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: mands all men to believe in Christ, doth thereby command
all men to believe that they are damned and lost without Chrift: he thereby commands all men to acknowledge their fins and their need of Christ, and in effect commands all men to repent, that they may believe in him. And whosoever do refuse to repent of their bygone fins, are guilty of disobedience to this command given to all hearers, but especially to these that are within the visible church: For this is his commandment, that ' we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ,' faith he.
4. That he who obeyeth this commandment, hath built his salvation on a solid ground; For, first, He hath found the promised Messiah, compleatly furnished with all perfections unto the perfect execution of the offices of prophet, prieft, and king; for he is that Christ, in whom the man doth believe. 2. He hath embraced a Saviour, who is able to save to the uttermost, yea, and who doth effectually save, every one that cometh to God through him: for he is Jesus, the true Saviour of his people from their fins. 3. He that obeyeth this command, hath built his salvation on the rock, that is, on the Son of God, to whom it is no robbery to be called equal to the Father, and who is worthy to be the object of saving faith, and of spiritual worship: for this is his command (faith he) that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ.'
5. That he who hath believed on Jesus Christ (though he be freed from the curse of the law) is not freed from the command and obedience of the law, but tied thereunto by a new obligation, and a new command from Chrift: which new command from Christ importeth help to obey the command: unto which command from Christ, the Father addeth his authority and command also;' For this is his commandment (faith John) • that we believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love
one another, as he hath commanded us. The first part of which command, injoining belief in him, necessarily implieth love to God, and so obedience to the first table; for believing in God, and loving God, are inseparable, and the second part of the command injoineth love to our neighbour, (especially to the houshold of faith) and so obedience to the second table of the law.
Hence may a weak believer strengthen himself, by reasoning from this ground after this manner;
“ Whosoever in the sense of his owu sinfulness and fear “ of God's wrath, at the command of God, is fled to Jesus “ Christ, the only remedy of sin and misery, and hath en
gaged his heart to the obedience of the law of love, his • faith is not presumptuous or dead, but true and saving
“But I, (may the weak believer say) in the sense of my “ own sinfulness, and fear of God's wrath, am fled to Jesus “ Christ, the only remedy of fin and misery, and have engage “ ed my heart to the obedience of the law of love.
“ Therefore my faith is not a presumptuous and dead faith, “but true and saving faith.”
The fourth warrant and special motive to believe in Chrift, is
much assurance of life given, in case men shall obey the command of believing; and a fearful certification of destructie on, in case they obey not; holden forth, John iii. 35.
THE Father loveth the Son, and bath given all things into his hand. -ver. 36. He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life ; and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Wherein are holden forth to us these five following doctrines;
1. That the Father is well satisfied with the undertakings of the Son, entered Redeemer and surety to pay the ransom of believers, and to perfect them in holiness and falvacion. • The Father loveth the Son,' faith he; viz, as he standeth Mediator in our name, undertaking to perfect our redemption in all points: The Father loveth him, that is, doth hearti
ly oly accept his offer to do the work, and is well pleased with
him; his soul delightech in him, and resteth upon him, and maketh him, in this his office, the • Receptacle of love and
grace and good-will,' to be conveyed by him to believers in him.
2. That, for fulfilling of the covenant of redemption, the Father hath given to the Son (as he standeth in the capacity of the Mediator, or as he is God incarnate, the word made flesh) 'all authority in heaven and earth, all furniture of the riches of grace, and of spirit and life, with all power and ability, which the union of the divine nature with the human, or which the fulness of the Godhead dwelling substantially in his human nature, or which the indivisible all-sufficiency and omnipotency of the inseparable, every where present Trinity doch import, or the work of redemption can require; · The Fa• ther (faith he) hath given all things into the Son's hand, to wit, for accomplishing his work. 3.
Great assurance of life is holden forth to all, who shall heartily receive Christ, and the offer of the covenant of grace and reconciliation through him: “He that believeth on the • Son (faith he) hath everlasting life;' for it is made fast unto him, 1. In God's purpose and irrevocable decree, as the believer is a man elected to life. 2. By effectual calling of him unto life by God, who, as he is faithful, so will he do it. 3. By promise and everlasting covenant, sworn by God, to give the believer strong consolation in life and death, upon immutable grounds. 4. By a pawn and infeftment under the great seal of the sacrament of the Lord's supper, so oft as the believer shall come to receive the symbols and pledges of life. 5. In Christ the fountain and head of life, who is entered in possession, as attorney for believers; in whom our life is so laid up, that it cannot be taken away. 6. By begun possession of spiritual life and regeneration, and a kingdom consisting in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, erected within the believer, as earnest of the full possession of everlasting life.
4. A fearful certification is given, if a man receive not the doctrine concerning righteousness and eternal life to be had by Jesus Christ; · He that believes not the Son, shall not see life,' that is, not so much as understand what it meaneth.
He further certifieth, that, if a man receive not the doctrine of the Son of God, he shall be burdened twice with the wrath of God; once as a born rebel by nature, he thall bear the curse of the law, or the covenant of works; and next he shall endure a greater condemnation, in respect that light being come into the world, and offered to him, he hath rejected it, and loveth darkness rather than light: and this double wrath shall be fastened and fixed immoveably upon him, so long as he remaineth in the condition of misbelief; · The « wrath of God abideth on him,' faith he.
Hence may the weak believer strengthen his faith, by reasoring from this ground after this manner;
“ Whosoever believeth the doctrine delivered by the Son “ of God, and findeth himself partly drawn powerfully to be“ lieve in him, by the light of life in him, and partly driven,
by the fear of God's wrath, to adhere unto him, may be “ sure of right and interest to life eternal through him.
“ But sinful and unworthy I (may the weak believer say) “ do believe the doctrine delivered by tbe Son of God, and “ do feel myself partly drawn, powerfully to believe in him,
by the sight of life in him; and partly driven, by the fear " of God's wrath, to adhere unto him. ." Therefore I may be sure of my right and interest unto eternal life through him.”
The EVIDENCES of true FAITH.
O much for the laying the grounds of faith, and warrants
to believe. Now, for evidencing of true faith by fruits, these four things are requisite; 1. That the believer be soundly convinced in his judgment, of his obligation to keep the
whole moral law, all the days of his life; and that not the less, but so much the more, as he is delivered by Christ from the covenant of works, and curse of the law. 2. That he endeavour to grow in the exercise and daily practice of godliness and righteoufnefs. 3. That the course of his new obedience run in the right channel, that is, through fajth in Christ, and through a good conscience, to all the duties of love towards God and man. 4. That he keep strait coinmunion with the fountain Christ Jesus, from whom grace must run along, for furnishing of good fruits.
For the first, viz. To convince the believer, in his judgment,
of his obligation to keep the moral law, among many palsages, take Matth. v. 16,
LET your light so shine before men, that they may fee your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Ver. 17. Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Ver. 18. For verily I say unto you, till beaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Ver. 19.Whosoever therefore Mall break one of these least commandments, and spall teach men fo, be shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever fall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of beaven. Ver. 20. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness fall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, zemall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven,
Wherein our Lord, 1. Giveth commandment to believers, justified by faith, to give evidence of the grace of God in them, before men, by doing good works; 'Let your light so shine before men, (faith he) that they may see your good works.'
2. He inducech thein so to do, by lhewing, that albeit they be not justified by works, yet spectators of their good works may be converted or edified; and so glory may redonvd to God