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the house of Ifrael after thofe days, faith the Lord;
1. In respect of the weight of the things pro mifed therein. They are fo great and weighty, that were not the infallible truth of God impawned for them, they could not be believed by fenfible guilty creatures: 2 Pet. i. 4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promifes; that by thefe you might be partakers of the divine nature. Compared with Luke xxiv. 25. 26. Then Jefus faid unto them, O fools, and flow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Chrift to have fuffered these things, and to enter into his glory? That the eternal Son of God should take on man's nature, and fuffer the most ignominious death therein, for finners, who could have believed on another than God's own teftimony? That God freely gives eternal life in him to finners, as ↑ John V. II. who otherwise could believe?
2. The foundation of believing it is in God only. A true believer receives the kingdom of God as a little child, Mark x. 15. on the mere testimony of his Father. There is nothing in nature's light to bring us to the belief of the gospel. So faith is called the evidence of things not feen, Heb. xi. . The threatening of death in the law, a na T
tural confcience prompts, men to believe, Rom. i. ult. and ii. 15. But the promise of life in the gofpel, depending allenarly on revelation, the belief of it refts on the truth of God only; yea, nature rifes up against it. The corrupt mind looks on it as foolifhncfs; the corrupt will rejects it; the corrupt affections mufter themselves up against it; and the natural confcience, the more it is awakened, the more hard it makes the belief of it. So the truth of God has all these to drive over, and pull down. Hence fays the Apoftle, 2 Cor. x. 4. 5. The weapons of aur warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of Arong holds; cafting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itfelf against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Chrift.
3. In oppofition to the falsehood, vanity, and lyes of the world, which finners naturally betake themselves to.
1st, The world (warms with lyes, and has always fince Satan hatched the firft lye in it. The things of the world are lyes, 1 John ii. 16.; the men of the world are lyars, Rom. iii. 4. ; yea, the best of them a lye, Pfal. Ixii. 9. There is no trusting of them, Jer. xvii. 5. 6.
2dly, The world itself is one great lye, Eccl. i. 2. Its appearances are unfair and deceitful; it appears to vain man quite another thing than it is; its fhadows appear substantial, and fo catch the unwary heart, Hof. xii. 1. 8. Yet it is that which is not, Prov. xxiiì. 5. It is not what it seems to be. Its promifes are falfe, it never performs them: the good things of it are always greater in expec
tation than fruition; they difappoint, which is ly ing in feripture-ftyle, Hab. iii. 17.
Secondly, How one betakes himfelf unto God's truth, which is that we fhould aim to bring the rifing generation to. It lies in thefe five things. 1. In a conviction of the vanity of the world, and its deceitful lufts. Hence fays David, Pfal. exix. 96. I have seen an end of all perfection; but thy commandment is exceeding broad. The falle and vain world offers itfelf as a fatisfying portion to the rifing generation, as soon as reason begins to dawn in them. To the infant it makes its court by the luft of the flesh in meat and drink; to the child by that, and the pride of life in cloathing; and it is long ere they know there is any thing better than thefe. To the youth it fpreads out its all the luft of the flesh, the luft of the eyes, and the pride of life; and whatever notions of religion they may have in their heads, till grace open their eyes, they will never truly fee any thing to be better. Now, we should labour to convince them of the vanity of the world, that it will never fatisfy, nor afford a reft to the heart; that its lufts are deceitful, and there is a ruining hook hid under that bait.
2. In renouncing of the world for a portion, and its lusts for our way, as being a broken reed, that will not only not bear our weight, but run through the hand that leans on it. Hence it is faid, Jer. xvi. 19. The Gentiles fhall come unto the Lord from the ends of the earth, and fhall fay, Surely our fathers have inherited lyes, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. It is natural to man, and therefore to the rifing generation, to ftick by it, and not to give over the purfuit; but after a thoufand disappointments ftill to hope for better
from it, . lvii. 1o. And the little experience youth has, makes, them the more ready to do so. But- we should endeavour to bring them to part with it, as a hopeless thing they will never mend themfelves of, Pfal. iv. 2.
3. In believing that there is an upmaking portion held forth in the promise of the gospel. This is the finding of the treasure hid in the field, Matth. xiii. 44. The carnal mind, looks on the promise of the gofpel but as idle tales; it is a treasure hid in a field, which men go over without noticing what is in it, because they fee it not. But Christ is there, and in him the fulness of the Godhead, and with him all things, enough to fatisfy the boundless defires of a foul. And could we bring the rifing generation really to believe this, we would do a great thing.
4. In trufting to the promife of the gospel allenarly for life and happiness, and a reft to the heart, upon the ground of God's faithfulness. Here is the nature of faith, a betaking one's felf unto God's truth, by trusting to him in his word of promife for all, Ruth ii. 12. It implies these three things. The foul feeing there is in the promise what is not in all the creation, enough to answer all its needs, and to make it compleatly happy,
ift, Believes its own common interest in the promife, that itfelf, as well as others, has access to claim it with all that is in it, and to rely on it as held out to him in particular to truft upon for his upmaking in time and eternity, Heb. iv. 1. 2. For no man can embrace the promise of the gofpel, that does not first see himself warranted fo to do. And the nature of the promise warrants all, John iii. 16. God so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son, that whofoever belie veth in him, fhould not perish, but have everlasting life.
2dly, The man thereupon lays the weight of his happiness wholly on it, trufting that it shall be made out to him, and expecting all happiness from it. Thus he buys the field, takes poffeffion of it, and the treasure hid therein, Matth. xiii. 44. This. is the embracing of the promife, Heb. xi. 13. as one takes an honest man's word for his fecurity, refts there, and looks no further. So what truft was be fore placed in the vain world, is now placed in the promife.
3dly, The ground on which he bottoms this his truft in the promise, is not any thing in himfelf, but the truth and faithfulness of God, Tit. i. 2. The man fees the promife is not yea and nay, as the promises of fickle men are; but that it is the word of God which is furer than heaven and earth, Heb. xi. 11. and yea in Chrift, 2 Cor. i. 20. And to this truft we should labour to bring the rifing genera tion, which is to bring them unto a reft for their reftlefs hearts, by bringing them to Chrift, and by him to God. When we fee hungry infants moving about with their mouths for fomething to fuck, natural affection teaches to fet them on the breaft: but as they grow up, ye might obferve their hungry fouls moving up and down among the creatures for a fill, and ftill reflefs becaufe they cannot get it. It would be as great charity in that cafe, to endeavour to bring them to the breafts of divine confolations in the promife of the gofpel
5 laftly, In hoping and waiting for their happiness from the promife of the gofpel. Hence fays the Apo