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I confesle there are severall degrees of this sensiblenesse; neither dare I to asligne the height and laticude of ie unto the tearmes of horror and terror, (that is ) chat a person must be alwayes and necessarily anguished with extremities of amazement and dejections, before he can believe in Christ: No, though these Marp tbrowes are manifeft in some, yet I dare not make them a rule for all: only this I say,thac che heart believes not it looks not towards Christ, till it feel it felf to be finful, and loft by reason of fin; and that there is no possibility of lublistence in it self: And now there is room for faith when I feel my self a finner; now there is reason for me to look upona Saviour, and when I am sensible of my own vilexe (fe; now is there reason to look upon another righ connesse; and when I perceive my own loftness, now is there cause to look after that falvation which God hath put in the Lord 7elms Christ.
Me thinks that of Christ, he came not to call tbe righteous, but finners, that he is sent to finde that which is lost, that the whole need not a Physician,buz ele fick; that he is sent to preach liberty to the captives, do abundancly confirme this truch: Yea, and our own experiences gives in a clear evidence, that not only in che beginning, but in the progresle of our conversion, our eyes are then most upon Christ, co look after bim, and to prize him when we are most sensibly acquainted with our own sinfulnesse, and miserablenesle of condition.
*He Seat or babitation of faith, is che heart or will : Scrip
Cures are copious in this, Rom. 1o. 10. Wirb ole heart man sedes. believeib unto righteousnese, ciets 8. 37. And Philip said,if thon believest with all ebay beart thou mayes, and he answered and faid', I believe tbat Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Rev, 22. ver. 11. Whosoever will, let him take ehe water of life freely.
There be who distinguish 'cwixc three kindes of faith.
Fift, Credere deum, which is a aniversall and large conception of a God, when the understanding is perlwaded, ( beyond A.
theisme) to believe that there is a God.
Secondly,Credere Deo, and this is such a disposition of the understanding, by which it gives credit or belief to that God, speaking and revealing, as to one who is truth,and cannot lye.
Thirdly, Credere in Deum, which is not only a credence to God, astrue in his Nature and Word; but a reliance on him with the will, and embracing of him and his truth and goodness with the affections.
Now justifying faith, or faith in Chrift, is comprehended in chis latter kinds of believing. For the bercer apprehending of this, observe a few things (viz.) First, the things which God doth propound unto us are of different ends and uses, some are profounded meerly to be known, of which sort some conje&ore many historicall pasages in the Word, and many predi&tions, and many Genealogies; Some are propounded not only to be known, but also to be done, as the Divine Precepts, or Commandmenis; are propounded to be known, and to be avoided, or declined, as all the comminations and threatnings in the Word against finners: Some are propounded to be known, and to be embraced witle the will and affections, of which fore are all the Promises of God, and Jesus Christ our Lord. All those parts of the Word which conteine our good, and our good to be embraced. They have a necessary and naturall reference to the will of man, wbich is planted in us by God, to be conversant about all that which refpe&s our good. Since then Jesus Christ is our good, both pert sonally considered, and also vertually considered; faith therefore as conversant about bim, must naturally be planted in the will. - That there are two parts ( as it were ) of faith.
One is imperfe&, and in compleat, yet is it a necessary ingredient unto faich, and this respects the understanding, when we are supernaturally illigbened, to see the Gospel and Jesus Chrift in it revealed to be a Saviour; yea,and we do affent or acknowledge the same Gospel to be a word of truth, and that whatsoever it doth affirme of Jesus Christ, it is infallibly true, and divinely certaine. The Gospel as the Word of truth, is the object of this, and therefore the underftanding is to apprehend and acknowledge it,
Another is perfect, (I speak of an essential perfection, not of that which is gradual, and intensive,) which cakes in the forniall and vital nature of faith, as justifying: Now this doth not rest, in any operation of the minde, or understanding, buc immediately in the will, for the Gospel conteines both truth and good. 'nesse ; It is the Word of truth, and the Gospel of Salvation. It doch not only make known a Saviour, and chat it is moit certain that he is God and man, and dyed for finners, but it doch offer che goodnesse of this Saviour unto me, which to accepe, apper• taines directly and immediately to the will : That of the ApoAtle me thinks gives some light to the matter in hand, 1Tim.i.is. This is a faithfull saying, and worlby of all acceptation, thar Jesus Christ came into the World 10. save finners.
