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Acts, xx. 21.
Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
WHAT is meant by repentance toward God, hath been shewn at large already: And, in a former discourse on Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, it was proposed to be considered:
1. By shewing what faith is, in general; and what the faith of the Gospel is, in particular.
2. By shewing the grdund, and object of true justifying faith.
P 4 3- Its •3. Its seat, and place in the soul of man.
4. The nature and necessity of saith in Christ.
5. Its Author, efficacy, ami end.
'o..I'oint out some mistakes, and dangerous errors concerning saith. -And, •
Lastfy, Conclude with an Application.
The four'first of these heads have been already discussed: I proceed therefore,
.'' Fifthly,' To consider the Author of divine .faith, with its efficacy, and end.
'The Author of Faith is the Holy SriRiT, as
proceeding from the Father and the Son.
Therefore this gift and work of faith in our hearts ie sometimes imputed to God, even the Father, sometimes to his Son Jesus Christ, and sometimes to the Fioly Ghost; for the Father doth nothing without his Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit; and the Son doth nothing without the Father, and the Spirit; and the Holy Ghost doth
nothing without the Father and the Son.
: Altho* theSACREDTHREE sustain their .V- • - . - distinct distinct, and peculiar parts, and offices in the Covenant of Grace, and Oeconomy of man's salvation, yet they cannot be separated, nor divided; but there is an entire concurrence of will and operation thro' the whole: for when the Word was made flesh, the Father and Holy Spirit also were with him, and in him continually: but it pleased God that in the man Christ Jesus, as united to the Word, all fullness should dwell*. All fullness of light and life, righteousness and true holiness, power and wisdom, grace and love, glory and blessedness, dwelleth in Christ: All things that the Father hath are his f; from whose fullness therefore the Holy Spirit receiveth and shews it unto us, that we may know, and receive the things which, in
Christ Jesus, are given to us of God As
the Son hath glorified the Father, so the Father hath glorified the Son; and the Holy Spirit, who is glorified both with the Father and the Son, is now sent down from Heaven to glorify both the Father and the Son. Wherefore he saith; the Holy Ghost, whom I will send unto you from the Father in my name, he shall glorify me: And this he doth, when, by the hearing of Christ's Gospel, he enlightenetb our minds to know him^ and circumcifeth our hearts to love him; that we may truly believe, and trust in him, whom God hath sent to
• Col. i. 19. f John xvi. 15.
lave his people from their sins. Therefore no' man can fay (that is in truth, knowing what he saith) that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost *.
True faith then is given to us, and wrought in us by the Spirit of God, and of Christ. It is not the work of man's wisciom and power, but of divine teaching and operation; and is therefore a faith of the operation of God.—Man majr teach clearly, persuade powerfully, and prevail with many hearers to aslent to the truth of what they hear; but if the Lord; the Spirit, work not with the word spoken, no man can heartily, and truly believe on Jesus Christ. For a Christian's faith is not produced nor maintained by man's wiidom, and persuasion, but by the power of God. The Churchoi the living God is not built up by human reasonings, nor by any created power whatsoever, butbytheSpiritofGoD. As itwasGod alone that gave his only begotten Son to die for our sins; and as it was Christ alone that fulfilled all righteousness for us, suffering in our stead, the just for the unjust; so it is the Holy Spirit alone that regenerates, and maketh us new creatures.
When Nicodemus told our Lord that they/ the Jewish Rulers) were convinced by the, miracles which he
* • « • i Cor. xii. 3.
wrought, that he was a teacher sent from God: Christ plainly told him, that this was not the faith of the Gospel; for, faith he, except a man be born again, of water, and of the Spirit, be cannot see the kingdom of God*..—But when Peter confessed him to be the Christ, the Son of God, he faith, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: far flejh and blood, that is, man's wisdom or teaching, hatb not revealed tins unto thee, but my Father winch is in heavens.—* Thus every good gift, of which faith is one, and every perfect gift cometh down from above, from the Father of gifts; with whom is no variableness, neither' shadow of turning; For, of his own will begat he us, with the word of truth J, thro' the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit then is the immediate Author, and worker of faith in the hearts of all God's people j'and is therefore called the Spirit of Faith. And the efficacy of faith must needs be exceeding great and powerful, because of its divine origin, and Author.—The soul also, in believing, is taught, and led by the Spirit to lay hold on Christ, who is the power of God ; and by him to lay hold on God, who is in Christ; for all wisdom, and strength, in ks spiritual warfare, and conflicts with the world, fin, and Satan. .... .. .'•■•' \
• John iii. 3, 5. f Matth. xvi. 17. J James i. 17, 18.