« ForrigeFortsett »
verance is not the condition of the new covenant, but doth suppose it. There are promises made to the exercise of all graces in Scripture ; but only faith is the condition of the covenant. I fay then, these promises are made to these actings of faith, not as such, but as they do suppose justifying faith, which is the condition of the covenant. All these are actings of faith, but not as it is justifying. Therefore,
(5.) There is somewhat common to all gracious perLons, which may be supposed by all the foresaid actings of faith, wherein the nature and effence of justifying faith ftandeth. And this is the heart's satisfaction concerning God's device of salvation by Christ; when man pleaseth God's invention of satisfaction to justice, through Christ Jesus, in whom all fulness doth dwell now by the Faiber's pleasure; when the soul and heart of man acquiesceth in that, then it believeth unto falvation. first the Lord made man suitable to the covenant of works, by creating him perfect, and fo putting him in a capacity to perform his will in that covenant; so, under the new covenant, when God giveth the new heart to man, he setteth the idea and ftamp of all his device in the new covenant upon the man, so as there is a consonancy to God's will there : thus he beareth the image of the second Adam, Christ Jesus, on him. This is a great part of the new heart, and is most opposed to works ; since now the man absolutely falleth off works, " becoming dead to the law, as to the point of justification, by the body of Christ.” Man perceiving that God hath devised a way of satisfying divine justice, and recovering loft man by the incarnation of Christ, he thinks this fo good and fure a way, that he absolutely giveth up with the law, as I said before, and closeth with this device ; and this is believing or faith, very opposite to works, and all resting thereupon. This cannot fail to be in all gracious perfons, in whom many of the actings of faith are not to be found. This doth clearly suppose known distress in a man, without all relief in himself ; this fupposeth known fulness in Christ, as the alone fufficient relief; this imports a fort of impropriation ; for the heart, pleasing that device, in fo far inclining towards it. This is a thing clearly supposed in all the actings of faith spo. ken of before. He that greedily hungereth, hath this ; and he that leaneth, hath this; and he that puts on Christ, hath this, &c. This is to esteem “ Christ the wisdom and power of God" to falvation ; fo is he said to be to all that believe. They esteem that device wise and sure, beseeming God; and that is to believe. On this account, " Chrift, who is the rejected stone to many, is precious to them who believe ;" a fit stone to recover, fortify, and beautify, the tottering building and fabrick of lost man,
" To whom coming, as unto a living ftone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a fpirijual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual facrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold I lay in Sion a chief Corner.stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious; but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the fame is made the head of the corner ; And a ftone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed. " The kingdom of God is like a man finding a treasure, for which with joy he felleth all." These words hold out the very way of believing, viz. salvation is discovered in the gospel to be by Chrift; the heart valueth that invention as satisfying. This is to believe on the Son of God lifted up; which is compared with the looking to the brazen serpent. : It was man's approbation of that device which made it effectual for his healing ; fo is it here, “ He that so believeth, fetteth to his feal that God is true." True? Wherein? In that record he hath borne, that God hath proved life for men, and placed it all in Christ; “ He that believeth not, maketh God a liar.” Wherein ? In his saying that Christ is a safe and fure way to heaven. This is the
pleasing and acquiescing in that device; and it is confonant to all I know spoken of juftifying faith in Scripture. This is the believing on Christ and on his name, the receiving of him, and resting on him, for falvation, in our Catechism ; the believing that Jefus is the Christ, that is, the anointed One, whom the Father hath fealed, and fet apart, and qualified for the work of reconciling manune. to God; and “ he that believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." This is to 6 believe with the heart that God hath raised Christ from the dead.” The man believeth Christ died, and is raised on the account of fatisfaction for man's transgreffion. Devils may believe that: nay, but the man I speak of “believeth it with “ his heart;” (which no natural man doth, until a new heart be given unto him); that is, he cordially pleaseth, is satisfied with, and acquiesceth in, this noble invention. And thus faith layeth out itfelf now and then in its actings, outgoings, and exercise, according to all the covenant-relations under which Chrift is held forth in the Scripture.
