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or foundation of this particular application, but the gofpel itself, revealing the love and grace of God in Chrift. As many things are in a houfe that yet cannot be called the house itself: fo, many things are in the gofpel-difpenfation, that are not properly the gofpel itfelf. Law-pre cepts and threatenings are brought in as a fence to the golpel, to guard it against being abufed: For inftance, John iii. 17. "God fent not his Son into the world, to condemn the world, but that the world by him might be faved;" there is the gofpel: but when it is added, verse 18. "He that believeth not, is condemned already” this is brought into the difpenfation of the gofpel, but is not properly the gofpel itself, but is fubfervient thereunto, to defend it from abufe. Now, the former, not the latter, may be the foundation of faith's particular application of the love of God. Thus, " He that believeth not, fhall be damned," is a fence for the gospel, but not properly the gofpel itfelf: the gofpel is the thing propofed to be believed, namely, the difpenfation of the love and grace of God in Chrift.
Remark 5. "That it is not every doctrine, even of the "love of God in the gofpel, that is the first ground of faith's applying this love to itself." For example, there is a two-fold love of God in Chrift, that cannot be the ground. of faith's applying it to itself, viz. his love of deftination, and his love of approbation: his love of deftination and purpofe, whereby he is faid to have chofen us in Chrift, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, having predeflinated us to the adoption of children, Eph. i. 4, 5. Again, his love of approbation and friendship, or complacency, fuch as that fpoken of, John xiv. 23. "If any love me, and keep my words, my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." Now, the object of the former love, viz. that of destination, is every elect foul, and that from all eternity, as well as in time, even before their conversion and union to Chrift: the object of the latter, namely, the love of approbation, is every believer united to Chrift, every faint. Now, these are precious doctrines of the gofpel, and the sweetness of this divine love, both of deftination from eternity, before faith, and of approbation
in time, after faith, may come to be felt in due time, when the foul, after believing, comes to be fealed with the holy Spirit of promife: but yet, none of thefe, 1 fay, are the firft ground upon which any finner can build this particular application of Chrift's giving love, faying, He loved me. For that love, whereof the elect are the objects, who can apply till they know they are elected? And that love, whereof believers and faints are the objects, who can apply, that know themfelves to be, as yet, neither believers, nor faints? And therefore the love of God in the gospel, that is the firft ground of faith's particular application, muft be a love manifefted to finners as fach, and confequently, fuch a love, as finners, under the notion of finners, may rely upon, as exhibited in the gofpel. Therefore,
Remark 6." That the doctrine of the love and grace "of God in the gofpel, that lays a foundation for the particular faith I fpeak of, is the doctrine of his love "of benevolence and good will in Chrift Jefus, manifest"ed to finners of mankind, accompanied with a parti"cular call to every one to believe this love, and take "hold of this Lover for wisdom, righteoufnefs, fanctification, and redemption to himself in particular."
The general word of grace and love is to finners, That Jefus Chrift came to fave finners, 1 Tim. i. 15. The particular call and command to every finner, that hears the gospel, is, That he believe on the Son of God, 1 John iii. 25.; or, in other words, That he believe that, through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, he shall be faved, Acts xv. II.; or, which is all one, That he receive and rest upon Chrift for falvation, as offered to him in particular in the gofpel. Now, the general indefinite declaration, That he came to fave finners, and died for the ungodly; this points out our general name, ungodly finners but then, the particular call and invitation to come to this Jefus by faith, believing his love and grace manifefted in this gofpel, this points it out to every one, faying, "Thou, in particular, art the ungodly finner, "thus called to apply his love and grace declared in "the gofpel; and upon this ground thou mayst, by faith, make this particular application, and venture
out with a ME, ME: He loved ME, and gave himself. for ME.".
Object. 1. "May not one fear prefumption in the "prefent cafe, if it be no more that is needful as a "ground for this appropriating faith?"
Anfw. Men prefume, when they are either encou raged by their own goodnefs to believe Chrift's love, or difcouraged by their own badnefs from believing it: for this fays it is either fome goodness they have, or fome goodness they want in themselves, that they are making the rule and ftandard of their faith, and not the word of God, nor the gofpel of the grace of God: this is indeed prefumption; for it fays they are cleaving to the old-covenant way of life by works, or goodness of their own, and not trufting to the goodnefs, grace, and love of God in Chrift revealed in the gofpel: but if the finner were taking with the charge, that he is a finner indeed, and accepting of thefe good news, That Chrift came to fave finners, as a faithful faying, and worthy of all acceptation, and apprehending the gospel call particularly to him, faying, To thee is the word of this falvation fent ;" and was thereupon rolling himfelf over upon the grace and love of Christ, saying, Even fo I take it to me, as offered to me in the word; and thereupon conclude, He loved me, and gave bimfelf for me: this is no prefumption, but faith building upon the proper ground of it, the word of God.
