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to Christ, and centre in him. Surely, the more the sinner has an inward, an immediate and sole and explicit dependence upon Christ, the more Christ has the glory of his salvation from him.
In order to this sort of sense of the congruity of our sins being forgiven, and of punishment's being removed, by the satisfaction of Christ, there must of necessity be a sense of our guiltiness. For it is impossible any congruity should be seen, without comparison of the satisfaction with the guilt. And they cannot be compared, except there be a sense of them both. There must not only be such a sense of God's being very angry, and his anger being very dreadful, without any sense of the reasonableness of that anger ; but there must be a proper sense of the desert of wrath, such as there is in repentance. Indeed it is possible there may be such a sense of the glory of the Saviour and his salvation, that if we had more of a sense of guilt than we have, we should see a congruity.
$ 33. Sinners, under conviction of their guilt, are gener. ally afraid that God is so angry with them, that he never will give them faith in Christ. They think the majesty and jealousy of God will not allow of it. Therefore, there goes with a sense of the sufficiency of Christ, a sense of God's sovereignty with respect to mercy and judgment, that he will and may have mercy in Christ, on whom he will have mercy, and leave to hardness whom he will. This cases of that burden.
$ 34. For a man to trust in his own righteousness, is to conceive hopes of some favor of God, or some freedom from his displeasure, from a false notion of his own goodness or excellency, and the proportion it bears to that favor ; and of his own badness, and the relation it bears to his displeasure, It is to conceive hopes of some favor of God, from a false notion of the relation which our own goodness or excellency bears to that favor ; whether this mistaken relation be supposed to imply an obligation in natural justice, or propriety and decency, or an obligation in point of wisdom and honor ; or if he thinks that, without it, God will not do excellently or
according to some one at least of his declared attributes, or whether it be any obligation by virtue of his promise ; whether this favorable respect be the pardon of sin, or the bestow. ment of heaven, or the abating of punishment, or answering of prayers, or mitigation of punishment, or converting grace, or God's delighting in us, prizing of us, or the bestowing of any temporal or spiritual blessing. This excellency we speak of, is either real or supposed; either negative, in not being so bad as others, and the like, or positive. Whether it be natural or moral excellency, is immaterial: Also, whether the sinner himself looks upon it as an excellency, or supposes God looks upon it as such. For men to trust in their own righteousness, is to entertain hope of escaping any displeas. ure, or obtaining any positive favor from God, from too high a notion of our own moral excellency, or too light a notion of our badness, as compared with or related to that favor or displeasure.
35. This is 10 be observed concerning the 'scriptures that I have cited respecting faith, that they sometimes affix salvation to the natural and immediate effects of faith, as well as to faith itself. Such as, asking, knocking, &c. Rom. x. 12, 13, 14. In the 14th verse, faith is distinguished from calling
9 36. All trusting to our own righteousness indeed, is expecting justification for our own excellency. But they that expect that God will convert them for their excellency, or do any thing else towards their, salvation upon that account, do trust in their own righteousness. Because, the supposing that God will be the more inclined to convert a man, or enable him to come to Christ for his excellency, is to suppose, that he is justified already, at least in part. It supposes, that God's anger for sin is at least partly appeased, and that God is more favorably inclined to him for his excellency's sake, in that he is disposed to give him converting grace, or do something else towards his conversion upon that account.
$ 37. The difficulty in giving a definition of faith is, that we have no word that clearly and adequately expresses the whole act of acceptance, or closing of the soul or heart with
Christ. Inclination expresses it but partially ; conviction expresses it also but in part ; the sense of the soul does not do it fully. And if we use metaphorical expressions, such as embrace, and love, &c they are obscure, and will not carry the same idea with them to the minds of all. All words that are used to express such acts of the mind, are of a very indeterminate signification. It is a difficult thing to find words to exhibit our own ideas. Another difficulty is to find a word, that shall clearly express the whole goodness or righteousness of the Saviour and of the gospel. To be true, is one part of the goodness of the gospel. For the Saviour to be sufficient, is one part of his goodness. To be suitable, is another part. To be bountiful and glorious, is another part. To be necessary, is another part. The idea of a real good or lovely object, that is conceived to be real, possesses' the heart after another manner, than a very lovely idea that is only imaginary. So that there is need of both a sense of goodness and reality, to unite the heart to the Saviour.
