« ПретходнаНастави »
I confesle there are severall degrees of this sensiblenesse; neicher
Me chinks chat of Christ, he came not to call the righteous, but finners, that he is sent to finde that which is lost, that the whole need not a Physician,but be fick; that he is sent to preach liberty to the captives, do abundancly confirme this cruch: Yea, and our own experiences gives in a clear evidence, that not only in che beginning, but in the progresle of our conversion, our eyes are then most upon Christ, co look after bim, and to prize him when we are most sensibly acquainted with our own sinfulnesse, and miserablenesse of condition.
:. : :. SECT. III.
1 Cures are copious in this, Rom. 10. 10. Witb ole heart man sedes... believeib nnio righteousneje, nits 8.37. And Pbilip said,if thon believest with all oby heart thou mayeff, and he answered and said, I believe ibat Jesus Cbrift is the Son of God, Rev, 22. ver. 11. whosoever will, let him take she water of life freely. ; - .'
There be who diftinguish 'cwixi chcee kindes of faith.
Fift.Credere deum, which is a univerfall and large conception of a God, when the understanding is perswaded, ( beyond A.
the secondly.cre by which is to one who is
theisme) to believe that there is a God.
Thirdly,Credere in Deum, which is not only a credence to God, astrue in his Nature and Word; but a reliance on him with the will, and embracing of him and his truth and goodness with the affections.
Now justifying faith, or faith in Chrift, is comprehended in this latter kinde of believing. For che bercer apprehending of this, observe a few things (viz. ) First, the things which God doth propound unto us are of different ends and uses, some are profounded meerly to be known, of which sort some conje&ore many historicall pasages in the Word, and many predictions, and many Genealogies; Some are propounded, not only to be known, but also to be done, as the Divine Precepts, or Commandmenis; some are propounded to be known, and to be avoided, or declined, as all the comminations and threainings in tbe Word against finners: Some are propounded to be known, and to be embraced with the will and affections, of which sore are all the Promises of God, and Few Christ our Lord. All those parts of the Word which conteine our good, and our good to be embraced. They have a necessary and naturall reference to the will of man, wbich is planted in us by God, to be conversant about all that which re-i fpects our good. Since then Jesus Christ is our good, boch per sonally considered, and also vertually considered;faith therefore as coaversang about bim, muft naturally be planted in the will.
That there are two parts ( as it were ) of faith.
One is imperfe&, and in compleat, yet is it a necessary ingre. dient unto faich, and this respects the understanding, when we are supernaturally illigbened, to see the Gospel and Jelus Christ in it revealed co be a Saviour; yea,and we do affent or acknowledge the same Gospel to be a word of cruth, and that whatsoever it doch affirme of Jesus Christ,it is infallibly true, and divinely cercaine. The Gospel as the Word of truth, is the obje& of this, and therefore the understanding is to apprehend and acknowledge ic,
Another is perfect, (I speak of an essential perfection, not of that which is gradual, and intensive,) which cakes in the forniall and vital nature of faith, as justifying: Now this doch not rest in any operacion of the minde, or understanding, buc immediately in the will, for the Gospel conteipes both truth and good. nesle ; It is the Word of truth, and the Gospel of Salvation. 10 doch not only make known a Saviour, and char ic is moit certain that he is God and man, and dyed for finners, but it doch offer the goodnesse of this Saviour unto me, which ro accept, apper. taines directly and immediately to the will : That of the Apoftle me thinks gives some lighe to the macier in hand, 1Tim.i.is. This is a faiebfall Saying, and morlby of all acceptation, thar Jesus Cbrift came into obe World to save finners,
That Jesus Christ came to save finners, is a truth not to be questioned, and therefore the understanding is to acknowledge the same : And that he came to save finners, is not only a truth revealed; but a goodnesse offered, and therefore it is worthy of all acceptation; Now as credence of the truth of it appertaines to the understanding, so che acceptance of che goodnesle of ic doch appercaine co the will: Yea,one word more : it is the proper work of faith, co conjoyne the soul wich Christ, to conirad and espouse it, (as it were)but the soul is not conjoyned with Christ by the meer opperation of the understanding, but by the consent of che will; Ergo, faith as justifying, is immediately and formally in the will, and not nakedly in the understanding.
rHe proper and genuine act of faith, as juftifying, or as con
versant about Jesus Christ, is acceptance, or receiving. Adus,
Tbis Doctrine Christ bimself doch ceach, and therefore it is true, and sure, John 1. 12. To as many as received bin, be gave power to be the Sons of God, even to as many as believed in bio Name. There you see expresly chat believing is the receiving of Chrift. . As if God came in these tearmes, i have appointed my Son to be made man, to be a Mediacor and Redeemer, and ho did live and dye for finners, to procure their peace and salvati.
gaume. There god came in chevediator and
on. Now loffer his person unco you, and with it all the me. rits and benefits purchased by him, take him in his person, in his offices, and in all his vertues, if the heart doch now accept of the Lord Jelus. This is a 'lively;a od justifying,and saving belie. ving !
