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char. VII.] OF FAITH. 377

mother of faith and devotion, contrary to Col. iii. 16. for we
can by no means believe what we are quite ignorant of, Rom. ,
x. 14. And all should strive to have their faith as little im-
plicit, and as much distinct as possible; as becometh those
who are filled with all , Rom. xv. 14. For the
more distinctly a person sees by the light of the Spirit a
truth revealed by God, and the rays of divinity-shining
therein, the more firm will be his belief of that truth. Those
very martyrs, who, in other , were rude and ignorant,
*: o and distinctly : for which o: made
no scruple to lay down their lives, to be most certain and di-
o: though perhaps they were not able to dispute much for
In. * . . .
X. Moreover those things which are necessarv to be known
by the person who would believe, are in general, the divinity
of the scriptures, into which faith must be ultimately resolv-
ed; more especially, those things which regard the obtaining
of salvation in Christ; which may summarily be reduced to
these three heads: 1st. To know, that by sin thou art estrang-
ed from the life of God, and art come short of the glory of
God, Rom. iii. 23. That it is not possible, that either thou
thyself, or an angel from heaven, or any creature in the world,
nay, or all the creatures in the universe, can extricate thee
from the abyss of misery; and restore thee to a state of happi-
ness. 2dly. That thou shouldst know Christ this Lord to be.
Jull of grace and truth, John i. 14. who is that only name given
under heaven, whereby we can be saved, Acts. iv. 1. and in
the knowledge of whom consists eternal life, John Xvii. 3. 3dly.
That thou shouldst know, that, in order to thy obtaining salva-
tion in Christ, it is necessary that thou be united to Christ, by
the Spirit and by faith, and give up thyself to him, not only to
be justified, but also sanctified, and governed by his will and
pleasure, proving what is that good, and , and perfect
will of God, Rom. xii. 2. - * *
XI. To this knowledge must be joined assent, which is the
second act of faith, whereby a person receives and acknow-
ledges as truths those things which he knows, receiving the
testimony of God, and thus setting to his seal, that God is true,
John iii. 33. This assent is principally founded on the in-
fallible veracity of God, who testifies of himself and of his
Son, 1 John v. 9, 10. On which testimony revealed in scrip-
ture, and shedding forth all around the rays of its divinity,
the believer relies with no less safety, than if he had been
actually present at the revelation of Ho: things. For when
the soul, enlightened by the Spirit, discerns those divine truths,

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and in them a certain excellent theoprepy, or beauty worthy of
God, and a most wise and inseparable connection of the whole, it
cannot but assent to a truth that forces itself upon him with
so many arguments, and as securely admit what it thus knows,
for certain, as if it had seen it with its own eyes, or handled
it with its own hands, or had been taken up into the third
heavens, and heard it immediately from God's own mouth.
Whatever the lust of the flesh may murmur, whatever vain
sophists may quibble and object, though perhaps the soul
may not be able to answer or solve all objections, yet it per-
sists in the acknowledgment of this truth, which it saw too
clearly, and heard too o: it were from the mouth of
God, ever to suffer itself to drawn away from it by an
sophistical reasonings whatever: “For, I have not followed,
says the believing soul, cunningly devised fables, when I be-
lieved the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but in
the Spirit was eye witness of his majesty, and heard his voice
from heaven,” 2 Pet. i. 16, 18. And thus faith is accompanied
with 'voroszak, substance, and 8tyxos, evidence, Heb. xi. 1. and
*Antòogia, full persuasion or assurance, Rom. iv. 21. It will
not be unprofitable to consider a little the meaning of these
XII. The apostle speaks more than once of ongopogio, ple-
rophory or full assurance; as Col. ii. 2. ~Angopogía ovigiac, the
Jull assurance of understanding; Heb. vi. 11. ongopogiz roc ox-
wiè06, the full assurance of hope, Heb. x. 22. ongopogía risian, full
assurance of faith. According to its etymology the word
plerophory, denotes a carrying with full sail, a metaphor, as
it should seem, taken from ships when all their sails are fill-
ed with a prosperous gale. So that here it signifies the ve-
hement inclination of the soul, driven forward by the Holy
Spirit, towards an assent to the truth it is made sensible of.
Hesychius, that most excellent master of the Greek language,
explains it by Bićaiornra, firmness. And in that sense, rangopogiz
risiwo, plerophory of faith, is nothing but sigioux rāg its Xgsby
origiwo, the stedfastness of faith in Christ, as the apostle varies
those phrases, Col. ii. 2, 5, ; and rionospegnutra regygala, are
things most surely or firmly believed, Lukei. 1. So firm there-
fore must the believer's assent be to divine truth.
XIII. The term wrosaac, hypostasis substance, is also very
emphatical, which the apostle makes use of when he speaks
of faith, Heb. xi. 1. Nor have the Latins any word that can
fully express all its force and significancy. 1st. 'Trésagi, hy-
postasis denotes the caristence, or, as one of the ancients has

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rtre, you cannot convince me of that. There is therefore in
faith, if it be ixtyxog [an elenchus] a demonstration, a certain
conviction of soul, arising from that clear and infallible demon- i
stration. But this demonstration of truth rests on the testi-
mony of God who cannot deceive: from which faith argues
thus: whatever God, who is truth itself, reveals, cannot but

be most true and worthy of all acceptation, though perhaps I *
may not be able to see it with my eyes, or fully conceive it
in my mind.

