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CHAP. XIV.-Of Saving Faith. I.
THE grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the word: by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.
II. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein;. and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands,' trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that
I. ~ Heb. x. 39. But we are not of lieve, though they be not circumcised; them who draw back unto perdition; that righteousness might be imputed but of them that believe to the saving unto them also. Luke xvii. 5. And of the soul.
the apostles said unto the Lord, Inb 2 Cor. iv. 13. We having the same crease our faith. Rom. i. 16. For I spirit of faith, according as it is writ- am not ashamed of the gospel of ten, I believed, and therefore have I Christ: for it is the power of God spoken; we also believe, and therefore unto salvation to every one that bespeak. Eph. i. 17. That the God of lieveth; to the Jew first, and also to our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of the Greek. Ver. 17. For therein is glory, may give unto you the spirit the righteousness of God revealed of wisdom and revelation in the know from faith to faith: as it is written, ledge of him : Ver. 18. The eyes of The just shall live by faith. your understanding being enlighten- II. - John iv. 42. And said unto the ed; that ye may know what is the woman, Now we believe, not because hope of his calling, and what the of thy saying: for we have heard him riches of the glory of his inheritance ourselves, and know that this is inin the saints, Ver. 19. And what is deed the Christ, the Saviour of the the exceeding greatness of his power world. 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this
cause to us-ward who believe, according to also thank we God without ceasing, the working of his mighty power, because, when ye received the word Eph. ii. 8. For by grace are ye saved of God which ye heard of us, ye rethrough faith; and that not of your. ceived it not as the word of men, but selyes: it is the gift of God.
(as it is in truth) the word of God, c Rom. x. 14. How then shall they which effectually worketh also in you call on him in whom they have not that believe. 1 John v. 10. He that believed ? and how shall they believe believeth on the Son of God hath the in him of whom they have not heard? witness in himself: he that believeth and how shall they hear without a not God hath made him a liar; bepreacher ? Ver. 17. So then faith cause he believed not the record that cometh by hearing, and hearing by God gave of his Son. Acts xxiv. 14. the word of God.
But this I confess unto thee, that d1 Pet. ii. 2. As newborn babes, after the way which they call heresy, desire the sincere milk of the word, so worship I the God of my fathers, that ye may grow thereby: Acts xx. believing all things which are written 32. And now, brethren, I commend in the law and in the prophets. you to God, and to the word of his "Rom. xvi. 26. But now is made grace, which is able to build you up, manifest, and by the Scriptures of the and to give you an inheritance among prophets, according to the commandall them which are sanctified. Rom. ment of the everlasting, God, made iv. 11. And he received the sign of known to all nations for the obedience circumcision, a seal of the righteous- of faith. ness of the faith which he had yet 8 Isaiah lxvi. 2. For all those things being uncircumcised : that he might hath mine hand made, and all those be the father of all them that be things have been, saith the Lord:
which is to come. But the principal acts of saving faith are, accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.'
III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong;k may be often and many ways assailed and weakened, but gets the victory;' growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ,m who is both the author and finisher of our faith."
but to this man will I look, even to the oven, shall he not much more him that is poor, and of a contrite clothe you, O ye of little faith? Matt. spirit, and trembleth at my word. viii. 10. When Jesus heard it, he
* Heb. xi. 13. These all died in faith, marvelled, and said to them that fol. not having received the promises, but lowed, Verily I say unto you, I have having seen them afar off, and were not found so great faith, no, not in persuaded of them, and embraced Israel. them, and confessed that they were 1 Luke xxii. 31. And the Lord said, strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath 1 Tim. iv. 8. For bodily exercise pro- desired to have you, that he may sift fiteth little; but godliness is profita- you as wheat : Ver. 32. But have ble unto all things, having promise of prayed for thee, that thy faith fail the life that now is, and of that which not: and when thou art converted, is to come.
strengthen thy brethren. Eph. vi. John i. 12. But as many as re- 16. Above all, taking the shield of ceived him, to them gave he power faith, wherewith ye shall be able to to become the sons of God, even to quench all the fiery_darts of the them that believe on his name. Acts wicked. 1 John v. 4. For whatsoever xvi. 31. And they said, Believe on the is born of God overcometh the world : Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be and this is the victory that oversaved, and thy house. Gal. ii. 20. I cometh the world, even our faith. am crucified with Christ: neverthe- Ver. 5. Who is he that overcometh less I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth the world, but he that believeth that in me: and the life which I now live Jesus is the Son of God ? in the flesh I live by the faith of the m Heb. vi. 11. And we desire that Son of God, who loved me, and gave every one of you do shew the same himself for me. Acts xv. 11. But we diligence, to the full assurance of hope believe that through the grace of the unto the end: Ver. 12. That ye be Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, not slothful, but followers of them even as they
who through faith and patience in. III. * Heb. v. 13. For every one that herit the promises. Heb. x. 22. Let useth milk is unskilful in the word us draw near with a true heart, in of righteousness; for he is a babe. full assurance of faith, having our Ver. 14. But strong meat belongeth hearts sprinkled from an evil conto them that are of full age, even science, and our bodies washed with those who by reason of use have their pure water. Col. ii. 2. That their senses exercised to discern both good hearts might be comforted, being knit and evil. Rom. iv. 19. And being not together in love, and unto all riches weak in faith, he considered not his of the full assurance of understandown body now dead, when he was ing, to the acknowledgment of the about an hundred years old, neither mystery of God, and of the Father, yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: and of Christ. Ver. 20. He staggered not at the pro- * Heb. xii. 2. Looking unto Jesus, mise of God through unbelief; but the author and finisher of our faith; was strong in faith, giving glory to who, for the joy that was set before God. Matt. vi. 30. Wherefore, if God him, endured the cross, despising the so clothe the grass of the field, which shame, and is set down at the right to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into hand of the throne of God.
