« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
word, he was invested a Mediacor with his triple office, of Priest, and Prophet, and King, co be, and to do all this for fuch as are telievers.
Thou docft not mistake thy self, nor misconceive of God or Chrift, when thou goeft to the Lord Jesus in any of thy ftrcics, then to be a Prieit for thee, or to be a Propher for thee, or to be a King uoco chee. Ono, God hath appointed bim to be the Sa. viour of his body, to be the head of bis Church, and Christ,who was thus ably invested, is as willing and faichful to discharge and performe.
3. These things being to be known and granted, there followes in the third place the conjunction of ebefe etro togerber,which indeed is the very living by faith upon Cbrift.
When che fool is in any esigence, and comes to Christ, and puts it self upon bim, and crafts to him
for help, this is to live by faith on Christ. Suppose a person sensible of much guile, many sinful commissions, or omissions lay heavy and fore upon him; he is grieved at heart that he hath lo dishonoured God, take chem off he is not able, and therefore he renouncech all in him. self, to Christ he goes and faich thus, Oblessed Lord Jesus, tbou didst shed thy precious blood for the remission of finnes, chou hast offered me thy self, and all thy precious purchales and benefits; I have by faich accepted of chee, of chée alone, with all my soul to be my Lord and Saviour ; Now none in heaven or carb can procure me the pardon of chefe fins, but thy felf, and chou canst do it; I beseech thee chat chy blood may be niveatonement touby father; yea, I will, and do caft my soul upon thee, thee alone, for the pardon, and I will crust unto thee for The discharge, i of my many, of aN my transgressions; Thy blood is the price that I will trult to, and reft upon. This is to live by faith in Christ in that particular; yea, though the sense of guilt be great, and the croch of it ondeniable, yet to believe che pardon in Christ, and co offer his fatisfactions;yca, to advca. tore, and to roll the soul upon him for it, for Chrift bath called me, and he hath said that he will cafe me, &c.
So againe, suppose that thou feeleft corruptions strongly working, and cenipeations grievously assaulting, now to live by faith on Christ is to come unto him, (.knowing the Kingly power of his grace ) and to beseech him to lubdųe iniquities for
thee; and to send forth the rod of his Scepter, the power of his gracious Spirit, to mortifie chy lusts yer more, and to trust #pon him, chat he will do this for thee, and therefore thou wilt apply thy self, with patience and confidence to the use of all consecrated waj'es and meanes, through which Chrift will manifeft tbal power unto tby foull shark Godsbrough Jesus Cbrift laid Past, Rom.7. As if he should say, I am not able for my life to root out, to bear down these vilc motions, but I cart my self upon Jesus Chrift, I trufi unte bim, and verily beleeve he will deliver me; che like may be said of all the other exigences, but I cannot repeat all.
Consider that the habit or quality of fajch is one thing, and the use or exercise of faith is another thing; the soul then lives by faitb on Christ, when it improves its interest in Chrift, when ic can trust to him to supply allics wants; a man is said to live by bread, not when he hach it in his Cupboard, but wben he takes and eates it; and a man is-said to live upon bis money, not when he lets it to lie dead in his chest, but wben be turngs and windes it for his benefit and support. So here, to live by faith on Chrift, is co far faich to work, my works are in my self, but the supplies of my soul are in Christ; as I go to divine providence, and put my self on its faithful powerful goodnesse formy body,
so I poft go to the Lord Jesus, and put my self on his gracious and cercaine fulnclle for my soul.
Yet observe a few things, for the clearer opening of this.
1. To live by faith on Chrift, it is more then a meere complaining of our Wants, or an acknowledging of bis folwefle. To fee scarsity in the house, and plenty in the Market, chis may be, and it may be vaine, unlesle we go forth co ferch in the promises.
Whiles the soul keeps home, it lives not by faith : The life of faith lies abroad: a man may have grace to fee bis wants, and yet he lives not by faich, till he can get out onto Chrift. i will go to the Prophes, to the man of God, said the woman who had a troubled spirit for Aer dead cbild: Yea, this recovered her child againe : if I can but touch the bem of bis garment I foull be whole, said Hae in the Gospel; you must bring the pitcher to the well, if you will have water; and the childcs mouth must be applied to
the breast, if it would have milk; and the soul must go into Christ, it must approach unto him, or else it is but a fruitlesse trouble, it is not a living by faith on him.
2. To live by faith on Christ, it is more then a meer going to Chrift, though the motion of the soul out of it self
be required yer cbst alone is not sufficient. If I go to a man for to lend me an hundred pound, it either I will not speak to him, or trust him. this is labour loft; so, though we do addresse our selves to Chrift for help, but will not crust upon him for supply, this is not yet to live by faith. For,
The life of faith on Cbrist is raised by three things.
