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sins, and inheritance among them that are sancti"fied by faith that is in me." This commission the apostle executed, by "shewing that men should repent, and turn to God, and do works meet for

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repentance :"* and certainly it implies that sinners are illuminated, and converted unto God, in order to their forgiveness, and not in consequence of it. And as sanctification is here ascribed to the efficacy of faith in Christ, so our Lord elsewhere says, "Sanctify them by thy truth; thy word is truth." Holy truth alone can be the seed of ho"liness in the soul: "the good seed is the word " of the kingdom :" but tares produce tares: and "an honest and good heart" is the only ground, in which that seed takes root, springs up, and brings forth fruit; or a holy faith alone can so receive the holy truth, as to use it in progressive sanctification. Dropping the metaphor, Christ had before said to the eleven, "Now ye are clean, through the word which I have spoken unto you."‡ Thus our Lord, while Judas was present, said to the apostles, Ye are clean but not all: yet after the traitor was gone, he said to the eleven " Now ye are clean through the word I have spoken to you."-It is however evident, not only that Judas had heard the same word; but that his faith differed from that of the other apostles, more in the manner of his believing, than in the doctrines he believed.

Indeed every thing holy in the hearts and lives of sinners, except regeneration, is ascribed in the scriptures to the energy of faith in its varied exercises;

* Acts xxvi. 17-20. + John xvii. 17.

John xv. 3.

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whereas many seem almost entirely to confine this influence to justification, except as they, without the least warrant from scripture, speak of its regenerating the soul! Christians "live by faith," "stand by 'faith, "walk by faith, obey by faith, "fight the good "fight of faith," "overcome the world by faith," and "are kept by the power of God, through faith, unto "salvation. "The shield of faith" is one principal part of our spiritual armour; and, as every other part of this panoply of God denotes things of a holy nature, why should faith alone be deemed an exception? Or are we justified by one kind of faith, and do we "fight" our enemies by another? We read of " the work of faith, the la"bour of love, and the patience of hope:" but who can imagine, that the apostle meant a holy love, a holy hope, and an unholy faith? "As ye have received" Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him," (that is, by the same kind of faith,) "rooted and "built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye "have been taught."*

It has been repeatedly observed, that true faith by receiving the sure testimony of God, appropriates the information he bestows, on those most important subjects, concerning which unbelief must remain in ignorance, or be left to uncertain reasonings and conjectures. It is therefore a real act of faith to believe, on this sure testimony, that " the "wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the

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people that forget God:" that "we cannot serve "God and Mammon:" and that "no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man,

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* Col. ii. 6, 7.

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who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God: let no man de"ceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the chil"dren of disobedience." If then a man be actually living in the practice of any of these iniquities, and yet think himself a justified person because of his creed and experience; his confidence is the result of direct unbelief, and expressly treats the plain testimony of God as a lie!

It is indeed a distinct act of faith to believe that "Jesus is the Son of God;" that " he died for our "sins, and rose again for our justification;" and that "he is able to save to the uttermost all them "that come to God by him: seeing he ever liveth "to make intercession for them." But it would be very absurd to suppose, that these divine testimonies contradict those before mentioned; or that any man truly believed the one, while he directly disbelieved the other! When therefore a sinner is brought truly to believe those declarations of scripture, which shew his real state and character; he is prepared to believe also those truths, which relate to Christ and his salvation, and will certainly apply to him for deliverance from sin, as well as from condemnation. This is properly "faith in "Christ," and it is immediately connected with justification: but it implies the belief of all other truths contained in the sacred oracles, as far as they are understood, and seem to be there revealed. Such of these as relate to the perfections, authority, and glory of God, with our relations and accountableness to him, the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, a future judgment, and

eternal happiness or misery, when set before the soul by that" faith, which is the evidence of things "not seen," are suited to call forth awful reverential fear of God, and of his holy heart-searching presence, dread of his wrath, regard to his will, sorrow for sin, humiliation, and abhorrence of evil. The realizing belief of those truths, which more especially relate to the gospel, is equally calculated to excite a lively hope of mercy; a purifying, establishing, yea triumphant, expectation of heavenly felicity; ardent longings after spiritual blessings, counterbalanced with jealous fears of coming short of them admiring, adoring, grateful love; zeal for the honour of God and the success of true religion; proportionable disregard to temporal interests or losses, pains or pleasures, honour or dishonour; unfeigned and fervent love of our brethren and neighbours, and even of our most embittered enemies; and still deeper self-abasement and hatred of all sin.

These affections, when vigorous and permanent, being connected with a firm dependence on the promises of the new covenant, and maintained in exercise by "communion with the Father, and "with his Son Jesus Christ," through the sacred influences of the Holy Spirit, are fully adequate to the ends for which they were intended; and cannot but impel and "constrain" the lively believer to the most self-denying and devoted obedience, and the most persevering patience in suffering for the sake of Christ and the gospel. Hence originated all those extraordinary actions of zealous obedience, courageous firmness, and unwearied endurance which the scriptures record,

and which have appeared in the character and conduct of saints and martyrs in every age of the church. And upon diligent and patient investigation it will be found, that this view of faith consolidates, as it were, and harmonizes, the whole' of what the oracles of God teach us on these subjects; so that precepts, doctrines, promises, threatenings, exhortations, invitations, cautions, and delineations of character, all here meet in full agree


Man is justly condemned for breaking the holy and good law of his Creator, and for being an enemy to him in his heart. The way of reconciliation and recovery is provided in Emmanuel's person and redemption, to the praise of the glory of God. All who truly believe are fully pardoned and justified, and shall be eternally saved: this faith is the effect of regeneration, and results from spiritual life; it implies true repentance in its very essence; it works by love of God and man; it purifies the heart and overcomes the world; it gradually forms the character, regulates the temper and passions, influences the words and actions, and thus, through the continued agency of the Holy Spirit, renders the believer fruitful and zealous in all good works.

"In Christ Jesus nothing availeth, but faith "that worketh by love;" "nothing availeth but 66 a new creature." "Circumcision is nothing, "and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping "of the commandments of God."* According to the view given above, these several propositions

* 1 Cor. vii. 19. Gal. v. 6. vi. 15.

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