Faith is the soul's embracing and acquiescing in the revelation which the word of God gives us of Jesus Christ as our Saviour, in a sense and conviction of his goodness and reality as such. I do not consider the sense of the goodness and reality of Christ as a Saviour, as a distinct thing from the embracing of him, but only explain the nature of the embracing by it. But it is implied in it; it is the first and principal thing in it. And all that belongs to embracing the revelation, an approbation of it, a love to it, adherence to it, acquiescence in it, is in a manner implied in a sense of Christ's goodness and reality and relation to us, or our concern in him. I say, as our Saviour; for there is implied in believing in Christ, not only and merely that exercise of mind, which arises from a sense of his excellency and reality as a Saviour ; but also that which arises from the consideration of his relation to us, and of our concern in him, his being a Saviour for such as we are ; for sinful men ; and a Saviour that is offered with his benefits to us. The angels have a sense of the reality and goodness of Christ as a Saviour, and may be said with joy to embrace the discovery of it. They cannot be said to believe
in Christ. The spirit that they receive, the notice that they have of Christ the Saviour is the same; but there is a difference in the act, by reason of the different relation that Christ, as a Saviour, stands in to us, from what he doth to them.
$38. OBJECTION 1. It may be be objected, that this seems to make the revelation more the object of the essential act of faith than Christ. I answer, no; for the revelation is no otherwise the object by this definition, than as it brings and exhibíts Christ to us. It is embracing the revelation in a sense and conviction of the goodness and reality of the Saviour it exhibits. We do not embrace Christ by faith any otherwise, than as brought to us in a revelation : When we come to embrace him as exhibited otherwise, that will not be faith. A man is saved by that faith, which is a reception of Christ in all his offices; but he is justified by his receiving Christ in his priesto ly office.
$39. To believe, is to have a sense and a realizing belief of what the gospel reveals of the mediation of Christ, and par, ticularly as it concerns ourselves. There is in faith a conviction, that redemption by that mediation of Christ which the gospel reveals, exists, and a sense how it does so, and how it may with respect to us in particular. There is a trusting to Christ that belongs to the essence of true faith. That quiet and ease of mind that arises from a sense of the sufficiency of Christ, may well be called a trusting in that sufficiency. It gives a quietness to the mind, to see that there is a way wherein it may be saved, to see a good and sufficient
wherein its salvation is very possible, and the attributes of God cannot be opposite to it. This gives ease, though it be not yet certain that he shall be saved. But to believe Christ's sufficiency, so as to be thus far easy, may be called a trusting in Christ, though it cannot be trusting in him that he will save us. To be
easy in any degree, on a belief or persuasion of the sufficiency of any thing for our good, is a degree of trusting. There is in faith not only a belief of what the gospel declares, that Christ has satisfied for our sins, and merited eternal life; but there is also a sense of it; a sense that Christ's sufferings do satisfy, and that he did merit, or was worthy that we should
be accepted for his sake. There is a difference between being convinced that it is so, and having a sense that it is so. There is in the essence of justifying faith, included a receive ing of Christ as a Saviour from sin. For we embrace him as the author of life, as well as Saviour from misery. But the sum of that eternal life which Christ purchased is holiness ; it is a holy happiness. And there is in faith a liking of the happiness that Christ has procured and offers. The Jews despising the pleasant land, is mentioned as part of their unbelief. It must be as the gospel reveals Christ, or in the gospel notion of him, the soul must close with Christ. For whosoever is offended in Christ, in the view that the gospel gives us of him, cannot be said to believe in him ; for he is one that is excluded from blessedness, by that saying of Christ, Matth. xi. 6. 6 Blessed is he whosoever is not offended in me.”
$ 40. There is implied in faith, not only a believing of Christ to be a real, sufficient, and excellent Saviour for me, and having a complacency in him as such ; but in a complete act of faith, there is an act of the soul in this view of him, and disposition towards him, seeking to him, that he would be my Saviour ; as is evident, because otherwise prayer would not be the expression of faith. But prayer is only the voice of faith to God through Christ : And this is further evident, as faith is expressed by a coming to Christ, and a looking to him to be saved.
$ 41. There is hope implied in the essence of justifying faith. Thus there is hope, that I may obtain justification by Christ, though there is not contained in its essence a hope that I have obtained it. And so there is a trust in Christ contained in the essence of faith. There is a trust implied in seeking to Christ to be my Saviour, in an apprehension that he is a sufficient Saviour ; though not a trust in him, as one that has promised to save me, as having already performed the condition of the promise. If a city was besieged and distressed by a potent enemy, and should hear of some great champion at a distance, and should be induced by what they hear of his valor and goodness, to seek and send to him for relief, believing what they have heard of his sufficiency, and