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has in common speech? Why the word faith, is used to sig. nify a complex act of the mind? How far trusting in Christ is of the nature and essence of faith? Whether assent, consent and affiance, be a proper distribution of the various and distinct acts of faith? Whether hope, as the word is used in the New Testament, be properly distinct from saving faith? What does the word trust imply in common speech? What it implies as used in scripture? In what sense faith implies obedience? What is the nature of self-righteousness? How self-righteousness is peculiarly opposite to the nature of faith? In what sense there must be a particular application in the act of saving faith? Whether the first act of faith is certainly more lively and sensible, than some of the weakest of the consequent acts of saving faith? In what sense perseverance in faith is necessary to salvation? What sort of evidence is it which is the principal immediate ground of that assent of the judgment which is implied in saving faith?
§ 36. The general description of justifying faith is a proper reception of Christ and his salvation, or a proper active union of the soul to Christ as a Saviour. 1 say, a proper reception, , which implies that it is a receiving him in a manner agreeable to his office and character and relation to us, in which he is exhibited and offered to us, and with regard to those ends and effects for which he is given to mankind, was sent into the world, and is appointed to be preached ; and in a manner agreeable to the way in which he is exhibited, made known and offered, i. e. by divine revelation, without being exhibited to the view of ourselves; and the nature of his person, character, offices and benefits; and the way of salvation, as related to our faculties mysterious and incomprehensible : and in a manner agreeable to our circumstances, and our particular necessities, and immediate and infinite personal concern with the revelation and offer of the Saviour. An union of soul to his Saviour, and a reception of him and his salvation, which is proper in these respects, is most aptly called by the name of faith. As the whole soul, in all its faculties, is the proper subject and agent of faith, so undoubtedly there are two things in saving faith, viz. belief of the truth, and an answerable disposition of heart. And therefore faith may be defined, a thorough believing of what the gospel reveals of a Saviour of sinners, as true and perfectly good, with the exercise of an answerable disposition towards him. That true faith, in the scripture sense of it, implies not only the exercise of the understanding but of the heart or disposition is very manifest. Many important things pertaining to saving religion, which the scripture speaks of under the name of some exercise of the understanding, imply the disposition and exercise of the heart also. Such as, know, ing God-understanding the word of God--having eyes to see,
and a heart to understand. And piety is called wisdom. So men's wickedness is called ignorance, folly, &c. A being wise in one's own eyes, implies an high opinion of oneself, with an agreeable or answerable disposition. For we do not trust in any person or thing for any thing but good, or what is agreeable to us; what we choose, incline to, and desire. Yea, trusting commonly is used with respect to great good ; good that we choose, as what we depend upon for support, satisfaction, happiness, &c.
$ 37. Faith is very often in the scripture called trust, especially in the Old Testament. Now, trusting is something more than mere believing. Believing is the assent to any truth testified; trusting always respects truth that nearly concerns ourselves, in regard of some benefit that it reveals to us. It is the acquiescence of the mind in a belief of any person, who by his word reveals or represents himself to us as the author of some good that concerns us. If the benefit be a deliverance or preservation from misery, it is a being easy in a belief that he will do it. So, if we say, a man trusts in a castle to save him from his enemies, we mean, his mind is easy, and rests in a persuasion that it will keep him safe. If the benefit be the bestowment of happiness, it is the mind's acquiescing in it, that he will accomplish it; that is, he is persuaded he will do it; he has such a persuasion, that he rejoices in confidence of it. Thus, if a man has promised a child to make him his heir, if we say the child trusts in him to be made his heir, we mean he has such a belief of what he promises, that his mind acquiesces and rejoices in it, so as not to be disturbed by doubts and questions whether he will perform it. These things all the world means by trust. The first fruit of trust as being willing to do and undergo in the expectation of something. He that does not expect the benefit, so much as to make him ready to do or undergo, dares not trust it: he dares not run the venture of it. Therefore, they may be said to trust in Christ, and they only, that are ready to do and undergo all that he desires, in expectation of his redemption. And the faith of those that dare not do so, is unsound. Therefore, such trials are called the trials of faith.
But this is to be considered, that Christ does not promise that he will be the author of our final redemption, but upon condition ; and we have not performed that condition, until we have believed. Therefore, the first act of faith is no more than this, the acquiescence of the mind in him in what he does declare absolutely. It is the soul's resting in him, and adhering to him, so far as his word reveals him to all as a Saviour for sinners, as one that has wrought out redemption, as a sufficient Saviour, as a Saviour suited to their case, as a willing Saviour, as the author of an excellent salvation, &c.; so as to be encouraged heartily to seek salvation of him, to come to him. in
love, desire, and thirst after him as a Saviour, and fly for refuge to him. This is the very same thing in substance, as that trust we spoke of before, and is the very essence of it. If a man offers another to rescue him from captivity, and carry him to his own country ; if the latter believes the former will do it, and yet does not desire it, he cannot be said to trust in him for it. And if the thing be accounted good, and be believed, yet if the person to whom it is offered, does not like the person that does it, or the way of its accomplishment, there cannot be an entire trust, be. cause there is not a full adherence and acquiescence of mind.
§ 38. The conditions of justification are, repentance and faith: and the freedom of grace appears in the forgiving of sin upon repentance, or only for our being willing to part with it, after the same manner as the bestowment of eternal life, only for accepting of it. For to make us an offer of freedom from a thing, only for quitting of it, is equivalent to the offering the possession of a thing for the receiving of it. God makes us this offer, that if we will in our hearts quit sin, we shall be freed from it, and all the evil that belongs to it, and flows from it; which is the same thing as the offering us freedom only for accepting it. Accepting, in this case, is quitting and parting with, in our wills and inclination. So that repentance is implied in faith; it is a part of our willing reception of the sal. vation of Jesus Christ, though faith with respect to sin, implies something more in it, viz. a respect to Christ, as him by whom we have deliverance. Thus by faith we destroy sin, Gal. ii. 18.
