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2. It has in it a firm and fixed persuasion of the truth and certainty of the whole revelation of his mind and will in the word, and particularly of his promises as yea and amen in Christ. Hence Abraham's faith (Rom. iv.) is de. scribed by a persuafion; he was " fully perfuaded, that what he had promised, he was able also to perform." And it is faid (Heb. xi. 13.) of the Old Testament worthies, who died in faith, “ They saw the promises afar off, and were persuaded of them.".
3. It has in it an application of the promises to the soul itfeli in particular ; so that it not only looks on it as true in general, but true to me. The man finds the promise indefinitely indorsed to every man to whom it is intimate, Acts ii. 39. « The promise is unto you, and to your feed, and to all that are afar off,” &c. attended with this declaration and promise, that " whoever believes fets to the seal that God is true ;" and that " whosoever believeth, shall not perish :') therefore the mån takes it home to himself in particular, as a security for all the grace that is contained in it, saying, “ I believe that through the grace.of the Lord Jesus Christ I fhall be saved: God hath spoken in his holiness, I will rejoice ;” and “ In this will I be confident."
4. It has in it a persuasion of the power, love, and faithfulness of the Promiser. A persuasion of his power to do as he has said ; as Abraham, Rom. iv. he was persuaded that what he had promised, he was able also to perform." A persuafion of his love; “How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God !” &c. A persuasion of his veracity and faithfulness, that “he is not a man, that he should lie, neither the son of man, that he should repent.”
5. It has in it a renouncing of all other refuges, as entirely insufficient to thelter the soul against these evils wherewith it is surrounded : Hof. xiv. 3. “ Alhur thall not save us," &c. Jer. iii. 23. “In vain is falvation hoped for from the hills, or multitude of mountains."
6. An expectation of help and safety from a God in Chrift, against all these evils that the man is pursued with.: Pfal. Ixii. 5.6. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectarion is from him. He only is my rock and my falvation; he is my defence; I shall not be moved.” Plal. cxlii. 4. 5. “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me; refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O Lord, I said, Thou art my refuge, and my portion in the land of the living.”
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7. This faith has a leaving of ourselves and all our tires and concerns upon him, to be disposed of according to his will and pleasure. The man is content to take what lot God in bis providence shall see fit to carve out for him: San Xv, 25, 26 at The king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city : if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and thew me both it, and his habitation, But if he thus fay, I have no delight in thee: behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him."
Thirdly, I will give you a few of the concomitants of this faith which guards the soul against intimidating feats in a time of danger.
I. then, It is accompanied with a blefied quietness and tranquillity of foul, amidst all the dangers of a present life. Hence fays the Lord to his people, Is. xxx. 15. “In quietness and in confidence thall be your ftrength." The man having Tun in under the wings of Shiloh, the perfections of a God in Chrift, he cries with David, “ I will both lay me down in peace, and jeep: for thou, Lord, makest me to dwell in fafety," Pfal.
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2. It is accompanied with a waiting upon the Lord, in a way of duty, for his gracious.presence either in grace or providence: " He that believeth, does not make hafte. The vision is for an appointed time; though it tarry, wait for it," &c. Mic, vii. 7. “I will look unto the Lord : I will wait for the God of my falvation,” &c. Psal. cxxx. “My foul waiteth for the Lord, like them that wait for the morning,” &c. * 3. It is ay accompanied with prayer, earnest prayer, at a throne of grace. Faith having got the promise in its arms, io runs straight to a throne of grace with it, to sue for the promised blelling, Pfal. Ixii. 8. * Trust in him at all times; ye people pour out your heart before him." Prayer is just the breath of faith; and to pray, and not to believe, is to beat the air ; and to believe, and not to pray, is nothing but a prefumptuous confidence, that will never bear a man through in the evil day.
4. It is accompanied with a holy obedience or regard un. to all God's commandments : Psal. cxix. 166. “ Į have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. Shew me thy faith by thy works,” Jam, ii. 18. Let us, never pretend to believe the promise, if we do not keep his commandments : Pfal. I. 16. 17. “Unto the avicked, God faith, What haft thou to do to take my covenant in thy mouth? seeing thou hatest instruction," &c.
s. It is frequently accompanied with a soul-ravishing joy in the Lord: 11. xii. 2. “ Behold, God is my lalvation: I will trust and not be afraid:" and then it follows, With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of falvacioni!. Pral. lxiv. 10.: * The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and Niall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.": 1 Pet. i. 8.“ Whom having not feeil, we love; in whom though now we fee him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable; and fulli of glory." Hab. iii. 17. 18. 19. &c. Thus I have given you some account of that faith that fortifies the heart against the fear of evil.
sevin!' '' Forei 1 I shall now endeavour to prove, and make it evident, that faith doth indeed inspire the soul with a holy boldness and courage, or that it is a noble antidote against thefe intimidating, evils that threaten danger. And this will appear from the following particulars. The courage of faith appears, . ::
1. From that serenity wherewith it poflesses the soul amidst these evils and dangers that threaten it with utter ruin : Pfal. xxxii. 6. 7. "Surely in the floods of great waters, theý shall not come nigh unto him: Thou art my hiding place, thou shalt preserve me from trouble: thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverancel" Psal. xxvii. 3. 5. “ Though an host; should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion : in the secret of his tabernacle fhall he hide me, he Thall set me up upon a rock.” The man through faith, like Noah, fingsin the very midst of the waves, without fear of being swallowed up.
