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is, yet true, Mark ix. 24. I believe ; "help
e doubting will never be commended,
10 ceti of faith as it saves and justifies the sinner, at by the brazen serpent in the wilderness, to à thé wounded Ifraelites were to look, and the
was healing, John iii. 14. 15. And Christ's in is the primary object of justifying faith, Il.
2. Lak unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends si carth. And his benefits, merits, righteousCsec. are the secondary object thereof, Phil, iü. ce les doubtless, and I count all things but lofs, for * cxcellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my
i for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, de count them but dung that I may win Chrift, and Aud in him, not having mine own righteousness
, of Lahol is of the law, but that which is through the
its of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by
wenk * 25 a
* 123 a
V. I proceed to consider the saving and justifying its of faith. These are,
1. Receiving him as he is offered in the gospel, us in the text; cordially cloling with him, and heartily consenting to take him as he is offered. llereby the spiritual marriage-tie betwixt Christ and the foul is made. Christ gives his consent in the gofpel-offer, and the finner gives his by faith closing with the offer. Now he is offered in the gospel in all his offices. So faith is a receiving of Chrift.
( 1.) As a Prophet to be our Teacher, Guide,
and Leader, renouncing our own wisdom, Matth,
(2.) As a Priest, renouncing all merit and cong dence in one's self, duties, and sufferings, and be., taking one's self to Christ, his obedience and deatli, for all
, If. xlv. 24. Surely fall one say, in the Lord bave I righteousness and strength.
(3.) As a King, renouncing all strange lords, and receiving him for absolute Governor in the fou and over the whole man, yielding to bear the yok : of his commands, and the yoke of his cross. I: xxvi, 13. O Lord our God, lays the church, othelords besides thee have had dominion cver us: but 13 thee only will we make mention of thy name.
2. Resting on him as he is offered in all his office: too, If. xxvi. 3. 4. Thou wilt keep him in perfei peace, whose mind is stayed on thee : because he truj! eth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever : for in tin Lsrd Jehovah is everlasting strength. Chron. xvi. 8. Thou didst rely on the Lord. The soul has a busden of weakness and ignorance, and therefore rcf. on him as a Prophet; a burden of guilt, but reti on him as a Priest, laying the weight on his blood : a burden of strong lusts and temptations, but reit, on him as a King
This receiving and resting has a most special ej to the priestly oslice of Christ, faith in his bioo It is a looking to him as lifted up on the cross, 1', xlv
. 22. eating of his flesh and drinking of bi blood, John vi. 53. and submitting to his rig: teousness, Rom. x. 3. * This receiving and refiii: upon Christ for falvation is in may places call believing in or trusting on Chriit as our Saviour
* See the nature and acts of faith more largely opened and i.. luftrated in the author's View of the cuvenati of grace, head Tee way of insłating finners perjonally and fuvingly in the cover of grace.
† Now, in order to illuftrate the nature of faith, confidered believing in or trufting on God, and the way of a finner's ja...
ward, Acts xxvi. 18. open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.
Object. How then can God require them of us ?
Anf. 1. God gave man this power, and he has lost it ,. by his own fault, Eccl. vii. 29. God hath made man upright; 'but they have fought out many inventions. If a debtor squander away his substance, the creditor has still a right to require what he owes him: so though man has lost his power to perform, God has not lost his right to require the duty. 2. Men will not believe their own impotency.
tency They will promise, resolve, and delay to believe and repent, as if these duties were in their own power; they will fight the motions of God's Spi- ki rit; yea, they are throwing away the remains of natural light and strength that have escaped out of the ruins of the fall. So that God may very juftly require these of them, to convince them, and stir them up to feek grace.
IV. I proceed to shew the connection betwixt faith and repentance, and escaping the wrath and curse of God due to us for fin. Those who believe and repent shall certainly escape. God has said it, that they fhall; John v. 24. He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that fent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation ; but is passed from death unto life. Ezek. xviii. 30. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions ; Jo iniquity shall not be your ruin. Nay they are got beyond it already, Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. In the moment the finner comes into Christ, he is no more liable to eternal wrath, nor to the curse; for he is not under the law, but under grace: and the utmost he is liable to, is fatherly chastisements, Psal. Ixxxix. 30. 31. 32. 33:
Thus faith and repentance have the connection of appointed means
prescribed by God himself, which, by his blessing, are rendered fubfervient to this great end, of ob. taining salvation. Faith is the hand that receives Christ and his righteousness, as the all of salvation, John i. 12.; and repentance unto life consists in that godly forrow for fin, flowing from faith, which is the exercise of all who are concerned about the salvation of their souls, Jer. 1. 4. 2 Cor. vii. il.
V. I shalt now shew the necessity of using all the outward means whereby Chrilt communicateth to his people the benefits of redemption.
1. God has peremptorily required this, Luke xiii. 24.
Strive to enter 'in at the strait gate, namely, that we strive in the appointed means of grace
and falvation. And so he has particularly enjoined us the conscientious performance of each of them,
2. We have no ground to expect grace or falvation but in the use of the means, Prov. viii. 34. Blefjed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posis of my doors. “Prov, ii, 3. 4. 5. If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up i hy voice for understanding : if thou Jeekost her as filver, and searchest for her, as for hid treasures : then fhalt thou understand the fear of the Lord; and find the knowledge of God. Faith cometh by bearing, and hearing by the word of God, Rom. x, 17.
3. The neglect of the means is a contempt of the thing. If we would be healed, we would lie at the pool. If not, we say we care not for cure,
And there is required here, not a careless or merely-superficial use of the outward means, but a diligent one ; that is, an embracing of every opportunity that God in his providence gives us for attending upon them, a careful improvement of them, and a looking earnestly to him for his blefling upon them, without which they will not contribute to our spiritual advantage, 1 Cor. iii. 6. 7. Queft. What is our ability in this point? Ango
The use of outward means is not beyond our reach. One may, without saving grace, read, hear, pray, and consider his case. And by these one may attain the highest pitch of preparation for the grace of God, in legal convictions, fears, forrows for sin, and natural (though not saving) defires of grace. Therefore do what be while ye are doing what ye can, God will do for you what ye cannot do for yourselves, Acts viii.
Quest. Has God promised to save and convert those who do what is in their power in the use of :: means? Ans. We dare not say it. But, į. It is pos. sible. 2. It is probable *.
I shall conclude with two inferences.
Inf. i. Then, as ever ye would escape God's wrath and curse due to you for sin, repent and believe. Come to Christ; turn from your fins unto God. There is no safety otherwise, but this way ye shall be safe. No fin of yours will ruin you,
be. c lieve and repent; and nothing will save you,
ye do not.
2. Be diligent in the use of the means of falva- i tion. They are laid before you, while they are by the sovereign disposal of providence kept up from others. Neglect them not, as ye would not be found to reject the counsel of God against your selves. And satisfy not yourselves in the bare use of them, but feek grace and salvation in them from Jesus Christ, they being appointed means of grace.
* See all this illustrated in Human nature in its Fcurfold state, ftate ii. head 3. under the title, Objections answered, edit. 2. p. 207: