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$ 66. Committing ourselves, our cause, &c. unto God, is of the same force. Job v. 8. “I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause, who doth great things, and unsearchable, marvellous things without number.”
S 67. The distinction of the several constituent parts or acts of faith, into assent, consent, and affiance, if strictly considered and examined, will appear not to be proper and just, or strictly according to the truth and nature of things; because the parts are not all entirely distinct one from another, and so are in some measure confounded one with another : For the last, viz. affiance, implies the other two, assent and consent; and is nothing else but a man's assent and consent, with particular relation or application to himself and his own case, together with the effect of all in his own quietness and comfort of mind, and boldness in venturing on this foundation, in conduct and practice.
Affiance consists in these five things: 1. Consent to something proposed, to be obtained by another person, as good, eligible or desirable, and so for him. 2. Assent of the judgment to the reality of the good, as to be obtained by him; that he is sufficient, faithful, &c. 3. The mind's applying itself to him for it, which is no other than the soul's desiring him to possess us of this good consented to, expressing these desires before him, that he may see and take notice of them, i. e. expressing these desires with an apprehension that he sees our hearts, and designedly spreading them before him, to the end that they might be observed by him and gratified. 4. Hoping that the good will be obtained in this way ; which hope consists in two things, viz. expectation of the good in this way ; and in some ease, quietness, or comfort of mind arising from this expectation. 5. Adventuring some interest on this hope in practice; which consists either in doing something that implies trouble, or brings expense or suffering, or in omitting something that we should otherwise do ; by which omission some good is foregone, or some evil is brought on.
If these acts cannot in strictness all take place at the same moment of time, though they follow one another in the order of nature, yet they are all implied in the act that is exercised
the first moment, so far as that act is of such a nature as implies a necessary tendency to what follows. In these three last especially consists man's committing himself to Christ as a Saviour. In the third and fourth especially consists the soul's looking to Christ as a Saviour.
$ 68. In that consent to the way or method of salvation, which there is in saving faith, the heart has especially respect to two things in that method, that are the peculiar glory of it, and whereby it is peculiarly contrary to corrupt nature: 1. Its being a way wherein God is so exalted and set so high, and man so debased and set so low. God is made all in all, and man nothing. God is magnified as selfsufficient and allsufficient, and as being all in all to us ; his power and his grace, and Christ's satisfaction and merits being all : And man is annihilated ; his power, his righteousness, his dignity, his works, are made nothing of.
2. Its being so holy a way; a way of mere mercy, yet of holy mercy; mercy in saving the sinner, but shewing no favor or countenance to sin ; a way of free grace, yet of holy grace; not grace exercised to the prejudice of God's holiness, but in such a way as peculiarly to manifest God's hatred of sin and opposition to it, and strict justice in punishing it, and that he will by no means clear the guilty ; every way manifesting the infinite evil and odiousness of sin, much more than if there had been no salvation offered. Therefore, humiliation and holiness are the chief ingredients in the act of consent to this way of salvation.
In these things I have spoken only of a consent to the way or method of salvation. But in saving faith is included also a consent to the salvation itself, or the benefits procured. What is peculiarly contrary to this in corrupt nature, is a worldly spirit; and therefore in order to this act of consent, there must be mortification to, or weanedness from the world, and a selling of all for the pearl of great price.
Lastly, Besides all these, there is in saving faith a consent to Christ himself, or a closing of the heart or inclination with the person of Christ. This implies each
This implies each of the three things forementioned, viz. humiliation, holiness, and renouncing the
world. It implies humiliation ; for as long as men deify themselves, they will not adore Jesus Christ. It implies sanctification ; for Christ's beauty, for which his person is delighted in and chosen, is especially his holiness. It implies forsaking the world ; for as long as men set their hearts on the world as their chief good, and have that as the chief object of the relish and complaisance of their minds, they will not relish and take complaisance in Christ, and set their hearts on him as their best good. The heart of a true believer consents to three things exhibited in the gospel of salvation. 1. The person
who is the author of the salvation. 2. The benefit, or the salvation itself. 3. The way or inethod in which this person is the author of this benefit.
