cxxx. 3, 4. Our consciences are sometimes disturbed with challenges for old sins long since committed, which, according to a similitude that a holy saint of God gives us in his letters, like the ghost of a dead friend, continually haunt to. An old subdued, pardoned sin, may fright one terribly ; we have great need, if I may so speak, of strong faith, to converse without fear with this ghost, the ghost of an old transgression. A sin that is twenty years old may appear as formidable as the devil himself; but if we do not learn to believe and maintain confidence of faith, notwithstanding challenges for sin, who can believe at all 2 Lastly, In case of God’s calling us unto any special piece of service, some special piece of hard, singular work, that we were never called to before ; in this case faith is to be exercised, for help in time of need shall be given us; if the service be required of you, the assistance for it shall be given to you; really the faith of Christians is tried greatly with the change of work that God puts in their hands. They think they have some tolerable measure of faith for their daily and usual work; but if God call them to that they never acted before, to some new singular piece of work, then believing is specially called for, to help out in this time of need; as we are to crave help in all times of need, so we are to crave special help in times of special need; I named these six, as being those in which the life of Christians is mainly spent. Take away the Christian's afflictions and desertions, his temptations, challenges of conscience, delays in promises, and special turns cf God's hand towards him, and pray what is left in a Christian's life, that is so difficult And since our life is spent about these things, we must live by faith, we are to exercise faith in and about all those things, that our life is mainly spent in ; how blessed a thing is it for a believer to go on towards heaven, and in every step of the way to be able to say, Though God hath changed his way towards me many times, though he hath brought me into many by-paths, yet, blessed be his name, there was never a path I was in, but I believed in him, and if it were an evil one, I hoped to be delivered out of it; but if a good one, I believed it would advance me towards leaven, I believed and praised; and in every one I believed it would turn to my salvation. I knew they would bring me nearer to God; that they would at last bring me to heaven, where I hope eternally to bless him for them

