Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

S E K M O NS upon the S E R M. I. things not feen as if with bodily eyes. So for things to come, as Chrifts coming to Judgment, yob; faw it in the light of Propl}pfie, Rev. 20. 1 2. I fa v the dead, both !Mall and great fraud before God ; and ;hey fee ir in the light of Scripture and the Pro- mife ; fu that you fee the Obje &s of Faith are things revealed by God, becaufe reveal- ed by him : If a man fhould believe the Chriftian Religion upon Tradition, or the current opinion where he liveth, 'tis not Faith but humane Credulity ; now the a& of Faith 'tis an affent, not knowledge but. acknowledgment : the under - flanding hath a double a &, apprehenfion or dijudication, it judgeth of the. truth of things apprehended, or apprehendeth the tenor of things, and then judgeth of the truth of them ; they are not enlightned in a way of Faith that are only able to talk of Heavenly things, but fuch as are perfwaded of the truth of. them : And then mark the Adjun &s,'tis a firm and Cordial affent. (1.) 'Tis a firm affent, and that excludeth many things from Faith, as light Cre- dulity : Prov. 14. 15. The fimple believeth every word. He that believeth every thing without fearch and ferious advertency, believeth nothing. And it excludeth bare non-contradi&ion. Many are thought to believe the Religion they live under, becaufe they do not queftion it : There can no more be Paid to believe, than Children are faid to believe the Q_ueftions and Anfwers of the Catechifm they have learned by rote. True Faith knoweth the certainty of thofe things wherein they have been in -: ftru&ed Lab: 1.4. And then it excludeth Conje&ure to be Faith, which is a lighter inclination of the mind to a thing as probable ; it may be fo, yet there is a fufpition to the contrary. Nay, it excludeth Opinion, which goeth.higher than Con- je&ure, but cometh fhort of Faith. Well now, thus far many goe ; there may be an owning of the true Orthodox Re- ligion, only out of'Cuftom, Chance, of Birth, Education, tradition of Anceftours ; they may talk much, as Parrots repeat mens words by rote only. There may be Convi &ions and Opinions about them, they may be perfwaded thofe things are true that are in the Word of God, and yet no firm affent. (a:) But to come nearer yet, the next Adjun&, 'tis a cordial and hearty affent, fuch as engageth the Heart to Chrift. We read in Scripture of believing with the Heart, Rom. so. 9. and believing with all the Heart, A&s 8. 37. Truths are propounded to us in the Scripture not only as true, but. good things, of great weight and moment, as well as certain. Believing is an hearty bufinefs ; now this cordial and hearty Affenc excludeth Hiftorical Faith, and Temporary Faith. Firfl, Hiftorical Faith, which refts in a naked fpeculation, or a fimple and naked affent to fuck things as are propounded in the Word of God : This confifteth in a meer Speculation of the Mind, without any change of the bent of the Will and Affe&íons. True Faith ever overcomes all contrary inclinations and motions, fo that Gods Intereft may prevail above them : Heb. 11.13. Being perfwaded of them, they embraced them. Thofe who have a meer hiftorical Faith, are, not excited to holy Living ; are rendred more knowing, not better : this is a real Faith in its kind. Si- mon Magus did really believe by the preaching 6f Philip, Alts 8. 13. 'twas not coun- terfeit, for 'tis faid he wondred. And chofe in John 2. 24. that believed in the Name of Chrift, but Chrill would not commit himfelf to them, for he knew all men. And no queftion the Devils do really believe, 3ames a. not only natural Truths, but Gofpel Truths. I know thou art the holy one of God..What a Confeffion is this out of the Devils mouth ! Therefore 'Lis a wrong to fay that unregenerate men do not believe. Becaufe this being the main,bufinels in hand, I will tell you why 'tis called Hiftorical Faith : Not from the Oble& of it, as if they only believed the Hifto- ries of the Scripture : No, they believe Promifes, Threarnings, Doarines, Precepts, Myfteries. But 'its called Hiftorical Faith, from the manner where ,ith'ris conver- sant about its Obje& : As we read Hiftories in which we are no way concerned, only for contemplation and Knowledge fake, not to make a Party in their Broils, or interpofe in their quarrels ; fo they rest in idle Speculations, which betters not the Pra &ice. Well now, this fpeculative affent they may have ; this Faith Both not only believe thole things that are true, but doth heartily and truely believe them.. Secondly, There is befides this, temporary Faith ; that is, fuch an affent as is accom- panyed with a Height and infuffrcient touch upon the Heart, called a talle, Heb. 6.4. fo that they do not only believe the Truths of the Gofpel, but are tickled with fome delight, and do infome meafure find their Hearts drawn off from wordly lufts and pra &ices ; but the Impreffion is not deep enough, nor the. Joy roeted enough to- counter