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Here is the decision of the case, Mark xvi. 16. “ He that believeth shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Unbelief will undoubtedly ruin you, Psal. ii. ult. « Kiss ye the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way,

when his wrath is kindled but a little." Unbelief is a rejecting of Christ; and they cannot escape who refuse the remedy of fin, Luke xix. 27. “ Those mine enemies that would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and flay them before me.”

II. I proceed to shew the necessity of repentance, in order to one's escaping this wrath and curse. No adult person can be saved without it. As for infants dying in their tender years, and such others who are not capable of actual faith and repentance, in so far as the Spirit dwells in them, they have the feed of those graces, and shall undoubtedly be saved.

1. The word of God certifies us, that whosoever does not repent shall perish, Luke xiii. 5. Your souls, then, lie at stake. The finner is gone away from God, and so is come under the curse. His soul is left in pawn that he shall return; so if he do not return, the pawn is loft, and lost for

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2. Heaven's door is bolted against all impenitent sinners ; it is not so wide as to let in a sinner with a burden of unre. pented-of guilt upon his back, Rev. xxi. 27. 6 There shall in nowise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie.”

So heaven ye cannot fee, and hell ye cannot escape, if ye repent not. It is the call of the gospel to you ; which, if it be not obeyed, fee the effect, 2 Theff. i. 7, 8. 6 The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” To this narrow point the matter is brought, Repent or perish, Ezek. xviii. 30, 31. “ Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions ; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from

you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed, and make ye a new heart, and a new fpirit; for why will ye

die, O house of Israel ?” 3. Repentance is the other duty of the gospel; thereby fignifying, that without repentance there is no possibility but we must perish under God's wrath and curse. John the

Baptist preached repentance, so did Christ himself, the apostles, &c. How can one think then to escape without it?

4. True faith does always bring along with it true repentance, Zech. xii. 10. “ I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only fon, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.” It is the gift which Christ is exalted to give, Acts v. 31. as he is a Saviour. So impenitent finners have no part in Christ, nor in his falvation, Matth. i. 21. and therefore they must perish.

It is the great

III. I proceed to consider the question, Are faith and repentance in men's power, since God requires them of them? Ans. They are not. For God's demands of us are the meafure of our duty, but not of our strength, which reaches not to these. For,

1. They are the gifts of God, and the operations of his special grace, Eph. i. 19. Acts v. 31. And where sovereign pleasure does not determine to give and work them, the party lies under the power of unbelief and impenitency. Hence it is God's grace and good-will which makes one differ from another; not man's free-will. Hence says our Lord, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wife and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even fo, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight,” Matth. xi. 25, 26.

2. Sinners by nature, and in themselves, can do nothing which is good, and therefore cannot believe nor repent, John xv. 5. “ Without me ye can do nothing.” 2 Cor. ii. 5. “ Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves : but our fufficiency is of God.” In particular they cannot believe, John vi. 44. “ No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me, draw him.” They cannot repent, Jer. xiii. 23. “ Can the Ethio. pian change his skin, or the leopard his spots ? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” They are dead in sin, and must be quickened, yea, created in Christ Jesus to good works. They are in bondage to fin and Satan, 2 Tim. ii. 26.; therefore cannot come to Christ, nor turn to God, till effectual grace bring them forward, Acts xxvi.

18. “ Open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.” Object. How then can God require them of us?

Anf. 1. God gave man this power, and he has lost it by his own fault, Eccl. vii. 29. “ God hath made man upright, but they have fought out many inventions.” If a debtor squander away his substance, the creditor has still a right to require what he owes him : so, though man has lost his power to perform, God has not lost his right to require the duty.

2. Men will not believe their own impotency. They will promise, resolve, and delay to believe and repent, as if these duties were in their own power ; they will flight the motions of God's Spirit ; ye, they are throwing away the remains of natural light and strength, that have escaped out of the ruins of the fall. So that God may very justy require these of them, to convince them, and stir them up to seek grace.

