Изображения страниц

no Itead.

But bow did it appears that this faith was dead? did it not speak many good words? yes, faith Saint Jamess

. It gave good words, preteria ,nihil, no good works ; It could lay to the poore, be ye cloathed, and be ye Warme, bus gave nothing to cloach or to feed, why? saith he, this mans faith is vaixe (rhac is) be hach not the true quality of faich, and it will stand bim in.

Another was a lively and juftifying faich, It had in it the true nature and property of faith, but bow did chat appear?

The Apostle answers, by Works. You know that there is a great difference 'cwise these two, viz. the justifying of a mans pere lon before God, and the juftifying of a mans faiel before the world: That wbich justifies my person before God, is only faith in Jefus Ckrift; and chat which Justifies (as one particular) my faith before men, not to be a dead, but a living fairb, is the acting of good works. Hence that of Paul, Tit.3 8. This is a faithful saying, and those things I Will that thou affirme conftantly, that they wbich have belesved in God might be careful to maintain good works, shefe ibergs are good and profitable unto men. Righe is the speech of Saint Augustine, fequuniur justificarum though non precedunt joftificandum. As in a clock, che finger makes not the clock to

Auftin. go, but the clock it, and yet the mocion of the finger without thews whether the clock goes within.

So although works do not cause or infuse justifying faith, nor yet cause our Justification, get they do cleerly mani. fest, whether we have such a faich as doch indeed justific, or not. Obj. You will say the work of Faith is to look up,

and to come and to deal with God only; and therefore to breach oue good works which respect men, seems not to be any testimony of faith. Sol. I answer.

1. The Apostle there expressely distinguisherh the lively and the dead fairlo by works ( as if he said ) ic is fo.

2. There is (if you will let me distinguish so) as it were a double ad of faith. One is proper and personal, and this is circumscribed to that



[ocr errors]

Heavenly employment of receiving or presencing in and through

Another is Grateful, and this is extended to the sending
forth of good works. Not as if it were a work of superaroga
?ion; for faith findes the doing of good works under many
commands, and also the rewards of them under many pro-
mises, but because faith sees also a sweet and reasonable e-
quicy, that if God be good to mein Christ, I should be good
to fome for Christs fake. And verily, as the work lesse person
doch not now own Christ by faith, so hereafter Christ will not
own him by mercy, depart from me.

Obj. But yet you will reply, good works cannot be a lure testimony of faith, because many evil men may performe them, and some beleevers have noc wherewithal to do them.

Sol. I answer.

1. Good Works may be fo ftiled, either, Firft, materially, because they are such things as may do good. Secondly, formally, being fealed with all the circumstances which are required to make them good, both for spiritual composition, and Divine acceptation. Now though wick. cd men may performe work's good materially, yel formally they do not , for to make a work formally good, there must be the concurrence of all circumstances, the person must have a good heart,and a good ground, and a good end, and a good Cbriff, 12. Though every Beleever cannot adually do every good work, yet some good works or other he can do: though he cannot give mony, yet be can give prayer, &c. Now think on this ye who bave riches and wealth, aod professe faith on Christ, and yet scarce a person, a poor distressed person can bleffe God for your fruitful faith; nay, the very doing of a small good work, sometimes doch even try all the faith in the foul; a man doch many times beleeve he shall surely want, and impoverish his. estace. if he should be rich in good works.




ar first

Ixthly, true faith doch defire and endeavour after increase :

Help my unbelif, said the unbeleeving father,o Lord increase our fairb said the Disciples. I pray observe a few things.

1. Thac true fait b begins in weakneffe. Like a childe at the first, very tender; or like the lighr, at the first very broken, Presumption being a work of fancy, and borne with its ftrength and perfection, it is fully assured and utterly confident

But facobs ladder bath many steps. 2. That though-it hatb weaknesse, yet it bath life: as the spark of fire, though it be little, yet it is hot, and though the childe be weak, yet it can fuck;, even the weakest faith in Cbrift will be much about Christ, it will be weeping ae bis grave, or washing of bis feet, or looking on his person.

