Imatges de pÓgina
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their juft claime shall challenge. In their diftreffe I know no other comfort but my Text, The juft shall live by Faith.

In a word, where these three great and crying fins do raigne, which in this Prophecy are threatned;

That is corruption of converfation, when there is no honefty nor truth left amongst men, but that every man ftudyeth the building of his own house, he cares not where he hath the brick and the morter.

Corruption of Religion, that fchifme and herefie do carrie'it from peace and truth.

Corruption of juftice, that honours, places of fervice in the Common wealth, and juftice it felf are fold for mony; good men punished, evil men rewarded. Comfort: Juftus ex fide fua vivet, the just shall live by his Faith.

2. Faith furnisheth us with Hope.

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We have hope through Faith that God will continue his loving kindneffe to us, and not take away from us the light of his

Countenance.

So David; Surely goodnesse and mercy shall follow me all the dayes of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for

ever.

Obferve in Davids hope two things.

1. The ground of it, Faith in Gods protection, for that is the point of the whole Pfalme. The Lord is my shepheard, he shall feed me, he restoreth my foul: In the valley of the shadow of death thou art with me; Thou prepareft my table, thou anoynteft my head With oyle, my cup runneth over.

2. The means by him used to continue the affurance thereof, even by dwelling in the house of God continually; that is by confecrating his whole life to Gods fervice and worship.

2. In Adverfitie.

We have hope that either God will strengthen us to bear it, or give iflue out of it.

This is grounded upon that promife of God to his Church,

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Pfal. 23.6

will not leave thee nor forsake thee,

Rom.8.25 And if we bope for that we fee not, we do with patience waite

for it.

There is no fuch comfort in the forrows and diftreffes of life, as reading the holy Scriptures for the fupport of our hope. For, They are written for our learning, that we through patience and Rom.15.4 comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. This hope keeps the heart from breaking; for building upon the truth of God it cannot be shaken.

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2. How Faith must be used in the Spirituall life,

1. For this the Apoftle doth call it the fheild of Faith; and it ferveth for defence against the fiery darts of Sathan, to keep off the evil that is yet without us, either in temptation or provocation.

2. It ferveth alfo to purify our hearts from that evil which we do bear about us in the infection thereof.

3. It ferveth for a provocation to stirre us up, to resist the 1,Pet. 5.8 power of the enemy; For fo Saint Peter faith, Though Sathan go about like a roaring lyon, feeking whom he may devour, whom refift ftedfaft in the faith.

Verf. 9.

4. It ferveth for victory. This is the victory by which we over• come the world, even our Faith

5. Many that returne out of the field victorious, yet may bring home fome dangerous wound that they have received in the battaile; and there is another good ufe of Faith, to cure and heal all the wounds. For our Faith maketh us whole

6. It ferveth for the effectuating the means.

1. Hearing.

2. Sacraments.

3. Prayer.

3. For our eternall life.

Tim.4.8 Faith is profitable unto all things which hath the Promife of the life prefent, and of that which is to come.

The manner how it worketh this affurance, is,

1. It affureth us that there is a life eternal, for that is an article of Chriftian Faith, the close and sweet conclufion of our Creed.

2. It affureth us; that we are they who fhall by the free gift

of

of God, be made heirs of this heavenly Kingdom: repofita est mihi corona juftitia.

3. It applieth all the promifes of God to thofe feveral graces in us. Thus, I mourne, therefore I fhall be comforted: I am pure in heart being washed in the blood of Chrift, Therefore I fhall fee God: I hunger after righteoufneffe ergo fatisfied: I love God; ergo, all things work together for my good: Ibeieive, ergo, I fhall be faved.

4. It affureth our perfeverance to the end in our love and obedience; yea Faith affureth our faith to us; For beleiving in the Author, is beleiving in the finisher of our Faith.

5. It stayeth us in expectation of the fruit of our Faith, that though the Vifion do tarry, yet we think it not long to waite for the performance of it.

Having heard of the excellent ufe of Faith, you cannot but obferve the reason why Sathan doth aime all his fiery darts at our Faith, because all our obedience, and righteousneffe, and holineffe, is quickened and ftrengthened by Faith, without which it is impoffible to please God.

There is nothing in a Chriftian man that fo much provoketh Sa than against him, as his Faith.

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For Faith keepeth us from being devoured of this roaring Lyon.

