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are blessed; and none are in HIM but those who receive the gospel with the simplicity and meekness of little children. You must be justified, or you can never be received to the blissful presence of God; and you can only obtain an interest in the sufferings and obedience of the Messiah by such a faith as works by love, induces confidence in God, and inclines your hearts to rest wholly in the mercy, the covenanted, and not the indefinite, deistical, imaginary mercy of Jeho. vah, flowing to sinners through the pierced heart of the Mediator. You must also be conformed to the divine image, you must be sanctified throughout, in body, soul, and spirit, or heaven would prove a prison, the employments of the saints in glory, drudgery ; and the everlasting rest of the people of the Lord, like the ceaseless wearisomeness of a long sermon, and the Christian sabbath. You can be purified from all your dross in no other way than by believing with the heart on Jesus Christ.
Faith, therefore, is as indispensable to ever. lasting life, as union to our Hope, acceptance with God, pardon, and holiness.
And consider too, the excellence of this grace. It is the only one among all the gifts of the Spirit by which the singer receives and rests upon the Brightness of the Father's glory. It is an act by which you can honour the veracity and mercy of the Lord more
than by any other. It is in itself most reasonable, and becoming an intellectual, and social being. It is an act by the instrumentality of which you may pass from the kingdom and slavery of Satan into the kingdom and society of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It brings the Son and Spirit into your bosoms, entertains the God there who deigns to sup with you, and after you shall have been supported by it through all the trials of a changeful, dying world, wafts you to thrones in paradise, beside the throne of God.
Believe, and be for ever blest. AMEN.
“ He staggered not at the promise of God
through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” Rom. IV. 20.
ALTHOUGH the weakest saving faith unites the sinner to Christ, so as to secure his eternal salvation, " yet show I unto you a more excelent way.' “ Stand fast in the
faith, quit you like men, be strong," " in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 1 Cor. xvi. 13, and 1 Tim. ii. 1.
Some shall scarcely be saved, even so as by running through a fire, kindled in the wood, hay and stubble, which they have built upon the Rock of Ages; but to others shall be administered an abundant entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The facility or the dif. ficulty with which believers enter the New Jerusalem depends on the degree of their faith. The feeble march up the heavenly hill of Zion, with staggering steps, and with the painful sensations of lassitude and fear. The strong can cheer themselves with songs in their pilgrimage.
Would my hearers enjoy great peace in believing? Would they be strong in faith, giving glory to God? Let them attend,
1. To a description of STRONG FAITH : II. To the evidence of the fact that such faith is attainable: and Ill. To the pre-eminent advantages of it.
I. Without an accurate description of the grace which is to be commended, the minds of men would be subject to perpetual imposi. tions. We might commend strong confidence in Christ, and the bigot, the enthusiast, the presumptuous person might imagine, that a minister of Jesus approved of his absurdities. Let us distinguish then,
1. Between strong faith and presumption. Unbelief and presumption are two extremes. The first refuses the testimony of God, the second believes without evidence, and builds without a foundation. When any one is firmly persuaded that he is a child of God, and cannot tell the reason of his persuasion, he must be rash, and censurable for his belief. Rational beings ought not to have opinions without being able to assign some reason for them. Faith is a reception of testimony, and SAVING FAITH the reception of that testimony of God which relates to the way of salvation by Jesus Christ. The Christian believes because God, who cannot lie, has given him an assurance, that he has sent his Son to be a Saviour, and he thinks himself a believer because he finds in himself scriptural evidence of faith. Ask the man who rejects divine revelation if he expects the pardon of his sins, and the future felicity which immortal souls can enjoy? If he answers affirma. tively he is presumptuous, for who has intimated that his offences shall be blotted out? Reason furnishes him with no evidence on this subject. Man can give him nu intelligence, and he must exalt himself to the throne of God, there to decree eternal destinies, or he can have not the shadow of a warrant to believe that he shall be happy in futurity. Yet many, who reject divine revelation, have
the arrogance to pretend that sinners may expect to obtain heaven.
This subject is so important that reasonable beings ought to know why they believe in the remission of sins. Reason and revelation both make the faithfulness of God, and the fact of his having revealed his will on this subject, the sole ground of faith in man. You may have an unshaken belief that you shall ultimately be happy; but if the reason why you believe this, is not the declaration of God, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and consciousness of having received. the atonement, your faith is presumption : for there is salvation in none else ; and of course, there is no good reason to expect it from any other person. Let us distinguish,
2. Between faith and the fancies of superstition. The person who is tinctured with superstition, attaches a religious veneration to things which God has not consecrated. He fancies that he can please God by ordinances of his own invention. He makes new sącraments, signs himself with the cross, anoints himself with oil, bends before images, prays to the Virgin Mary, implores the intercession of exalted saints, and binds wafers, which he deems a part of the actual body of Christ, to his dying limbs. The man who does these things may be confident of heaven, but instead of having strong faith, is full of superstition. Strong faith is founded on noth