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wanted Goodness to obey his Commandments; for Virtue it is that must raise our Faith, and then reciprocally will our Faith exalt our Virtue. The History of the Blessed Jesus is not design'd for our Amusement, but for our Instruction and Amendment; the Nature and Certainty of the Articles ought to affect us in the highest Degree, and a Life of true Holiness is the genuine Result of our being thus perswaded of the Truth of them, and affected by their Importance : Vastly superior are the Influences of religious above those of any common Faith, when improv'd through God's Grace inco the · very Substance of things hoped for, the very Evidence of things not seen : Thousands of people have with Patience run the Race of a persecuted Life in the stedfast Profession of this Faith, and with Joy embraced the Tortures of the most cruel Deaths in Confirmation of it ; not that the Terms of Credibility were greater then than they are now, we enjoy the same Clearness of Evidence which they did, and were we enrich'd with the same Degree of Sincerity, it would improve into 4
a Principle a Principle of equal Constancy and Fortitude. The Evidence indulged to us is sufficient for all the Purposes of Holy Living ; wherefore then should we expect or desire greater ? It was necessary for the Apostles to see, because they were appointed Witnesses of these Things : It is our Duty to believe without seeing, and therefore it is necessary for us not to fee : Doubts indeed may arise in the Minds of the most sincere ; but the Circumstance which gave Occasion to the Words before us cannot but convince us, that God will be favourable to their Weakness; Slowness of Heart will engage God's Grace to assist its Unbelief, but Hardness of Heart will presumptuously resist it : The Truths of the Gospel are so credibly set forth, that whenever we abate of the Firmness of our Faith, or fall short of the Practice of our Duty, it is not that the Evidence is insufficient, but our Application of it is not hearty and fincere : Would we then so perfectly and without all doubt believe, that our Faith in God's Sight may never be reproved, we must attentively consider whatever is contain'd in Holy Scripture, we must modestly depend upon God for the Establishment of it in Truth and Holiness; remembring, that in this our State of Trial and Imperfection we can know only in part ; that which is perfect will shortly appear, and then that which is in part will be done away : Through Faith alone we must pass unto Vision; and however to see may hereafter be our Happiness, to believe is at present our Duty.
HEB Ê EW s iv. 13. Latter Part. -All things are naked and open unto
the Eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
HE Apostle does here en
deavour to excite the He. T
brews to a strict Adherence and entire Submission to
Christian Faith and Duty, as from other Motives, so particularly from the superior Dignity and Excellence of the Gospel above the Jewish Dispensation ; for if several of the Israelites did not enter into the Land of Promise Vol, I,