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like a prophet, looks at things to come, things that are at a diftance. Abraham, the father of the faithful, saw the day of Christ afar off: “ Faith is the evidence of things not seen, and the substance of things hoped for.” When under darkness of affliction, desertion, temptation, it will say, “ Though I fit in darkness, the Lord will be a light unto me: he will bring nie forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness."
5. Sense and fight are superficial and overly in their views of things, and easily deceived with appearances : but faith is a poring and diving grace, it goes deep into things. Faith will perceive poison in a cup of gold, it will see lions dens and leopards in Lebanon, among trees and woods of aromatic fcent; and therefore will turn away from them as 'dangerous, while fense is easily encouraged thereby: and on the other hand it will see a paradise of communion with the Lord in a wilderness, where sense can perceive nothing but prickling briers and ihorns, 2 Cor. iv. 17. “Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." .
6. They differ in their confort and order. Faith is the leader, and sense the follower; faith is the duty, and sense the privilege connected with it : Eph. i. 12. 13. “ After that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise.” John xi. 40. “ Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst bee lieve thou shouldīt fee; the glory of God ?” Faith is the work, and sense is the encouragement. This is God's order, which the legal heart would ay invert: we would be at the encouragement of faith, before we set about the duty of be. lieving ; like Thomas, John xx. 25. “Except I thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." But let us remember what Christ says to him, “ Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."
Sense is hasty and precipitant in its judgement; but faith is patient, and waits till it see the end. Sense draws rath and hafty conclusions when difficulties cast up: “ I said in my hafte, All men are liars': I said, I am cast out of thy fight.” But faith waits till the other side of the cloud cast up : “ The Lord is a God of judgement (lays faith); and blessed are all they that wait for him. The vision is for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely coine, it will not tarry ;" hence, “ He that believeth, shall not make hafte.” The Old Tei. tament faints waited about four thousand years for the coming of the promised seed of the woman; and when they died, they died with the promise in their arms, waiting for the accomplishment, believing that he would come, and would
not tarry beyond the fulness of time: Heb. xi. 13. “ These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them."
8. A life of sense is dangerous, but a life of faith is sure and safe. The danger of sense appears from the advantage that Satan took to ruin Adam and all his posterity. Had our first parents lived in the steady faith of God's promise and threatening in the covenant of works, they had never eaten of the forbidden tree ; but they walked by light and sense: the fruit was beautiful to the eye, and pleasant to the taste ; this made them the more easily to listen to the hisses of the old serpent, saying, If ye eat, " ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil ;" and thus he prevailed. We fee, that when Paul was filled with sensible manifestations, being wrapt up to the third heaven, he was in danger of being lifted up with pride. But now, I say, the life of faith is safe and lure; and the read son is, because it will neither believe angels nor men, if their say does not agree with what God says in his word. It views things as they are laid in the revelation, and forms a judgement and estimate of things according to God's verdict of them : “ To the law and to the testimony (says faich :) if they speak not according to God's oracles, it is because there is no truth in them.” Hence faith has the moon under its feet : “ This is the victory whereby we overcome the world, even our faith.” Faith, by going this way to work, makes the soul like mount Zion, which cannot be removed for ever.' " Believe in the Lord your God, so fhall ye be established," says the prophet unto trembling Israel. . ..;
9. Sense has its only foundation and confidence within ; it trades in the shallow waters of created grace, experimental at. tainments, marks of grace, and the like : but faith has its foundation without the man, in Christ, in God's covenant, in the great and precious promises. While the mariner stays in the thallow waters, he is in continual fear of rocks and landbanks; but when he has launched out into the deep waters, he is safe. Faith trades in the deep waters of the fulness of the Godhead that dwells bodily in Christ,“ made of God unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption;" and so it gets above doubts and racking fears of shipwreck:but it is (I fay) otherwise with sense ; it deals with created grace,
manifestations, experiences; and attainments. And thus I have 1. cleared in some measure the difference between faith and senfe. I go now to, . .. ..
. . .. II. The second thing I proposed upon this exhortation, which was to press a life of faith upon believers by some VOL. II.
motives or arguments; and I shall only ingit a little upon two. · I. then, Con Gider that the life of faith is adapted and suit. ed unto a wilderness.lot. And this will be evident, if we con fidet,
i, That the wilderness is a solitary place, where there is little communion or converse about the things of God: it is too frequent with the believer, that he cannot get a friend to whom he can open his mind in the world. Well, faith is adapted for such a case as this; for by faith believers fee and converse with an invisible God, infomuch they are able to say, * Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”. God has a'way of speaking with the believer, and the believer has a way of talking and converfing with God through Christ by faith, even in a wilderness, a solitary land : “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." And what is faith but just the echo of the soul, when it answers such words of grace, saying, “ Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth : Behold I come unto thee, for thou art the Lord my God?"
