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Lord hath commanded me to believe; and therefore it is my duty to believe, and because I cannot believe unlefs I apply the promise to myself, therefore I may conclude that the promise dosh belong voto me. Thus for the first temptation. . . .
. . i . 2. For the other, That your relying on Chrift is not constant. . True faith, faith Satan, is ever alike Irbog and Itedfaft; but thy faith is but a wavering, inconstant, feetjag faith. Consider, ? ;. '
1. It is a fallacy'and go truth, that faith in the exercise or feose is ever alike strong and fedfast.: The experience
of all saints can tell you, that faith hath its flowings and : ebbings, full and wage. Sometimes a Christian is on the
wing, and then he faith, I thiak if the devil had hold on me, yet I could trust in God for heaven; as Job could sometimes say, if the Lord slay me, yet will I trust in kim, Job xjii: is. But we koow that was not Job's temper always. Sometimes I think that if God would take me a. way in a massacre, I should yield my blood without a repiaing word: Another time, I fo doubt my interest in Christ, that I do not know how. I should die upon my bed, unless with crying, Lord take me not away with the wicked. David sometimes would not be afraid of his soul going out of his body, if ten thousand swords were ready to cut out a passage; I will not be afraid of ten thousand of people, that have set themselves against me round about ; at another time he cries complaining and shrieking, O spare me, that I may recover firength before I go hence and be no more, Psal. xxviii. 3. and vi. 3, 39. Faith may be fo interrupted, that the pulse of it cannot always beat alike; and yet while there is life, the pulse of faith beats, though sometimes more faintly and deadly than at other times.
2. Faith, that in the exercise or sense is not ever alike strong aod nedfast, yet in the habit or essence is ever true, and truly relies upon Jesus Christ: Sense in a Christian, may not only have a mist cast before its eges, but (as faith Collins) may have its eyes put out. Christians are mís. judging creatures, and too ready upon Satan's temptations to fufpect their own happiness; they may call their faith
War with Devils.
On art laved, whilft he may be crying on earth, Olam
· thou sayelt, I do not believe, I do not rely on Jesus Chrifti
work in the soul an obedience to Chrift: True fait
: Iqul that truly takes Chrilt rom the misery of fin, is wil
Lord, Husband, and King, to obey him: And to this purpose the
e, a willingoess to spend the
ring after mortification of lančtification, purity, DEW any ihing for Jesus Chrill; my intend by saying, Sap.
ut a dead faith: • As the
Taith witbout works
o the soul.
Ô that point of working faith, that either fills tbe heard with an opinion that works are unnecessary, or makes the oul conceit, that the faith it hath is not a working, but a idle, lazy, fruitless, and barren faith. I shall speak to joth these.
1. Io some Salad speaks strongly, that works are not seedful, and therefore to what purpose should they work? baked Christ, and a baked faith is enough for them: Christ is a priest and Saviour is gospel-dews; let them hear fuch, and only such fermons as hold forth free love, free justification, free grace, without any mixture of the works of the law, to what purpose, say they, is this living faith, or working faith, or power of faith evidenced in strictness of walking ? Christ hath redeemed us, and Christ requires Do other condition but only this, Believe and be saved; and why then should we vex and torment ourselves by embrac. ing mortification, newness of life, &c.
2. In others (whom I rather mind) Satan suggests that their faith is oot a workiog faith, and therefore no truc faith: Convinced they are, that faith aod grace, wherever it is, cangot be idle; faith hath its work, and therefore it is called, The work of faith with power, 2 Thesl, i, 21. But alas! they cannot find any thing in their souls that looks like the powerful works of faith: Satan tells them, that if they do any good, it is but from natural or moral priaciples, and not from this quickning power of faith, it is not the obedience of faith, as the apostle calls it, Rom. xvi. 26.
SECT. XVII. . Of our Wrestling with Satan as to these Asaults. TN repelling these assaults, let us avoid both extremos.