Thirdly, his faithfulnesse, and all these enduce the soul to truft unto him: he is able enough; Ergo, I will trust him; he is ready enough, therefore I will crust him; he is faithful, and will cercainly do me good, therefore I will trust him. So that to live by faith, it is to live by trust; one is said to live by trust when he hath nothing from another, but his word, or his bond, I think him honeft, or I have him faft bound, therefore I will trust him, Thog haft che Word of Christ, and the Promise of Christ, wbich is a fure truth; to which, if thou doeft cruft, thou docft live by faith. If1 feel and do nor complaine, if i complaine and do not pray, if I pray and do not croft, this is not yet to live by faith; fo farre as I can trust upon Chrift,cbat he will supply and help my soul, so farre I do live by faith.
3. Nay, Thirdly, to' live by faith, is not onely to trust upon Christ for supply, but it is to expect the performunce,
There is a great difference 'ewixt the life of sense, and the life of faith: Sense is opposite to expectation; it is only for the present; what it bath, hac makes it up, ic lives upon no stock but that in band, but faith reckons its eftare more from what lies in bonds, chen what the perfor findes in the purse : It findes the greatest part of the souls estate, yet in the promises, and yet in Christ
, and in both graciously, and assuredly undertaken; where upon ic doth make the soul not only to go to Christ, but to trust him, and not only fo, but to expect and waite patiently; be dozle hear me, he will do we good, be will not suffer fin to have dominion,
he will send forthobe rod of bis power, he will make all grace to as bound, he will not leave mor forsake me, he will farisfic for me, his interce sijon shall be effe&ual, I shall yet feel the power of bis deach,che vertue of bis refurre&tion,
As to pray and not to trust, ro to trust and not to expect, to trust and then to murmur, co trust and ro untrust, whiles we are speakir g, to get the soul to put it selfe upon Cbrift, and before we have done speaking, to pluck of the fou! againe, to deface our own scaling, to caft away our confidence, this is ill, very
It is true that the acts of faith are capable of weaknefe, and also of opposition, one man may more confidently: rust and ex pe&t, and another lefse; sometimes the same man is more pure and high in the act of trusting, and sometimes be bach much a. do with his heart, to get it to roll it self on Christ; but yet he doth do it against many feares, and againf many corrupe reasonings; now he lives by faith, but then know it is an ill bofjpelle instantly to reverse the acts of faith, faine in it, or but to fufpe& Jesus Chrift himself, either in bis power,or goodnefle,or truth.
Fourebly,có live by faith on Chrift, it is an extensive work, it is to croft on him, nor for one thing only, but for everything, wbich concerns the state of the soul. The soul is a needy ching, naturally it isso, and so it is spiritually; either it needs grace, or more grace, or ftrength, or comfort, or peace, or mercy, and pardon, fomething or other it wants; now Christ is an adequate Tupply to the soul, he bach grace enough, and righteousneffe enough, and power enough, and peace, and plenteous redempcia on : Now then as our wants appear, or as they multiply, so must faith appear and abound in its a&s, if we will be said to live by faith.
I will be righteousnesse to thee faith Christ, and I will trust upon chee for it saith faith; I will be landification to chec faith : Christ, and I will trustapon thee for it faith faith ; laill be redemption to thec faith Christ, and I will trust unto thee for that too, saith faith; yea, I will trust upon thee to be my continu. al propitiation, continual intercession, to be my continual sufficicncy and strength, for more grace, for quickning, for comfort,-for salvation, for all.
Doth corruption work againe and I will to Chrift againe to Subdae it, he will do it for me; doth Satan renew his temptations and I will renew my addresses to Cbrist, who will again, (I trust) brwise him under my feet; my comforts are gone, buc I will to Chrift, I will live upon him, be will come again and then my joy shall be full.
And indeed the life of faith, as it is a multiplicd work, ( for it makes the soul to live upon Christ for its manifold grace, ) so ic is a repeated work, it leads on the soul often and often even for ebe same kinds of fupplies.
Obj. O faith the soul, I did go co Christ, and did beseech him to rebuke Satan, and I trusted on him, and followed my fuit , and found it so; but now Saran cempts again, now fin works again, now my heart is down again, dull and dead, and feeble again.
Anfo I say to such an onc, to live by faieb, isto keep house with Cbrißt, it is to be a daily guest; it is to relic upon him it is so ofcen to come as we have need, it is to draw water often from the same fountain : As if Chrik did say to a person, whatsoever chy' soul deeds, come to me for it, and whensoever, yet come I will do it for thee, and the heart goes confidently to the Lord of içs life, and hope ofics salvacion,
to get faith in Christ, but also to live by it?
Soh They are so many, that I know not well where to be gin.
. First, if we consider our own condition, this might put us upon the:: hife of faith:
First, the life of faith is congruous to our condition:for what is ouro condition, but a depending being, such a being as lublifts upon, and by another? Take us as creatures, and so we are but beames of ligbe
, which: the lunae lecs foreb, fupports, contracts, drawes ia; We are >