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the ministry of the word :c by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.d
II. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein ;e and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands/ trembling at the threatenings,g and embracing the promises of God for this life and" that which is to come.h 38ut the principal acts of saving, faith are, accepting, receiving, and resting upon Chi ist
c Rom. x. 14,17. How then shall ifiey call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
d 1 Pet. ii. 2. As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. Acts xx. 32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give yoa an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Rom. iv. 11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uneircumcised; that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed tmto them also. Luke xvii. 5. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. Rom. i. 16,17. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed, from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
II. e John iv. 42. And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of tho world. 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but (as. it is in truth) the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 John v. 10. He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. Acts xxiv. 14. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets.
/ Rom. xvi. 26. But now is made manifest, and by the scripture of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.
g Isa. lxvi. 2. For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
h Heb. xi. 13. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them,
alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.'
III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong ;k may be often and many ways assailed and weakened, but gets the victory;' growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ,TM who is both the author and finisher of our faith.n
and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 1 Tim. iv. 8. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
i John i. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Acts xvi. 31. And they said, Believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Gal. ii. 30. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Acts xv. 11. But we believe that, through the grace of the Lord, Jesus Christ, we shall be saved even as they.
III. k Heb. v. 13,14. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are full of age, even those who, by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Rom. iv. 19, 20. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb. He staggered not at the promise cf God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. Mat. vi. 30. Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Mat. viii. 10. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, 1 have not found so great faith, no not in Israel.
f Luke xxii. 31, 32. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith foil not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Eph. vi. 16. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 1 John v. 4, 5. For whatsoever is born of God overcomoth the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesns is the Son of God?
m Heb. vi. 11,12. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises. Heb. x. 22. Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Col. ii. 2. That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.
n Heb. xii. 2. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of o,"r
OF REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE.
Repektance unto life is an evangelical grace,a the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.b
II. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filtbiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehension of his mercy tn Christ to such as are penitent; so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God,0 purposing and endeavouring to walk with htm in all the ways of his commandments.d
faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I. a Zech. xii. 10. And I will pour upon the house of David, and* upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. Acts xi. 18. When they heard these things, they held their peace and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
b Luke xxiv. 47. And that repentance and remission of sins should" be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Mark i. 15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Acts xx. 21. Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord, Jesus Christ.
II. c Ezek. xviii. 30, SI. Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God: repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Ezek. xxxvi. 31Then shall ye remember yout own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall rothe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and for your abominations. Isa. xxx. 22. Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shah cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence. Psal. li. 4. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Jer. xxxi. 18,19. I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke : turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord, my God. Surely, after that I was
III. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof,0 which is the act of God's free grace in Christ:1" yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.?
turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh : I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. Joel ii. 12,13. Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning ; and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord, youi God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Amos v. 15. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord, God of hosts, will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Psal. cxix. 128. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. 2 Cor. vii. 11. For behold, this selfsame thing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what acal, yea, what revenge! in all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
d Psal. cxix. 6, 59,106. Then shall I not be ashamed when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. Luke i. 6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless. 2 Kings xxiii. 25. And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.
III. e Ezek. xxxvi. 31, 32. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities, and for yonr abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Ezek. xvi. 61 to 63. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger; and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And fwill establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: that thou mayest remember and bo confounded, and never open thy mouth anymore, because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.
/ Hos. xiv. 2, 4. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. I will heal their backslidmg, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from-him. Rom. iii. 24. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. Eph. i. 7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the- forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. g Luke xiii. 3, 5. I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall
IV. As there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation ;h so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.1
V'. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man's duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins particularly.11
VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereuf;' upon
all likewise perish. I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Acts xvii. 30, 31. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
IV. h Rom. vi. 23. For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Rom. v. la. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Mat. xii. 36. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
i Isa. lv. 7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Rom. viii. 1. There is, therefore, now, no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Isa. i. 16,18. Wash ye, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to do evil. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
V. k Psal. xix. 13. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Luke xix. 8. And Zacclieus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor: and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 1 Tim. i. 13,15. Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious. But I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
VI. / Psal. li. 4, 5, 7, 9,14. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapcn in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: a,nd my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Psal. xxxii. 5,6. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid: I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord: and thou forgwest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that