; , } 2. The courage of faith appears in the hard work and service: that it will adventure on when the Lord calls. O, says faith, when it hears God saying, “ Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Here am I, fend me: I can do all things through Christ strengthening me;" he has promised to bear my charges, and therefore "I will go in his strength," &c.
3. From the enemies and dangers that it will look in the face without being daunted. The three children, when the wrath of the king was like the roaring of a lion against them, threatening them with a burning fiery furnace seven times heated, their faith enabled them to a holy and indifferent boldness : “ We are not careful to answer thee, O king, in this matter : the God whom we serve will deliver us." ..
4. The courage of faith appears in the bold and daring challenges that it can give to all enemies and accusers. O says Paul, Rom. viii. 32. 33. “ Who can lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?” The challenge is universal in respect of all accusers, in respect of all accusations, and in respect of all the accused; “ Who can lay any thing," &c? And then you
have another challenge of faith in the close of that chapter, “Who shall separate us from the love of God? shall tribulation, or distress, or famine, or nakedness, or peril?” &c.
5. From the weapons which it wields, which no other hand but the hand of faith can manage. The " sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” that is the weapon which faith deals with. With this weapon, Christ the Captain of salvation teaches us to fight by his own example, Matth. iv. “ Thus and thus it is written.” And it is the truth and faithfulness of God in his word, that is the shield and buckler whereby faith encounters its enemies.
6. From the battles it has fought, and the vi&tories it has gained over the stoutest and strongest enemies. “ This is the victory whereby we overcome the world, even our faith.” it refits the devil, and makes him to flee like a coward; it presents the blood of the Lamb, and bears witness to the truili of the word, and so it defeats the oid ferpent, Rev. xii. II. “ They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” It treads upon death as a vanquished enemy, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Thus faith puts to flight the armies of the aliens.
7. From the heavy burdens it will venture to bear upon its back, without fear of sinking under the load. The cross of Christ is a burden that frightens the world to look to him, or own him; but faith takes it up, and takes it on, and cries, o the world is mistaken; for “ his yoke is easy, and his burden is light ;" and “his commandments are not grievous. Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, they work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
8. From the hard and difficult passes that faith will open. When the way seems impassable, it fees the breaker going up before it : and therefore, though heaven, earth, and hell, itood in the way, it will clear the road of all difficulties. Pihahiroth and Baalzephon, impassable mountains on every hand, the Red sea before, and an enraged powerful enemy behind; can there be any door of help ? Yes, says faith, only “ stand still and see the salvation of God;" and thereupon the waters divide, and a lane is made through the depths of the sea for 11rael. If we have faith as a grain of muitard-feed, we may say to this, and thai, and the other mountain, Be thou removed, and it ihall be done.
9. The courage of faith appears from the great exploits that it hath performed; for which I refer you to Heb. xi. per totum, particularly ver. 33.-35. And does not this say, that it is a bold and courageous grace? · Vol. 11.
10. From the trophie- of victory and triumph that it wears.. It takes up the trophies of Christ's victory over fin, Satan, hell, and death; and cries, “ I will be joyful in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banner.” O, will faith say, there lies the head of the old serpent bruised by the feed of the woman : there lies the curse of the law, that “ hand-writing that was against us,” torn by the nails of his cross; “ He hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us :" there stands the world, and its good and bad things, as a mass of mere vanity, overcome by Christ; and therefore I will tread upon them as “ dung and loss, that I may win Chrift," who is all in all : there lies death and the grave, slain by the death of Jesus; and therefore I will play on the den of this lion and cockatrice, for it cannot hurt me. Thus it appears that faith is a courageous grace, which fears no evil.
II. The third thing in the general method was, to speak a little of that Christian fortitude and boldness which makes a believer to fear no evil. All that I shall say upon this subject shall be, to offer the few following views for clearing it.
1. The seat and subject of this Christian fortitude is the heart of a believer, renewed by sovereign grace; and there. fore it can never be found in the heart of a natural man. Indeed we find something that goes under that name, but is falsely so called, amongst natural men; a natural boldness and hardiness of spirit to encounter dangers, yea, even death itself, in the pursuance of their designs. The soldier, at the command of his general, will go forward in battle, though he should die upon the spot : the mariner and merchant will risk his life through storms and waves, without any great concern. But, alas! while a man is deftitute of the grace of God, all these flow only from pride, covetousness, revenge, or some such reigning Just that must be maintained and supported, or at best from the natural temper of the mind, or some carnal ends and motives. “ That which is born of the flesh, is still flesh.” The fortitude or boldness that I now speak of, is only to be found in a heart or foul changed and renewed by the power of divine grace, the faith of God's operation (as I said) being the very spring and root of it. And hence it is, that we
hall find this true Christian fortitude fometimes manifesting itself in those who, as to their natural temper, are the most timorous and faint hearted; for it makes " the feeble as David, and as the angel of God before him.” God " says to them that are of a fearful spirit, Be strong, fear not;" and then the man ihat quaked at the thaking of a leaf, becomes bold as a lion. 2. Let us view the object of this Christian fortitude, or that