Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.1

2 INWARD WITNESS TO CHRISTIANITY. [SERM. 1. of it, while they saw it disallowed and opposed by the world round about them. It was evidently necessary therefore for them to enquire, whether it came fromGod or no ? And it is with this view . the apostle Johnwrites these words, He that believeth on the Son of God, halt the witness in himself viz. he hath a proof within him- self, that eternal life is in the Son, ver. 11. and is to be Obtained by our believing in him. It is to the truth of this doctrine that the three bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and the three on earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood. And though the proof of the sincerity and truth of our faith now may be derived from hence by a further conse- quence, yet the first and direct design of the apostle is to shew, that the truth and divinity of our religion has an inward witness to it in the heart of every believer. Here give me leave to put you in mind, that it is necessary for you, as it was for the primitive christians, to settle your profession of christianity upon solid grounds ; otherwise you are christians but for the same reason that makes aTurk a disciple of Mahomet, or a heathen a worshipper of the gods of his country; that is, because you were born in such a climate, and under such á meridian. And can you be contented with so poor a pretence to the noblest religion? and lay so sandy a foundation for your eternal hopes? Besides, the day in which we live, threatens you with bold temptations; and how will you stand if you have no surer grounds ? Infidelity is a growing weed; the contempt and ridicule of revealed religion flourish, and become fashionable among the gay part of the world; and if you are not furnished with some solid proofs of the gospel of Christ, you .may be in great danger of losing your faith; you may be tempted to yield up your religion to a witty jest, and become a heathen for company. I might say another thing to awaken you to acquaint yourselves with some arguments that willjustify and sup- port your belief of the gospel. Suppose you think you have complied with the rules of your religion, and have raised your hopes of heaven to a high degree; should Satan the tempter spread his darkness round your souls, and in a melancholy and gloomy hour assault your faith I