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3. To be content with God for our Judge, for our Patron, for our Lord, for our Friend, defiring God to be all in all to us, as we are in our understanding and affections wholly his.
Add to these
To be a stranger upon earth in our affections, and to have all our Thoughts and principal Defires fixed upon the matters of Faith, the things of Heaven. For if a Man were adopred Heir to Cafar, he would (if he believed it real and effective) defpise the present, and wholly be at Court in his Father's eye, and his defires would out-run his swiftest speed, and all his thoughts would fpend themselves in creating Ideas and little phantastick Images of his future condition. Now God hath made us Heirs of his Kingdom, and Co-heirs with Jefus : if we believed this, we would think, and affect, and study accordingly. But he that rejoices in Gain, and his Heart dwells in the World, and is espoused to a fair Efate, and tranfported with a light momentary Joy, and is afflicted with Losses, and amazed with teniporal Perfecutions, and esteeins Disgrace and Poverty in a good Caufe to be intolerable, this Man either hath no Inheritance in Heaven, or' believesnone ; and believes not that he is adopted to be the Son of God, the Heir of eternal Glory.
5: S.James his sign is the best : [Shew me thy Faith by thy Works] Faith makes the Merchant diligent and ventrous, and that makes him rich. Ferdinando of Arragon believed the story told him by Columbus, and therefore he furnished him with Ships, and got the West-Indies by his Faith in the Undertaker. But Henry the Seventh of England believed him not, and therefore trusted him not with Shipping, and lost all the Purchase of that Faith. It is told us by Chrift [He that forgives shall be forgiven.] If we believe this, it is certain we shall forgive our Enemies; for none of us all but need and desire to be forgiven. No Man can possibly defpise or refuse to defire such excellent Glories as are revealed to them that are Servants of
Chrift, and yet we do nothing that is commanded us as a condition to obtain them. No Man could work a day's labour without Faith : but because he believes he shall have his Wages at the Day's or Week's end, he does his Duty. But he only believes who does that thing which other Men in the like cafes do when they do believe. He that believes Money gotten with. danger is better than poverty with safety, will venture for it in unknown lands or feas; and fo will he that believes it better to get Heaven with Labour, than to go to Hell with Plea
füre. 56. He that believes does not make bafte, but waits
patiently till the times of refreshment come, and dares truft God for the morrow, and is no more solicitous for the next year than he is for that which is past: and it is certain, that Man wants Faith, who darės be more confident of being supplied when he hath Money in his Purse, than when he hath it only in Bills of Exchange from God; or that relies more upon his own Industry than upon God's Providence, when his own Industry fails him. If you dare trust to God when the case to humane Reason feems im possible, and trust to God then alfo out of choice, not because you have nothing else to trutt to, but because he is the only fupport of a just confidence, then you give a good Testimony of your Faith.
7. True Faith is confident, and will venture all the World upon the strength of its Perfuafion. Will you lay your Life on it, your Ettate, your Reputation, that the Doctrine of JESUS CHRIST is true in every Article? Then
you have true Faith. But he that fears Men more than God, believes Men more than he believes in God.
8. Faith, if it be true, living and justifying, cannot be separated from a good Life:, it works Miracles, makes a Drunkard become fober, a lascivious Person become chaft, a covetous Man become liberal; it over . Cor. 13:51 comes the World, it works Righteosisness, and makes us Rom. 8. 1o. diligently to do, and chearfully to suffer whatsoever God hath placed in our Way to Heaven.
