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household? If they shot out sharp arrows even bitter words, at the Lord Jesus himself, how can you expect to escape them? Or why should you think much of bearing those cruel mockings which Christ Jesus endured before you, and for your sake? and with respect to the adversarics, they, perhaps, may think they only laugh at a few cant-terms and odd expressions of some poor, silly, whimsical enthusiasts; but this is bad enough, seeing these terms and expressions are found in scripture, as I have be fore showed. But the whole truth of the matter is, these prophane scoffers do not ridicule words and phrases only, but they deride and banter the things signified thereby; and, therefore, they are highly criminal, and (if they repent not) will bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Receiving Christ is another scriptural denotation of saving faith. Thus John, i. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name; so that we see receiving Christ is believing in him; therefore, saith the apostle, Col. ii: 6. as ye have received the Lord Jesus. Hence we hear of laying hold upon the hope set before us, Heb. vi. 18. and of holding fast that which we have received, Rev. iii. 3. All which signifies our reception of Christ. This reception of Christ is the life of faith. Thereby a soul applies and appropriates the Lord Christ to himself, and can, with Thomas, call him my Lord and my God, or say with the apostle Paul, he loved me, and gave

himself for me. A true believer, receives Christ, and possesses him as his own right and property. Possession is the foundation of all happiness. Possession sweetens all blessings to us, whether temporal or eternal. When a worldling, takes a survey of large tracts of ground, when he sees great sums of money, or casts his eyes on fine bays of building, if he can say, All this is mine, how is his carnal heart delighted and with what sensible pleasure, is his earthly mind affected! It is just so in spiritual things. When a soul, by the eye of faith, sees the unsearchable riches of Christ, when he hath the heavenly Canaan laid before him as in a map; and, when he beholds, a building of God eternal in the heavens, if he can say, (and say upon sure grounds,) all this is mine; how wonderfully is the soul transported! and, what solid joy, does a christian feel at such a time! It is the possession of these things that endears them unto him, and they give him infinitely greater happiness and satisfaction, than all the pleasures and profits of this world could possibly afford.

Thus, I have given you the scriptural account of faith; and this I hope will satisfy you: If it will not, I know not what will. You, perhaps, may be for a faith of a more mathematical exactness, you may desire a more logical definition of this grace. But, beware, (I beseech you, lest you mistake the shadow for the substance, and rest in the definition, instead of the thing itself. You may turn over volumes of theological writings, and you will find dif

ferent divines give different definitions of faith, and every one thinks his own the best. God is not confined to rules of logic. He does not delight to entertain us with philosophical definitions. He is infinitely above all. And he gives descriptions of things according to his infinite wisdom. Whatsoever right conceptions we have of justifying faith, we must borrow from his holy word: And, there we find this grace described by coming to, receiving of, leaning, resting, staying, and rolling upon Christ.

After all, a person will best know what faith is, when he is possessed of it. You may give a man, born blind, as many definitions of light as you please, yet he will never know what light is, till his eyes are opened, and he sees it. Just so, you may give an unbeliever as many descriptions of faith as you please or can, yet he will never know what faith is, till he hath it in his heart. Doth any one, therefore, inquire what faith is? Let him believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and then he will know what faith is, and never till then. The experience of the thing, best informs us of the nature of it. If the reader, hath not yet had this experience, I come now to tell him, how, and where, he may attain it; for,

Secondly, Faith is the gift of God. This was the second thing to be proved. And this is clearly demonstrated, from the Homilies and Liturgies of the Church of England.

The Homily on Prayer, directs us, "First of all,

to crave such things, as properly belong to our "salvation, as the gift of repentance, the gift of "faith."

The Homily, on the Misery of Man, tells us, "We have neither faith, charity, hope, patience, chastity, nor any thing else that good is, but of God, and, therefore, these virtues be called there (viz. Gal. v.) the fruits of the Holy Ghost, and not the "fruits of man." According to this, faith is not the produce of man's free-will, or natural power, but the fruit and produce of the Holy Ghost. And this, is rightly reduced from the misery of man in his lapsed estate; for, as a natural man hath not in himself love to God, humility, purity of heart, or any other. grace, so neither hath he the grace of faith. And all the allegations from scripture or reason, that prove man, is destitute of any other christian grace or virtue, will equally prove, that he is destitute of this also.

Accordingly, in the Homily of the Salvation of Mankind, we are told, that three things must go together in our justification-and the third, is a

true and lively faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, "which yet is not ours, but by God's working in "us." If our faith, is such as we work in ourselves, and not such as God by his Spirit works in us; then, ours is not a true and lively, but a false and dead faith. Some, allow, that faith is the gift of God, but

then, by faith, they mean the objects of faith, viz Christ, the scriptures, and all divine revelation. But, this passage, speaks of a faith of God's working in us, which you see, is not so properly applica ble to the objects of faith, as to the grace or princi-. ple of faith in the heart.

The Homily for Rogation-week, exhorts to hear "what is testified first of the gift of faith, the first "entry into a christian life, without which, no man

can please God." In the margin, Eph. ii. 8. is referred to, which we shall have occasion to consider afterwards.

The Liturgy, is full of this doctrine. In one collect, it is said, "Almighty and everlasting God,

give unto us the increase of faith, hope and charity, "&c." If the increase of faith be God's gift, then so is the first seed and principle thereof, for the same reason. Accordingly, we find the Church returning thanks to God in this manner; "We give thee humble thanks, that thou hast vouchsafed to call us to the knowledge of thy grace and faith in thee" And, it would be endless, to mention all the passages in the Liturgy to this purpose. I only just take notice, that as faith, so likewise repentance is the gift of God, The Homily on Re

* Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity.

† Office of Baptism.

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