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to believe in CHRIST, who did not shew forth the pro- SER M.
CCXXVI. per and genuine effects of this faith, who do not live as they believe, and conform their lives to that doctrine, to the truth whereof they profess an assent.
And hence it is that true Chriftians, that is, those who did fashion their lives according to the gospel, are called believers, and the sum of all christianity is usually contained in this word believing, which is the great principle of a christian life; as in the old teftament all religion is expressed by the “ faith of God," so in the new, by “ the faith in CHRIST.”
Now whosoever doth firmly and effectually entertain this truth, that that Jesus, whom the gospel de- clares to us, is the true Messias, and Saviour of the
world, and the very Son of God, fent by him into the world for this purpose, that he might by his doctrine instruct, and by the example of his life go be
fore us in the way to eternal happiness, and by the į merit and satisfaction of his death and sufferings ap
peale and reconcile God to men, and purchase for them the pardon of their sins and eternal life, upon the conditions of faith, and repentance, and sincere
obedience; I say, whosoever doth firmly and effec1 tually entertain these truths will consequently en
deavour to obey the precepts of his doctrine, and to imitate the example of his life; and will expect salvation, that is, the pardon of his sins, and etertal life from no other ; because he is verily persuaded he is a teacher, and a Saviour sent from God, that his doctrine is true, and his satisfaction available, and that the rewards which he hath promised to those who believe and obey him, and the punishments which he hath threatned to the unbelievers and disobedient, shall all certainly be fulfilled and accomplished. All this is included in believing " that Jesus is the
SER M.“ CHRIST, the Son of God.” So christian faith, CCXXV; or the faith of the gospel, contains plainly in it these
1. An affent of the understanding to this truth, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was a person commissioned from heaven, and employed by GOD to bring men to eternal happiness. And this fundamental is necessary to all the subsequent acts of faith, and that upon which they depend.
2. An affent of the understanding to the truth of all those things which this person delivered to the world. So that if he tells us, that his death hath made expiation for the sins of men, upon the conditions of faith, and repentance, and obedience; and that God by him doth command the world to do such and such things, and in case of obedience will confer such and such rewards upon men, but in case of disobedience will inflict such punishments upon them; we are to believe all this to be true ; because the person who acquainted us with these things was sent by God, and employed from heaven upon this message.
3. And consequently, a relying and depending upon him, and no other, for the conferring of these benefits, and making good these proinises to us.
4. Obedience to all his laws and commands; becaufe believing them to be from God, we cannot but assent to them as good, and as laying an obligation upon us to yield obedience to them: and if we do not obey them, we are presumed to disbelieve them; for if we did truly and heartily believe them to be the commands of God, we would obey them.
Now that obedience of heart and life to the precepts and commands of the gospel, as well as an asfent of the understanding to the truth of the gospel
revelation, and a trusting and relying upon the me- SER M.
FCCXXVI. rits of CHRIST, is included in the scripture notion of faith, will evidently appear to any that will consider these texts. Rom. i. 5.' “ By whom we have re“ceived grace and apostleship for obedience to the “ faith among all nations for his name;" where the belief of the gospel is called “ the obedience of the “ faith.” Rom. v. 16. ".But they have not all " obeyed the gofpel : for Efaias faith, LORD, who “ hath believed our report?” but if faith do not include obedience, how could he prove that there were fome that did not obey the gospel, because Ifaiah
faid, there were some that did not believe it? And . fo likewise by comparing, 1 Tim iv. 10. where he is
faid to be “the Saviour of them that believe,”
with Heb. v. 9. where he is said to be the “ author 3“ of eternal falvation unto all them that obey him.”
As also by comparing Gal. v. 6. where it is said, E " for in Jesus Christ, neither circumcision avail
" eth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which -- " worketh by love," with 1 Cor. vii. 19. “ circum
“ cision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; “ but the keeping of the commandments of God." And so likewise by those texts, where unbelief and
disobedience are equivalently used. I will but men. tion one, Heb. iii. 12. The apostle, from the exam
ple of the Israelites, cautions Christians against unbe-
SER M.and unbelief are the same. And so likewise we find |
jfaith and disobedience opposed frequently in scrip-
Secondly, that this is truly and properly christian faith. Which I shall prove by these two arguments.
1. Because it includes a belief of the whole golpel, or of all the revelation which God hath made to the world by Jesus CHRIST. And certainly there cannot be a more proper notion of christian faith, than to believe the revelation which God hath made by Jesus CHRIST: but to “ believe that Jesus is the
• CHRIST, the Son of God," doch include this. For SERM.
"CCXXVI. whosoever believes him to be the Messias, and the Son of God, believes him to have come from God, and to be authorized and commissioned by him to make known his mind to the world, and consequente ly will believe whatever he delivers. For whoever believes the goodness and veracity of God, as every man does that believes a God, cannot but affent to the truth of every thing which he is satisfied comes from God.
2. That to “ believe that Jesus is the CHRIST, . “the Son of God," is truly and properly christian faith, or the faith of the gospel, will appear by considering how the scriptures of the new testament do constantly describe to us the faith of the gospel; and you shall find they do it, either by the very phrase in the text, or other phrases and metaphors equivalent to them ; or else by a belief of that which is the great argument and confirmation of CHRIST's being the Messias, the Son of God. Very often the faith of the gospel is described by the very phrase in the text, « believing that Jesus is the Christ, and that “he is the Son of God.” John iv. 41, 42. “ And “ many more believed, because of his own word; " and said unto the woman, Now we believe; not “ because of thy saying: for we have heard him our “ selves, and know that this is indeed the CHRIST, " the Saviour of the world.” John vi. 69. “ And “ we believe and are sure, that thou art that Christ, “the Son of the living God.” John xi. 27. says Martha to Christ, “ Yea, LORD, I believe that “thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which “ should come into the world.” Acts viii. 37. “I “ believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 1 John ïïi. 23. " And this is his conimandment, that Vol. XI. . T