Object. 2. "But may not one fear delufion in this cafe, if he build this particular application only upon the word, without feeling the operation of the Spirit, fince it is the Spirit that works faith in us?
Anfu, We are to make a difference between how faith is warranted, and how faith is wrought. The Spirit is the worker of faith; but the word is the warrant of faith, and the ground of it: and the Spirit works faith by fhewing to the foul what is the warrant of faith; and hence faith comes by hearing what the Spirit faith in the word, and not by feeling what the Spirit works in the heart; therefore, if you build your faith on any feelings or influences within you, then you
are in danger of delufion and enthusiasm; but not if you build your faith upon the word as your warrant.
OBJECT. 3. But if the word without me be the warrant of faith, and the Spirit within me be the worker of faith, what if I take hold of the warrant of the word, without the. Spirit taking hold of me, as the worker of faith within me?
ANSW. That is impoffible: for, where a foul takes hold of Chrift, and his love and grace revealed in the word, and upon the warrant of God's word itself in particular, it neceffarily prefuppofes the Spirit present in that word, opening up to the foul the particular warrant, and discovering the love of Chrift in that word, and fecretly and powerfully drawing the foul to apply it; and yet fo infenfibly may that power be exerted, that the foul feels nothing till afterwards; " After ye believed, ye were fealed." There may, indeed, be joy and peace in believing; but faith, though it may be attended with joy, and peace, and feeling, yet is not grounded upon any thing but the word, or the love and grace of Chrift revealed in the word: even as a houfe may be built with lime, and fand, and clay, but is not founded upon it.
OBJECT. 4. But, muft not Chrift be revealed into the heart? And is there not a feeing of the Son, in order to believing in him? And therefore fome fenfible work in the heart to found this particular application of faith?
ANSW. There is a fight of fpiritual knowledge and illumination that is neceffary to faith, and goes indeed before it: but there is a fight of fpiritual experience and fenfation, that is not neceflary to faith, but follows after it. The former is that revelation of Chrift into the heart that Paul speaks of, "He revealed his Son in me;" and that feeing of the Son that is neceffary, in order to believing in him. Faith comes by hearing, not by feeling; and fo believing in Christ comes by feeing him in the heart. Chrift is not formed in the heart by the Spirit, till once he be revealed in the heart by the word. And fo it is not the Spirit's fealing work, giving an internal feeling of Chrift; but the Spirit's teaching work,
giving the internal revelation of Christ, that is necessary to faith.
OBJECT. 5. But if I want this internal revelation of Christ, and have Christ only revealed to me, and not revealed in me: Have I, in that case, any warrant to believe?
Answ. 1. Though Christ revealed in you, is necessary to the working of faith; yet Christ revealed to you, in the word, is all that is necessary to the warranting of faith: and therefore,
2. Since it is not Christ speaking in the heart, but Christ speaking in the word, that is the ground and warrant of faith; if you build your faith and hope upon the love and grace of Christ revealed to you in particu. lar, you have no ground to doubt Christ is revealed in you : therefore, in seeking for a foundation and ground of faith, never pore upon yourself, or what you feel, or what the Spirit works in you; but rather hear what the Spirit says to you:'" He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit faith to the churches.” If you hear what the Spirit fays to you of the love of Christ, and believe it with application as revealed to you, then you may be sure he is revealed in you: and upon the warrant of his word, thus revealing his love to you ; you, through grace, may apply it to yourself with a me, me; He loved ME, and gave bimself for me.
III. The third general head I proposed was, To name the reasons why faith hath this appropriating property. And here I shall shew, 1. Why it is fo, that faith hath this applying property; and, 2. Why it must be fo, or the necessity of it.
Tst, As to the former of these, faith hath this applya ing property.
1. Because faith is an uniting grace, that unites the foul to Christ; “ That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith,” Eph. iii. 17. As it comes from him, so it leads the foul to him, and cannot stay away from him, nor rest till it makes close application to him. God, the giver of faith, hath given it this oflice of joining the foul to Jefus; and therefore, in the day of believing,