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of himself that he hath sinned, shame of it, and sorrow for it, will ensue thereon. And it is a sufficient evidence that he is not really convinced of sin, whatever he profess, or whatever confession he make, whose mind is not so affected; Jer. xxxvi. 24. 2. Fear of punishment due to sin. For conviction respects not only the instructive and preceptive part of the law, whereby the being and nature of sin are discovered, but the sentence and curse of it also, whereby it is judged and condemned; Gen. iv. 13, 14. Wherefore, where fear of the punishment threatened doth not ensue, no person is really convinced of sin; nor hath the law had its proper work towards him, as it is previous unto the administration of the gospel. And whereas by faith we 'fly from the wrath to come,' where there is not a sense and apprehension of that wrath as due unto us, there is no ground or reason for our believing. 3. A desire of deliverance from that state wherein a convinced sinner finds himself upon his conviction, is unavoidable unto him. And it is naturally the first thing that conviction works in the minds of men, and that in various degrees of care, fear, solicitude and restlessness, which from experience and the conduct of Scripture light, have been explained by many, unto the great benefit of the church, and sufficiently derided by others. 2. These internal acts of the mind will also produce sundry external duties, which may be referred unto two heads. 1. Abstinence from known sin unto the utmost of men's power. For they who begin to find that it is an evil thing and a bitter, that they have sinned against God, cannot but endeavour a future abstinence from it. And as this hath respect unto all the former internal acts, as causes of it, so it is a peculiar exurgency of the last of them, or a desire of deliverance from the state wherein such persons are. For this they suppose to be the best expedient for it, or at least that without which it will not be. And herein usually do their spirits act by promises and vows, with renewed sorrow on surprisals into sin, which will befall them in that condition. [2.] The duties of religious worship, in prayer and hearing of the word, with diligence in the use of the ordinances of the church, will ensue hereon. For without these they know that no deliverance is to be obtained. Reformation of life and conversation in various degrees doth partly consist in



these things, and partly follow upon them. And these things are always so, where the convictions of men are real and abiding.

But yet it must be said, that they are neither severally nor jointly, though in the highest degree, either necessary dispositions, preparations, previous congruities in a way of merit, nor conditions of our justification. For,

1. They are not conditions of justification. For where one thing is the condition of another, that other thing must follow the fulfilling of that condition; otherwise the condition of it, it is not. But they may be all found where justification doth not ensue. Wherefore, there is no covenant, promise, or constitution of God, making them to be such conditions of justification, though in their own nature they may be subservient unto what is required of us with respect thereunto. But a certain infallible connexion with it by virtue of any promise or covenant of God (as it is with faith) they have not. And other condition, but what is constituted and made to be so by divine compact or promise, is not to be allowed. For otherwise conditions might be endlessly multiplied, and all things natural as well as moral made to be so. So the meat we eat may be a condition of justification. Faith and justification are inseparable, but so are not justification and the things we now insist upon, as experience doth evince.

2. Justification may be, where the outward acts and duties mentioned, proceeding from convictions under the conduct of temporary faith, are not. For Adam was justified without them, so also were the converts in the Acts, chap. ii. For what is reported concerning them is all of it essentially included in conviction; ver. 37. And so likewise was it with the jailer, Acts xvi. 30, 31. and as unto many of them, it is so with most that do believe. Therefore they are not conditions. For a condition suspends the event of that whereof it is a condition.

3. They are not formal dispositions unto justification; because it consisteth not in the introduction of any new form or inherent quality in the soul, as hath been in part already declared, and shall yet afterward be more fully evinced. Nor 4. are they moral preparations for it; for being antecedent unto faith evangelical, no man can have any design in them, but only to seek for righteousness by the

works of the law,' which is no preparation unto justification. All discoveries of the righteousness of God, with the soul's adherence unto it, belong to faith alone. There is indeed a repentance which accompanieth faith, and is included in the nature of it, at least radically. This is required unto our justification. But that legal repentance which precedes gospel faith and is without it, is neither a disposition, preparation, nor condition of our justification.

