Imatges de pÓgina
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from deftroying, will improve its growth, and quicken and force forward its bleffed harveft; and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lufts of other things, inftead of overgrowing, will themfelves be overgrown and ftifled by it. In an humble and regenerate heart, the word of the kingdom is fovereign, and will as certainly live and reign, as that the Lord Jefus will live and hold the empire of the world to come.—The regenerate heart is a part of that new world.

Being born of the word of God implies, that the heart is changed and affimilated to the divine nature; and, therefore, he that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness, or the evidence of things not seen in himself; he has a knowledge of the reality and glory of eternal things, not merely from their external evidences, but in tafling and experi encing their divine nature. The truth, as it is fhewn in the death and refurrection of Chrift is in the fecret of his foul; for his dying love is fhed abroad in his heart, and he is allo quickened by the power that raised him from the dead. And, as in nature, things attract to themfelves; and, in the moral world, we obferve, according to the proverb, that like loves like; fo the new-born foul will thirft for God, for the living God, and afpire to rife to the full enjoyment of its better por

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"Rivers to the ocean run,

"Nor stay in all their course;

"Fires ascending seek the sun;
"Both speed them to their source.

"So a soul that's born of God,
"Pants to view his lovely face;

"Upward tends to his abode,
"To rest in his embrace."

This evidence, irrefiftible in the minds of all who are effectually called, will neceffarily feparate them from this world; for having feen the promifes afar off, and being perfuaded of them, and embracing them, they will confefs that they are frangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that fay fuch things declare plainly that they feek a country. And truly, with thefe things in view, this world muft appear an object undefirable and unworthy of their purfuit. For the fame evidence that proves to them, that the unfeen world is pure and immortal, proves that this is corruptible and perilhing-the fame that proves that another world is approaching, proves that this is paffing away. And being thus kept, by the mighty power of God, through faith, they are effectually fecured and faved from the lufts and pollutions of this prefent evil world; and are prepared for a free admiffion into that holy and beloved city, where no unclean thing fhall enter. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!

Section 3. Faith the Anticipation of future Things.

As the evidence of future and eternal things is faith, that action of the heart and

mind which is in agreement with it, is also called faith; for there is nothing in the human heart in agreement with the word of God, but what is generated by it, and proceeds from it; and things of the fame fpecific nature, are always confidered under one

common name.

If the feed be wheat, the blade and stock that fprings from it, is alfo wheat; in the tree, as is the root, fo are the branches-If the root be holy, fo are the branches-and if the root of the tree be faith, fo will be the fruit of it—as Chrift called his word living water, the fpringing of it in the believer is alfo called water-Whofoever drinketh of the water that Ifhall give him, fhall never thirst : but the water that I fhall give him, shall be in him a well of water fpringing up into everlasting life. John iv. 14. As the fubstance of things, therefore, being the covenant righte oufnefs of God, is faith; and the gospel of Chrift, in which this righteoufnefs is revealed, is considered as being the fame thingthe anticipation of it in the mind of the believer, or that new born affection, spiritual tafte, or fingle eye, to which this righteousnefs is revealed, is alfo properly confidered under the fame denomination.

Hence, fays the apostle, I am not afhamed of the gofpel of Chrift; for it is the power of God unto falvation, to every one that believ eth, to the Jew first, and alfo to the Greek.For therein is the righteousnefs of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just fhall live by faith. Romans i. 16,

17. There can be no doubt that the gof. pel itself is often called faith, as in Galatians 1. 23. He preacheth the faith which once he deftroyed: And 1 Tim. i. 19. Holding faith. and a good confcience. In other places, faith is ufed for Jefus Chrift and his righteoufnefs, as in Gal. ii, 20. I live by the faith of the Son of God; but Jefus Chrift is the bread of life: And Jude 20. Building up your felves on your most holy faith: but Jefus Chrift is the only foundation to build upon. And fometimes faith is put for the exercife of the heart in obedience to the gofpel, as in Gal, v. 22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longfuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith: And Rev. ii. 19. I know thy works, and charity, and fervice, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the firft. And thefe feveral views of the mystery of faith, are given us diftin&tly in the paffage juft quoted, Rom. i. 17. in which we may contemplate the whole glorious fubject, viz. Faith the fubftance of things hoped for, or the righteoufnefs of God in Chrift, which is revealed in the gofpel; faith the evidence of things not feen, or the gofpel itfelf, in which the covenant-righteoufnels of God is revealed; and faith the anticipation of future things, or that approving talle or open fecing eve, in the regenerate mind, to which the faith of God is revealed. O the incftimable worth of the gospel! Well might the apofle be confident, when therein the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; and Christ was thereby revealed in him: It is as high

as heaven, what can we not thereby do? Deeper than hell, what can we not thereby know? He that believeth hall not be afhamed. A view of the glorious truth, very fimilar to this, is given in 2 Cor. i. 18. where the gofpel, as the miniftration of the fpirit and righteoufnefs, is confidered as a glafs or mirror, in which, beholding with open face the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the fame image, from glory to glory.

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In the golpel, the jufti ying righteousness of God our Saviour, it is conceived, is re'vealed from the faith of Chrill to the faith of the righteous; who, as he contemplates the faith, or faithfulness, of Chrift, in his fulfilling the covenant of redemption, gains, thereby, a fair view of the jullifying righte 'oufnefs, which is revealed in the gofpel.This faith, or faithfulness, of Chrift is reveal'ed in the gofpel, as the foundation of the juft man's life, and is that by which he is fuftained, the juft, or juftified, man lives by faith as one lives by food. The believer's faith is fpiritual life, fupported, not by itself, but by the doctrine of Chrift's 'faith, which is the rock and the manna that fuftained the church in the wildernefs.Chrift's faithfully accomplishing the work of redemption, called his faith, is an object of our faith, and the meritorious ground, or 'the procuring caufe of our life. I live, fays 'the righteous; yet not I, but Chrift liveth in

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me: and the life, which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himfelf for me. Gal.

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