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öt is cited, Heb. xi. 10. • To it shall the Gentiles seek ;" together with Psalm ix. 10. « And they that know thy name, will put their trust in thee : For thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Which agrees well with faith's being called a looking to Christ, or coming to him for life, a flying for refuge to him, or flying to him for safety. And this is the first act of saving faith. And prayer's being the expression of faith, confirms this. This is further confirmed by Isaiah xxxi. 2. “ Wo to them that go down to Egypt for help, and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many ; and in horsemen, because they are very strong : But they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord.” When it is said, “ Psalm lxix. 6. « Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord, be ashamed for my sake : Let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake." 'It is equivalent to that scripture, “He that believeth shall never be confounded.” And when it is said, verse 32. “ And your heart shall live that seek the Lord ;" it is equivalent to that scripture, “ The just shall live by faith.” So Psalm xxii. 26. and Psalm lxx. 4. And so Amos v. 4. “ For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me,
ye shall live.” And verse 6. “ Seek the Lord, and ye shall live.” And verse 8. “ Seek him that made the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning." Cant. iv. 8. “ Look from the top of Amana.” Isaiah xvii. 7, 8, At that day shalt a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel, and he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands ; neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves or the images.” Isaiah Ixv. 22.6 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Jonah ii. 4. “ I will look again towards thine holy temple." Micah vii. 7. “ Therefore I will look unto the Lord ; I will wait for the God of my salvation : My God will hear me.” Psalm xxxiv. 5. “ They looked unto him, and were lightened; their faces were not ashamed.”
$ 49. Faith is a taking hold of God's strength; Isaiah xxvii. 5. "O let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace
me, and he shall make peace with me.”?
Faith is expressed by stretching out the hand to Christ; Psal. Ixviii. 31. · Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God." So Christ said to the man that had the vithered hand, « Stretch forth thine hand."
Promises of mercy and help are often in Scripture made to rolling our burden, and rolling ourselves, or rolling our way on the Lord. Prov. xvi. 3. “ Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Psal. xxii. 8, and xxxvii. 5. trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him : Let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him...“ Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in bịm, and he shall bring it to pass."
$ 50. That there are different sorts of faith, and that all believing that Christ is the Son of God, and Saviour of the world, &c. is not true and saving faith, or that faith which most commonly has the name of faith appropriated to it in the New Testament, is exceedingly evident by John vi. 64. « But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” Here all false disciples, that had but a temporary faith, that thought him to be the Mes: siah, but would fall away, as Judąs and others, are said to be those that believed not, making an essential difference between their belief, and that grace that has the term faith, or believing, appropriated to it. Faith is a receiving of Christ into the heart, in such a sense as to believe that he is what he declares himself to be, and to have such an high esteem of him as an excellent Lord and Saviour, and so to prize him, and so to depend upon him, as not to be ashamed nor afraid to profess him, and openly and constantly to appear on his side. See Rom. x. 8....13.
$ 51. Trusting in riches, as Christ uses the expression concerning the rich young man, and as the expression is used elsewhere, is an extensive expression, comprehending many dispositions, affections, and exercises of heart towards riches; so faith in Christ, or trusting in Christ, is as extensive. The soul's active closing or uniting with Christ, is faith. But the act of the soul, in its uniting or closing, must be agreeable to
the kind and nature of the union that is to be established between Christ and the saints, and that subsists between them, and is the foundation of the saints communion with Christ. Such is the nature of it, that it is not merely like the various parts of a building, that are cemented and cleave fast together; or as marbles and precious stones may be joined, so as to become one : But it is such a kind of union as subsists between the head and living members, between stock and branches ; between which, and the head or stock, there is such a kind of union, that there is an entire, immediate, perpetual dependence for, and derivation of, nourishment, refreshment, beauty, fruitfulness, and all supplies ; yea, life and being. And the union is wholly for this purpose ; this derivation is the end of it ; and it is the most essential thing in the union. Now, such an union as this, when turned into act, (if I may so say), or an active union of an intelligent rational being, that is agreeable to this kind of union, and is a recognition and expression, and as it were the active band of it, is something else besides mere love. It is an act most properly expressed by the name of faith, according to the proper meaning of the word so translated, as it was used in the days when the Scriptures were written.
