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as Efau and Jacob did in Rebecca's womb; and making us complain, The good that I would do, if it cost me nothing, I do not : but the evil I would not, that I do. Thus with his mind, his rational powers, the carnal penitent ferves the law of God, by good, though ineffe&tual resolutions; but with his flesh, his carnal appetites, he serves the law of fin, by bad, tho' lamented performances.
Faith does not struggle into birth without her coeval child and constant partner, hope. When faith fails, despair groans, 0 wretched man that I am ! Who fhall deliver me? But when faith revives, hope lifts up her head, and cries, I thank God, there is deli. verance through Jesus Christ our Lord. Thus we go on falling and riling, dying and reviving, till we are quite tired of the fins, which hinder us from welcoming the saving truth with a more cordial embrace; and when we do this, our faith is unfeigned; the Lord fets to it the broad feal of his
power; it proves victorious; we enter into gospel-liberty, and initead of the old note, Who shall deliver me? We fing, Chrift hath delivered us from the curse of the law of fin, as well as from the curse of the law of innocence, and of the ceremonial law. There is no condemnation to them that believe, and walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
The manner, in which this deliverance is generally wrought, may be more particularly described thus. Free grace, at fundry times, and in divers manners, speaks to our consciences; recommending and enforcing the word nigh, the commandment that is everlafting life. If it is the day of provocation, we unnecessarily begin to make excufe : we CANNOT come to the marriage feast: we are either too good, too bad, or too busy to entertain the truth; and we say as
civilly as Felix, Go thy way for this time, when I shall be filter, or when I shall have a more convenient feason, I will call for thee. Perhaps we perversely harden our hearts, contradicting, or blafpheming. But if our frecwilling foul know's the time of her viftation; humbly
bowing at the word of the Lord, and saying as the Virgin Mary, Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to thy WORD: I am a loft finner, but there is merey with thee that thou mayst be feared; then the feed of the kingdom, the word of God, is received in an honest and good heart ; for nothing is wanting io render the heart initially good and honelt, but the sincere submission of our free will 10 that free grace, which courts us and says: Behold! I ftand at the door of every heart and knock; if ANY MAN hear my voice and open, I will come in and fup with him, and he with me; he shall taste how good the Lord is, he shall taste the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.
Thus opens the kingdom of God in the believ. irig soul : thus is Christ, the truth and the life, formed in ihe heart by faith : Thus grace begins to REIGN thro' righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ.
I call that faith faving and OPERATIVE, because, so long as it lives, it faves ; and so long as it saves, it works righteousness-it WORKS by a righteous fear of the evil denounced against fin; by a righteous opposition to every known sin; by a righteous hope of the good promised to obedience; and by a righteous love of God. Therefore, when living faith ceases to work, it dies away, as the heart that ceases to beat; it goes out, as a canole that ceases to thine.
" But, upon this footing, what becomes of the 66 modish do&trine of a faith without frame and feel. 66 ing."-If the ministers, who recommend such a faith, mean that we must set our heart, as a seal, to the gospel truths adapted to our present state, and stamp them with all our might; not considering whether our fallen nature and carnal reason relih them, they maintain a great truth, which cannot be too much urged upon tempted, and despairing fouls. But if they mean, that we must believe ourselves unconditionally elected to glory, be the frame of our minds ever so carnal, and the feelings of our hearts ever so worldly, they destroy the health
of the daughter of God's people, with aš rank poison as ever grew in spiritual Egypt. no judge of what passes in the breast of those gentlemen ; but, for
my part, I never FEEL faith more strongly at work, than when I wrestle not only with flesh and blood, but with the banded powers of darkness.
