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H E B. xi. 6.
But without Faith, it is impossible

to please bim: For be that cometh
to God, must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them

that diligently seek him. DEOS HE foregoing Chapter is a very SerMi

earnest and affectionate Exhor- I. Station to the Duty of Faith. W

Ver. 22. Let us draw near with

a true beart, in full asurance of Faith. Ver. 23. Let us bold fast the profesion of our Faith without wavering. Ver. 37. For yet a little while, and be that shell coine will come, and will not tarry : Now the just skall VOL. I.

. live.

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Ser M.live by Faith. That This exhortation
I might not be ineffectual, for want of men's

clearly understanding What the Nature of
the Duty was, to which they were here fo
earnestly exhorted; the Apostle in the is
verse of this chapter, proceeds to define
distinctly wbat Faith is, and wherein it con-
lists. Faith, faith he, is the substance of
things hoped for, (in the original it is, the
firm and assured expectation of things hoped
for,) the evidence of things not feen. And
what those Things are, which being not seen
by Sense, are yet made manifest by Faith,
he declares in the words of the Text. They
are; faith he, the Being of God, and the Re-
wards of the Life to come. He that cometh
to God, muft believe that is, and that be is
a Rewarder of them that diligently seek
bim. There has prevailed in modern times,
a very different and enthusiastick Noti-
on of Faith; as if Faith, under the Go-
spel, was nothing but a Confident Reli-
ance upon the Merits of Christ, to do
all That for us, which he on the contrary
expressly requires that we should do for our-
selves. When we have heartily indeavour-
ed to obey the commandments of God; and
have performed our Duty really and sincere-

ly, tho' very imperfectly; to rely Then up-SERM• on the Merits and Intercession of Christ, I. for the acceptance of those imperfect tho' sincere Endeavours'; This is indeed the Duty, and the Comfort of a Christian; but it is not what the Scripture usually calls Faith. Faith, is that firm Belief of things at present not seen; that conviction upon the Mind, of the Truth of the Promises and Threatnings of God made known in the Gospel; of the certain reality of the Rewards and Punishments of the Life to come; which inables a man, in opposition to all the Temptations of a corrupt World, to obey God in expectation of an invisible Reward hereafter. This is that Faith, which in Scripture is always represented as a moral Virtue, nay as the principal moral Virtue, and the root and spring of all other Virtues ; Because it is an Act, not of the understanding only, but also and chiefly of the Will, so to consider impartially, to approve and embrace the Doctrine of the Gospel, as to make it the great Rule of our Life and Actions. By This Faith it is, that We must be justified; and by This it is, that the Antients whose example is celebrated in this sith chapter, cbtained, as the Apostle expresses it, a

B a

good

SER M. good report. The Faith of Abraham was,

that he looked for a City which hath founda-
tions, even the heavenly Jerusalem spoken of
in the Prophecies, whose Builder and Maker
is God, ver. 10. The Faith of the other Pa-
triarchs was, that confessing themselves stran-
gers and pilgrims on the Earth, they declared
plainly that they fought a better Country,
that is, an heavenly, ver. 13, 16. The Faith
of Moses was, that he chose rather to suffer
affliction with the people of God, than to en-
joy the pleasures of Sin for a season; For he
bad respect unto the recompense of Reward;
and endured, as seeing Him who is irrvisible,
ver. 25, 26, 27. The Faith of the Martyrs
was that they chose to be tortured, not accept-
ing deliverance, that they might obtain a bet-
ter Resurrection, ver. 35. This is a very easy
and intelligible Notion of Faith; and such
a Notion, as shows plainly, how Faith is not
a mere speculative Act of the Understanding,
but a substantial practical moral Virtue.

'Tis true; This is not indeed the only Sense of the word, Faith, in Scripture; but 'tis the Principal and most important fense of it. As may appear by considering, that all the Variety of significations, in which the word is used in different places

Of

of Scripture, may properly be reduced, for'S er M. . memory and distinctness fake, to these 1. which follow. ist, The word, Faith, in 'n some places signifies That earnest Trust and Confidence in the Power of God, to which in the Apostles Times was annexed the Gift of working Miracles. Thus Mat. xvii. 20. If ye have Faith (says our Lord to his Apostles) as a grain of mustard-feed; (if ye have That Trust in God, That particular Kind of Faith or Dependence on him, That assured Reliance on his Power without Doubt or wavering, required of you peculiarly at This time; if you have This Faith, though ever so small in comparison, answerable in any measure to your present Office and Advantages;) ye skall say to this mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it Tall remove. This, was a Faith required of the Apostles at That particular Time, and of Them only. 2dly, In other passages, the word, Faith, signifies the duty of Veracity, Faithfulness, or Truth. Thus Matt. xxiii. 23. Ye have omitted the weightier matters of the Law; judgment, mercy, and Faith; Faith, that is, Fidelity, Truth, or Faithfulness, in the discharge of any Trust reposed in Men. Analogous to which, it is also some1 B 3

times

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