In brief; the order of these things may be observed in the dealing of God with Adam, as was before intimated. And there are three degrees in it. 1. The opening of the eyes of the sinner, to see the filth and guilt of sin in the sentence and curse of the law applied unto his conscience; Rom. vii. 9, 10. This effects in the mind of the sinner the things before-mentioned, and puts him upon all the duties that spring from them. For persons on their first convictions ordinarily judge no more but that their state being evil and dangerous, it is their duty to better it, and that they can or shall do so accordingly, if they apply themselves thereunto. But all these things, as to a protection or deliverance from the sentence of the law, are no better than fig-leaves and hiding. 2. Ordinarily God by his providence, or in the dispensation of the word, gives life and power unto this work of the law in a peculiar manner; in answer unto the charge which he gave unto Adam after his attempt to hide himself. Hereby the 'mouth of the sinner is stopped,' and he becomes, as thoroughly sensible of his guilt before God, so satisfied that there is no relief or deliverance to be expected from any of those ways of sorrow or duty that he hath put himself upon. (3.) In this condition it is a mere act of sovereign grace, without any respect unto these things foregoing, to call the sinner unto believing, or faith in the promise unto the justification of life. This is God's order; yet so as that what proceedeth his call unto faith, hath no causality thereof.

3. The next thing to be inquired into is the proper object of justifying faith, or of true faith, in its office, work, and duty, with respect unto our justification. And herein we must first consider what we cannot so well close withal. For besides other differences that seem to be about it, which indeed are but different explanations of the same thing for

the substance, there are two opinions which are looked on as extremes, the one in an excess, and the other in defect. The first is that of the Roman church, and those who comply with them therein. And this is, that the object of justifying faith, as such, is all divine verity, all divine revelation, whether written in the Scripture, or delivered by tradition represented unto us by the authority of the church. In the latter part of this description we are not at present concern ed. That the whole Scripture, and all the parts of it, and all the truths of what sort soever they be that are contained in it, are equally the object of faith in the discharge of its office in our justification, is that which they maintain. Hence as to the nature of it they cannot allow it to consist in any thing but an assent of the mind. For supposing the whole Scripture, and all contained in it, laws, precepts, promises, threatenings, stories, prophecies, and the like, to be the object of it, and these not as containing in them things good or evil unto us, but under this formal consideration as divinely revealed, they cannot assign or allow any other act of the mind to be required hereunto but assent only. And so confident are they herein, namely, that faith is no more than an assent unto divine revelation, as that Bellarmine, in opposition unto Calvin, who placed knowledge in the description of justifying faith, affirms that it is better defined by ignorance than by knowledge.

This description of justifying faith and its object, hath been so discussed, and on such evident grounds of Scripture and reason rejected by Protestant writers of all sorts, as that it is needless to insist much upon it again. Some things I shall observe in relation unto it, whereby we may discover what is of truth in what they assert, and wherein it falls short thereof. Neither shall I respect only them of the Roman church, who require no more to faith or believing, but only a bare assent of the mind unto divine revelations, but them also who place it wholly in such a firm assent as produceth obedience unto all divine commands. For as it doth both these, as both these are included in it, so unto the especial nature of it more is required. It is as justifying neither a mere assent nor any such firm degree of it, as should produce such effects.

1. All faith whatever is an act of that power of our souls

in general, whereby we are able firmly to assent unto the truth upon testimony, in things not evident unto us by sense or reason. It is the evidence of things not seen.' And all divine faith is in general an assent unto the truth that is proposed unto us upon divine testimony. And hereby, as it is commonly agreed, it is distinguished from opinion and moral certainty on the one hand, and science or demonstration on the other.

2. Wherefore in justifying faith, there is an assent unto all divine revelation upon the testimony of God the revealer. By no other act of our mind, wherein this is not included or supposed, can we be justified; not because it is not justifying, but because it is not faith. This assent, I say, is included in justifying faith. And therefore, we find it often spoken of in the Scripture (the instances whereof are gathered up by Bellarmine and others), with respect unto other things, and not restrained unto the especial promise of grace in Christ, which is that which they oppose. But besides, that in most places of that kind, the proper object of faith, as justifying is included and referred ultimately unto, though diversely expressed by some of its causes or concomitant adjuncts, it is granted that we believe all divine truth, with that very faith whereby we are justified, so as that other things may well be ascribed unto it.

3. On these concessions, we yet say two things. 1. That the whole nature of justifying faith doth not consist merely in an assent of the mind, be it never so firm and steadfast, nor whatever effects of obedience it may produce. 2. That in its duty and office in justification, whence it hath that especial denomination, which alone we are in the explanation of, it doth not equally respect all divine revelation as such, but hath a peculiar object proposed unto it in the Scripture. And whereas both these will be immediately evinced in our description of the proper object and nature of faith, I shall, at present, oppose some few things unto this description of them, sufficient to manifest how alien it is from the truth.

1. This assent is an act of the understanding only. An act of the mind with respect unto truth evidenced unto it, be it of what nature it will. So we believe the worst of things and the most grievous unto us, as well as the best and the

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