships to which 
he was exposed, dying in the year 1669. 
   The superior genius of William, the eldest of this excellent band of 
brothers, was displayed in his early and successful attention to 
learning; but he did not, till his entrance into college life, obtain 
that intimate and saving acquaintance with Divine truth which enabled him 
at once to stay his own soul upon God as the God of his salvation, and to 
prescribe most skilfully for the cases of spiritual disease that came 
under his notice. He felt himself greatly indebted for acquaintance with 
the way of holiness to the instructions of a near kinsman. This was Mr. 
James Guthrie, then holding one of the chairs in the New College of St. 
Andrews, and afterwards highly esteemed as the faithful minister of 
Stirling during the period of the Covenant; for his faithful adherence to 
which he obtained a martyr's crown. Samuel Rutherford, who became 
Professor of Divinity at St. Andrews in 1639, took the guidance of 
William Guthrie's theological studies, confirmed and cherished the 
principles of piety already implanted, and brought him, with his whole 
soul, to devote himself to the service of Christ. That he might not be 
entangles in the network of earthly concerns, he resigned his estate at 
Pitforthy to a younger brother, not engaged at that time in the 
prosecution of sacred studies. Thus trained in the schools of literature, 
and rendered familiar with religion both in theory and practice, William 
Guthrie was well fitted for usefulness as a preacher of the gospel; and 
received license, with the high approbation of the Presbytery, in August 
1642. It was fully two years later that he obtained a church in the newly 
erected parish of Fenwick; and was ordained minister, in compliance with 
the harmonious call of the people, in November 1644. His success and 
popularity were soon found to be great; and extended far beyond the 
Ayrshire district in which his parish lays--to Clydesdale, Stirling, and 
the Lothians. Several calls were addressed to him, but ineffectually, to 
quit his beloved people, till, about a year after his settlement, and 
very soon after his marriage to an excellent lady of the noble family of 
London, he left them for a season, by appointment of the General 
Assembly, to attend the Scottish army as chaplain during the civil war 
that ended in the execution of Charles I, and the subjection of Scotland 
to the Protectorate of Cromwell. 
   While the Protector's troops kept possession of Glasgow about that 
time, Mr. Guthrie's Christian heroism was called into exercise on a 
communion Sabbath in Mr. Andrew Gray's church. 'Several of the English 
officers had formed a design to put in execution the disorderly principle 
of a promiscuous admission to the Lord's table, by coming to it 
themselves without acquainting the minister, or being in a due manner 
found worthy of that privilege. Mr. Guthrie, to whose share it fell to 
dispense the sacrament at that table, spoke to them, when they were 
leaving their pews in order to make their attempt, with such gravity, 
resolution, and zeal, that they were quite confounded, and sat down again 
without occasioning any further disturbance.' 
   The arrangements then made by the Church Courts regarding chaplains in 
the army, render it probable that he had been relieved by his brethren at 
several intervals, and thus enjoyed occasionally the endearments of his 
home, and opportunities of pastoral and public usefulness. He was 
providentially preserved throughout the war, and returned to his flock 
with increased ardour and devotion. They needed his care; for at the 
commencement of his ministry, profanation of the Sabbath, desertion of 
the house of God, neglect of family religion, and gross ignorance, with a 
train of attending evils, were prevalent among his parishioners. His 
talents, natural and acquired, were dexterously applied to check 
abounding iniquity. Let one instance suffice for illustration--that of a 
fowler in his parish engaging in his sport and deserting public worship 
on the Lord's day,--a practice in which he had long indulged. "Mr. 
Guthrie asked him what was the reason he had for so doing? He told him 
that the Sabbath-day was the most fortunate day in all the week. Mr. 
Guthrie asked him what he could make by that day's exercise? He replied 
that he could make half-a-crown. Mr. Guthrie told him if he would go to 
church on Sabbath, he would give him as much; and by that means got his 
promise; after sermon was over, Mr. Guthrie asked if he would come back 
the next Sabbath-day, and he would give him the same? which he did, and 
from that time afterwards never failed to keep the church. He afterwards 
became a member of his session.' 
