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SER M. the gospel, because he had no need of that, being call-
CCXX. ed

ed immediately by Christ to this work; which
words are nothing else but a farther explication of
what he had said before, ver. 11, 12. “ I certify you,
“ brethren, that the gospel which was preached by
“ me, is not after man. For I neither received it of
“ man, neither was taught it, but by the revelation
“ of Jesus Christ.” So accordingly here our SA- ::
VIOUR tells Peter that this truth, “ that Christ was
" the Messias, the Son of the living God, was not
“ revealed to him by man,” nor by any mere hu-
man principle or testimony, " but by his Father
" which was in heaven;" that is, by the testimony
which God himself gave of him in the holy and di.
vine gospel which he taught, and those miracles which
he wrought in confirmation of it.

So that this kind of faith is a persuasion of such
things as are not known by natural light, or disco-
ver'd to us by men, but some way or other revealed
by God; I say some way or other; for the ways of
God's revealing and manifesting himself to us are va-
rious and arbitrary. God may choose what ways he
pleasech to discover himself to us by. So the apostle
tells us, Heb. i. 1. “God, who at sundry times, and
“ in divers manners spake in times paft unto the fa-
6 thers by the prophets.” God revealed himself as
at several times, by several steps and degrees; so in
various manners; sometimes by visions, sometimes
by dreams, sometimes by oracles, sometimes by a
spirit of prophesy, and sometimes by a voice from
heaven, sometimes by a secret and gentle inspiration. -
Now it matters not which of these ways God chuseth

to reveal himself to us, provided we have sufficient -evidence and grounds of assurance that the thing is revealed by God.

W

As to us, these extraordinary ways of revelation areS E RM.

CCXX. now ceased, and we have a fixed and standing revelation, that is, the records of those revelations which God formerly made to holy men ; and this is the holy scriptures, or the Bible, which is a system or col-, lection of things supernaturally revealed.. . Now if this faith be considered as restrained to a part of divine revelation, viz. the doctrine of the go-, spel, revealed to the world by Jesus Christ, then it is properly christian faith, which frequently in the new testament is called faith xal tecxiv, by way of excellency and eininency, this being the most eminent and perfect revelation which God hath made of himself to the world, which the apostle at the beginning of this epistle advancech above all those former revelations which God had inade of himself to the fathers, those being by his servants and ministers, prophets and angels : “ but in these last days: God hath revealed s himself to us by his Son, whom he hath made heir “s of all things,” and advanced to a dignity above that of men or angels.

And with relation to this faith of the gospel, Chriflians are peculiarly and eminently called believers. . i Theff. ii. 10. “ You know how unblameably we “ behaved ourselves among you that believe," that is, among you Christians. 2 Theff. i. 10. “When he. “ shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admir“ ed in all them that believe," meaning the. Chri-, stians that entertained the gospel. And upon the lame account the apostle calls the whole society, or body of Christians, “ the houshold of faith,” Gal. vi. 10..

But now I am considering faith, not in this more narrow and restrained sense, for a belief or persuasion, of the doctrine of the gospel; but in a more large and comprehensive sense, for a persuasion of all things that

Vol. XI.

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are

SER M. are supernaturally revealed, that is, of all things conCCXX.

tained in the holy fcriprures, :

Now all the matters of divine revelation, which are contained in the book of holy scripture; may, I think, be reduced to one of thefe six heads. .:

1. They are either a history or relation of some person, or matter of fact : and a faith of the historical part of scripture is nothing else but a persuafion that those narrations or relations are true. Or,

2. A prophecy or prediction of some event. Now a faith of the prophetical part of scripture, is a persuasion that the event foretold will certainly come to pass. Or,

- 3. A doctrine. Such as are all those propositions in scripture which declare to us the nature or properties of God, the nature and office of CHRIST, that he is the eternal Son of God, that is, true God, the Meffias, or Saviour of the world, the king, priest, and prophet of his church, and the like. Now a-faith of the doctrinal part of fcripture, is å persuasion that those propositions, which contain these doctrines, are true. 'Or, . . . i

4. Laws for the ordering and governing of our fpirits and lives; under which I comprehend all the precepts and prohibitions of scripture, which are the matter of our duty. Now a faith of these is a perfuasion that God hath commanded and forbidden such things ; and consequently that they are necessary to be observed by us. Or, . ..

3-5. Promises of good things, either with relation to this life, or the other. Now a faith of the promises is a persuasion, or 'confident expectation, that they will be accomplished. And thus the apostle describes the faith of the promises of another world, at the ist ver, of this chap. that it is. " the substance of things

. : “ hoped

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« hoped for,” owóçuois, that is, a confident expec- SERM.

CCXX. tation that the promises of the gospel, which are the matter of our hope, shall be accomplished ; " and the - evidence of things not seen,” a being convinced of the certainty and reality of future and invisible things. And thus likewise the apostle explains to us the faith of Abraham, in reference to the promises of God to give him a son, Rom. iv. 21. “ he was fully persuad« ed, that what God had promised he was able to of perforin.” Or,

6. Threatnings. Now a faith of the threátnings
is a persuasion of the danger we incur, if we neglect
our duty; that is, a belief that God juftly may, and
will (having confirmed his threatnings with an oath,
which is a sign of the immutable determination of the
divine will (inflict those punishments upon us, which
he hath threataed, in case we disobey his laws. These
six heads do, I think, contain all, I am sure the most
principal matters of divine revelation; which I have
the more carefully distinguished, because some of them.
are of a distinct and peculiar consideration from the
rest, as will afterwards appear.
: Having thus; as plainly and briefly as I could, o-
pened to you what I mean by this second sort of di-
vine faith, which is a perfuafion of things supernatu-
rally revealed, I now come to fatisfy such enquiries.
about this as may be most material. And here I shall
proceed upon those heads of enquiry which I handled
when I (pake of the first sort of divine faith, ..

: Î. Whether this may truly and properly be called
faith? .. ; .
· II. What is the argument whereby this faith is
wrought?:

- III. Whether it admit of degrees, and what are
the differences of them?

N 2

IV. What

SERM. IV. What are the proper and genuine effects of

CCXX. this faith?

V. In what respects it may be said to be divine ?

I. Whether this may truly and properly be called . faith? And that it may, is evident, because the ge

neral definition of faith agrees to it: for a man may
be persuaded in his mind concerning things superna-,
turally revealed; and the scripture every where calls
a persuasion of these matters by the name of faith.
But besides this, it seems this is the adequate and only
notion of faith, as it hath been fixed by the schools,
and is become a term of art. For the definition that
the schools give of faith is this ; that it is an assent to
a thing credible, as credible. Now, say they, that is
credible which relies upon the testimony of a credible
person; and consequently a human faith is that which,
relies upon human teftimony; and a divine faith,
that which relies upon the testimony or authority of
God: which definition, though it be short and im-
perfect (being indeed not a definition of faith in gene-
ral, but of a particular kind of faith, viz. that which
is wrought by the argument which we call testiinony:
or authority, and consequently excludes a belief of
the principles of natural religion, and a belief that
the scriptures are the word of God, from being faith :)
yet this shews thus much, that all agree in this, that a
persuasion of things supernaturally revealed is truly
and properly faith. .. . . :: ::

II. What is the argument whereby this faith, or persuasion of things supernaturally revealed is wrought in us ? And this, by the general consent of all, is the testimony or authority of God, some way or other revealing these things to us; whose infallible and unerring knowledge, together with his goodness and authority, gives us the highest assurance, that he neither

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