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along we have had two things to treat of, the command of the father, and the law of the mother; but now these two are become one; not these or them, but it; when thou goest, it shall lead thee. The apostle tells us to be followers of Christ as dear children; and it is by faith we walk, and not by sight. Fortune, luck, and chance, are banished out of the government of this world by faith. The believer is led by faith to watch the hand of God in all things. He discerns the universal providence of God. And what is providence but the goodness of God.displayed in providing for all his creatures? All seek their meat from God. Faith leads him to observe all the goodness of God that passes before him. “He that will observe these things, even he shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.” Moses all through the wilderness, Jacob with his staff, and the apostles without purse or scrip, were led by faith to observe this, and found their account in it, and support by it. And as faith leads us to observe these things, so, upon every kind providence that appears, faith leads the believer to acknowledge it by praises and thanksgivings, which faith leads the soul to believe will be acceptable to God through Christ; and by these things faith gives glory to God. Should God appear to walk contrary to us, as in the three years famine for the blood of the Gibeonites, shed by Saul in the days of David; or should his hand go out against us, as in the case of Naomi; or should providence run any arch

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counter to the promise, as with Isaac and Rebekah (the promise to Abraham was that his seed by Isaac should be as the stars of heaven, but behold Rebekah is barren); faith, at such seasons, leads us to inquire of the Lord, and to entreat the Lord; and when these are removed, we are led by faith to love, bless, and adore the Almighty for making crooked things straight. When

who lays in wait to deceive, brings or presents any new and strange things to our ears, or if it comes from a poor simple soul, who is charmed with every word, and we stand in doubt, not knowing whether right or wrong, whether to refuse or choose, we stand still, pray, watch, and wait; but as soon as a ray appears, (for he that believeth on me shall not abide in darkness,) faith leads the mind into this and that truth, which sets the whole matter aside as spurious; and where faith leads the mind follows; and thousands of snares does the saint escape by this leading; for his heart cannot embrace what faith doth not credit; for “ Whatsoever is not of faith is sin."

When the mind of a believer is led to alter his station or situation in life, to alter his state and condition, the footsteps of providence are sought after; and if the path seems to be in deep waters, and the Lord's footsteps are not known, faith waits for his counsel, knowing that when he putteth forth his own sheep he goeth before them; the sheep hear his voice, and follow him. Nor can he move till these things are discovered; for though things may appear plain and plausible to reason, yet he must have an inward persuasion that it is of the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight; we walk by the confidence of God, and not by the light of nature. So, under any temptation to sin, faith leads the saint to the eye of the Lord; and this calls up fear and conscience against him, and these withstand him, and keep him in awe: and, when the snare is broken, faith leads the soul to exult in God. The snare is broken, and we are delivered. Thus faith leads the soul to the great deliverer, and to acknowledge the delive


Furthermore, there is peculiar to most believers something which crosses their will above every other cross; as sore eyes to Leah; deformity to Paul; a feeble tabernacle to Timothy; a particular sickness to Elisha; barrenness to Hannah; a thigh out of joint to Jacob; a plague all day, and a rod every morning for Asaph. Some have a persecuting wife, another a furious husband; some continual poverty; another is under a cruel oppressor; and some all their days in bondage; they can hold nothing fast but their chains, nor dare they give up their hope. There are times when faith declares to the heart, and leads such to confess with their mouth, that it is good for them to be thus afflicted, and to confess that in very faithfulness thou hast afflicted me; yea, and to plead it in their own behalf in time of trouble:

“ Thou hast known my soul in adversity. Yea further, such are often led to notice their fellowprofessors who are not tried in this way; and they see they are like a ship without ballast, or a rider on a fiery steed, with reins to his bridle; and, under these considerations, hug the cross, and bless their God; though at other times, when unbelief works strong, and carnal reason catches the reins of government, rebellion, murmurings, and peevishness, work so powerfully as to fill the soul with confusion. But even in the midst of this storm faith speaks, but speaks softly, coolly, quietly, and undisturbedly, without fear, and without fright; and the soul knows it, and hears it; but enmity springs up, and carries all before it. Nevertheless the soul is obliged to come back, and attend to the voice of faith, which always leads the soul to God; and to God such a soul is obliged to go, and to confess and bewail his adherence to unbelief and to carnal reason, and his wretched rebellion as the evil effects of it. And thus faith leads him 'to abide by Christ and truth, and to take part with these; for, “ He that is not against us,” says Christ, “is on our side.”

Faith can reason and reason well; and she always reasons coolly. : “We shall surely die,” says unbelief,” because we have seen the Lord;" No, says faith, “If God meant to destroy us, he would not have shewed us such things as these.” “I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent,” says unbelief; “I know,” says faith, “that I shall be justified:

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Who is he that will plead with me?" And thus also are we led by faith to view the judgments of God abroad in the earth, the providence of God over all creatures, the government of God in the world, the kind dealings of God with his children which lie within the compass of our knowledge; his judgments abroad among the nations; the evident tokens of perdition that fall upon notorious rebels, heretics, and hypocrites; the countenances and awful ends of apostates and presumptuous souls in the ministry and in profession: and the believer improves upon every one of these. And he is led also to God's kind dealings with his own family; yea, with them all, however weak, simple, or dark they may be; and generally according to the private and prejudgment of the believer; and according to his belief so it falls out. Faith leads the saint to notice strictly the dealings of God with himself, both within and without; and however counter to his wish God's dealings with him may be, yet he sees that in the most minute affairs he can discern the hand of God with him, his wisdom and goodness : sometimes in putting the laws of retaliation in force, and at other times counteracting his designs, to hide pride from his eyes; and sometimes cutting off those supplies which take him off from his dependence upon God; and, in short, every weight laid on is intended to counterpoise some aspiring thought or towering imagination, and to mortify and bring down the loftiness of men, so that God, by his

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