   The stated calls made by him at the houses of his people were very 
acceptable and profitable. The visitation of the sick and the dying, whom 
he never neglected; the instruction of the young in the doctrine that is 
accenting to godliness, and the ministrations of the pulpit, declared him 
a workman who needed not to be ashamed. As a consistent office-bearer, he 
duly attended to the government and discipline of the Church, in the 
session and superior judicatories. He seems to have been a member of the 
general Assembly of 1649, and stands in the lists of its Commission, 
along with such illustrious names as James Guthrie, the Marquis of 
Argyle, Dickson, Durham, and Samuel Rutherford. 
   During the unhappy division of the Church of Scotland into the parties 
of Resolutioners and Protesters or Remonstrants, the two Guthries, Samuel 
Rutherford, and several of the most pious and zealous Presbyterians, 
adhered to the latter; and Baillie mentions in his Letters, that at the 
meeting of their western synod, in 1654, 'the Remonstrants chose Mr. 
William Guthrie for their Moderator.' His forbearance towards brethren 
taking the opposite side in that fatal schism has been acknowledged by 
his biographers; and his pastoral care was fully exercised. Ere long he 
published 'The Christian's Great Interest.' This work had gone through 
numerous editions, been translated into various languages, and continues 
to embalm his memory in the estimation of intelligent Christians of every 
name. The first edition of it appeared shortly before the restoration of 
Charles II. 
   Not long after the commencement of the persecution, Mr Guthrie made 
one of his last efforts for the preservation of ecclesiastical freedom in 
the courts of the Church. This stand he took at a meeting of the Synod of 
Glasgow and Aye, in April 1661, when he framed an address, designed for 
presentation to Parliament had the troubles of the time permitted, which 
the Synod approved of, as 'contain faithful testimony of the purity of 
our reformation in worship, doctrine, discipline, and government, in 
terms equally remarkable for their prudence and their courage. Two months 
later his zeal for the same cause was manifested by his earnest desire to 
attend, on the scaffold, his illustrious kinsman, Mr. James Guthrie, who 
sealed his testimony with his blood, in June 1661, at the cross of 
Edinburgh. His deference to the warm entreaties of his session alone 
prevented him from engaging in so perilous a service. The respect which 
his affable deportment and able performance of pastoral duty gained for 
him from high and low, screened him from persecution, and he persevered 
in preaching to his flock the truth as it is in Jesus. His intellectual 
powers and Christian experience were conspicuous in his discourses, and 
many, we believe, were the imperishable seals of his ministry, for it is 
averred by one of his contemporaries, Mr. Matthew Crawford, minister at 
Eastwood, that 'he converted and confirmed many thousand souls, and was 
esteemed the greatest practical preacher in Scotland.' Another of them 
declares his diligence and success among the people of Fenwick to have 
been so great, that almost all of them 'were brought to make a fair 
profession of godliness, and had the worship of God in their families. 
And it was well known that many of them were sincere, and not a few of 
them eminent Christians.' His own words to the person who ejected him, 
thus humbly, yet boldly, ascribed his great success to God: 'I thank him 
for it; yea, I look upon it as a door which God opened to me for 
preaching this gospel, which neither you nor any man else was able to 
shut, till it was given you of God.' He was now called to experience 
those trials, which had been delayed longer in his case than in that of 
most of his faithful brethren, through the influence of the Earl of 
Glencairn, then Chancellor of Scotland, who both respected him as a man 
of worth, and recollected with gratitude Mr. Guthrie's kindness to him 
during an imprisonment to which the Earl had been subjected for his 
loyalty to the King during the sway of Cromwell. 