CHAP. XV.-Of Repentance unto Life. I.
whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.
II. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God,purposing and endeavouring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.a
I. a Zech. xii. 10. And I will pour as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say upon the house of David, and upon unto it, Get thee hence. Ps. li. 4. the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Against thee, thee only, have I sin. spirit of grace and of supplications; ned, and done this evil in thy sight; and they shall look upon me whom that thou mightest be justified when they have pierced, and they shall thou speakest, and be clear when thou mourn for him, as one mourneth for judgest. Jer. xxxi. 18. I have surely his only son, and shall be in bitter. heard Ephraim bemoaning himself ness for him, as one that is in bitter- thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I ness for his first-born. Acts xi. 18. was chastised, as bullock unaccusWhen they heard these things, they tomed to the yoke: turn thou me, held their peace, and glorified God, and I shall be turned; for thou art saying, Then hath God also to the the Lord my God. Ver. 19. Surely Gentiles granted repentance unto life. after that I was turned, I repented;
b Luke xxiv. 47. And that repent- and after that I was instructed, Í ance and remission of sins should be smote
upon my thigh: I was ashamed, preached in his name among all na- yea, even confounded, because I did tions, beginning at Jerusalem. Mark bear the reproach of my youth. Joel i. 15. And saying, The time is fulfil. ii. 12. Therefore also now, saith the led, and the kingdom of God is at Lord, Turn ye even to me with all hand : repent ye, and believe the gos- your heart, and with fasting, and pel. Acts xx. 21. Testifying both to with weeping, and with mourning; the Jews, and also to the Greeks, re- Ver. 13. And rend your heart, and pentance toward God, and faith to- not your garments, and turn unto the ward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord your God: for he is gracious II. Ezek. xviii. 30. Therefore I and merciful, slow to anger, and of will judge you, O house of Israel, great kindness, and repenteth him of every one according to his ways, the evil. Amos v. 15. Hate the evil, saith the Lord God. Repent, and and love the good, and establish judgturn yourselves from all your trans- ment in the gate: it may be that the gressions; so iniquity shall not be Lord God of hosts will be gracious your ruin. Ver. 31. Cast away from unto the remnant of Joseph. Ps. you all your transgressions, whereby cxix. 128. Therefore I esteem all thy ye have transgressed; and make you precepts concerning all things to be å new heart and a new spirit: for right; and I hate every false way. why will ye die, 0 house of Israel ? 2 Cor. vii. 11. For, behold, this selfEzek. xxxvi. 31. Then shall ye re- same thing, that ye sorrowed after a member your own evil ways, and godly sort, what carefulness it wrought your doings that were not good, in you, yea, what clearing of your. and shall loathe yourselves in your selves, yea, what indignation, yea, own sight, for your iniquities, and what fear, yea, what vehement desire, for your abominations. Isa. xxx. yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge
! 22. Ye shall defile also the covering In all things ye have approved yourof thy graven images of silver, and selves to be clear in this matter. the ornament of thy molten images d Psal. cxix. 6. Then shall I not be of gold: thou shalt cast them away ashamed, when I have respect unto all
III. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God's free
grace in Christ;' yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.8
IV. As there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation;so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.
