Abbildungen der Seite

We may therefore rest assured of this as an undoubted truth, that eternal sal-, vation is, all men, without distinction, by all who will comply with. the reasonable terms on which it is offered to them; for otherwise God is not the Saviour of all men, and Christ is dead in vain.

in UT

6. What must I do to be saved," is therefore a question which not, only may; , but must be asked by all, who have any, regard for themselves and their greatest interest; in comparison with which, all other views and schemes are mere trifles, and very nothings.

2dly, Let us enquire, how: a full and satisfactory answer to the question here proposed may be obtained by every man, living.

[ocr errors]

Now, if you apply yourself to one sort of Christians, they will bid you abjure your present faith, and become, what they call, a good Catholic: for there is no salvation, say they, out of the Church of


Rońë: Be you, therefore, ever so sincere in

your profession; be you possessed of every (virtue under Heaven; 'yet, if you continue in your heresy (for so call they the way, after which we 'worship the God of our fathers), without doubt you will perish everlastingly. Amazing rashness and intolerable uncharitableness in that Church, in thus pronouncing the sentence of damnation, not only uponi all Christians now in the world besides themselves, but upon all the primitive Church, and upon

their own Church also, for the best part of a thousand years! With how much greater reason miglit we, Protestants, retort this charge upon the Papists for their gross idolatries, and their many principles and practises, so directly contrary to the erpress' words of Scripture! This unchåritable spirit in the church of Rome'is certainly one of the strongesť prejudices against it, if not a clear proof of its being a corrupt and Antichristian Church Indeed, I know not what most to admire, the confidence-I had almost said, the împudence of those, who can maintain such an assertion; or the weakness of E!:



those, who can be moved by it. And yet this is as confidently and universally maintained by that Church, as if it had been said in Scripture, there is none other name given under Heaven, by which we can be saved, but only the name of the Pope of Rome.

Leaving then this Popish delusion, I shall proceed to state, what is the proper answer to the question in my text.

Now this will best be done by shewing, Ist, What are the best means we can make use of to secure our salvation. And, 2dly, What are the genuine signs and marks, by which we may judge whether we are in a state of salvation, or not. For, when a man is both informed how he may be saved, and how he may know and be assured that he is actually in a state of salvation, he has then a full and satisfactory answer to the important enquiry be

fore uş.

As to the means necessary to the obtaining salvation, they are all comprehended in the answer given by the Apostle to the terrified jailer :-“ Believe in the “ Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved.” Be but a sincere Christian; have that faith in Christ, together with that holiness of life and manners, which the gospel requires of thee, and then thou canst not fail of salvation. For, when the Apostle says,


“ Believe in Christ,” we are not to confine the expression to faith alone. Every one, who is the least acquainted with Scripture-language, knows, that it is. usual to express the whole of our duty by some leading and principal branch of it. Thus, as faith is here said to be the means of salvation, so is obedience to the laws of God, in the answer which our Lord gives to the young man's question in Matthew,_" Good Master, what good

thing must I do, that I may have " eternal life? And he said unto him, If " thou wilt enter into life, keep the com“ mandments.” The truth is, that neither of these two will of itself be able to save us. Since, as without faith it is impossible to please God, so, without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. And, as the


body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. What therefore God hath thus joined together, let not man put asunder.

But to discuss this point more particularly. - To believe on the Lord Jesus, is to believe him to be the eternal and onlybegotten Son of the Father, our God, and our Lord. That it is for his sake, and by his merits, that we obtain the remission of our sins, and the assurance of everlasting life and happiness. In short, to-believe in the Lord Jesus, is to believe all the articles of the Christian faith, as they care contained in the Holy Scriptures; and by believing them is not meant the barely giving our assent to the truth of them, as 'we do to other trullis of little or no importance, but the firmly embracing them with a devout and active faith. We must be thoroughly possessed with an awful sense both of the truth and importance of them; so as to have our wills and affections, our desires and inclinations, our hearts, and minds, and souls penetrated, subdued, and directed by


« ZurückWeiter »