That Jesus Christ came to save finners, is a truth not to be questioned, and therefore the understanding is to acknowledge the same : And that he came to save finners, is not only a cruch revealed, but a goodnesse offered, and therefore it is worthy of all acceptation; Now as credence of the truch of it appertaines to the understanding, forbe acceptance of the goodnesse of ic doch appercaine co the will: Yea, one word more: it is the proper work of faith, co conjoyne che soul wich Christ, to contract and espouse it, (as it were) but the soul is not conjoyned with Christ by the meer opperation of the understanding, but by the consent of the will; Ergo, faith as justifying, is immediately and formally in the will, and not nakedly in the understanding.
"He proper and genuine act of faith, as juftifying, or as con
versant about Jesus Christ, is accepiance, or receiving. A&us,
Tbis Dodrine Christ bimself doch ceach, and therefore it is true, and sure, John 1. 12. To as many as received bim, be gave power to be the Sons of God, even to as many as believed in bie Name. There you see expresly that believing is the receiving of Chrift, As if God came in these tearmes, I have appointed my Son to be made man, to be a Mediator and Redeemer, and he did live and dye for finners, to procure their peace and salvati.
on. Now I offer his perfon unto you, and with it all the me. rits and benefits purchased by him, cake him in his person, io his offices, and in ail bis vertues, if the heart doch now accept of the Lord Jesus. This is a lively and justifying,and saving belicving.
There are three acts of the soul which are conversant about Cbrift.
First, one is, I know assurediy, That felms Cbrift the Lorais the Saviour of finners. The Papists generally make this the Royal Ađ of Faith, but this cannot be justifying faith,
First this as so, is but a truth apprehended, and not a
Secod received because
Secondly, unbelieving hearts may enjoy this histori
call afsent meerly as allent. 2. Anot ber is, I take this felas Christ to be my Lord and Saviour; Iknow assuredly he is a Lord and Saviour, and he offers him. self unto poor finners, of whom I am chief, and I do accept of him to be my Lord and Saviour: Icast my soul on bim, I rest my
self on bim, my will and heart doch embrace and accept of bim, only to be Lord and Saviour, bim I do, and none but him I do accept.
3. A third is, I know effuredly ebar fesus Christ is my Lord and my Savisur. Myny of the Lwiherans ( and some of our own) bend this way, charthe essentiall and proper Ad of faith as juftifying, is assurance, and to they do define ie, thac it is an affurance, a full alurance, a full perfuafion; whence ic fol. lowes,
That no man believes, until he can truly say I know that Christ is mine , I know that he dyed for me, I know that my finnes are pardoned.
It is not meet to take Armes, and strike our own brethren; who I think in this racher aimed to give us faith in its perfe&i. on,chen in its proper and fubftantial nature. ị : These things must needs be confeffet.
1. That the assurance of faith may be possibly attained unto:God bath exhorted Christiaus to strive after asurance, yea, full affuso rance; yea, the riches of full af urance, and no doubt, that not one
ly Paul, but many a good Christian can say,( some time or acher ) I am verily perswaded, and that Christ loved me, and gave himself for me.
" 2. Thar the assurance of faith is a moft heavenly and comfortable condition. The heavenly fweernelle and divine solice cotcentment, affection ! When I do not only poflefle Christ, but I know that I do pofseffe him. When I do not only take him to be mine, but fee him to be mine; when he saith to me, Be of good cheer, it is 1; 1,0; be of good comfort, 'r by fins are forgiven ibee.
Thirdly, that believers Thould Arive after this afluranee chey should not rest in the meer acceptance, bue fhould contend in praser, for the evidence, and refcation of this faith, thac Chrift is theirs, and they know him assuredly to be theirs. For though the estate of meere believing, is fure, yet that of assurance is comfortable. That is a true day, when the sun is rising, but when it comes to the highest, the day is now glorious. Yer this I deny, chat assurance (I mean, that' reflexive perfwasion that Christ is mine ) is che esenciail or proper ad of faith, that faith is not faith unlefle it be assurance.
There are two ads of faith.
One without which faith cannot be justifying faith, and this is
Another, which in cime faith may produce; and so assurance
O how many souls are there who prize none in the world like