3. There are yet many degrees wanting to faith, either thou canst not be perswaded, or not fully perswaded, or not conftantly perswaded.

4. If che faith be træc and living, it will bend after a rifing.; and that,

First, in respect of its acts, of receiving , trusting , perfwading.

Secondly, in respect of its obje&t , It would yet apprehend more, and feel more of the communion and vertues of Christ. All the preaching in the world doch not increase a false and presumpruous faith, nor doch che administration of the Sacraments adde thereto. But the living, they grow, and he must have more faith, who bath any; Paul would apprehend even as be is apprehended. The soule which hath true faith, would have yet more viđorious yieldings, more stedfast embraciógs, more confident restings, &c. like the childe which sucks and thrives.

[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Eventbly, true faith in Christ and a mournful heart for finne go togerber, Zach 12.10. They fall look mpor me whom they

have pierced, and shall mourne forbim as one mournerb for his only Conne.

There are cwo things which faith will fetch up in the foule, one is love to Christ, another is forroto for finne. There may be a terror without faith, the conscience may be crackt and wounded, but till faich comes, there is no forrow, the soul is not al. tered nor melted; that which melis the soul is kixdxeffe and mercy, and that which fees them is faltbe; if thou doeft caft an eye of Faith on Christ, that eye will have some tears for forced fioning against Christ. You shall finde in Scripture, that true beleevers are characterized by this, 7 hat they be mourners in Sion, and they return with weepings and supplications, and they ponre out Waters before the Lord: and unbelee ving persons are described by bearts of Adamant, of rocks of stone, by bard. ned, by unscosible, by irrelenting bearts; The text faith, that when Cbrift looked on Peter, be went ont and wept bitterly , there is a piercing vertue in a gracious look from Cbrist. The soule which hath been long bumbling it selfe, and much in seeking for mercy, and a good look from heaven, le is (when any gracious manifeftacion of favour darts down) even resolved inio iears: never did the child weep more soberly upon his reconciliation to his loving father, then the beleeving hristian doth mourn in sober sadnesle, when his faith gets to see God reconciled to him in Cbrift, be reades his pardon with tearcs of joy.

There are two parts of sorrow.

One is effential, which consists in a frong displeasure of the will againīt che soul, for sinning against a good God.

Another is contingent, which consists in those dreary teares Aowing into the eyes ; now this is contingent, for when the heart is many times filled with cares, like Davids bottle, yet it may so fall our, that the eyes may be filentio luch expreffions, &c


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

F to beleeve in Jesus Christ be the only Vse 3:
way to be saved, then here is fingular com.
fort to all true beleevers. What Solomon Prov, 3.17,18.
Spake of wisdome, that I say of faith, boer
wages are Wages of pleasant nese ; and ber
parbs are peace. She is a tree of life to them obat

lay bold upon ber, and happy is every one that
reteinerl ber. If this be a happy thing to have the Lord to be
ONT God, (and David judged it to be a superfative happineffe :)
If this be a blessed thing not to be offended as Chrift, o how
sweetly and greatly blested is the condition of a beleeving soul,
which hath God to be its God, Cbrift to be its busband, and bear
ven to be its portion, Faith and Chrift! why!they are the ring,
and che diamond; they are the way and the life; the soul cannot
have fach a prize as Christ, nor such a band as faish; such a
matcb as Cbrijt, nor such a grace to contra& it as faith. Nota
lesteft ebon rhy servant de part in peace, for mixe eges bave feene
aby salvation, said 3 imeon: He may cheerfully lay down his body
in the dust, wbo hath by fairb given up his foule to Chrift.

Bus to descend to some dilind particulars of comfort to the foole which beleeves. truly in the Lord Jesus Christ, obferve.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »