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Christian graces. “ Other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundred fold.” The explanation of our Lord may be literally translated thus : “ But by the good ground are meant those, who in an honest and good heart having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with perseverance.” Luke viii. 15. Here is our Saviour's representation of saving faith. It is a right disposition. Its essential principle is “ an honest and good heart."* Without this, truth may be admitted by the understanding, and have a partial influence on the life : but; without this, no person will so receive the truth, as to be united to Christ, by a saying moral union,t and escape the wrath to come.”

It is not necessary to ascertain how great a quantity of truth this heart receives, in order to determine whether the person possessing it shall be saved. It is sufficient that the heart, through regeneration, is made good. Now the heart is a figurative expression, used to denote the disposition of the man.

When this disposition, which consists in moral exercises, is changed from enmity to love, from the supreme love of self to the love of God, there is said to be created a holy heart, which receives, cherishes and loves divine truth, to the salvation of the soul. Should death, however, immediately ensue upon the pro

* If faith and a good heart are precisely the same thing, since I am justified by faith, I st also be justified by a good heart. Consequently God does not justify the ungodly. Faith belongs, indeed, to every good heart, as the eye or hand belongs to every complete body. But the hand is not the whole body. The preacher does not seem to know that things can be distinguished, without being separated. I distinguish faith from the state produced in regeneration ; but I do not disjoin the two.

† Tut! tut! man, what do you mean by moral union ? The members of every corporate body have a moral union, even while they cordially oppose and hate one another.

# Exercise and disposition are as distinct as matter and motion, the lungs, and the act of respiration ; or as your written sermon and the act of reading it.

duction of a benevolent disposition in the formerly malevolent sinner, before any of the doctrines of the gospel were revealed to the understanding, the renewed person would be safe : this same heart would love truth and be happy in it, when gospel knowledge should be one of Jehovah's gifts to his exalted children. Such may be the regeneration of infants ; and such, if it shall please the Holy Spirit to work in them, the regeneration of persons destitute of divine revelation. Why should it seem incredible, that God should now create a disposition of love to that which is now known to be holy, and afterwards afford new objects to excite regard ? Is not the child born before it is fed ? Is not the honest and good heart produced before the seed is sown

upon it?

The penitent thief is an example of one who had this renewed disposition, this faith in essence, without living to grow in the knowledge of God, and bring forth the fruits of faith.

Hear the excellent Saurin upon this subject.

“ A true faith müst necessarily be a principle of good works. It may happen, that a man“ may have this principle, and may not have an opportunity of expressing it by practice, and of bringing it into action ; he hath it, however, in intention. 1 ;

« The thief, in one sense, strictly speaking, did no good work; but in another sense, he did all good works. We say of him as we say of Abraham, he did all in heart, in intention. Abraham, from the first moment of his vocation, was accounted to have abandoned his country, sacrificed his son Isaac, wad wrought all those heroical actions of Christian faith, which made him a model for the whole church. In like manner, the converted thief visited all the sick, clothed all the naked, fed all the hungry, comforted all the afflicted, and was accounted to have done all the pious actions, of which faith is the principle, because he would infallibly have done them, had God afforded him opportunity."

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* Saurin's doctrine of a principle, was not like your doctrine of exercisę:

Take away this principle of faith, or this first exercise of love) this goodness of heart, this renewed disposition, and whatever may be believed about Jesus, the Saviour of sinners, there is no saving faith left in the soul : but take every thing else' away, even knowledge, good works, memory and reason, and the soul is still secure, according to a divine constitution through the righteousness which is by faith.

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Faith is the sole term of salvation. Faith then, in its simplesť state, must imply every prerequisite to salvation. It is declared, absolutely, that he who believeth shall be saved. Again, it is affirmed that " without holiness, no man shall see the Lord,” or: be saved. It follows, from these two declarations, that evangelical faith and holiness are the same in essence.*

Moreover, holiness consists in conformity of heart to the will of God, or in a right disposition. Here, again, we have the conclusion, that saving faith consists in a renewed heart.

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În various passages of the holy scriptures we are taught, that the poor in spirit, the meek, the penitent, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peace-makers, and those who endure persecution for righteousness' sake, shall be saved. But none shall be saved except they have faith. It is a necessary consequence, therefore, that saving faith should comprehend in its essence, each and all of the christian graces.

" Without faith it is impossible to please God." Yet you may please God, if you love what he loves, hate what he hates, and are thus conformed to his will. The love of holiness, and hatred of sin, therefore, comprehend every thing which is essential to saving faith. To love holiness and hate sin, is to have a renewed disposition, or to believe with the heart unto everlasting life.

* Faith is one constituent part of holiness; but because holiness ineludes faith, it does not follow that each part is equal to the sum of all the parts.

To this doctrine of the identity of saving faith and love, it may be objected, that Paul saith, “now abideth faith, hope, charity, (or love,) these three ; but the greatest of these is love." I Cor. xiii. 13. “ Now if faith and love,” says the objector, “are the same. thing, you make the apostle assert that one thing is greater than itself"* The answer is easy.

There are many kinds of faith. One is historical, because it depends upon historical evidence, Another is metaphysical, because it depends upon metaphysical induction. Another is temporary, because it endureth only for a time. Auother is the faith of devils, because those who possess it, like the devils, believe and tremble. Another is the faith of miracles, peculiar to divinely inspired persons,

Of this the apostle speaks when he says that love is greater than faith. It is his design to show the superiority of love over miraculous gifts. “Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.” Saving faith, or love, is greater than the faith of miracles: for the first unites us to Christ by a union of affection,t and secures glory ; but the second might be possessed by Balaam and Judas, while they were the enemies of God. Inspiration did not necessarily impiy regeneration and sanctification ; but love was in its own nature, the saving grace of faith, “the substance of things ho

ped for,

The second part of the text declares faith to be “the evidence of things not seen.” This can be said of that saving faith only,

* Much more might be objected. It is well for the preacher that he has the pulpit to himself: but it would be well for the people if my uncle. Sauney was there.

| Union of affection! Is this then, the moral union ? A man loves a young woman. Is it love, or their marriage which completes that union in which they twain are constituted one flesh? A man loves another woman more than his wife. Is this a moral union ? Union of affection may even exist between a gang of robbers. Why does he not speak of the spiritual and mystical union of the scriptures? Had any poor sinner loved God, would there have been any union without a covenant of grace ? Or, can there be a matrimonial union, without some covenant engagement between the parties?

faith is no

which has been described. For historical or speculative faith ARISES from evidence, but FURNISHES no evidence of the truth of things not seen. I

may
believe what is false; and

my evidence to prove that my mental persuasion is founded on truth. I may be conscious of assenting to a proposition; but this consciousness is no evidence of the truth of the proposition. I may believe with the understanding, that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of believers, while this furnishes no evidence to me, or to others, of the truth of the gospel history. It is otherwise with that faith which is of the operation of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is, to those who possess it, and often, by its manifestation, to others, “ THE EVIDENCE of things not seen."

Saving faith has been proved to consist essentially in love, Now of love we may be conscious. It is an effect of some cause ; for there is no effect without an adequate cause. The believer may reason with himself. " Now, I love God. For merly, I hated him. Whence this change? Who, or what, has caused this love in me? I did not produce it myself, for while I was at enmity against God, I had not the disposition, and there. fore had not the power to cause love. Who then caused it ? It must have been God, for other beings either could not, or would not, have done it.” In this manner, the believer finds his love, or saving faith, to be the evidence of several unseen things ; but especially of the power of God in changing the human heart,

In this manner also, faith is, to the believer, the evidence of the truth of the gospel, a thing not seen, but felt by every child of God. Being convinced of the truth of the gospel, one must admit its divine origin, and the inspiration of the writers of it, so that saying faith becomes the evidence of all the unseen things contained in the word of God. In this manner, “the Spirit,” producing love in us, of which we are conscious, “beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God.” When we sire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby," our desire is evidence, that we are “new-born babes-in Christ."

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Through the consciousness of love, « he that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself."

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