§ 69. Faith implies a cleaving of the heart to Christ; because a trusting in others is spoken of as a departing of the heart from the Lord. Jer. xvii. 5. « Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, whose heart departeth from the Lord.” So a heart of únbelief is a heart that departeth from the Lord. Heb. iii. 12. " Lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Faith has a double office. It accepts Christ from God, and presents Ćhrist to God. It accepts Christ in the word, and makes use of him in prayer. In the word, God offereth him to you, as Lord and Saviour, to give you repentance and remission of sins. Now, when you consent to God's terms, this is to believe in him....Faith presents Christ to God ; Eph. iii. 12. " In whom we have boldness and access with confidence, by the faith of him." All religion lieth in coming to God by him. Heb. vii. 25. “ Wherefore he is able also to save them unto the uttermost, that come unto God through him ; seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.“ Dr. Manton, vol.
V. p. 382.
$ 70. We often read in the New Testament of the calling of Christians, of their high calling; and that effect of God's word and spirit, by which they are brought to a saving faith, is called their calling"; and true believers are spoken of as the called of God, called saints, &c. And this call is often represented as an invitation, an invitation to come to Christ, VOL. IV
to come and join themselves to him, to come to follow him, to continue with him, to be of his party, his society, seeking his interest, &c. To come to him for his benefits, to come for deliverance from calamity and misery, to come for safety, to come for rest, to come to eat and drink ; an invitation to come into his house, to a feast. And faith is often called by the name of ufaxon, hearing, hearkening, yielding to, and obeying the gospel, obeying Christ, being obedient to the faith, obeying the form of doctrine, &c.
Hence we may learn the nature of saving faith ; that it is an accepting, yielding to, and complying with, the gospel, as such a call and invitation ; which implies the hearing of the mind, i. e. the mind's apprehending or understanding the call; a believing of the voice, and the offer and promises contained in it; and accepting, esteeming, prizing the person and benefits invited to; a falling in of the inclination, the choice, the affection, &c.
- $71. Faith, as the word is used in scripture, does not only signify dependence, as it appears in venturing in practice, but also as it appears in the rest of the mind, in opposition to anxiety; as appears by Matth. vi. 25....34.
66 Take no thought....shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” So Luke xii. 22....32. “Take no thought....how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith! Fear not little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom," compared with Philip. iv. 6, 7, and Peter v. 7. This is agreeable to that phrase used in the Old Testament for trusting, “ Roll thy burthen on the Lord.” Matth. xiv. 30, 31. 6 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid ; and, beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ?"
$72. The following inquiries concerning saving faith, are proper and important.
1. Whether justifying faith, in its proper essence, implies, besides the act of the judgment, also an act of the inclination and will ?
7. Whether it properly implies love in its essence ?
3. What are the scripture descriptions, characters, and representations of justifying faith?
4. What is the true definition of justifying faith, a definition which agrees with the scripture representation of faith, and takes all in ?
5. Whether the word faith, as used in the gospel, has a signification diverse from what it has in common speech ?
6. Why the word faith, is used to signify this complex act of the mind ?
7. How far trusting in Christ is of the nature and essence of faith?
8 Whether assent, consent and affiance, be a proper distribution of the various and distinct acts of faith?
9. Whether hope, as the word is used in the New Testa. ment, be properly distinct from saving faith ?
10. What does the word trust imply in common speech?
14. How selfrighteousness is peculiarly opposite to the nature of faith ?,
15. In what sense there must be a particular application in the act of saving faith?
16. Whether the first act of faith is certainly more lively and sensible, than some of the weakest of the consequent acts of saving faith?
17: In what sense, perseverance in faith is necessary to , salvation ?
18. What sort of evidence is it which is the principal im. mediate ground of that assent of the judgment which is implied in saving faith ?
8.73. Calling on the name of Christ, is often spoken of as the proper expression of saving faith in Christ. Acts ii. 21; Rom. x. 13, 14 ; 1 Cor. i. 2; Acts ix. 14, 21, 22, 16. Faith is trusting in Christ. See Doddridge's note on Acts xvj. 31.
What in that prophecy of the Messiah in Isa. xlii. 4, is expressed thus, “ The Isles shall wait for his law," is, as cit,