* None but a dead man is quite destitute of 6c frame and feeling :: It is not a real flame that neither warms in winter, nor shines in the dark. The moment a light is not, in its degree, able to triumph over darkness, and even to turn it into light, it ceases to be a true light. You may see in Windsor-caftle a candle most exquisitely painted; it fines as stedfastly as Mr. Fulsome believes. Was the coloured canvas as loquacious as that Antinomian hero, it might say, “ I shine without feeling," but even then, Mr. Fulsome's faith would have the pre-eminence; for, if we credit him, it hines, without either “ frame or feeling.” How absurd is Solifidianism! How dangerous ! If any man can shew me a true light, that actually emits no beams, I will repent of the ridicule I cast upon the dotages, which make way for a "justifying faith” that works by adultery and murder; an illsmelling candle this, which 'burns in the breasts of apostates, to the honour of him, that kindled it at the fire of tophet-an infernal candle, sending forth darkness instead of light, and so far benighting the good men, who follow it, that they look upon it as the inextinguishable candle of the Lord, and upon 6 sincere obedience" as a “ jack o' lanthorn."
The REASONABleness of the do&trine of salvation by faith is farther evinced by a variety of arguments. How much we are indebted to the Solifdians, for hav
ing firmly food up in defence of FAITH : How dearly
is qualified by some shades. SHO
HOULD some readers Aill think, that it is un-
upon it than upon the other works and graces, which adorn the life and character of a Christian ; to remove their scruples, and to vindi. cate more fully the fundamental do&rine of falvation by faith, I present them with the following remarks.
(1) If true Faith is the root that produces hope, love and sincere obedience, is it not reasonable principally to urge the necessity of believing aright? The end of all preaching is undoubtedly to plant the tree of evangelical obedience ; and how can that tree be planted, but by its root ? Was a gardener ever charged with unreasonableness, for not letting a tree by the branches ?
(2) If faith working by love is the heart of true religion, should we noi bestow our chief attention and care upon it? Suppofe you were a physician, and attended a patient, who had an impostume in his stomach and another on his hand; would you do honour to your skill, is overlooking the internal mischief, you confined your attention to the exernal ulcer?
If the scripture declares four times, that the just shalb live by his FAITH, a declaration this, which St. Paul confirms by his own experience, when he says, I live by FAITH ; is it not evident, that when we practically reject the doctrine of faith, we reject life, together with all the blessings which are brought 10 light by the gospel; a gospel disbelieved being undoubtedly a gospel REJECTED, (4) If Abraham, by not flaggering at the promise of
God through UNBELIEF, and by being strong in raļTH, gave glory to God, and did fet his feal that God is true: if
you cannot honour a superior more, than by receiving his every word with respectful confidence, and moving at his every beck with obedient alacri. ty: and if faith thus honours God, why should you refuse it the first place among the
which support and adorn the church militant ? Especially since the Lord declares, that the PURE in HEART fhall fee God, and that our HEARTS are PURIFIED by FAITH ? Land since the scriptures teftify, that without HOLINESS no man shall see the Lord, and that we are SANCTIFIED through faith that is in him ?
(5) All fulness dwells in God : creatures abstracted from the divine plenitude are mere emptiness. Ralional creatures, in their most perfe& ftate, are oniy moral vessels filled with the grace of God, and reflecting the light of divine truth. Now if we can be saved
other way but by grace through obedient faith, i, e. by freely receiving the grace and light of God,' through the practical belief of the truth proposed to us :if we are in any degree saved by our proper merit through farthlefs works; we may indulge Pharisaic boasting. But, God does not so give his glory to human worms: therefore such a boasting is excluded by the law of faith; and the apostle wilely observes, that salvation is of FAITH, that it might be by GRACE ; the justifying faith of finners always implying a cordial acknowledgment of their fin and misery, and an hearty recourse to the tender mercy of our God whereby the day-spring from on high has visited ús +more or less clearly, according to the dispensation we are under,
(6) The + To establish the doctrine of the gospel-difpensations, to show that saving truth, in its various manifestations, is the object of saving faith, I need only prove, that a man, in order to his salva. tion, is bound to believe at one time, what he was not bound to believe at another. Take one instance out of many. If St. Pe. ter had died just after he had been pronounced blessed for acknow. ledging, that our Lord was the Son of God, he could not have been cursed with a “ Depart from me," &c, he would have been faved: