Imatges de pÓgina
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to believers, as Saints, Friends, and Children of God; but when those things which God, has prepared and laid up for them that love him are fully difclofed, now foon to take place, it will appear to all, that their honors are meetly bestowed, even the unknown honors of that day. It will then be seen, that the faith of God, as being the fubstance of things, has in itself an excellence and merit to raise the believer above the heavens, to justify him standing at God's right hand, and to glorify him upon the throne of the eter nal Son.

From the views we have taken of the na. ture of the divine will, it appears that there is a heaven, a kingdom, &c. which belongs to the effential glory of God; and is infepa. rable from his eternal power and Godhead. These things, therefore, which believers hope for, and on account of which they are juftified, are wrought in God, and compofe his divinity; fo that, being juftified by faith, the ground of their juftification is none other than God himself. The hope of believers is raised by nothing lefs than the promises which God made unto their Father Abraham, which are all comprised in this, I will be a God unto thee, and to thy feed after thee. All the exceeding great and precious promises, are fummed up in this promife of himself. This is the fubftance of things hoped for our life is hid with Chrift in God.

In the new heaven and new earth, which believers, according to the promife, look for, and where all their hopes will be fatisfied,

this promife will be perfectly fulfilled, and God himself fhall be with them, and be their God. Who fhall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that juftifieth! And not only are they juftified by him, as being himself their judge; but also, It is God that justifieth, as being himself their righteousness,

Section 2. Faith, the Evidence of Things not seen.

The evidence of things not feen, which is the word of promife and gospel of our Lord Jefus Chrift, together with the fubftance of things hoped for, is taken into the definition of faith; for the fubftance of things, all the treasures of the kingdom of heaven, even God himself, are invefted in the gospel promife; which, therefore, represents truly the fubftance of things hoped for.

The promife of God in Chrift Jefus, is of the nature of a bond; and it is given, in good faith, to the full amount of this infinite fubftance; and the whole inheritance of the Father is infallibly holden by it. For men verily fwear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife, Wherein God, willing more abundantly to fhew unto the heirs of promife the immutability of his counfel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impoffible for Gol to lie, we might have ftrong confolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold up-·

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en the hope fet before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the foul, both fure and ftedfaft, and which entereth into that within the vail. Heb. vi. Wherefore the evidence of things not feen, which we have in the confirmed promife of God in Chrift Jefus, may be efteemed as the fubftance itself, and may be fafely accounted to the full value of the intereft fecured in the eternal fellowship of the Father and the Son: and thus to be the heirs of promife, is nothing less than to be heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Chrift.

The propriety of confidering the evidence of things not feen, as belonging to the definition of faith, and the neceflity of connecting it with the fubflance itself, may be illustrated by the nature of bank establishments, the operations of which have now become very familiar. A fund being established and fecured in bank, promiflory bills are iffued upon the faith of the bank. These bills, from a bank of good credit, will pafs currently for cash, because cafh will be given for them at the bank. They reprefent the property in the fund; and to fo great an amount as the bills fpecify, it is invested in them, and they are evidence of that right; therefore they go under the fame denomination as the fpecies they reprefent, and are reckoned as fo much cafh. The promise of God, and the gospel of Jefus Christ, is heaven's bank bill; and as the fubftance of things hoped for is faith, the evidence of things not feen bears the fame denomination, and with the greatest propriety is reckoned as faith.

These treasures of the unfeen world, the precious things of faith, were all comprised in the reward promised to Chrift in the covenant of redemption, whereby he was appointed heir of all things. By his Father's will, and his own covenant righteousness, the whole inheritance belongs to him; wherefore the promises are all made out in his name, and the intereft fecured to him for his use and advantage for ever. Hence the name of Christ is used to exprefs the unfearchable riches of the promises; it ftands for the whole gospel, and to preach Chrift is to preach the whole counfel of God: For the Son of God Jefus Chrift, who was preached by us, even by me, and Sylvanus, and Tymotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Cor. i. 19, 20. As the glory of God is the glory of benevolence, the things put into the hands of Christ, both in their nature and in their destination, were liberal things; they all were the things of God's free fpirit, and bare the diftinguilhing infcription of the glory of heaven, to be given away; and this, to the blessed Saviour, gave them their highest value, and made them most perfectly his own, that they bore thus the impreffions of his own heart, and as the gifts of the God of love, of inestimable price, were deftined to the glory of his grace. His glory, therefore, as being full of grace and truth., appears in his ability and freeness to enrich others with all riches in himself. This, indeed, is the

glory, as of the only begotten of the Father; and this he manifefted towards us, by his giving himself for us.

The death of Chrift óperated upon the promises like an indorfement, or the fuperfcription of the name of the owner, upon a bond; by which it has a public credit, and the right of property in that name is transferred to the bearer or holder, whoever he be; or if the matter be confidered in the view of being a will or teftament, it becomes of force, and the intereft bequeathed paffes to the heirs, by the death of the teftator. The promises being thus the property of Chrift by his death, were figned over as a charity to the world, with a free invitation to all men to come and receive the bounty, with no other qualification than that of their being needy finners; and with a promise that they fhall enjoy it as their own for ever, upon the fimple evidence of their holding faith, or their keeping the word of God and the teftimony of Jefus Chrift. This evidence is equally free for all; it is as free for one man as another; -it is in its nature as free and unconfined as the air which we breathe. The evidence of things not feen, in the gofpel of Jefus Christ, can no more be bound than the beams of the fun; and is as much a common bounty, as is the light of day.

Sing, O ye heavens-'tis deep and high!
More than the waters of the flood!
Shout, all the earth-behold, 'tis nigh!
It comes unsought, the gift of God!
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