Now, I say, this faith is discernible, not only in these actings many times ; a man may know if his heart doth hunger after Christ, and flee for refuge to him, when pursued ; and if he doth commit himself unto God, but alfo in its very nature : as it is juftifying, it is difcernible, and may be known.
be known. A man may clearly know, if from known distress in himself, upon the report and fame of Christ's fulness, his heart doth please God's device in the new covenant ; if it goeth out after Christ in that invention, and pleaseth him as Lord of the life of men, terminating and resting there, and no where else; acquiefcing in that contrivement with defire and complacency. This is a descernible thing : therefore I entreat men impartially to examine themselves; and if they find that their heart has closed so with that device of falvation, and is gone out after him as precious, that thereupon they conclude a fure and true interest in Christ Jesus, and a good claim and title to the crown since “ he that believeth shall never perish, but have everlasting life."
The difference between the Faith of Hypocrites and true
saving justifying Faith.
Obje&t. HYPOCRITES and reprobates have a sort of faith and are said to believe : “ Many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
But Jesus did not commit himfelf unto them, because he knew all men.". " Then Simon the forcerer him felf believed also," and cannot chufe but go out after Chrift, and that device of salvation, when they hear of it ; and they profefs they do so, yet are deluded, and fo may I be.
Anfw. To say nothing of that thought of your heart, whereby you wonder that any man should not please the device of salvation by Christ, and lead out towards him as a very promising thing, and speaking out justifying faith to be in your bofom ; and, to say nothing in contradiation to that which you think that a natural man, whilft such, and before he gets a new heart, can please that device, and believe with his heart, and affectionately, that which perfeâly overthroweth the covenant of works, and abafeth man in the point of self-righteousness already attained, or that can be attained to by him, which is inconsistent with many fcriptural truths ; I offer these differences between the faith of all hypocrites or reprobates and that true saving justifying faith whereof we have spoken.
11t. They never close with Christ Jesus in that device and him alone, as a fufficient covering of the eyes, as is said of Abraham to Sarah, they still hold fast somewhat of their own, at least to help to procure God's favor and salvation : their heart doth ftill speak, as that young man's speech, doth insinuate, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life ?" Beside that, they do ftill retain their former lovers, and will not break their covenants with hell and death, imagining they may have Christ with these things equally sharing in their heart ; contrary to that, “ A man cannot serve two masters." Either Christ
must be judged absolute Lord, and worthy to be so, or nothing at all ; and so it is clear their heart is not shapen out for that device of salvation by Christ, whom God hath alone made Lord here, in whom all fulness shall dwell. But where justifying faith is, the soul of a man and his heart doth close with Christ, and him alone, "having no confidence in the flesh," he trusteth only in God. Also the man here giveth up with other lovers; as they become rivals of Christ, he resolves « not to be for another.” He calls him Lord," which a man can only do by the spirit of Christ.”
adly. As hypocrites and reprobates do never close with Christ alone, so they do never close with full Christ as he is anointed to be a king, to rule over a man in all things; a Priest, to procure pardon and to make peace for man upon all occasions; a prophet, to be wisdom, and a teacher and counsellor in all cases to man; do not receive Christ, especially in the first and third office. But where true justifying faith is, a man closeth with whole Christ in all his offices, judging all his “ will good, holy, just and spiritual," and "right concerning all things," " making mention of his righteousness only."
The man also giveth up himself to be taught of him; * Learn of me.” So that 6 Christ is made to the true believer, with his own consent, “ wisdom, righteoufnefs, sanctification, and complete redemption.” And although he hath not all these things formally in exercise when his heart goeth out after Christ, yet, upon search and trial, it will be found with him, as I have faid.
3dly. Hypocrites and reprobates do never close with Chrift, and all the inconveniencies that may follow him ; they stick at that with the scribe ; but where true justifying faith is, a man doth close with him on all hazards; he resolveth to forego all rather than to fore
66 We have left all, and to have followed ihee,” “ he reckoneth all to be loss and dung for the excellency of Christ Jesus, as his Lord, and to be found in him."