IV. I proceed to fhew the connection betwixt faith and repentance, and escaping the wrath and curse of God due to us for fin. Those who believe and repent shall certainly escape. God has said it, that they shall, John v. 24. “ He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that fent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." Ezek. xviii. 30. “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions ; fo iniquity shall not be your ruin.” Nay, they are got beyond it already, Rom. viii. 1. “ There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” In the moment the finner comes into Christ, he is no more liable to eternal wrath, nor to the curse; for he is not under the law, but under grace: and the utmost he is liable to, is fatherly chaf: tisements, Pfal. Ixxxix. 30.-33. Thus faith and repentance have the connection of appointed' means prescribed by God himself, which, by his blessing, are rendered subservient to this great end, of obtaining salvation. Faith is the hand that receives Christ and his righteousness, as the all of salvation, John i. 12.; and repentance unto life consists in that godly sorrow for fin, flowing from faith, which is the exercise of all who are concerned about the salvation of their souls, Jer. 1. 4. 2 Cor. vii. 11.

V. I shall now shew the necessity of using all the outward

means whereby Christ communicateth to his people the benefits of redemption.

1. God has peremptorily required this, Luke xiii. 24. “ Strive to enter in at the strait gate," namely, that we strive in the appointed means of grace and salvation. And so he has particularly enjoined us the consciencious performance of each of them.

2. We have no ground to expect grace or falvation but in the use of the means, Prov. viii. 34. “ Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” Prov. ii. 3.-5. “ If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding : if thou feekest her as filver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures : then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” Rom. x. 17.

3. The neglect of the means is a contempt of the thing. If we would be healed, we would lie at the pool. If not, we say we care not for cure.

And there is required here, not a careless or merely superficial use of the outward means, but a diligent one; that is, an embracing of every opportunity that God in his providence gives us for attending upon them, a careful improvement of them, and a looking earnestly to him for his blessing upon them, without which they will not contribute to our {piritual advantage, 1 Cor. ï. 6, 7.

Quest. What is our ability in this point ? Anf. The use of outward means is not beyond our reach. One may without saving grace, read, hear, pray, and consider his case. And by these one may attain the highest pitch of preparation for the

grace of God, in legal convictions, fears, sorrows for sin, and natural (though not saving) desires of grace. Therefore, do what ye can; it may be, while yė are doing what ye can, God will do for

you
what

ye cannot do for yourselves, Acts viii. 22.

Quest. Has God promised to save and convert those who do what is in their power in the use of means? Ans. We dare not say it. But, 1. It is possible. 2. It is probable

I fhall conclude with two inferences.

* See all this illustrated in Human Nature in its Fourfold State, State üi. head 3. under the title, Objections answered,

Inf. 1. Then, as ever ye would escape God's wrath and curse due to you for fin, repent and believe. Come to Chrift; turn from your sins unto God. There is no safety otherwise, but this way ye shall be safe. No fin of yours will ruin you, you believe and repent; and nothing will save you, if you.

if

do not.

2. Be diligent in the use of the means of salvation. They are laid before you, while they are by the fovereign disposal of Providence, kept up from others. Neglect them not, as ye would not be found to reject the counsel of God against yourselves. And satisfy not yourselves in the bare use of them, but seek grace and falvation in them from Jesus Christ, they being the appointed means of grace.

OF FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST.

JOHN i. 12.- But as many as received him, to them gave he power

to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe on his

name.

FAIT

AITH in Jesus Christ being the main thing required for

one's escaping the wrath and curse of God, we come now to speak of it particularly, from these words. In which we have, (1.) The nature, (2.) The fruit of faith, viz. the privilege and dignity of adoption into God's family. Passing the latter, [See vol. ii.] We may

take notice of the former, viz. the nature of faith, As many as received, &c. Wherein consider,

1. What it is in the general. It is a saving grace, for by it one becomes a child of God, and so an heir of heaven.

2. What it is in particular. (1.) The object of it is Christ, he, his name, his person, with his benefits. The acts of it, faving the finner, are, [1.] Receiving him; this is explained to be believing. Now, receiving implies an offer of him made to the receiver, which is done in the gospel. [2.] Resting on him ; for it is not a mere believing him, by an historical afsent to his word, but a believing on his name, which imports a fiducial recumbency or relying on him, as one who believes

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