   Sabbath, the 24th of July, was fixed as the day for enforcing the 
decree. The people of Fenwick, greatly grieved at the prospect of losing 
so faithful a minister, observed the Wednesday preceding as a day of 
humiliation and prayer. Mr. Guthrie found an appropriate text for the 
occasion in these words of Hosea 13: 9, 'O Israel, thou hast destroyed 
thyself;' solemnly inculcated on his flock patience and perseverance in 
the way of holiness, and appointed an early meeting of the congregation 
for the following Sabbath. The light of that day of the Son of Man 
ushered in a sorrowful morning for the people who then met to listen for 
the last time to the welcome voice of their beloved pastor. His theme, 
most suitable for the day, was the latter clause of his Wednesday's text, 
"but in Me is thine help,' and at the close of his sermon every 
countenance was suffused with tears, while he directed his hearers to the 
'Fountain of help, when the gospel and ministers were taken from them; 
and took his leave of them, commending them to this great God, who was 
able to build them up, and help them in the time of their need.' 
   Before nine o'clock the congregation had dispersed, sorrowing 
exceedingly that they should listen to his persuasive discourses no more. 
No sound occurred to disturb the quiet of the hallowed day, till the 
tramp of horses was heard in the distance, and the troop soon appeared 
headed by a rider in black, the curate of Calder, whom a fee of five 
pounds had induced to give formal notice of the sentence of suspension. 
He observed the ceremony of preaching the church vacant in presence of a 
congregation of soldiers and children. In the manse he was courteously 
received by Mr. Guthrie, who declared, in presence of the officers of the 
party, his reason for submission to the sentence as not arising from 
respect to the prelate's authority, which had no weight with him, adding, 
'were it not for the reverence I owe to the civil magistrate, I would not 
cease from the exercise of my ministry for all that sentence.' The 
following passage formed part of his solemn reply to the Archbishop's 
message: 'I here declare, I think myself called by the Lord to the work 
of the ministry, and did forsake my nearest relations in the world, and 
give up myself to the service of the gospel in this place, having 
received a unanimous call from this parish, and being tried and ordained 
by the Presbyters; and I bless the Lord He has given me some success, and 
a seal of my ministry upon the souls and consciences of not a few that 
are gone to heaven, and of some that are yet in the way to it.' His 
bodily health, but indifferent before, suffered a severe shock on this 
occasion; he preached no more in the parish; and about two months after 
retired to his paternal estate at Pitforthy, now become his possession in 
consequence of the decease of a surviving brother. It was his but for a 
year of pain and sorrow, caused by a complication of diseases, and by the 
calamities that were befalling the Church and nation. He was attended 
during his last illness by visitors belonging to all parties, received 
kindly but faithfully the Episcopalian clergy who came to converse with 
him, and died full of faith in the glorious gospel he had preached, with 
the confident hope of complete redemption. His death occurred on the 
afternoon of Wednesday, the 10th of October 1665. Two daughters of a 
family of six children survived him, one of whom became the wife of the 
Rev. Patrick Warner, of Irvine, and mother of Margaret Warner, who was 
afterwards married to the Rev. Robert Wodrow, of Eastwood, the faithful 
chronicler of the sufferings of the Church of Scotland. 
   None of his sermons appear to have been published during his lifetime. 
As a specimen of the faithful and practical character of his preaching, 
we give an extract from a discourse long preserved among the Wodrow MSS., 
and recently printed, entitled, 'A Sermon on Sympathie.' The text is 
Matthew 15: 23, 'Send her away, for she cryeth after us.'--'Is it so that 

sympathy is so cold and weak among God's people at this time, when so 
much of it is called for? Then I would have yow drawing these three 
conclusions from it:--1. When any thing ails yow, pray much for yourself; 
I assure yow ye will get little help of others. 2. As yow would lippen 
little to other folk's prayers, so ye would make meikle use of Christ's 
intercession. These prayers are little worth that flow not from sympathy; 
and, 3. Reckon all your receipts to be free favour, and neither the 
return of your own or other folks' prayers. I do not forbid yow to pray 
yourself;-nor to seek the help of other folks' prayers, nor do I judge 
yow or them void of sympathy; but I would have yow lippening less to 
them, and making more use of Christ and His intercession.' 