§ 39. As to that question, Whether closing with Christ in his kingly office be of the essence of justifying faith? I would say,
1. That accepting Christ in his kingly office, is doubtless the proper condition of having an interest in his kingly office, and so the condition of that salvation which he bestows in the execution of that office, as much as accepting the forgiveness of sins, is the proper condition of the forgiveness of sin. Christ, in his kingly office, bestows salvation; and therefore, accepting him in his kingly office, by a disposition to sell all and suffer all in duty to Christ, and giving proper respect and honour to him, is the proper condition of salvation. This is manifest by Heb. v. 9. • And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him;" and by Rom. x. 10. “ For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." The apostle speaks of such a confessing of Christ, or outward and open testifying our respect to him, and adhering in duty to him, as exposes to suffering, reproach and persecution. And that such a disposition and practice is of the essence of saving faith, is manifest by John xii. 42, 43. “Nevertheless, among the
chief rulers also, many believed on him ; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God;"--compared with John v. 44. “How can ye believe, which receive honour of one another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only ?”
2. Accepting Christ as a priest and king, cannot be separated. They not only cannot be separated, or be asunder in their subject, but they cannot be considered as separate things in their natures ; for they are implied one in another. Accepting Christ as a king, is implied in accepting him as a priest : for, as a priest, he procures a title to the benefits of his kingly office; and therefore, to accept him as a priest, implies an accepting him in his kingly office: for we cannot accept the purchase of his priesthood, but by accepting the benefits purchased. If faith is supposed to contain no more immediately, than only an accepting of Christ as a mediator for our justification ; yet that justification implies a giving a title to the benefits of his kingly office, viz. salvation from sin, and conformity to his nature and will, and actual salvation by actual deliverance from our enemies, and the bestowment of glory.
§ 40. Some have objected against a spiritual sight of divine things in their glorious excellent and divine form, as being the foundation of faith, which is a spiritual conviction of the truth or real existence of them; because, say they, the existence of things is in the order of nature before forms or qualities of them as excellent or odious ; and so the knowledge of their existence must go before the sight of their form or quality; they must be known to be, before they are seen to be excellent.-I answer, It is true, things must be known to be, before they are known to be excellent, if by this proposition be understood, that things must be known really to exist, before they can be known really to exist with such and such beauty. And all the force of the objection depends on such a meaning of this assertion. But if thereby be intended, that a thing must be known to have a real existence before the person has a clear understanding, idea, or apprehension, of the thing proposed or objected to his view, as it is in its qualities either odious or beautiful, then the assertion is not true; for his having a clear idea of something proposed to his understanding or view, as very beautiful or very odious, as is proposed, does not presuppose its reality. But, in
of understanding things in general of all kinds, we first have some understanding or view of the thing in its qualities, before we know its existence. Thus it is in things that we know by our external senses, by our bodily sight for instance. We first see them, or have a clear idea of them by our sight, before we kuow their existence by our sight. We first see the un, and have a strong, lively, and clear idea of it in its quali
ties, its shape, its brightness, &c. before we know there actually exists such a body.
§ 41. It is observable, that as trusting in God, hoping in him, waiting for him, &c. are abundantly insisted on in the Old Testament, as the main condition of God's favour, protection, deliverance, and salvation, in the book of Psalms and elsewhere; so, in most of those places where these graces of trust and hope are so insisted upon, the subjects of them are repre. sented as being in a state of trial, trouble, difficulty, danger, opposition, and oppression of enemies, and the like. And the clearer revelation, and more abundant light of the New Testament, bring into clearer view the state that all mankind are in with regard to those things that are invisible, the invisible God, an invisible world, and invisible enemies, and so show men's lost, miserable, captivated, dangerous, and helpless state, and reveal the infinite mercy of God, and his glorious all-sufficiency to such wretched, helpless creatures, and also exhibit Christ in the character of the Saviour of the miserable, the great Re. deemer of captives, &c. Hence faith, trust, and hope, are mostly fitly insisted on as the duty and qualification peculiarly proper for all mankind, and the virtue proper to be exercised in their circumstances towards God and Christ, as they reveal themselves in the gospel, as belonging to them in their character and relation to us, and concern with us, in which they are there exhibited ; and as the grand condition of our salvation, or our receiving those benefits, which we, as sinful, miserable, and helpless creatures, need from them, and which Christ, as a Redeemer, appears ready to bestow.
§ 42. Dr. Manton reconciles the apostle James and the apostle Paul in the following manner, in his 5th volume of Sermons, p. 274.-" Justification hath respect to some accusation : now, as there is a twofold law, there is a twofold accusation and justification; the law of works, and the law of grace. Now, when we are accused as breakers of the law of works, that is, as sinners obnoxious to the wrath of God, we plead Christ's satisfaction as our righteousness, no works of our own. But when we are accused as non-performers of the conditions of the covenant of grace, as being neglectors and rejectors of Christ the Mediator, we are justified by producing our faith or sincere obedience; so that our righteousness by the new covenant is subordinate to our universal righteousness, with respect to the great law of God; and that we have only by Christ. If we are charged that we have broken the first covenant, the covenant of works, we allege Christ's satisfaction and merit. If charged not to have performed the conditions of the law of grace, we answer it by producing our faith, repentance and new obedience, and so show it to be a false charge. Our first and supreme righteousness consists in the