lief? Heb. iii. 12. "Take heed, brethren, left there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." Therefore it is by believing we draw near (Greek, come) to God. This is the great uniting grace which joins a finner to the Lord while in this world. How can we come to God, but by believing? for this drawing near is a fpiritual motion of the foul. Our fouls indeed move towards God in fpiritual defires; but if thefe be not completed by faith, which is the comprehenfive motion, the foul ftill ftands off from God. So alfo in love, this is fet a-going by faith, and its motion is towards God, when the foul is brought near to God by faith: 1 John, iv. 16. " And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."

Now, the object of faith is Jefus Christ held forth in the word of the gofpel, in whom the fulnefs of the Godhead dwells bodily, that is to fay, God in Chrift. See the fum of the gofpel, 2 Cor. v. 18. 19. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jefus Chrift, and hath given to us the miniftry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Chrift, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trefpaffes unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." Faith does not ftand ftill in the vail, that is, his flesh, but goes through the vail, Heb. x. 20. to the Godhead, that is, within it, and there, only there, it refts, or can rest. Now, the perfons of the Trinity being one, he who believeth in Chrift the Son, believeth in the Father and the Holy Ghoft: John, xiv. 9. "He that hath feen me," faid Jefus," hath feen the Father." More particularly, that you may take

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your aim right in this matter, I think drawing near by faith lies in three things, namely,

1. It lies in accepting God for our God in Christ. I fay in Chrift, for no other way have we him offered to us, nor can a foul in any other way accept him; out of Chrift, he is a confuming fire. Thus, from the mercy-feat in Chrift he offers the covenant, which faith accepts: Heb. viii. 10. For this is the covenant that I will make with the houfe of Ifrael after thofe days, faith the Lord: I will put my laws in their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they fhall be to me a people." And there, even in Chrift, the foul takes him for its God, and gives itself away to him: Ifa. xliv. 5. "One fhall fay, I am the Lord's, and another fhall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another fhall fubfcribe with his hand unto the Lord, and furname himself by the name of Ifrael." Thus the finner is joined to God in Chrift by a marriage-union: Ifa. liv. 5. " For thy Maker is thy Hufband." (Heb. thy Makers is thy hufband). 2 Cor. vi. 16. " For ye are the temple of the living God as God hath faid, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they fhall be my people;" and then we are near indeed. Drawing near by faith lies,

2. In claiming God for our God in Chrift. This is the very proper work of faith: Pfal. xvi. 2. "O my foul, thou haft faid unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord," at all times, but efpecially at a communion-table. What fays the Lord to the foul then, but as he did to Thomas? John, xx. 27. "Be not faithlefs, but believing." Let us draw near, then, by faith, and anfwer, ver. 28. " My Lord, and my God." Faith has the word of the everlafting covenant to bear it out in its claim; it has


the Redeemer's blood, which is the bleffed cement to knit a believer to a holy God. In the facrament, the body of Christ, in which dwells the fulnefs of the Godhead, is really and truly prefented to their faith, by and with the facred fymbols. Is any thing more natural than that faith should claim as its own the gift which is thus put into its hand?--Drawing near by faith lies,

3. In improving according to our neceffities, for time and eternity, the intereft in God thus claimed, as in Pfal. cxix. 94. " I am thine, save me,” and throughout that pfalm. Thus the foul feeds. by faith, when perfons fuck in the fap of the fruits growing on the tree of life, when by faith they fit under his fhadow; and this plainly lies in confidence and trust in our God for all, according to his word. It lies in believing the promifes of the everlasting covenant, founded and ratified in the blood of Chrift; not as devils may believe them, namely, that they fhall be made out to fome perfon, but believing them with application, namely, that they fhall be made out to me, believing over the belly of devils, and all the mass of vileness, filthiness, and unworthiness which hangs about me. Believers should say, as in Gal. ii. 20. "I am crucified with Chrift. Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me," &c.

It is the two last of these, I think, that the apostle here chiefly aims at, fuppofing the first as the attainment of his Chriftian Hebrews.

IN difcourfing farther on this fubject, I intend -To offer fome directions-To propose some cases and questions, and-To offer fuitable answers. As to the directions, I begin with this,

1. Draw near with a true heart to God. If we come not with the heart, we do not come to God in a fuitable manner. To draw near to God,


is foul-work, heart-work; if, therefore, we come not with a true heart, we come not at all to him. A false heart in the matter of covenanting to God, is no heart, is at best but a half-heart to it; and this is no heart in God's account: Prov. xvii. 16. "Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart in it ?" If you have not a heart for God in Chrift, you will not get near him. Before Julius Cæfar was murdered, having flain a fat ox for a facrifice, the heart was not to be found among the entrails. That communicant in whom a heart for the Lord is wanting, will doubtlefs be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord this day. Heartlefs facrifices involve murder. A true heart is not a finlefs heart, but a fincere heart. Let us draw near,. then, with a fincere heart. Sincerity is not a fingle grace, but it is the fum and foul of all the graces. Take it away from faith itself, and it is but a dead grace, as in Simon Magus, and those in John, ii. 23. 24. "Now, when he was in Jerufalem at the paffover, in the feaft-day, many believed in his name, when they faw the miracles which he did. But Jefus did not commit himself to them, becaufe he knew all men." Sincerity is like the string in the beads about a perfon's neck; when this is broke, then they fall all to the ground. We need not, however, feek this truth of heart through all the graces, for it is principally the truth of faith which is here meant; it is believing, which is in its nature our drawing near to God; and fo it may be explained by what you have in Rom. x. 9. 10. " If thou fhalt confefs with thy mouth the Lord Jefus, and fhalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou fhalt be faved; for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth


confeffion is made unto falvation." Poor foul! if thou be coming back to thy great Mafter, though even laden with the ftolen goods you ran away with from him, though you dare not fay you are an honeft fervant, yet if you dare fay before the Lord, you are honeftly_returning back again, then we may fay to you, Draw near, and welcome. But here, perhaps fome will propose this

QUESTION. In what does the truth of our drawing near to God, or the fincerity of faith, confift? For anfwer, I would obferve a few things.

1. The foul draws near to God with a true heart, when it comes to God only in the true way, through the rent veil of Chrift's flesh; that is, when the foul has no confidence in believing, but in the blood of Chrift: Phil. iii. 3. "For we are the circumcifion which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jefus, and have no confidence in the flesh." The perfon will ftop eyes and ears, and fay, I cannot look on God but as in Chrift, I defire to hear none other, I have nothing whatever of my own to recommend me to Christ. Though perhaps the beggar-raiment of their reformation of life, what they have done and suffered for the caufe of Christ, their earnest prayers, deep exercise, bitter tears for fin, and the like, look as well, and probably better than those of many of their neighbours; yet they dare not for their fouls bring a rag of them with them, to cover or commend them before the Lord; but they leave them, yea, flee out of them, and from them, as abfolutely naked, to the Lord Jefus himself, to get a covering under his righteousness.

2. The foul draws near to God with a true heart,

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