   His theological tutor and bosom friend, Samuel Rutherford, thus 
expresses his regard for Mr. Guthrie and his flock, during a season of 
public agitation:--'Dear Brother, help me, and get me the help of their 
prayers who are with you in whom is my delight.' The author of 'The 
Christian's Great Interest' was also very highly esteemed by another of 
his illustrious contemporaries, Dr. Owen, who, on one occasion, drawing a 
little gilded copy of Mr. Guthrie's treatise from his pocket, said to a 
minister of the Church of Scotland, 'That author I take to have been one 
of the greatest divines that ever wrote; it is my Vademecum, and I carry 
it and the Sedan New Testament, still about with me. I have written 
several folios, but there is more divinity in it than in them all.' 
   Many years after the author's death, this work, with others of a 
similar nature, was instrumental in arousing to deeper concern for his 
soul's salvation, John Brow then a shepherd boy in the neighbourhood of 
Abernethy, and afterwards highly distinguished as a minister of the 
gospel, and Professor of Divinity for nearly twenty years in one of the 
branches of the Secession Church. How more may be the cases in which it 
has been blessed to the conviction, conversion, and edification of those 
whom it might enable to teach others also, the great day alone shall 
declare. The following references to it, in the interesting Memoirs of 
Dr. Chalmers, prove the high opinion he had formed of the genius it 
displays:--'Would you inquire for 'Guthrie's Trial of a Saving Interest 
in Christ?' It is a small duodecimo; and has been long the favourite 
author of our peasantry in Scotland. He wrote about a hundred and fifty 
years ago; and one admirable property of his work is, that while it 
guides it purifies. It males known all our defects, but ministers the 
highest comfort in the presence of a feeling of our defects. To find 
mercy we need only to feel misery. ... I am on the eve of finishing 
Guthrie, which I think is the best book I ever read. I shall leave it as 
a present to the Anster folks, and pass from it to 'Brook on Religious 
Experience, ... I should like to know how the little book I left was 
relished among you. I still think it the best composition I ever read 
relating to a subject in which we are all deeply interested, and about 
which it is my earnest prayer, that we may all be found on the right side 
of the question.' 
   Having given the opinions of these eminent divines regarding the 
'Christian's Great Interest', we presume not to attempt a delineation of 
the merits of its excellent Author. The wise and the good of his own day, 
as well as of subsequent times, have held him in grateful remembrance, 
and his works continue to praise him in the gates. 

The Christian's Great Interest. 
Part I. The Trial of a Saving Interest in Christ 
Since there are so many people living under the ordinances, pretending, 
without ground, to a special interest in Christ, and to His favour and 
salvation, as is clear from the words of our Lord--'Many will say to Me 
in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy 
name have cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And 
then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that 
work iniquity.' (Matt. 7: 22, 23). 'Afterwards came also the other 
virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answered and said, Verily 
I say unto you, I know you not.' (Matt. 25: 11,12.) 'Strive to enter in 
at the strait gate; for many I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and 
shall not be able.' (Luke 13: 24.) And since many who have good ground of 
claim to Christ, are not established in the confidence of this favour, 
but remain in the dark, without comfort, hesitating concerning the 
reality of godliness in themselves, and speaking little in the 
commendation of religion to others, especially in the time of their 
straits:--I shall speak a little respecting two things of the greatest 
concern: The one is, How a person may know if he has a true and special 
interest in Christ, and whether he does lay just claim to God's favour 
and salvation. The other is, In case a person fall short of assurance in 
this trial, what course he should take for making sure of God's 
friendship and salvation to himself. 
Quest. I.--How shall a man know if he has a true and special interest in 
Christ, and whether he has, or may lay claim justly to, God's favour and 
Chapter I.--Things premised for the better understanding of the trial 
Before we speak directly to the question, we shall premise some things, 
to make way for the answer. 
I.--A man's interest in Christ may be known 
First, That a man's interest in Christ, or his gracious state, may be 
known, and that with more certainty than people conjecture; yea, and the 
knowledge of it may be more easily attained unto than many imagine; for 
not only has the Lord commanded men to know their interest in Him, as a 
thing attainable--'Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith' (2 
Cor. 13: 5); 'Give diligence to make your calling and election sure' (2 
Peter 1: 10)--but many of the saints have attained unto the clear 
persuasion of their interest in Christ, and in God as their own God. How 
often do they call Him their God and their portion? and how persuaded is 
Paul 'that nothing can separate him from the love of God?' (Rom. 8: 38, 
39.) Therefore the knowledge of a man's gracious state is attainable. 