2dly, The wilderness is a misty and foggy land, where the traveller is in danger of losing his way; he “walks in darknefs, and can see no light." Clouds of defertion, clouds of Gn, clouds of error cast up; so that the poor believer, in his way to glory, knows not what course to take. Well, faith is adapted to such a lot and condition as this; for it is the evidence of things pot feen, and the fubftance of things hoped for : it can look through the mifts and clouds chat caft up in its way, and run its race, looking unto Jesus as its leader and commander. And when some are saying, Lo, Christ is here ; or, lo, he is there; faith can diftinguish between the voice of the true Shepherd and the voice of a stranger, and the voice of a frase ger it will not follow....
3dly, The wildernefs is a place of want; it is a dry, barren, and thirsty land, where there is nothing for the support of the soul. Well, faith is adapted to such a case as this also; for, like the virtuous woman in the Proverbs, ir fetches its food from the land of glory, Emmanuel's land. It has meat to eat that the world cannot afford; and which the world knows nothing of. Though Christ, as to his human nature, be in heaven, yet faith has a way of eating his flesh, and of drinking his blood, which is meat indeed, and drink indeed. Faith can bring manna out of the clouds, and water out of the flinty rock; the hand of faith will pluck the fruit of the tree of life which grows in the midst of the paradise of God, and find its fruit sweet unto the soul's taste. Many a sweet
...and and heart some banquet and enjoyment has faith, when the world are feeding on husķs. Oh, says Jeremiah, “ Thy word was found by me, and I did eat it, and it was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart."
4thly, The wilderness is a place of danger; thieves and rob. bers, lions and leopards, frequent the wilderness. Well, faith is of Gngular use in this condition also. When the enemy's fiery darts are cast at the believer, faith is a Thield wherewith he bears them back, and turns them off without any hurt: and when the poor soul is like to be overpowered by the might or mulcitude of its enemies, faith has a way of bringing in the aid of heaven for its help, as Jehoshaphat did; "We know not what to do, but our eyes are upon thee." Faith has a way of wielding the arm of Omnipotence in a time of danger; and then it cries, « Through God we shall do valiantly : for he it is that shall tread down our enemies. We will be joyful in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners." And when it is proper to make a retreat, faith turns into its strong-hold, which is the name of the Lord. . . - 5thls, The wilderness is an unsettled place, where a person undergoes a variety of difpenfations, turnings, and windings, ini their lot. Well, 'faith is of particular use to the believer in this case, in regard that, like an anchor fure and stedfast, it enters within the vail, and keeps the foul steady and firm under all viciffitudes and temptations : hence Paul, “ I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where, and in all things I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." Faith keeps the soul “ ftedfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that its labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.”
6thly, A wilderness is a place of manifold thorns and trials': "In the world ye shall have tribulation.” Now, faith is of fingular use here also ; for it fees and considers, that this is the lot that God has ordered ; that he will bring good out of all afflictions; that they are but light, and “ for a moment, and not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed :” and with the views of this future glory it balances all the afflictions of a present life. Thus you see that a life of faith is adapted and suited unto a wilderness-lot; and therefore let us take the example of the spouse here, come up from the wilderness, leaning upon the beloved, living by faith upon "him. ļļot, 2. To encoarage and engage you to a leaning on Christ
and to be mungand in al ehihinted, and're
by faith as you come up from the wilderness, consider, be liever, that he is thy husband and bridegroom ; there is a marriage-relation between thee and him ; and should not this encourage you to live and lean upon him ? It is under this consideration that the spouse here takes him up, she comes up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved. . And, to en. courage faith in him under this relation, will you only con, sider the particulars following.
ift, Consider, that he took thee for his bride and spouse when thou wait in a wretched and miserable plight, blind, poor, and naked, having the hue of hell upon thee: Ezek. xvi. “ When I passed by thee, and saw thee in thy blood, I said unto thee, Live ; and thy time was a time of love,” &c. When thou waft lying among the pots, he loved thee; and he loved thee so dearly, as that he bought thee off from the hand of justice with the price of his precious blood; “ He loyed me, and he gave himself for me,” says Paul. And fhould not this encourage thee to live and lean on him in thy journey through the wilderness ?
2dly, He gave thee thy marriage cloaths. When thou hadīt not a rag to cover thee, he“ claathed thee with white raiment, that the shame of thy nakedness might not appear :" hence is that song of the church, Is. Įxi. 10. "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath cloathed me with the garnients of salvation, he hath co, vered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decko eth himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." And Ezek. xvi. 7. 10. 12. 13. Now, should not the consideration of this kindness encourage thee to lean on him as thy beloved ?
3dly, Consider, that in the marriage-contract of the new covenant he has made over himself, and all that he is, and all that he has, unto thee : “ All things are yours; for ye arę Christ's, and Christ is God's.” There he says, “ Thy Maker is thine Husband; I will betrothe thee unto me for ever, in faith, fulness," &c.
4thly, Consider the closeness and intimacy of the union be, tween him and thee, and let this encourage thee to lean and live on him by faith. It is far more intimate and dear than the union between husband and wife among men; for they indeed are one flesh, but he is one body and one spirit with his spouse ; he is in them, and they are in him. And by virtue of this intimate union, thou hast a title to him and his whole purchase. As the wife, when married to a man of a liberal eftate, may look to his lands and lodgings, and say, This house is mine, and this land is mine, and such and such things are