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SER M. the gospel, because he had no need of that, being call-
ed immediately by Christ to this work; which
So that this kind of faith is a persuasion of such
to reveal himself to us, provided we have sufficient -evidence and grounds of assurance that the thing is revealed by God.
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
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
« 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
: Î. Whether this may truly and properly be called
- III. Whether it admit of degrees, and what are
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
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