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FROM these words I have spoke unto three doctrines, and they having been again and again repeated unto you, you may easily remember them; 1. That the Christian's God is a promising God. 2. That this promising God is faithful in all his promiser. And, 3. That the faith of believer, should answer the faithfulness of God in the promiser. I referred the main application of the whole doctrine unto this last head, in laying the duty before you that this truth does exact and crave of you. I named three things, wherein our faith should answer the faithfulness of God, and have already spoke unto two of them. The first was, That our faith should answer the faithfulness of God, in the grand general promise of salvation by Christ Jesus. This is that faith that the word calls so much for; it calls for it from unbelievers; and this call is God's appointed means for working the faith that it calls for; faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, the word of God tells us what we should believe, and the word of God, in the name of God, commands us to believe what God says. This I did insist sometime upon. I know there are some who think it needless to press people to believe, and to put forth faith; at first a great many poor creatures think it an easy thing to believe, whereas it is a hard matter to awaken the conscience; but when the conscience is awakened, they think it an easy matter to believe, but they only think so that never knew what an awakened conscience was ; let a poor sinner see nothing before him but hell, and nothing within him but what deserves hell, it is only the wonderful power of God that can make this sinner trust Christ upon a bare word for his eternal salvation. Believing and trusting the soul on Christ Jesus is found a mighty difficulty by all them that are coneerned about their salvation. Some think this answering of God's promise in the gospel, improper to be laid before sinners at first; these people imagine, that there is something that sinners should be called to before believing. But as long as those two principles of truth remain, and remain they will, as long as the world lasts, this is always a vain objection: First, That no man can do any good, nor get any good, but in and from Christ Jesus, Secondly, That no man can do any good with Christ, nor get any good from him, but in the way of believing: and if so, will our Lord give his help to them that will not give trust to him 2 - The recond thing I was last day exhorting you to, was this, To answer the faithfulness of God in believing for all covenant-blessings by the way. This is properly the life of faith, and a great work this is to believe, as large as the whole covenant: to believe as firmly, as the promises are firm; to believe as long as until the promises turn to performances, how much of divine power is needful for this work Justly does the apostle call the work of faith a work of faith with power, 2 Thess. i. 11. ; in which not only power is put forth by the creature that acts it, but there is power put forth by God to draw it forth, and to keep it up. Of this I spake last day. The third exhortation that remains to be handled, and that I shall insist on, if the Lord will, a little more, is, That believers should answer the faithfulness of God in the promise of eternal life, by believing the prize and hope of our calling, as the apostle calls it. The Spirit of God calls this eternal life, the promise, as if all were contained in it; 1 John ii. 25. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. Faith in this case that I am to speak of, is faith which entereth into that within the veil, as the apostle saith of hope, Heb. vi. 19. I am now to direct this exhortation unto them that have some confidence and good conscience towards God; that have, in some measure, regarded the former and performed it, and that desire more and more to be in it; such as have intrusted their souls by faith in Christ's hand, upon the warrant of the promise of the gospel; such as are exercised in living by faith upon the promises of the new covenant; it is upon them that I lay this burden, and a sweet one it is; that you should believe etermal life. The apostle John, chap. v. 13. speaks something to the same purpose: There things have I written unto you (says he) that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. The apostle's meaning certainly was not, to persuade them to believe that they were in heaven, for he and they both knew the contrary sufficiently; but he calls them to believe that they had eternal life, that they had already a hold of, it by faith; that they had it in the root by Christ's dwelling in their hearts by faith; that they had it in the foundation of it, by their beheving the record that God gave of his Son; as is plain from the context. - - In prosecuting of this exhortation, there are three things that I shall have some respect unto, and handle. 1. What is to be believed, or how it is that a Christian in the way of duty must answer the faithfulness of God, in the promise of eternal life. * . . . 2. What are the difficulties that lie in a Christian's way which makes this believing so rare and so hard. 3. What the grounds of this faith are, that believers should improve, and in the improving of them triumph over all the difficulties that are in the way. First, What it is believers are to believe, when they are called to believe eternal life. I take it, as you may perceive, strictly, as contra-distinguished from all the covenant-blessings that believers have a right to in this life, and have a begun possession of, that they should live by that faith, of which I spake in the former part. But I shall now respect only the prize of our high calling, the mark that God has set before us to run towards, to chear ourselves with the faith of it before we come at it. And surely the speaking and hearing of hear

ven should be a pleasing subject unto all them that have any hope to be in it; the speaking of it is sometimes blessed by the Lord to make them mind it, that never thought of it before. The sum of it is in these four principles: 1. In the way of duty, in answering the faithfulness of God, believers should believe this, that as soon as the soul departs from the body, it is immediately received by Christ. A believer is to honour God's faithfulness in believing this, that as soon as the soul and body are parted by death, the soul is immediately with the Lord. This the Spirit of God, by Paul's pen, teaches us, in two places, very fully, 2 Cor. v. 1,–8. and Phil. i. 23. In the former the apostle expressly asserts this doctrine: For we know, says he, that if cur earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.—We are consident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. By how many words does the apostle expressly teach us that the state of absence from the body to a believer, is immediately attended with a state of presence with the Lord! And in Phil. i. 23. he says, For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ. Departing and being with Christ, are joined together, as inseparable. As soon as Paul is gone out of this world, he is with Christ. Our Lord gave a very great promise to the believing thief, for he was then a great believer, though once as great a thief, Luke xxiii. 42. To-day, says he, shalt thou be with me in paradise. “Thou art “dying, thou art drawing near to thy end, as I am, but this “ day thou and I shall be together in a better state.” 2. Believers must believe, and glorify God's faithfulness in believing, that the bodies they leave shall be raised up again glorious bodies, at the appearing of Christ. This is as plain as any thing can be expressed to be in the word, that the body the believer leaves, as it were, in the dust, which death hath dominion over, which rottenness and corruption triumph over, the same body shall live again, and be raised by his mighty power: Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jerus, shall raise us up also by Jesus, and shall present us with

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