3. A third mark whereby ye may know whether ye do believe or not is taken from the express testimony of the apostle Peter, “To you, therefore, who believe, He is precious” (1 Pet 2:7). Wherever there is faith, it raises Christ high and places Him on the throne, both in the mind and in the affections.
Now how is it with you? Is Christ precious to you? (1.) Have you many thoughts about Him? Serious and sober thoughts, I mean. Few of you, I fear, have such, and a sure proof this is that you have no high esteem of, and sincere love for, Him. (2.) Are you at much pains to commend Him to the esteem and affection of others, especially of those whom you love most? What say you to this, parents, children, husbands, wives? Take you care to commend Christ to one another? (3.) Do you prize opportunities of seeing Christ, of getting into His acquaintance? Do you prize the means of His own appointment for getting discoveries of Him? (4.) Can ordinances satisfy you without Him? Can you this day go home from this house as great strangers to Christ as you came and yet go well satisfied with your day’s work? Then I dare say you do not believe. (5.) Do you resolutely part with everything that comes in competition with Christ? When you must lose the world or Christ, or offend the world or Christ, which of the two do you make choice of? (6.) Can other things satisfy you without Christ? If so, then truly He is not, and cannot be said to be, precious to you.
Other marks of faith I shall now pass and shall reduce those three that I have given you to three questions, which I crave leave to pose seriously to your consciences: (1.) Are you pleased with – do you rest satisfied with – Christ Jesus Himself? Do you see any loveliness in His person? Or is He to you One void of form or comeliness? (2.) Do you renounce your own wisdom, righteousness and strength, and venture your all upon His wisdom, righteousness and strength? (3.) Are you pleased with His yoke? Do you really think His yoke easy, and His burden light? If you then dare assert that you have seen, and are pleased with, the person of Christ – that you are satisfied with His provision for your salvation and with His yoke – I dare, in Christ’s name, assert you believers.
We have now been laying before you some marks or characters whereby you may know yourselves. Let me therefore seriously, as in God’s sight, inquire of you, Have you applied those characteristics to yourselves that you might know what your state is, whether you do believe or not? Some, I hope, have made conscience of doing so, out of a real desire to be at a point in this great matter. Others, I fear, have not been at pains to be satisfied in this matter, either out of carelessness, or out of fear that possibly the result of the trial might not be satisfying, or out of a vain presumption that it was needless.
1. A final slightly-edited extract from Faith and Salvation, volume 2 of the current edition of Halyburton’s Works. The previous piece, giving his second mark of saving grace, appeared last month.