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readily appear, that it is the testimony of God concerning his Son, and that reaches very wide. The capital fact attested is, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. But there are a multitude of facts connected with it, and which will be found to take in the whole sacred record from the beginning to the end of it'; which all contribute to illustrate and establish the certainty of it, the place and station he holds, and the end and design of his coming into the world to fave finners of mankind; that he has put away fin by the facrifice of himself, and has all the fullness of life lodged in his hand; that whosoever has the Son hath life; and makes it as certain, on the other hand, that he who hath not the Son hath not life. From this nes cessary and inseparable connection between Jesus Christ and eternal life, arises an axiom of very great moment in the practice of Christianity, viz. that eternal life is as certainly given, and precisely in the same manner, as Jesus Christ is. And hence it necessarily follows, that as all who hear the gospel without any distinction whatever, are not only allowed and warranted, but called and commanded in the most
peremptory manner, to believe in him with the strongest assurances, that they shall not perish, but have everlasting life; what shall we say? what ground of doubting have we left, whether the gift of pardon and life in him is to be believed with the same assurance, and particular application to ourselves, while yet we neither have, nor can have, any of these qualifications which some people call the condi-. tions or terms of the promise, or the terms of grace, which, by the way, is a direct contradiction in terms; for if it is of works, easy or difficult alters not the nature of the thing; if it be of works of any kind; it is no more of grace.
I should not have mentioned these things here, as they lie fo fair in the testimony of God that no unprejudiced reader can possibly miss of them ; but that it is in this view; and in this view only, that faith either works love, or works by it. No truth is more frequently inculcated in the divine record, than thať as men, all mankind are naturally alienated from God, through the ignorance that is in them: so that they are enemies in their very minds, through wicked works; nay, as
if enemies was too soft a word, the Apostle says, the carnál mind is enmity itself; and it is fostered and maintained by an evil conscience, the native effect of sin. This paints the God, who really is love, in the dreadful light of an avenging enemy, from whom the finner has nothing to expect but everlasting destruction. One may be prevailed on to forgive an enemy, and even to love him for God's fake; but when God himself appears an enemy; what motive or ground can be found for engaging the love of a creature, who cannot love any thing but what he is quite pleased with? It is true, as God is perfectly good, he ought to be loved for himself, abstracting from every other con"sideration; but then he must be seen as he is in himself; and in his true character; and which cannot be seen any how, but where his true character is to be seen, and that is in these manifestations only which he has made of himself in Jesus Christ.
It would, I dare say, be superfluous labour to show how it is the peculiar province of faith, to perceive the glory of
VOL. III. 3 B . God
God as he has made it shine forth in the face of Jesus Christ. The man that believes the testimony of God, that he has sent his own beloved Son to be the Saviour of the world, will certainly find it very hard to believe, at the same time, that he is the world's enemy. He that believes that he has given up this his beloved Son a sacrifice for putting away sin, and a ransom for the lives and souls of finners, must find his conscience purged from dead works; so that instead of filling his soul with the terrors of the Almighty, it speaks the peace of God which pafseth all understanding. But when faith perceives the grant of eternal life made to this fame beloved Son of God, in behalf of perishing finners, the terms of the grant fully performed by him, and all the fullness of life lodged in his hand, with the express order to give it to all without exception who will come and receive it at his hand, be they who they will, or what they will, how can such a believer miss knowing and believing the love of God to him, and resenting it with the warmest acknowledgements of gratitude
and love? Thus the law of love is planted
in the believer's heart; and as love is the · fulfilling of the whole law, and all the commandments of God injoin no more than the native and genuine actings of love, there is no more commanded than what true genuine love would have done, whether it had been commanded or not. Thus the great promise of that new testament, of which Christ is the mediator, is fulfilled in the believer; the law of God is written in his heart, and as the Apostle John fays of 'every one that believes, he hath truly and properly the witness or testimony in himself.
CHAP. V. 7.— 26.
not obey the truth? 8. This persuasion cometh not of