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God’s testimonies, we realize unseen objects almost as clearly as we do the objects of sight. ... Especially is this the case, since the objects proposed are such as meet the wishes and desires of our hearts. Things hoped for are easily believed ; and things both hoped for and believed, are in a high degree realized. Things which we neither bope for, desire, nor expect; scarcely have an existence in our minds. They are void of any reality, in our daily meditations. But how strongly, and interestedly do we * the darling objects of our belief, and our hone ! - S. only is faith the substance of things hoped for; but it is the evidence of things not seen. So cordially does, it embrace the great system of divine truth, and the things relating to Christ's kingdom, that a little evidence is sufficient for their confirmation. If a man greatly delights in the doctrines, laws and testimonies contained in the holy scriptures; he feels no want of evidence for their support. In the exercise of true faith, the law of the Lord appears to be perfect; and the plan of infinite wisdom and grace, by, which the law is vindicated, and sinners saved, appears to be most glorious. The true believer, feels no need of any greater evidence than he has already, of the truth, of the christian system. He embraces it readily, because his heart is in it. Thus it appears, that, “With the heart, man believeth; unto righteousness.” - , . Of the things which have been stated, this is a summary : That the true cluistian faith is a cordial belief and approbation, of the whole system of revealed truth, as it is recorded and testified in the holy, scriptures: And especially, a most cordial belief and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the plan of redemption, by his atoning blood. For, of all the mysteries revealed in the bible, this is the greatest, and the mostglorious. “With: out controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” Every object or article of the christian faith is, a revealed mystery :


and to the believer, is glorious: . We read of the “mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” To believe and rejoice, and confide in all these mysteries so clearly revealed, is the exercise of evangelical faith. A lively description of this faith we have in these words of the Apostle: “Whom having not seen ye love, in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice, with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” This joy of the Christian faith arises, not so particularly, from any interest of our own, which is secured by it; as from its tendency to glorify God, and to promote the great interests of his kingdom. It arises, not from an apprehension of our being made more worthy of the kingdom of heaven. For a sense of sin and unworthiness constantly increases, in proportion to the increase of the Christian faith. A view of the wonderful work of redemption, by the blood of Christ, and of its glorious fruits, is one of the principal sources of joy and transport, in the hearts of true believers. When the blessed Saviour had finished his ministry among men, he said to the Father, “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” To him, these were sources of unspeakable joy. Faith produces the same mind that was in Christ Jesus; the same joys and the same sorrows, the same temper of heart, and the same line of conduct. “If any man will be my of: or will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Those who are truly humble and self-condemned, who feel justly deserving of eternal misery, notwithstandin

all that they can door suffer in this life; are pleased .# the plan of salvation by the cross of Christ. For this corresponds exactly with the views which they entertain of {j and of themselves. They find, that the law of God, in which they now delight, forbids the exercise of mercy, until it is vindicated and honored, by an infinite sacrifice for sin. They are satisfied and pleased, that God should glorify his justice, as well as his mercy; he the consequences what they may, as respects themselves. and their fellow men. Accordingly, they see all the divine attributes displayed by Jesus Christ. He appears, as he really is, the chief among ten thousand, yea, altogether lovely. -

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1. If faith springs from love; and love is the fulfilling of the law; it follows, that the natural and genuine effect of faith, is holy obedience to the commands of God. Nothing gives, the #. law such a predominating influence upon the heart and life, as the Christian faith, Abraham was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and who, of all the human race, ever yielded such obedience to God? Who, but the Father of all them that believe, was ever found ready and willing, at the divine command, to offer a darling son, and a child of promise, as a burnt sacrifice P “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God.” Every true believer is the friend of God; and of course, obedient to his law. In short, nothing but faith gives security for a holy and obedient life. “Do we then make void the law through faith P God forbid, yea, we establish the law.” Do we, by the doctrine of faith in Christ, render obedience to the law of God unnecessary to salvation P. In what then does the Christian reliion consist? And how does Jesus Christ save his people #. their sins P What, but a holy obedience to God constitutes a moral difference between believers and infidels P Concerning those who profess that they know God, but in works deny him, it is said, that they are “ abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.” 2. It is evident from the discussion of this subject, that evangelical repentance is implied in the Christian faith. In the order of nature, if not of time, repentance must be antecedent to faithin Christ. For no one can possibly be reconciled to Christ, and to the doctrine of salvation by his atoning blood, without real humility of heart, and

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godly sorrow for sin. For, by the vicarious sufferings, and precious blood of Christ, sin is utterly condemned, and the law is magnified and made honorable. The heart that embraces the Saviour by a living and approving faith, must certainly be a penitent and broken heart. True believers are those who accept the punishment of their transgressions, as it is exhibited by the cross of Christ, and justify the law and government of God. But these exercises of heart imply genuine repentance. Thus, in the order of nature, and in fact, repentance precedes evangelical faith, and is preparatory to it. In the order of expression, repentance commonly precedes faith. “Re

nt ye therefore, and believe the gospel.” The Apostle

aul's testimony was Repentance towards God, and then faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ. A believer, in a state of impenitency, is at best, but a mere speculative believer; and a stranger to that faith, by which the heart is purified. Accordingly, the first object of the ministry of John the Baptist was, to inculcate the duty of all men to repent; and this duty was urged expressly, as the necessary qualification of heart, to believe on him that should come after him, that is on Christ. For the same purpose, Christ sent forth his disciples to preach saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The kingdom of heaven was to be inherited by faith; but

not by the faith of a proud, impenitent, self-righteous
and depraved heart.
3. By the doctrine of the Christian faith we learn, that
the distinction between justification by works, and by
faith in Christ, does not consistin believers being releas-
ed from the requirements of the law; but in their being
released from the curse. “Christ hath redeemed us,”
not from the duty of obedience; but “from the curse of
the law, being made a curse for us.” Obedience, in this
case, is necessary to witness our faith in Christ, and our
reconciliation of heart to God; but not to merit the for-
giveness of our sins. The gospel, o it requires
obedience to Christ, is not of the nature of a law, which
requires us to obey and live. The covenant of grace is
widely distinct from the covenant of works, which makes

obedience the sole ground of justification. The gospel is of the nature of a divine testimony, in which we are bound heartily to confide : “And whoever receives this testimony, sets to his seal, that God is true.” Like Abraham, he believes on him that justifies the ungodly; not the impenitent, not the disobedient, not the enemies of Christ, not the unbelieving; but the penitent, the converted, the broken hearted sinner; or, in plain terms, the true believer in Jesus Christ. This man is the only proper subject of forgiveness and salvation. This is the man, whose faith works by love, and whose hope is only in the Lord. “Shew me thy faith, without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

Essay Xx.
Justification by Faith.

HAv1NG attended, in the last essay, to the doctrine of the Christian faith, we may now proceed to an investigation of the doctrine of justification by faith. Justification, in its primary sense, and as a legal term, signifies acquittance from the charge of criminality, or a declaration of innocence. . This is implied in the instruction given by Moses to the judges of Israel. “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.” This is the strict meaning of justification by the law. Had man never apostatized, this would have been the ground of

his justification in the sight of God. On this ground, the

elect angels, who are swift to do the will of God, are justified. This is a legal justification, of which fallen and condemned man can have neither claim nor hope. But in the evangelical sense, the word has a meaning widely different. In this sense, it is called the justifica

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