There are three acts of the soul which are conversant about Cbrist.
.. First, one is, I know assurediy, That Jesus Christ the Lord is the Saviour of finners. The Papifts generally make this the Royal Ad of Faith, but this cannot be justifying faith,
because good received.
First this as so, is but a truth apprehended, and not a becaule Secondly, unbelieving hearts may enjoy this histori
• Ccall afsent meerly as allenr. Acceptance.
2. Anot ber is, I take this Jelas Christ to be my Lord and Saviour; I know assuredly he is a Lord and Saviour, and he offers himself unto poor finners, of whom I am chief, and I do accept of him to be my Lord and Saviour: Icast my soul on him, I relt my self on bim, my will and heart doch embrace and accept of bim, only to be Lord and Saviour, bim I do, and none but him I
do accept.," Alurance. * 3. Athird is, I know assuredly ebar fesus Christ.is my Lord and
my Savisur. Muhy of the Laherani (and some of our own) bend this way, that the essentiall and proper Act of faith as juftifying, is assurance, and so they do define it, thae it is an assurance, a full af urance, a full perfwaliow; whence ic fol. lowes,
That no man believes, until hecan truly say I know that Chrift is mine, I know that he dyed for me, I know that my finnes are pardoned. ?.?.
! It is normect co take. Armes, and strike our own brethren; who I think in this rather, aimed to give us faith in its perfe&i. on, chen inics proper and fubftantial nature. 1
These things must needs be confesseta. ...i II. That the assurance of fairb may be poffibly attained unto:God hach exhorted Christians to strive after asurance, yea, full also rance; yea, the riches of full af urance, and no doubt, that not on.
Stheirs, and thevidence, and refprance, buie tomarlo
ly Paul, but many a good Christian can say,( some time or ocher ) I am verily perswaded and that Christ loved me, and gave himself for me," : "Ba'. !: Birmini
2. 'Thar thé assurance of faith is a moft heavenly and comfortable condirion, Orhe heavenly fwecineffe and divine rolice, concenimene, affection: ! When I do not only pofleffe Christ, but I know chat I do possesse him. When I do not only take him to be mine, but see him to be miné; wlien' he saith to me, Be of good ċkeer, it is I; or; be of good comfort; 'thiy fiws are forgiven ibee.
Thirdly, that believers Thould ftrive afcerehis afluranee chey hould not rest in the meer acceptance, bue fhould concend in praser, for the evidence, and refcation of his faith, that Chrift is cbeirs, and they know him assuredly to be théirs. For though the estace of meere believing, is lure, yet that of assurance is comforcable. That is a trde day, when the sun is riling, but when it comes to the highest, the day is now glorious. Yot this I deny, that assurance (I mean, that' reflexive perlwasion that Christ is mine ) is the esenciall or proper ad of faith, chac. faish is not faich unleße ic be assurance.. An There are two ads of faith, sie
;; ! One without which faith cannot be justifying faith, and this is the acceptance or embracing of Christ, or thae which some call reliance and recombency:
Another, which in time faith may produce; and so assurance is an ad of faith, nos chc, nacekary act, huc ile qircumstanciall act as it were, not the vicall act, bot che eminent ad; assurance of faith, is fire blazing, the acceptance of faith is fire cruly burning, though nor highly flaming; the more high faith doch riles any time, che lefle doubtings chrre, are, and she ore allurahce. And yet faith may be in cruth;thopgh he hath no, flexivo a rance, but many doubciogs : Why di fabaw donde luid Chrift Urhon of little faitka?. Faich, though little Faich, and Faith, though doubting , as fire, though; much smoke; and yet no doubcing , if faith were essencially assurarce.
O how many souls are there who prize none io che world like Christ, who love him with all their hearts, who honour him with che highest regards of a Lord, who hates the enemies of bis Scepa cer, with a perfe&t haircd; who would nor willingly offend, and