Since there are so many people living under the ordinances, pretending, without ground, to a special interest in Christ, and to his favour and his salvation, as is stated by 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.” “Afterward 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.” “Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” And since many who have good ground of claim to Christ are not established in the confidence of his 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 shall know if he hath a true and special interest in Christ, and whether he doth 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 shall take for making sure God’s friendship and salvation to himself?
Quest. I. HOW SHALL A MAN KNOW IF HE HATH A TRUE AND SPECIAL INTEREST IN CHRIST, AND WHETHER HE HATH, OR MAY LAY CLAIM JUSTLY TO GOD’S FAVOUR AND SALVATION?