Therefore two affault we must provide for:

1. Sathans labour to keep us from getting this fheild of Faith. 2. His found care when we have gotten it, to rob and spoil us of it.

1. Affault.

Sathan knowing that our Faith makes us too ftrong for him, and quencheth all his fiery darts. doth therefore all he can to keep us from the means by which Faith is increased in us.

That is, from hearing the Word and receiving the Sacrament, from meditation, from prayer; and as often as you find your felves tempted to neglect thefe, know it to be Sathans malice againft you to keep you from Faith.

The breft-plate of righteoufneffe without a fheild of Faith, is not iufficient to keep off the fiery darts of Sathan from wounding us, but Faith quencheth them.

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They therefore that live in the love and in the ufe of those means, may comfort themselves that Sathan fhall not be able to hinder them from obtaining a comfortable vegetation and growing up in Faith.

2. Affault.

And whereas he laboureth to wreft our Faith from us, we shall find that both his cunning and ftrength will fail him, for laving Faith cannot be loft.

Heb.13.18

To establish our Faith, let us know that imperfect Faith may be a found and true Faith; for we cannot attain to perfection in this life; but if we have a good confcience in all things, willing to live honeftly, we may have boldneffe with God. For as Chrift prayed for Peter that his Faith might not fail; fo he prayeth for his whole Church, even for all that fhall beleive in him Joh 17.26 through his Word, that the love wherewith the Father hath loved him, may be in them. and he in them: Which love will keep us that we fall not off quite from him.

We are not denyed the ufe of riches, honours or lawful pleafures; these be ornaments and comforts of life, but we cannot live by them, they perish in the ufing of them.

Our obedience and good works are the fruits of Faith, we live by Faith, Faith lives in obedience, for without works Faith is dead: Did we but know the unvaluable price of Faith, we would feek it more then all other things, and like the Merchant Mat.13.44 in the Parable, we would part with all we have to purchase

Faith. I conclude with S. Bern.

Dicamus fidem vitem, virtutes palmites, Botrum opus, dev

tionem vinum.

Our vineyarder hath beltowed much diggingand planting,and compofing, and fencing upon this Vine; let it put forth, and let the clufters call it fruitful, and let the Vine please both God and men.

Now that we have fearched this gracious mine of comfort, and found the rich vein which maketh us able to live both here and hereafter:

Let me admonish you what is objected against the Doctrine de livered out of this place.

Ribera a learned Iefuite, when he cometh to this Text in his

full

full commentary upon this Prophet, faith. Incidimus in locum qui eft lapis offenfionis duabus domibus Ifraelis,hoc est orthodoxis, & hareticis qui recefferunt à domo David.

It greives the Church of Rome that we have fo clear a Text in this Prophet,and that fo much urged in the Epistles of the Apostles for our juftification by Faith alone; and Ribera is much deceived if he mean us under the tittle of hæretiques; for this place is no of fence to us: It is the moft comfortable doctrine that we can embrace, nothing doth more fet forth the excellency of Faith, nothing doth more affure to us our eternal life.

Fain would Ribera have fhifted off the clear evidence of this place with this illufion, that the Prophets meaning is this,

The juft inan, that is, the man that defireth to be juft, fhall live the life of grace by the Faith whith he hath in Chrift Jefus.

We understand that a man is justified only by Faith, and that without the Law as the Apoftle doth also teach.

And it were a poor comfort to the Church in their diftreffe to tell them, that the juft man should live by his Faith, except the Lord in that promife did affure them the comforts, not only of the naturall, but of the spirituall and eternal life

Neither would the Apoftle urge this Text, but with these contents. For exexamine the placeswhere thefe words are urged, and it wi lappear.

The Apostle profeffeth. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Rom.1.17 Christ, &c.

For therein is the righteoufneile of God revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, Juftus ex fide viver, the juft fhall live by his faith.

The Gofpel is faid to reveal the righteoufneffe of God, he cannot mean the effential righteousneffe by which God is justice itself in his divine nature; but he doth understand that righteouf neffe of which the Apostle speaketh, who is made unto us wisdom, Righteoufneffe,&c. that is, Chrift our Righteoufneffe: and this is called the grace of God which bringeth falvation

This is revealed now in the cleare light of the Gospel in real performance, which was before exhibited in visions and dreams, and types and ceremonies whilft the veyle was up.

Hh

It is

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