The Means and Instruments to obtain,
i DE : 1. An humble, willing and docible Mind, or Defire to be instructed in the way.of God: for Perfuafion enters like a Sun-beam, gently, and without Violencers, and open but the Window, and draw the Curtain, and the Son of Righteousness will enlighten your Darkness. 239532
2. Remove all Prejudice and Love to every thing which may be contradicted by Faith. How can ye believe (faid Chrift) that receive praise one of another? An unchaft Man cannot easily be brought to believe that without Purity he fhall never fee God. He that loves Richesi can hardly believe the Doctrine of Pa verty and Renunciation of the World ; and Alms and Martyrdom and the Doctrine of the Cross is Folly to him that loves his Eafe and Pleasurus. He that hath within him any Principle contrary to the Doctrines of Faith, cannot eaflly become a Difciple. 2.3. Prayer, which is inftrumental to every thing, hath a particular Promife in this thing. He that lacks Wisdom, let him ask it of God: and, If you give good things to your Children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give his Spirit to them that ask him
The confideration of the Divine Omnipotence sis fumma andi Infinite Wifdom, and our own Ignorance, are zio elt cmni. great istraments of curing all Doubting, and filenpotentia cing the Murmurs of Infidelity. Creatoris,
$. Avoid all Curiosity of Enquiry into particulars and circumstances and mysteries : for true Faith is full of ingenuity and hearty fimplicity, free from fuspicion, wise and confident, trusting upon generals, without watching and prying into unneceffary or undiscernible particulars. No Man carries his bed into
his field, to watch how his Corn grows, but believes ; 87.000 upon the geiseral Order of Providence and Nature ;
and at Harvest finds himself not deceived.
In rebus mi.
accounts their difference. Faith is of all thing
Is and punishments of things
upon God, and contend not with him but in Prayer, and in the presence and with the help of a prudent untempted Guides and be sure to esteem all changes of Belief which offer themselves in the time of your greatest weakness, contrary to the persuafions of your boft: Understanding to be Temptations, and reject them accordingly.
visi juli ili It is a prudent Course, that in our Health and beft Advantages we lay up particular Arguments and Inftruments of Perswafion and Confidence, to be brought forth and ufed'in the great Day of expence; and that especially in fuch things in which we use tó be most tempted, and in which we are least confident, and which are most necessary, and which commonly the Devil uses to affault'us withal in the days of our Vifitation.
8! The Wisdom of the Church of God is very remarkable in appointing Festivals or Holy-days, whose Solemnity and offices have no other special Business but to record the Article of the Day, such as TrinitySunday, Ascension, Easter, Christmas-day: and to those Persons who can only believe, not prove or dif putę, there is no better instrument to cause the Re. membrance and plain Notion, and to endear the Af fe&tion and hearty Affent to the Article, than the proclaiming and recomending 'it by the Festivity and Joy of a Holy day. 1 93
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SECT. II. 4:37 ..::(
inn Faith differs from Hope in the extention of its Obi
ject, and in the intention of Degree. S. Austin thuê Enchirid. (8, past, present and co come, of things that concern us, and of things that concern us not, but Hope hath for its Objeét things only that are good and fit to be hoped for future, and concerning ourselves: and because
these things are offered to us upon conditions of which we may so fail as we may change our Will, therefore our certainty is less than the adherences of Faith which (because Faith relies only upon one proposition,
that is, the Truth of the Word of God) cannot be made uncertain in themselves, though the object of our Hope may become uncertain to us, and to our Poffeffion. For it is infallibly certain, that there is Heaven for all the Godly, and for me amongst them all if I do my Duty. But that I shall enter into Heaven, is the object of my Hope, not of my Faith, and is so sure as it is uncertain I shall persevere in the Ways of God.
The Axts of Hope, are,
1. To rely upon God with a confident expectation of his promises ; ever esteeming that every promise of God is a magazine of all that Grace and Relief which we can need in that instance for which the pro mise is made. Every degree of Hope is a degree of Confidence.
2. To esteem all the danger of an action and the possibilities of miscarriage, and every cross accident that can intervene, to be no defect on God's part, but either a mercy on his part, or a fault on ours.: for then we shall be sure to trust in God when fee him to be our Confidence, and ourselves the cause of all mischances. The Hope of a Chriftian is prudent and religious.
3. To rejoice in the midft of a misfortune or seeming fadness, knowing that this may work for Good, and will, if we be not wanting to our Souls. This is a direct A&t of Hope, to look through the cloud, and look for a beam of the light from God and this is called in Scripture, Rejoicing in Tribulation, when the God of Hope fills us with all joy in believing. Every degree of Hope brings a degree of Joy.
4. To defire, to pray, and to long for the great objeět of our Hope, the mighty price of our High-calling; and to desire the other things of this life as they