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“ wrath, according to his promise set before us in the

gospel. Whosoever trusts in a person for any thing, “ hath a persuasion of the same degree of firmness có with the trust, that that person will do that thing for " him. He that believeth on Jesus Christ for salvation, " doth trust that he will save him."

From these testimonies it is evident that we teach no novel doctrine in saying, that to believe on Christ for salvation, is to believe that we shall be saved by him. But from the testimonies of individuals let us go on to those of Churches in their public Confessions and Catechisms.

The Catechism of the Reformed Church of France, bound up with the French Bible *, speaks to this purpose. “ Since we know the foundation upon Go which faith is grounded, cannot we easily from " thence conclude what true faith is? Yes, namely, " that it is a sure and certain knowledge of the love “ which God hath to us, according as he declares him“ self in his gospel, our Father and our Saviour by " means of Jesus Christ.” Similar to this, is the last Question of their Shorter Catechism. Minister, “ And “ how can we have this faith?” Child, “ We have it “ by the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts, and “ makes us sure of the promises of God which are “ made to us in the gospel.”

The Palatine Catechism used by the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands, and bound up with the Dutch Bible, bears witness to this doctrine. For Quest. 21st. It asks “ What is sincere faith?" and returns for answer, “ A sincere faith is not only a sure under

standing or knowledge; whereby I hold all that for os true which God hath revealed to us in his word, but “ also a sure trust, which the Holy Ghost worketh in

my heart by the gospel, that forgiveness of sins, ever“ lasting righteousness and salvation is given of God, • not only to others, but also to me, from pure grace

only, for the sake of Christ's merit."

* Dimanche 18th.

In the brief Compend of Religion following the Palatine Catechism, as our Shorter does the Larger, It is asked, Quest. 19th. “ What is a sincere faith?” to which is answered, “ It is a sure knowledge of God, and his “ promises revealed to us in the gospel, and a hearty “ trust that all my sins are forgiven me for Christ's 66 sake.

In the Articles of Religion agreed upon in the Convocation at Dublin, anno 1615, No. 37th. They say, “ By justifying faith we understand not only a per. “ suasion of the truth of God's word in general, but “ also a particular application of the gracious promises “ of the gospel to the comfort of our own souls, hav“ ing an earnest trust and confidence in God, that he " will be merciful to us for his only Son's sake *.”

But let us return from foreign churches to our own, the Church of Scotland. In her old Confession, chap. 8d. she says, “ The Holy Ghost worketh in the hearts " of the elect of God an assured faith in the promise “ of God, revealed to us in his word; by which faith " we apprehend Christ Jesus, with the graces and be. “ nefits promised in him.". In the National Covenant, subscribed annis 1580 and 1581, she declares her detestation and abhorrence of the Roman Antichrist's general and doubtful faith. In which words there is an eye to that definition of faith which had been given about twenty years before, in the Council of Trent: where also a curse was pronounced on the man who

“ That justifying faith is nothing else but “a confidence of the mercy of God, pardoning sins “ for Christ's sake.” Our church detesting the general and doubtful faith, thereby intimates that her own is a particular and a certain faith, viz. a person trusting assuredly for his own salvation.

The same sentiment appears in the Westminster Con- . fession and Catechisms adopted by this Church annis 1647 and 1648. There faith is described as that whereby we accept, receive, and rest upon Christ alone for jus.

should say,

* Neal's Hist. of the Puritans, page (mihi) 833.

tification, sanctification, and eternal life. To rest on Christ for salvation is nothing else but to believe that he will save us. To distinguish betwixt these two, would be to cleave a hair, or divide a drop. To me it seems impossible to rest upon Christ for salvation, and at the same time not to believe that we shall be saved by him. According to the Larger Catechism, Quest. last. To rely upon God that he will fulfil our requests is the same with assurance that he will fulfil them. For so run the words, “ We by faith are emboldened to plead 6 with God that he would, and quietly to rely upon “ him that he will, fulfil our requests. And to testify " this our desire and assurance, we say, Amen.” As pleading with God that he would hear us, is our desire; so relying or resting upon him that he will hear us, is our assurance, And if so, then resting on Christ for salvation, being the same with relying upon him that he will save us, is, according to the Westminster Assembly an assurance that we shall certainly be saved by him.

Thus we have attempted to illustrate and establish the good old doctrine which passed current at the Reformation, viz. That to believe in Christ for salvation, is to believe that he will save us. But as several objections are mustered up against it, we cannot think to leave the point till we answer them, which was the Second General Head of discourse.

Object. Ist. If believing in Christ be nothing else but to believe that he will save us, it is casy work in. deed.

Answer. To this I answer, It is exceeding easy to say, we shall be saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is not so easy to believe it. Such as live at their ease may say so, but the convinced, the quickened sinner, he only can believe so. If there be any force in this objection it militates equally against resting on Christ for salvation. It is as easy to say, that we rest on Christ for salvation, as to say, we believe he will save us. But more particularly to the objection. Ist. Our reformers did not think this faith so easy as our moderns would have it. . In the French Catechism it is asked, “ Can we have this faith of ourselves, or “ does it come from God?” And the answer is, “ The “ scripture teacheth us that it is a singular gift of the

Holy Spirit, and experience sheweth us so likewise.” From this it is obvious that they did not take it for an easy effort of fancy and imagination. 2dly. If it be very easy to believe that Christ will save us from sin and wrath, this should rather be improven as an encouragement to it, than raised as an objection against it. It is the apparent easiness of remedies that has made men despise them, and in despising, to perish. So Naaman was wroth when he heard of nothing but washing in Jordan, 2 Kings v. 11.

Men think it very easy, when they have nothing to do but to stretch out the hand and receive salvation, But ab! how lit. tle do they think, that our hand is withered, and we cannot so much as stretch it out to receive the gift of God, unless he heal it. Therefore, 3dly. Though to a quickened sinner it is easier to trust in Christ for salvation, than to give perfect. obedience to the law; as it is vastly easier for a sick person to receive a sealed pardon with his trembling hand, than to carn his livelihood by manual labour; yet to the sinner dead in his trespasses and sins, both are equally impossible, just as it is as impossible for a dead man to receive a gift as to accomplish the most laborious service. 4thly. Such as have been helped through grace to believe, have always found difficulties attending it. And surely their testimony is more to be regarded than that of others, as arising from experience. For a poor sinner, seeing the holiness of God, the purity and extent of his law, the corruption of his own nature, and the numberless abominations of his heart and life, for such a one to believe that nevertheless he shall be saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, hoc opus, hic labor est, this is work, this is labour. Here thousands have stuck and perished, in not giving God the glory of his word. "Blessed, blessed, thrice blessed the man

who is enabled so to believe over the belly of every difficulty. My soul be with him.

Object 2d. If we are warranted to believe that we shall be saved by Christ, then we may fold our hands and sit down. Since certain of the event, we may take our ease as to the means.

Answer. It is hard to say whether this objection exceeds in malignity, or in folly. Faith is not a believing that we shall be saved in any way, whatever we do, or do not. No: It is a believing not that we shall be saved in our sins, but that we shall be saved FROM them: that we shall be saved by Christ, and therefore in the diligent use of the means appointed by him. It is a believing that we shall obtain the victory by fighting: not without it. Suppose a General haranguing his 'army before their engagement with some mighty foe, should tell them that they should surely overcome, and therefore not to be afraid; would they not be fools or worse, who on this should throw away their weapons, and abandon themselves to their ease? Would not this be putting an affront upon their leader, and exposing themselves to destruction, as he promised them the victory not without fighting, but by it? While Asa and his army rested on the Lord for victory, in his name they went against the huge Ethiopian host, and obtained it, 2 Chron. xiv. 11-15. Certain it is that the right faith of the victory will excite the believer to activity, and not sink him in indolence. If there be any weight in the objection, it presses the assurance of sense as much as that of faith. And accordingly, all to whom Christ intimated a pardon in the days of his flesh, might from that date, have lived at their ease. But who that believes the Bible would draw such a consequence? Is not the very reverse the truth?

Object. 3d. To make faith consist in believing that 'we shall be saved by Christ, is to make it consist in

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