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object of the act is wholly supernatural, and above the reach of mere reason, and therefore exhibited only by revelation and divine testimony; and the person to be believed in, is exhibited and offered in that revelation, especially under the character of a Saviour, and so, as an object of trust: and the benefits are all spiritual, invisible, wonderful and future. If this be the true account of faith, beware how you entertain any such doctrines, as that there is no essential difference between common and saving faith; and that both consist in a mere assent of the understanding to the doctrines of religion. That this doctrine is false, appears by what has been said; and if it be false, it must needs be dangerous. Saving faith is abundantly insisted on in the Bible, as in a peculiar manner the condition of salvation; being the thing by which we are justified.
How much is that doctrine insisted on in the New Testament! We are said to be "justified by faith, and by faith alone By faith we are saved; and this is the work of God, that we believe on him whom he hath sent: The just shall live by faith: We are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ: He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned." Therefore, doubtless, saving faith, whatsoever that be, is the grand condition of an interest in Christ, and his great salvation. And if it be so, of what vast importance is it, that we should have right notions of what it is for certainly no one thing whatever, nothing in religion is of greater importance, than that which teaches us how we may be saved. If salvation itself be of infinite importance, then it is of equal importance that we do not mistake the terms of it; and if this be of infinite importance, then that doctrine that teaches that to be the term, that is not so, but very diverse, is infinitely dangerous. What we want a revelation from God for chiefly, is, to teach us the terms of his favour, and the way of salvation. And that which the revelation God has given us in the Bible teaches to be the way, is faith in Christ. Therefore, that doctrine that teaches something else to be saving faith, that is essentially another thing, teaches entirely another way of salvation: and therefore such doctrine does in effect make void the reve lation we have in the Bible; as it makes void the special end of it, which is to teach us the true way of salvation. The gospel is the revelation of the way of life by faith in Christ. Therefore, he who teaches something else to be that faith, which is essentially diverse from what the gospel of Christ teaches, he teaches another gospel; and he does in effect teach another religion than the religion of Christ. For what is religion, but that way of exercising our respect to God, which is the term of his favour and acceptance to a title to eternal rewards? The scripture teaches this, in a special
manner, to be saving faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, he that teaches another faith instead of this, teaches another religion. Such doctrine as I have opposed, must be destructive and directly tending to man's damnation; leading such as embrace it, to rest in something essentially different from the grand condition of salvation. And therefore, I would advise you, as you would have any regard to your own soul's salvation and to the salvation of your posterity, to beware of such doctrine as this.
OF A WORK
SPIRIT OF GOD,
APPLIED TO THAT UNCOMMON OPERATION THAT HAS LATELY APPEARED ON THE MINDS OF MANY OF THE PEOPLE OF NEW ENGLAND:
EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES WITH WHICH THIS WORK IS ATTENDED.