Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  17 / 720 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 17 / 720 Next Page
Page Background

Seim.

CV.

Repentance

and Faith.

Repentance to

be

a

new Do&rine

that

did come

with the Gofpel

into

the World,

becaufe it

was

never before enforced with this powerful Argument

;.

the times

of

that

Ignorance, God'minked

at ;

but

now be

calls

upon

all Men

every where to

repent;

bccarrfe,

&c.

When the World

was

inignoraece,

and had

not

fuch affurance

of

a

future

State,

of

eternal Rewards and Punifhments after this

Life

;

the

Arguments

to

Repentance were weak and

feeble

in comparifon

of

what

they

now are,

the

neceflìty

of

this

Duty

was

not

fo

evident.

But

now God

bath

affur'd

us

of

a

fu-

ture Judgment,

now Exhortations

to.Repentance have

a

commanding Power

and

Influence

upon Men;

fo

that

Repentance,

both

as

it

is

that

which

is

very much

preft and

inculcated

in

the Gofpel, and

as

it bath

its

chief Motives and Enforce-

ments from the Gofpel, may be faid

to

be one

of

the great

Do£trines

of

the

Gofpel.

Qaery

2

Whether the preaching

of

Faith

inChrifi, among

thofe who

are al-

readyChriftians,

be

at

all neceffary

?

Becaufe

it

Teems

very

improper, to

prefs

thofe to

believe in Chrift,

who

are

already

perfwaded

that

he

is

the

Meas,

and

doentertain the

Hiftory and Do&rive

of the

Gofpel.

llnf

The

Faith

which the Apoltle here means, and which he

would

perfwade

Men

to,

is

an

effectual

belief

of

the

Gofpel; fuch a

Faith

as

bath

real

Effe

&s

upon

Men,

and

makes

them to live

as

they believe ; fuch

a

Faith

as

perfwades

them

of

the need

of

thefe

Bleflings

that the Gofpel

offers,

and

makes

them to delire to be

Partakers

of

them,

and

in

order thereto

to

be

willing

to

fubmit

to thofe Terms

and Conditions

of

Holinefs and Obedience, which

the

Gofpel requires.

This

is

the Faith

we

would

perfwade Men

to,

and there

is

nothing

more

neceffary

to

be

preft

upon the

greateft

part

of

Chriftians

than this

;

for how

few are

there

a-

mong thofe who

profefs

to

believe

the

Gofpel,

who

believe

it

in

this

effe&ual

manner,

fo

as

to

conform themfelves

to it? The Faith which

molt

Chriftians

pretend to,

is

meetly negative

they do not

disbelieve

theGofpel,

they do not

confident, nor trouble

themfelves

about it,

they

do not

care

nor

are concerned

whether

it

be

true

or not ;

but they have

not

a

pofitive belief

of

it, they are

not

poffeft

with

a firm

Perfwafion

of the Truth

of

thole

Matters which

are con-

tained in

it

;

if

they

were, fuch a

Perfwafion would produce real and pofitive Ef-

feas. Every

Man

naturally

defires

Happinefs, and 'tis impoflible

that

any Man

that

is

poffeft

with

this

Belief,

that

in

order to Happinefs it

is

neceffary

for him

to

do fuch

and fuch

things;

and

that

if

he omit

or

negleEt

them he

is

unavoida-

bly

miferable,

that

he fhould

not do

them.

Men fay

they

believe this

or that,

but

you

may

fee

in

their

Lives,

what it

is

they

believe.

So

that

the preaching

of

this

Faith

in

Chrifl,

which

is

the only

true Faith,

is

ftill neceffary.

I. Inference. If Repentance towards God,

and

Faith

in

the

Lord

Jeffs Chrß, be

the

Sum

and

Subitanee

of

the Gofpel, then from

hence

we may

infer

the

Excellen-

cy

of

the Chriftian

Religion, which

infifts

only upon thofe things

that do

tend

to

our

Perfe&ion and

our

Happinefs.

Repentance

tends

to our Recovery, and

the

bringing

of

us

back

as

near

as

may be

to

Innocence. Primus innocentie gradus

eft

non

peccaffe;

fecundas, penitencie:

and then

Faith

in

the

Lord

JefitsChri

i,

tho it

be very comprehenfive, and contains many things in it, yet

nothing but what

is

eminently for our advantage, and

doth

very much conduce

to our

Happinefs.

The

Hifiorical

part

of

the

Gofpel acquaints

us

with the Perron and

A

&ions

of

our

Sa-

viour,which conduceth very

much

to

our

underftanding

of

the Author and

Means

.

of

our

Salvation.

The

Dentinal

part

of

the Gofpel contains what God

requires

on

our part,

and

the

Encouragements and Arguments

to our Duty,

from the con-

federation

of the

Recompence and

Rewards

of

the next

Life.

The

Precepts

of

Chrift's Doftrine

are fuch

as

tend exceedingly

to the

Perfe&ion

of

our Nature,

being

all

founded

in

Keaton,

in

the Nature

of

God, and

of

a

reafonable Crea-

ture ;

I

except

only thofe

pofitive

Inftitutions

of

the Chriftian Religion,

the

two

Sacraments,

which

are

not burthenfome,

and

are

of

excellent

ufe.

This

is

the

frrfe.

IL

We may learn

from hence what

is

to

be

the

fum

and end

of

our Preaching,

to bring

Men

to

Repentance and

a

firm

belief

of the

Gofpel ; but then it

is

to be

confidered,

that

we

preach

Repentance,

fo

often

as we

preach

either

againft

Sin

in

general,