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against the truth of God, and contrary to his word, that we should believe, or regard them. Therefore let every man search the Scriptures for himself, that he may know what he believeth For
what is the chaff to the wheat ? faith the Lords:— To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this rule, there is no light in them J.
When therefore the Theffalonians received the Apostle's testimony, he commends them because they received it net as the word of man, but as the word of God\\. And he speaks honorably of the Bereans also, who suspended their belief of what the Apostles preached unto them, until they had searched the Scriptures, and examined their doctrine by' the Word of God: Therefore, he adds, many of them
believed §. Here observe that even the Apostles
submitted their doctrines to be examined by the holy Scriptures, and commended them that did so; nay, they appealed to the Scriptures for the truth of what they preached, and proved all their assertions from thence:—Thus Paul, in his defence before king Agrippa, maintains that he said no other things than what Mofes and the Prophets did say should come to pass; viz. that Christ should suffer, &c. hence he preached both to Jews and Gentiles, that they should repent and turn so God, and do works meet for repentance. Others
t Jer. xxiii. 28. t I&.viiv 13. . , Ji Thoss. ii. 13.
§ Acts, xvii. 12.
Others there are who ground their faith on what they find in themselves, or on something which they have done, and are possessed of, more than others; thus leaning not on Christ, but on their mutable frames, works, and duties: these also greatly err, for they make not the word, and promise of God in. Christ Jesus, the ground of their faith; but their own distresses or joys, their endeavours or good works; these things are by some persons, reckoned their fitness, separation, or meetnefs for Christ, and for the faith of the Gospel. But this foundation is not only precarious and unstable, because it has no scriptural ground to support it, but also deceitful, and pernicious; for when God rakes away their comforts, and ability to do as they once did, their faith and their heart fail them together ) but the word of our God Jballstand for ever *.
. Distresses of soul indeed are sometimes needful, as physic is to the body ; and joys also, as refreshing cordials to the sinking spirits: self-confidence and pride arc often checked and suppressed by the former; and encouragement and strength to hold on our way administered by the latter; yea, whom the Lord lovetb be cbqstenetb, and scourgetb every son whom he receivetbf; and to rejoice in Christ Jesus N 3 only
• Isa. xJ. 8.—i Pet. I *5. I f Heb. xir. 6.
only is also a fruit of the Spirit.—Thu jaj as tta Lord is ourJlrotgthQ, or that wherewith our fouls arc strengtheneil by the Holy Ghcst, in believing-, diligence also in the practice ot gaud works is the Christian's employment all hit days, that he may bring forth fruit onto Goo: But the Scripture reveals no other foundation for our faith but this, viz. tba tvtrd of the truth of the Gejfd, or tsar the things which are written therein, concerning Jisus Cueist, are the faithful tnd tnuJ*?i>%i as Gad,
The written word then of Goo Almighty, who cannot he, is the torn, and stable ground or* every Christian's faith, ia tilings pertaining to his eternal salvation.-—Were an su&tl from Heaven, or an Af&kt or the most renounced visible dunk upon earth, » speak, or cocum*nd otherwise, they must not be obeyed, nor regarded. An J whatever t^rtfle*, Trrfrtstam, off aftratiom on our minds and heart \, leads, or would lead us 10 act cuacrarjr ao the plain word of Gou \ or to «once-t, and dunk of our Wires „.jove what is written 1 it must be injected, and abhorred, as coming tram tome lying ff^tt: from the Su*« of <roo * CMMAcornr, Mr n.« naref iMjjset, or ct araa any thiag on the mod m m the heart of man, but what kchaih tkmif
spoken I Nek »uv to.
spoken in his word, or k exprefly agreeable and
consonant thereto. ''' ." ..'*
■<_... - ;"N_ -. .... ■
To understand aright the true object of faith which we are to believe in, and depend upon •, let it be diligently considered what God hath revealed, and spoken of in the holy Scriptures. :What subject do they treat of? and of whom doth God Ipeak, when he faith, / have given Thee for a light if the Gentiles, that thou may est be my salvation unto the ends of the earth \?
It is certain that in the law of Moses, the Scriptures of the Prophets, and of the Apostles, he mentions but two general doctrines of special concernment to mankind :—And first the Scriptures set forth, and testify that all men have sinned, and are justly liable to the curse, and wrath of Goi> for ever.
Secondly, they declare that God is able in righteousness, hath found out a way in mercy, and is ready to save sinful, miserable men; and that- this
way is Christ. He is the Saviour, the only
Saviour of mankind: God sent him into the world
for this very purpose, and called his name JESUS,
thai be might save his people from their sins: There
N 4 fore
t Isa. xlix. 6.
fore the immediate, and special oljeel of oar fait&k Jesus Christ.
. The Scripture speaks of Christ continually'; for to him give all the Prophets witness that, thro' kis name, whofoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins*:—neither is there salvation in any ether \.sor there is no other name under heaven, given
among men, thereby we must be saved -f. From
thp beginning to the end of the Sacred Volume, God, some way or other, speaks to us, and instructs us in the knowledge of his Son, and of •his love to us in him, and of our redemption thro' /.fais.blood, which he hath now sinished and com. pleated: declaring it also to be his will and plea• sore, that whosoever believeth on him, or truiteth '. Jn him, should not perish, but have eternal life.—p.He said therefore to the Jews, search the Scriptures, for they are they that testify of me\.—Christ is the feed of the woman, that should bruise the ser- pent's head; he also is the feed of Abraham, in whom /god promised that all nations should be blessed.—To him the Father bore testimony at his.baptism, by a voice from heaven, when he entered upon his public ministry, saying, this is ~my beloved Son, in whom J am well pleased $: And
• Acts x. 43. f Acti iv, 12. X Johnv. 39,
|| Matth. iii. 17.