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:taphor at all. It was not Paul who lived,
but Christ lived in him, in the strictest and most proper sense; and more so than the wisest of us, in our present state, are capable of apprehending.
I was saying, to live to God is to devote ourselves to him, and his work and service. And if any should put the question the Jews put to our Lord, John vi. 28. “What shall we do that we may work the “ works of God?” we have his answer to it who certainly best understood it, “ This is 6 the work of God, that ye believe on him “ whom he hath sent.” This is the only way that man can do any thing for God; and all that the best believers do, or can do, is but giving him the glory due unto his name, and acknowledging his grace. And this is the singular specialty of his service, that all the profit of their labour redounds to themselves. Their master needs none, and can receive none. The Apostle understood his master's direction ; The life he lived in the flesh was, he says, by the faith of the Son of God: and where this is wanting, all that can be done without it, is but affronting God in the basest mạnner; for what the Apostle says is e
vident in the nature of the thing: “He that “ believes not his testimony, or record, “concerning his Son, makes him a liar,"
and treats him as such. " Whoever has so far considered this testimony, as to know any thing of Christ, cannot miss to find in him the highest evidence God could give of his love to the world; and that he has stated it in such a manner, thật no one person has more or less reason than another to believe it. All who hear it, are called, are commanded, to believe in him whom he hath sent; and all have equal encouragement and assurance of success in this way, insomuch that, strictly and properly, faith is no more but the application of the general declarations in the testimony to one's self. Thus we see the Apostle took it; and sets an example to us, He does not pretend any particular revelation of the love of God, and his everblessed Son, to himself more than to others; nor did he need any; and therefore pleases himself with a conclufion, arising so naturally and necessarily. from the truth as it is in Jesus; and concludes with the strongest confidence of faith, who loved me, and gave himself for me. And the
Apostle has taught us, in the instance of Abraham, Rom. iv. 20. that the stronger one's faith, and the less wavering and doubting, the greater is the glory the believer gives to God. The whole gospel speaks the same language that Christ did to Jairus in a very desperate-like cafe, Fear not; only believe. And it would be much to our advantage, that we put to ourselves the question Jesús put to Peter, when, to all human sense and reason, he was inevitably to be swallowed up in the raging sea. Our Lord had, at his own request, bid him come to him, walking on the water : but though he ventured boldly, and set out fair, he was afraid, and begun to fink: 0 thou of little faith, said his master, wherefore didst thou doubt? He could find no reason; and less, if possible, will any one find in this case, who takes in the whole truth as it is
I know not how it hath happened, that many, even serious people, not only do in fact, but have even been taught, to soothe themselves in the want of this assurance of faith ; as if it were their unhappiness, but not their sin. But surely they must be egregiously mistaken who make VOL.III.
such a conclusion: for nothing can be more certain, than that so much as there is of abatement of the most perfect confidence of faith, so much there is of unbelief, Rom. v. 20.: and I hope no body will say that is no sin. It is true, there may be faith where there is much doubting; nay, one may say, there can be no doubting where there is not some faith : but weak faith cannot fail to make a weak Christian. And if the Apostle John's account of the rise and progress of the love of God in the heart of man, (which, by the way, is really writing the law of God there), may be credited, just so far as the love of God to us is known and believed, fo far will this law of love be planted and rooted in the heart; for “ we love “ him, because he first loved us," I. John iv. 19. So very ill-grounded, and indeed very foolish, is the cant which has been echoed from mouth to mouth ever since the Apostle's days, that preaching faith in Christ, and the free fovereign grace of God in him, is prejudicial to the practice of holiness, and tends to soothe people in a course of fin. Surely the love of God
. 139 is holiness, and perfect love is perfect holiness : for all the duties God has com'manded are no other than the native exercises and actings of it, and what perfect love' would perform though they had never been commanded.
But' high as this apostle was exalted, and so nearly united to Christ, as to be one fpirit, and to have one life with him, and thence of course to live by Christ living in him; yet he was still in the flesh; not as men naturally are, who cạnnot please God so long as they continue in that state ; but he was in the body, and therefore absent from the Lord, as it is written, 2 Cor. v. 6. This vail of flesh hides the spiritual world from us; so that, we must either depend on the report God has condescended to make of the state of that world,, or be altogether ignorant of it, “ We walk by faith, not by sight:” and thus the Apostle tells us, that the whole of his living was by the faith of the Son of God, who loved him, and gave himself for bim.
By this expression, the faith of the Son of God, may be understood Christ's personal faith, as it cannot be doubted that the man. S 2