When may a Christian take a promise without presumption, as spoken to him? The rule is very sweet, but certain; when he takes all the Scripture, and embraces it as spoken unto him, he may then take any particular promise boldly. My meaning is, when a Christian takes hold, and wrestles with God for the accomplishment of all the promises of the New Testament, when he sets all the commands before him, as a compass and guide to walk after, when he applies all the threatenings to drive him nearer unto Christ, the end of them, then he does well. This no hypocrite can do; this the saints shall do; and by this they may know when the Lord speaks in particular unto them.
Thomas Shepard, Sound Believer. Quoted from Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections (East Peoria, IL: Banner of Truth, 2007), 152.