XV. All this tends to instruct us that the assent which is in faith has a most certain assurance, which no certainty of any mathematical demonstration can exceed. Wherefore they speak very incautiously who maintain there may be falsehood in divine faith, since the proper object of faith is the testimony of God, which is necessarily true and more certain than any demonstration. Nor can any places of scripture be brought in which any thing that is not true can be man's belief.

XVI. But we are here to remove another difficulty: if faith is such a certain and firm assent, are those then destitute of true faith who sometimes waver even with respect to fundamental truths? I answer, 1st. We describe faith, considered in the idea, as that Christian virtue or grace, the perfection of which we all ought to aspire after : and not as it sometimes subsists in the subject. 2dly. There may at times be waverings, staggerings, and even inclinations to unbelief in the best of believers, especially when they are under some violent tem tation, as is evident from the waverings of Asaph, i. and others, about the providence of God: but these are certain defects of faith arising from the weakness of the flesh. 3dly. Faith presently wrestles with those temptations, it never assents to those injections of the devil, or the evil desires of the carnal mind, nor is ever at rest, till having entered the sanctuary of God, it is confirmed by the teaching Spirit of faith in the contemplation and acknowledgment of those truths about which it was staggered. There at length, and no where else, it finds rest for the soles of its feet.

"XVII. That which follows this assent is the love of the truth thus known and acknowledged; and this is the third act of faith, of which the apostle speaks, 2 Thes, ii. 10. For since there is a clear manifestation of the glory of God, in saving truths, not only as he is true in his testimony, but also as his wisdom, holiness, justice, power, and other perfections shine forth therein, it is not possible but the believing


-CHAP. vii.] of FAITH. 381

soul, viewing these amiable perfections of the deity in those
truths, should break out into a flame of love to exult in them
and glorify God. Hence the believer is said to give to
God, Rom. iv. 20, and to love his praise (glory), John xii.
43. Above all, the soul is delighted with the fundamental
truth concerning Christ. Loves it as an inestimable treasure,
and as a pearl of great price; it is precious to believers, 1
Pet. ii. 7. yea, most £: It is indeed true, that love,
strictly speaking, is distinguished from faith; yet the acts of
both virtues, or graces, are so interwoven with one another,
that we can neither explain nor exercise faith without some
acts of love interfering; such as is also that of which we now
treat: this also is the observation of some of the greatest
divines before me; as, not to mention others at present,
Chamierus, Panstrat. T. 3. lib. 12. c. 4. No. 16. Wendelin,
Theol. lib. 2. c. 24. ad Thes. 8. And both of them cite Au-
gustine in their favour, who asking what is it to believe in
God? answers, It is by believing to love. See also le Blanc,
a divine of Sedan, in Thes, de fidei justificantis natura, &c.
§ 95. But if any will call this love, according to the
loss of the schools, an imperate, or commanded act of faith,
#. is indeed welcome to #. so for us; if he only maintain
that it is not possible but the believing soul, while in the ex-
ercise of faith, must sincerely love the truth as it is in Christ,
when known and acknowledged, rejoicing that these things
are true, and delighting itself in that truth: far otherwise
than the devils and wicked men, who, what they know to be
true, they could wish to be false.
XVIII. Hence arises a fourth act of faith, a hunger and
thirst after Christ. For the believing soul knowing, ac-
knowledging and loving the truths of salvation, cannot but
wish that ; those things which are true in Christ may also
be true to him, and that he may be sanctified and blessed in
and by those truths: And he seriously desires, that having
been alienated from the life of God through sin, he may be
again sealed unto the glory of God by free justification, and
in that by sanctification. This is that hunger and thirst of:
ter righteousness mentioned Mat v. 6. T And pray, what
reason can be given why he who believes and feels himself a.
most miserable creature, and is fully persuaded that he can be
delivered from his misery by nothing either in heaven or on
earth; who sees, at the same time, the fulness of that salva-
tion which is in Christ; and is assured he can never obtain
salvation unless he be united to Christ; who from his very,
soul loves that truth that treats of the fulness of salvation

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