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in the Lord 1Jesus Christ; and thoit Jhalt be saved. .'
. Believe in the Lord Tesus Christ! What is the meaning of this command, to the observance of which the promise of salvation is annexed? Is the meaning this? "I must acknowledge the Bible to be the "word of God. More particularly I must "give full credence to the narrative which "the Scriptures deliver of the actions and "the sufferings of Jesus Christ. I must "believe all the articles of the Creed. I *' must keep my. mind fully satisfied, in de"fiance of cavils and difficulties, that the "Christian religion is true. I must also "be persuaded that the specific doctrines *' of the Gospel are actual verities." This faith is the faith of the understanding: and as a first step, is absolutely necessary. , But, if your faith is to conduct you to salvation, it must be perfected in another quarter. How spake the Evangelist Philip ?" If "thou believest with all thine heart, thou "mayest be baptised." How speaks St. Paul ?" With the heart man believeth unto "righteousness (£)."
You perceive then that faith, if it terminates in.the understanding, is nothing. In its way to the heart it must convince the
(li) Acts, viii. 37. Ron., x. 10.
judgejudgement: because our Maker deals with us as rational creatures, and requires a reasonable service. But the heart is its object. There it must arrive. There it must dwell. There it must reign. Believe with the heart in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved... . . . ... ;..i -..i- ..
What then does Christian faith, as governing the heart, include? It implies a deep fense of our own,inherent corruption. For how shall we be duly solicitous for a cure, unless we are impressed with the danger of the disease? It implies an aweful consciousness of the punishment, to which we have justly become obnoxious by wilful transgression. For how shall we be sufficiently earnest to be relieved from the penalty which we have incurred, unless we are sensible of its amount? It implies a. decided conviction of our own inability to discharge any part of our debt to divine justice. For otherwise how shall we be deeply anxious to seek for a mediator and a surety? It implies a fervent desire to be rescued from the future dominion of sin. For to what purpose should we be delivered from the sentence pronounced against us, if we are speedily to bring down upon ourselves the fame sentence again? It implies an experimental knowledge that, if we are
I'. i^fandoned to our natural strength, we shall (.:^questionably be the prey of sin, as here;}'^ofdre. For if we imagined ourselves to i^e equal to our own defence^ why should . wailook around for succour? It implies" ". undbofiting belief that in Christ Jesus is . forfeit.salvation; perfect wisdom and rightej ^isaefs and sanctiEcation and redemps ' ^n.. For otherwise where would be the v j |$G<jtiaite encouragement to confide our |> .Ration to him? It implies a cordial as'JMr^nCe that he alone is the way, the truth, .fyd'ihe life, that no man cometh unto the father but by him (c). For otherwise how .:. ftjall::we be guarded against the blasphe?/&Ous;delusion of framing to ourselves co;. jjSJrdm&te or supplementary mediators? j :. c.f.How then will this faith manifest itself? I. My its fruits; by its efficacy in impelling I ^ .and constraining us to act in every respect j jgOnfe^mably to its nature. If we believe IjjiirseTves to be radically corrupt; we shall ; ".^enounce with disgust, the idea of protesting any righteousness of our own. If /.>we believe ourselves obnoxious to punish:. ihent; we shall devoutly apply for an in'.•'.stfefiest in the appointed ransom. If we be
(*) John, xiv. 6.
":f&..vol. U. Ff lieve
lieve ourselves utterly unable to discharge any portion of the demands, which the avenging justice of God urges against us j we shall confess that our deliverance, if we are delivered, will be an act of free and unmerited grace. If we are fervently de» firous of future holiness j we (hall seek with proportionate solicitude the renewing influence of the Spirit of sanctification.. \£ we are convinced that, left to ourselves, we cannot but fall; we shall place our whole reliance ,on , the continued guidance, and support of the Holy Ghost. If we are convinced that Jesus Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour; to him we shall have rescourse for salvation. If we are satisfies that there is salvation in no other, that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we may be saved: tohim alone we shall commit our souls. To him wp shall fly, as the lamb of God who taketh away the fins of the whole world: as having made atonement even for us by his bjood: as our present advocate with the Father: as ever living to make intercession for us: as having the succours of the Holy Spirit at his disposal: as invested with all power in earth and heaven: as loving us with unparalleled affection: as watching I.:. ? Qver
over us with unwearied care: as our example, our instructor, our law-giver: as having ascended into the mansions of his Father to prepare a place for his servants: as again to return in glory, that he may raise all the generations of man from the grave ; judge the assembled world in righteousness; receive his faithful followers to himself; and seal up the wicked with the devil and his angels in the abodes of unutterable and everlasting destruction.
These are the fruits of faith, when first it brings the sinner to the foot of the cross. What are its fruits, when rising from the foot of the cross, the penitent sinner proceeds to approve himself the servant of that Lord, who loved him and gave Himself for him? Its fruits are unto holiness. Looking unto Jesus, the author and fnshtr tf his faiths the penitent sinner actuated by a new principle, living to new objects, devoted to a new master, labours in the strength of his Redeemer's grace to become dead unto sin and alive only unto righteousness. He is eager to manifest his gratitude to his Saviour. To the laws of Christ he cheerfully and unreservedly submits. In the steps of Christ he endeavours to tread. The glory of Christ he is watchful F f 2 and