$ 52. Trusting in a prince or ruler, as the phrase was understood among the Jews, implied in it faithful adherence and entire subjection, submission and obedience. So much the phrase plainly implies ; Judges ix. 15. u And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over' you, then come and put your trust in my shadow ; and, if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon." We have an account of the fulfilment of this parable in the sequel....How the men of Shechem did not prove faithful subjects to Abimelech, according to their covenant or agreement with him, büt dealt treacherously with him: Verse 23. And how accordingly Abimelech proved the occasion of their destruction. The' like figure of speech is used to signify the nation's' obedience to the king of Assyria, Ezek. xxxi. 6. « All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the
beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadi ow dwelt all great nations.” So also it signifies the subjection of the nations to Nebuchadnezzer ; Dan. iv. 11, 12. “The tree grew, and was strong : The beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thercof, and all flesh fed' of it.” The benefit that those who are the true subjects of Christ have by him, is expressed by the very same things; Ezek. xvii. 23. « In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it : And it shall bring forth houghs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar ; and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.” Our trusting in God and Christ, is often expressed by our trusting in his shadow, and under the shadow of his wings, and the like ; Psal. xvii. 8, and xxxvi. 7, and lvii. 1, and Ixiii, 7, and xci. 1, Cant. ii. 3, Isaiah iv. 6, and xxv. 4. Here see Ruth ii. 12, compared with chap. i. 16, John iii. 36. «« He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life : he that believeth not the Son analar." The force of the word may in some measure be learned from Acts v. 36, 37, and Acts v. 40. And to him they agreed or obeyed;" the word is the same in the Greek. And Acts xxiii. 21. “ But do not thou yield unto thém ;" the word is the same in the Greek. Acts xxvi. 19. 6 I was not disobedient (anabes) to the heavenly vision;" Rom. xxvi. 19. • Disobedient to parents, nhless." See also Acts xvii. 4. “ Some of them believed in the Greek Tecondar) and consorted with Paul and Silas.” Acts xiy. 2. « The unbelieving Jews, atherles." Eph. ii. 2. “The spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, are:Ostas." We may judge something of the force of the word aboucs, by the signification of the word whence it comes; met logan is the passive of malw, which signifies, to counsel, to move or entice, draw or persuade unto.
§ 53. That a saving belief of truth arises from love, or a holy disposition and relish of heart, appears by Phil. i. 9, 10.
“ And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment, that ye may approve things that are excellent.” That this approving of
the things that are excellent, is mentioned as an instance of the exercise of that knowledge and judgment that is spoken of as the fruit of love, appears more plainly in the original, as the connexion is evident; bus to doxspaleiv, unto the approving. The same thing appears by 2 Thess. ii. 12. “ That they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
$ 54. It is fit that, seeing we depend so entirely and universally, visibly and remarkably, on God, in our fallen state, for happiness, and seeing the special design of God was to bring us into such a great and most evident dependence ; that the act of the soul, by which it is interested in this benefit, bestowed in this way, should correspond; viz. a looking and seeking to, and depending on God for it; that the unition of heart, that is the proper term, should imply such an application of the soul to God, and seeking his benefits only and entirely, and with full sense of dependence on him, that as the condition before was obedience, or rendering to God, so now it should be seeking and looking to him, drawing and deriving from him, and with the whole heart depending on him, on his power and free grace, &c. Faith is the proper active union of the soul with Christ as our Saviour, as reveal. ed to us in the gospel. But the proper aetive union of the soul with Christ as our Saviour, as revealed to us in the gospel, is the soul's active agreeing, and suiting or adapting itself in its act, to the exhibition God gives us of Christ and his redemption ; to the nature of the exhibition, being pure revelation, and a revelation of things perfectly above our senses and reason; and to Christ himself in his person as revealed, and in the character under which he is revealed to us ; and to our state with regard to him in that character; and to our need of him, and concern with him, and his relation to us, and to the benefits to us, with which he is exhibited and offered to us in that revelation ; and to the great design of God in that method and divine contrivance of salvation revealed. But the most proper name for such an active union or unition of the soul to Christ, as this, of any that language affords, is faith. VOL. IV.