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are unwilling to receive him. You will rejoin, “that you cannot will to receive him until you perceive spiritually some motive for receiving him, which shall be the reason of your choice; and that the native state of your mind presents a complete inability to perceive spiritual things in such a light that the reception of the Spirit should be an object of choice." I know and admit all this; for it is the truth of God; but I know also, that God's people shall be willing in the day of his power. I know also that the Spirit may bless the instruction which I have given, and the exhortation which I offer,,by making them instrumental for the conveyance of himself to your minds. He may cause my preaching, to become the power of God unto salvation ; and therefore I persist in warning the wicked, that unless they receive the Spirit of God they will never be renewed, never enter hea
Your unwillingness to be made holy would of itself be a sufficient cause of condemnation. God is under no obligations to make you willing to be saved, and if he should not, you would infallibly be damned. O! consider your situation, and remember that the Father and his Son, are more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask for him, than any earthly parent is to bestow a blessing on his child. AMEN.
“ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou
shalt be saved.” ACTS XVI. 31.
THE words of the text contain divinely inspired answer to the question, “what must I do to be saved ?" To all who are soli. citous to enter into life eternal, they are an infallible direction. Would you be saved, my hearers, you must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; for the promise of Jehovah secures pardon, justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification to believers, and to them alone. Without faith there is no salvation for them that hear the gospel.
Will you not, then, seriously ask, “ what is faith?” Will you not give all diligence to ascertain the nature of SAVING FAITH ? May the Holy Ghost enable me to teach, and you to hear, for the salvation of your immortal souls.
The word faith is used in the Holy Scrip. tures to denote,
1st. Proof, or evidence. “He hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance,'
(PICTV) faith, or proof, “ in that he hath rais. • ed him from the dead." Acts xvii. 31.
2dly. The system of the gospel. “They had heard only that he which persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.” Gal. i. 23. “ Earnest ly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3.
3dly. Fidelity or faithfulness. “Shall their unbelief make the faith, (the fidelity) of God without effect ?» Rom. iji. 3. In Titus ii.. 10. the English version renders the original word for faith, hy fidelity. “They have cast off their first faith.” i Tim. v. 12. therein,” (that is, in the gospel) is the righcousness of God revealed from faith to faith ;" from the faithfulness of God, to faith in man.
4thly. Any judgment of the mind, founded on testimony, that a proposition is true. This is the proper sense of the word faith, and it is used in the three forgoing cases I have given, because evidence, of some sort, is the ground of faith; because the system of the gospel ought to be accredited ; and because the attribute of faithfulness in any person is calculated to produce faith in his testimony. This operation of the inind in judging that any proposition of a testifier is true, which we call believing, is performed by that mental faculty which is commonly called the JUDGMENT. We cannot give assent to any statement without the.co-operation of the fa
culty of perception : or, in other words, we cannot believe without some knowledge of the testifier and his statement.
We must understand that a proposition is stated, before we can believe that it is true ; and we must be thoroughly persuaded of the veracity and competence of the testifier, before we can accredit his testimony, upon this ground, that it is his testimony. A notorious liar may assert a proposition which I know, from some * other source than his testimony, to he true. He may meet me in the street and say, You are going to church; which proposition I may judge to be true from my own consciousness of my purpose, and the act of walking: but instead of saying, “I believe your proposition," I should reply, “I know it.” Should this same liar assert something which should appear to me to be probable, I should say, " I neither believe nor disbelieve what you say, but I think it may be true.” Should a person of known veracity immediately after make the same assertion which the liar had just made, every one who knew his character would unite with me in saying, “I believe the proposition which you assert to be true.” Simple judgment and believing are operations of the same faculty ; but in judging that a proposition is true we proceed upon our own perception of the truth contained in the proposition; whereas in believing we proceed upon our persuasion of the waracity and com
petence of the person who testifies that a proposition is true. When we judge a state. ment to be true, we perceive the truth asserted; but we may believe a proposition to be true, while we do not perceive the whole, or even any part, of the truth contained in the proposition. We judge that to be true, which we know to be true ; but we believe a propo. sition to be true upon the veracity of the tes. tifier, of the truth of which we should other. wise have no knowledge. A parent may state to a little child, that all the angles of a right-angled triangle are equal to two right anglès; and before the child understands even the terms of the proposition he may say, " I believe that my father has stated the truth; but what the truth contained in his proposi. tion is, I know not.”
Some operations of the faculty of judgment ever precede that operation which we denominate believing, or faith. The child for instance judges that his parent is a man of truth; and that he understands the subject about which he proposes to state something. The Christian also has such perceptions of the divine character as produce in his mind the judgment that God is a being of perfect knowledge and faithfulness, before he be. lieves that proposition of God to be true, the truth of which he does not fully, and perhaps not at all, perceive. Should the Lord inform us that he would utter a true proposition in