V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man's duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins particularly. *
thy commandments. Ver. 59. I thought Christ Jesus. Eph. i. 7. In whom we on my ways, and turned my feet unto have redemption through his blood, thy testimonies. Ver. 106. I have the forgiveness of sins, according to sworn, and I will perform it, that I the riches of his
grace. will keep thy righteous judgments. 6 Luke xiii. 3. I tell you, Nay: but, Luke i. 6. And they were both right- except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise eous before God, walking in all the perish. Ver. 5. I tell you, Nay: but, commandments and ordinances of the except ye repent, ye shall all likewise Lord blameless. 2 Kings xxiii, 25. perish. Acts xvii. 30. And the times And like unto him was there no king of this ignorance God winked at; but before him, that turned to the Lord now commandeth all men every where with all his heart, and with all his to repent: Ver. 31. Because he hath soul, and with all his might, accord- appointed a day, in the which he will ing to all the law of Moses ; neither judge the world in righteousness by after him arose there any like him. that man whom he hath ordained;
III. e Ezek. xxxvi. 31. Then shall whereof he hath given assurance unto ye remember your own evil ways, and all men, in that he hath raised him your doings that were not good, and from the dead. shall loathe yourselves in your own
IV. h Rom. vi. 23. For the wages of sight, for your iniquities,
and for your sin is death; but the gift of God is abominations. Ver. 32. Not for your eternal life through Jesus Christ our sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, Lord. Rom. v. 12. Wherefore, as by be it known unto you: be ashamed one man sin entered into the world, and confounded for your own ways, and death by sin; and so death passO house of Israel. Ezek. xvi. 61. Then ed upon all men, for that all have thou shalt remember thy ways, and be sinned. Matt. xii. 36. But I say unto ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy you, That every idle word that men sisters, thine elder and thy younger: shall speak, they shall give account and I will give them unto thee for thereof in the day of judgment. daughters, but not by thy covenant. i Isa. lv. 7. Let the wicked forsake Ver. 62. And I will establish my co- his way, and the unrighteous man his venant with thee; and thou shalt thoughts: and let him return unto know that I am the Lord : Ver. 63. the Lord, and he will have mercy upon That thou mayest remember, and be him; and to our God, for he will confounded, and never open thymouth abundantly pardon. Rom. viii. 1. any more because of thy shame, when There is therefore now no condemI am pacified toward thee for all that nation to them which are in Christ thou hast done, saith the Lord God. Jesus, who walk not after the flesh,
Hos. xiv. 2. Take with you words, but after the Spirit. Isa. i. 16. Wash and turn to the Lord : say unto him, you, make you clean; put away the Take away all iniquity, and receive evil of your doings from before mine us graciously: so will we render the eyes; cease to do evil. Ver. 18. Come calves of our lips. Ver. 4. I will now, and let us reason together, saith heal their backsliding, I will love the Lord: Though your sins be as them freely: for mine anger is turn- scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; ed away from him. Rom. ii. 24. though they be red like crimson, they Being justified freely by his grace, shall be as wool. through the redemption that is in V. k Psal. xix. 13. Keep back thy
VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof;' upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy; so he that scandalizeth his brother, or the church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or publick confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended;" who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.o
CHAP. XVI.- Of Good Works.
J word, and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention.b servant also from presumptuous sins; confesseth and forsaketh them shall let them not have dominion over me: have mercy. 1 John i. 9. If we confess then
shall I be upright, and I shall be our sins, he is faithful and just to forinnocent from the great transgression. give us our sins, and to cleanse us Luke xix. 8. And Zaccheus stood, and from all unrighteousness. said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the n James v. 16. Confess your faults half of my goods I give to the poor; one to another, and pray one for anand if I have taken any thing from other, that ye may he healed. The any man by false accusation, I restore effectual fervent prayer of a rightehim fourfold. 1 Tim. i. 13. Who was ous man availeth much. Luke xvii. before a blasphemer, and a perse- 3. Take heed to yourselves : If thy cutor, and injurious: but I obtained brother trespass against thee, rebuke mercy, because I did it ignorantly in him; and if he repent, forgive him. unbelief. Ver. 15. This is a faithful Ver. 4. And if he trespass against thee saying, and worthy of all acceptation, seven times in a day, and seven times that Christ Jesus came into the world in a day turn again to thee, saying, to save sinners; of whom I am chief. I repent; thou shall forgive him.
VI. ? Ps. li. 4. Against thee, thee Josh. vii. '19. And Joshua said unto only, have I sinned, and done this Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, evil in thy sight; that thou mightest glory to the Lord God of Israel, and be justified when thou speakest, and make confession unto him; and tell be clear when thou judgest. Ver. 5. me now what thou hast doné; hide it Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and not from me. [Psal. li. throughout.) in sin did my mother conceive me. • 2 Cor. ii. 8. Wherefore I beseech Ver. 7. Purge me with hyssop, and I you, that ye would confirm your love shall be clean; wash me, and I shall toward him. be whiter than snow. Ver. 9. Hide I. a Micah vi. 8. He hath shewed thee thy face from my sins, and blot out O man, what is good; and what doth all mine iniquities. Ver. 14. Deliver the Lord require of thee, but to do me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou justly, and to love merey, and to walk God of my salvation; and my tongue humbly with thy God ? Rom. xii. 2. shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. And be not conformed to this world; Ps. xxxii. 5. I acknowledged my sin but be ye transformed by the renewunto thee, and mine iniquity have I ing of your mind, that ye may prove not hid. I said, I will confess my what is that good, and acceptable, and transgressions unto the Lord ; and perfect will of God. Heb. xiii. 21. thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Make you perfect in every good work Selah. Ver. 6. For this shall every to do his will, working in you that one that is godly pray unto thee in a which is well-pleasing in his sight, time when thou mayest be found : through Jesus Christ; to whom be surely in the floods of great waters glory for ever and ever. Amen. they shall not come nigh unto him. • Matt. xv. 9. But in vain they do
m Prov. xxviii. 13. He that covereth worship me, teaching for doctrines the his sins shall not prosper; but whoso commandments of men. Isa. xxix. 13.