   And this knowledge of it, which may be attained, is no fancy and mere 
conceit, but it is most sure: 'Doubtless Thou are our Father,' saith the 
prophet (Isa. 43: 16), in name of the Church. It is clear from this:--1. 
That can be no fancy, but a very sure knowledge, which does yield to a 
rational man comfort in most real straits; but so does this--'When the 
people spoke of stoning David, he encouraged himself in the Lord his 
God.' (1 Sam. 30: 6.) He saith, 'He will not be afraid though ten 
thousands rise up against him.' (Psa. 3: 6.) Compare these words with the 
following: 'But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the 
lifter up of mine head.' (Psa. 3: 3.) 'The Lord is my light, and my 
salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of 
whom shall I be afraid? Though an host should encamp against me, my heart 
shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be 
confident.' (Psa. 27: 3.) 2. That is a sure knowledge of a thing which 
maketh a wise merchant sell all he has, that he may keep it sure; that 
maketh a man forego children, lands, life, and suffer the spoiling of all 
joyfully; but so does this--Matt. 13: 44; Mark 10: 28, 29; Heb. 10: 34; 
Rom. 5: 3; Acts 5: 41. 3. That must be a sure and certain knowledge, and 
no fancy, upon which a man voluntarily and freely does adventure his soul 
when he is stepping into eternity, with this word in his mouth, 'This is 
all my desire' (2 Sam. 23: 5); but such a knowledge is this. And again, 
not only may a godly man come to the sure knowledge of his gracious 
state, but it is more easily attainable than many apprehend: for 
supposing, what shall be afterwards proved, that a man may know the 
gracious work of God's Spirit in himself; if he will but argue rationally 
from thence, he shall be forced to conclude his interest in Christ, 
unless he deny clear Scripture truths. I shall only make use of one here, 
because we are to speak more directly to this afterwards. A godly man may 
argue thus, Whosoever receive Christ are justly reputed the children of 
God--'But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the 
sons of God' (John 1 12); but I have received Christ in all the ways 
which the word there can import: for I am pleased with the device of 
salvation by Christ, I agree to the terms, I welcome the offer of Christ 
in all His offices, as a King to rule over me, a Priest to offer 
sacrifice and intercede for me, a Prophet to teach me; I lay out my heart 
for Him and towards Him, resting on Him as I am able. What else can be 
meant by the word "receiving"? Therefore may I say, and conclude plainly 
and wsrrantably, I am justly to reckon myself God's child, according to 
the aforesaid scripture, which cannot fail. 
II.--Importance of having an interest in Christ 
The second thing to be premised is, That a man be savingly in covenant 
with God is a matter of the highest importance: 'It is his life.' (Deut. 
32: 47.) And yet very few have, or seek after a saving interest in the 
covenant; and many foolishly think they have such a thing without any 
solid ground. (Matt. 7: 14.) Few find, or walk in, the narrow way. This 
should alarm people to be serious about the matter, since it is of so 
great consequence to be in Christ, and since there be but few that may 
lay just claim to Him; and yet many do foolishly fancy an interest in 
Him, who are deceived by a false confidence, as the foolish virgins were. 
(Matt. 25.) 
III.--We must allow our condition to be determined by Scripture 
The third thing to be premised is, Men must resolve to be determined by 
Scripture in this matter of their interest in Christ. The Spirit speaking 
in the Scripture is judge of all controversies'--To the law and to the 
testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there 
is no light in them' (Isa. 8: 20)--and of this also, whether a man be 
savingly in covenant with God or not. Therefore do not mock God whilst 
you seem to search after such a thing. If we prove from Scripture, which 
is the uncontroverted rule, that you are gracious, and have made a 
covenant savingly with God, then resolve to grant so much, and to 
acquiesce in it; and if the contrary appear, let there be a determination 
of the controversy, else you do but mock the Lord, and so 'your bands 

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