Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.2

13 Mutual Edification, the Duty of Chrißiáns. SEkM. the fame thing; for the doctrine of the gof- l pel can have no effe& on us to form our tem-. V".") pers and converfation, which is its 'proper end, unlefs it be believed. Taking faith in the firft and molt obvious fenfe, for an affent of the mind to truth, it can, no more than knowledge, be profitable, without good af- fe Lions ; and therefore St, lames, in the 2d chapter of his epiftle, very juftly expofes the folly of thofe who truft to fuch an in- fufficient and dead faith, as he calls it ; it is no better than the devil's believing, which only produces a confounding dread and hor- ror. Yet í1i11 even an affent to the truths of the gofpel is abfolutely necefl'ary ; and we fhould endeavour to be more firmly rooted and grounded in it, that it may produce good fruits, and we may encreafe in every good work. To this end, as all that by the frame of our nature we are capable of, is a diligent impartial examination of the evidence of truth, it is all that God requires ; and the more we confider with upright hearts the grounds of the great chriftian verity, and fearch the fcriptures, the more we (hall be fatisfied concerning it. But faith feems, at leaft very often, in the New Teftament, to fi nify, not barely an affent, but indeed obe- dience