And first, to that of denying works, consider, : 1. That a gaked faith is no faith, that only is true faith which worketh by love, Gal. v. 6. This was the fa yiog of John Huss, Where good works appear pot with out, faith is not within. There is a gatural connection of faith and works, and therefore of neceffity both must be in the same subject, tho' both appear not in the same court; faith that embraceth Christ is obediential, and fruitful in all good works; and hence we fay, what faith hath ewo notable acts, first to apprehend and fay hoidoul 'Chrift; and second to purify and cleanse the heart; O let nô man separate those things which God hath joined tc. gether.; as Chrit is made to us righteousness and fancti. fication; fo they that by faith receive the righteousness of Christ, must also be sanctified by Christ; whosoever is in Christ is a new creature, 2 Cor. v. 17.
2. That good works are necesary by the command of God; for this is the will of God, even your fanctification, 1 Thell. iv. 8. Hence the law of God fill remaineth as a rüle and directory; aod Paul professeth that he delighteth in the law of God in his inward man, Rom. vii. 2 2. And how often do we read of this command of God in his word? Charge them that are rich in the world, that 6. they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready • to distribute, laying up in store for themselves a good * foundation against the time to come, that they may lay
hold on eternal life,' I Tim. vi. 17, 18, 19. For we 3. Sare his workmanship created in Jesus Christ unto good
* works, which God hath before ordained, that we should * walk in them,' Eph. ii. 10. A multitude of such paffag cs'may we find in fcripture. . 3. That to hold forth Christ only as a Saviour, and oot as a prince, faith and not works, it is not right and full gospel preaching: This is a faithful saying, and these * things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which • have believed on God, míust be careful to maintain good • works; these things are good and profitable unto men,' Tit. iji. 8. O unfaithful are they in their sayings that deny that which Paul would have Titus to affirm constant. ·lg? Surely this is true gospel preaching, 'He gave himself
* for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and • purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good • works; these things speak and exhort;' Tit. ji. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Paul to Titus, and Peter to the Jews, speak one and the lame thing, "The God of our fathers hath « raised up Jefus, to be not only a Saviour, but a Prince,
not only to give remission of sins, but also repentance to • Ifrael,' Acts v. 30, 31. Away, away with that tempta. tion, that works are uopecessary.
2. To that complaint, that the soul cabaot find the rowerful work of faith in it, All those works of mine, aith the soul, are but natural or moral; or if I have any aith, it is the idlelt, lazielt, loosest faith that ever Chrisjan had. Give me leave to sum up these directions:
1. Clear up the eyes of thy understaoding, and judge. right: Some works may be only the effects of natural or', noral causes, but other works respecting the principles and ircumstances of them, cannot proceed from any but a rue faith: For instance, an unfeigned hatred of every false Nay, a doing of duty, in pure obedience to the command of God, and in pure respect to the glory of God: These
are such effects of faith, as go hypocrite in the world ei. viher hath or can have. An hypocrite may leave the com
mission of some sips, or may hate fome enormities of life,
but he cannot, as David did, hate every false way, Pfal. *cxix. 104. An hypocrite may fast, and pray, and mourn, as the Pharisee and Ahab did, but he cannot do thus merely out of obedience to God, and for the glory of God: Come then, clear up thy eyes, and see if there be no more ingredients in thy actions than what a hypocrite may
2. Set thy faith on work; on the powerful works of 14,faith, and la put all out of question. 'As, I. Cause eliy - loul every day in sclemn manner to act that first work of by faith, of panting, breathing, defiriog after Christ, of
rusting, refling, relying on Christ for life and for salvatino! on. 2. Act that next work of faith, of dependiogon
Chrift for holiness and fanctification ; draw virtue out of
Chrill's death for the martification of thy fias, Kaowing 70 this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the e body of sin may be destroyed, that heaceforth we should
not serve lio, Rom. vi. 6. And draw virtue out of 3012 Christ's resurrection, for a quickping power from the 1, death of fja to the life of holinels, that as thou art dead * with Christ, aod buried with Christ, fo thou may also rile hon with Christ thro' the faith of the operation of God, who all bath also raised him from the dead. Be much in prayer, 30 meditation, reading, hearing the word, do. yea, lay out hi thy gifts, graces, time, Itrength, riches, intcreft, to thy