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"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is
the work of God, that ye believe on bim whom he hath sent."-John vi. 29.
It is evident that true The
faith in the Lord Jesus Divine Work, is something more than a mere assent to the things concerning Him. It is a belief that is invariably connected with certain results, the first and chief of which is a personal application to Him for life and salvation. Faith has always respect to some testimony, to some statement made or assurance given. To have faith in one of our fellow-creatures, is to place reliance upon the veracity of his declarations. In like manner, faith in Christ has reference to the word of Christ.
“ Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out," is one of the most precious and encouraging of His many gracious sayings. Now the sinner, convinced of his lost condition, and conscious of the
danger to which he is exposed, believes this promise to be true; but is he satisfied with merely assenting to it as such ? Not so ; but he resolves to apply to the Saviour on the strength of it. While prostrate at His footstool, his language is, Thou hast said that Thou wilt not reject those who come to Thee, and I praise Thy blessed name for having made such a statement. I, therefore, a poor, guilty, hell-deserving creature, present myself
before Thee, not doubting but that Thou wilt be as good as Thy word. Thou Friend of sinners, in infinite love and mercy remember me. Thou art able to save to the uttermost, and this is my humble, heartfelt cry,“Lord, save me, or I perish.”
Such, we conceive, is saving faith. It is not a nominal belief in the person, or work, or character, or sufferings of Christ; but it leads the soul in its deep distress to apply to Him, in order to obtain the salvation which He procured by His perfect obedience and sacrificial death, and which He has promised to
testow without money and without price.
We have a striking emblem of the sinner believing in Christ in the con. duct of the children of Israel, when they were stung by the serpents in the wilderness. See the bitten Israelite writhing in the agonies of death. The poison is in his blood; the fever is burning through his convulsed and agonizing frame. But in his extremity he is exhorted to look to a certain image which is lifted up on a pole in the midst of the camp. The brazen emblem of the Redeemer appears before him, and he casts upon it his languid eye. The ravages of the disease are at once stayed ; the pulses of health begin to beat within hiin; and with renovated vigout he is restored to the bosom of his family and friends.
Now, in reference to this memorable scene, the Saviour says, “And as Moses lifted up the serpenť in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have eternal life." We are thus clearly shewn that, if we only look to Him in the exercise of faith, the blessed consequence will be, that we shall live. He is now lifted up, not on the cross, but at the right hand of the Majesty on high ; and from yonder radiant throne on which He sits as a Prince and Saviour, His language is, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.”
“If any man will come after me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”—Matt. xvi. 24.
In order to follow Christ Pard
aright, we must follow Him
fully; we must possess the Baqing. spirit of those of whom it is said, " These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." Such was strikingly the case with the early disciples of the Saviour. He said to them, “Follow me;" and immediately they left all, and followed Him. They did not confer for a single moment with flesh and blood, but at once abandoned their homes, their ease, their earthly prospects, for the great object of promoting His cause. In obedience to His command, they engaged in the most arduous enterprises; they encountered the most formidable difficulties and dangers; perils, whether by sea or by land, they heeded not; the most fiery persecutions they patiently,