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over us." Can the devils thus believe him to be the Messiah ? Yet this is that, which, by these and abundance of other places, I have showed to be the meaning of believing him to be the Messiah.
Besides, I have expressly distinguished the faith which makes a christian, from that which the devils have, by proving, that, to the believing Jesus to be the Messiah; must be joined repentance, or else it will not make them true christians : and what this repentance is, may be seen at large in p. 105, &c. some expressions whereof I shall here set down; as p. 105, “ repentance does not “ consist in one single act of sorrow, (though that being “ first, and leading, gives denomination to the whole, “ but in doing works meet for repentance; in a sincere “ obedience to the law of Christ, the remainder of our “ lives.” Again; to distinguish the faith of a christian from that of devils, I say expressly, out of St. Paul's epistle to the Galatians, “ that which availeth is faith, “ but faith working by love; and that faith, without “ works, i. e. the works of sincere obedience to the law " and will of Christ, is not sufficient for our justifica“ tion.” And, p. 117, “That to inherit eternal life,
we must love the Lord our God, with all our heart, “ with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all
our mind.” And • Love Christ, in keeping « his commandments.”
This, and a great deal more to this purpose, may be seen in my “ Reasonableness of Christianity;" particularly, where I answer that objection, about the faith of devils, which I made in p. 102, &c. and therein at large show, wherein the faith of devils comes short of the justifying faith, which makes a christian. And yet the good, the sincere, the candid unmasker, with his becoming confidence, tells his readers here, p. 55, “ That “ I present the world with a very ill notion of faith: for " the very devils are capable of all that faith, which I
say, makes a christian man."
To prevent this calumny, I, in more places than one, distinguished between faith, in a strict sense, as it is a bare assent to any proposition, and that which is called evangelical faith, in a larger sense of the word; which
comprehends under it something more than a bare simple assent; as, p. 26, " I mean, this is all that is required “ to be believed by those who acknowledge but one “ eternal, invisible God, the maker of heaven and earth: 5 for that there is something more required to salvation, "s besides believing, we shall see hereafter.” P. 28, • All I say that was to be believed for justification, " For that this was not all that was required to be “ done for justification, we shall see hereafter." P. 51, “ Obeying the law of the Messiah, their king, being no « less required, than their believing that Jesus was the “ Messiah, the King and Deliverer, that was promised “ them." P. 102, “ As far as their believing could
make them members of Christ's body.” By these, and more, the like passages in my book, my meaning is so evident, that no-body, but an unmasker, would have said, that when I spoke of believing, as a bare speculative assent to any proposition, as true, I affirmed that was all that was required of a christian for justification : though that in the strict sense of the word, is all that is done in believing. And therefore, I say, As far as mere believing could make them members of Christ's body; plainly signifying, as much as words can, that the faith, for which they were justified, included something more than a bare assent. This appears, not only from these words of mine, p. 104, “ St. Paul often, in his Si epistles, puts faith for the whole duty of a christian :” but from my so often, and almost every-where, interpreting " believing him to be the Messiah, by taking “ him to be our King,” whereby is meant not a bare idle speculation, a bare notional persuasion of any truth whatsoever, floating in our brains; but an active prin ciple of life, a faith working by love and obedience. “ To make him to be our King," carries with it a right disposition of the will to honour and obey him, joined to that assent wherewith believers embrace this fundamental truth, that Jesus was the person who was by God sent to be their King; he that was promised to be their Prince and Saviour.
But, for all this, the unmasker, p. 56, confidently tells his reader, that I say no such thing. His words
are : " But besides this historical faith, (as it is geneso rally called by divines,) which is giving credit to “ evangelical truths, is barely revealed, there must be “ something else added to make up the true substantial “ faith of a christian. With the assent of the under“ standing, must be joined the consent or approbation 6 of the will. All those divine truths which the in“ tellect assents to, must be allowed of by this elective
power of the soul. True evangelical faith is a hearty " acceptation of the Messias, as he is offered in the
gospel. It is a sincere and impartial submission to “ all things required by the evangelical law, which is "contained in the epistles, as well as the other writings. * And to this practical assent and choice, there must be
added, likewise, a firm trust and reliance in the blessed “ author of our salvation. But this late undertaker, “ who attempted to give us a more perfect account, " than ever was before of christianity, as it is delivered “ in the scriptures, brings us no tidings of any such “ faith belonging to christianity, or discovered to us in " the scriptures. Which gives us to understand, that
he verily believes there is no such christian faith; for “ in some of his numerous pages, (especially p. 101, “ &c.) where he speaks so much of belief and faith, he " might have taken occasion to insert one word about so his complete faith of the gospel.”
Though the places above quoted, out of my “ sonableness of Christianity," and the whole tenour of the latter part of it, show the falsehood of what the unmasker here says; yet I will set down one passage more out of it; and then ask our unmasker, when he hath read them, Whether he hath the brow to say again, that " I bring no tidings of any such faith ?" My words are,
Reasonableness of Christianity," p. 129, “Faith in the
promises of God, relying and acquiescing in his “ word and faithfulness, the Almighty takes well at our “ hands as a great mark of homage paid by us, poor $6 frail creatures, to his goodness and truth, as well as 6 to his power and wisdom; and accepts it as an ac“ knowledgment of his peculiar providence and benig“ nity to us. And, therefore, our Saviour tells us,
“ John xii. 44, “He that believes on me, believes 6 not on me, but on him that sent me.” The works 6 of nature show his wisdom and power: but it is his
peculiar care of mankind, most eminently discovered “ in his promises to them, that shows his bounty and
goodness; and consequently engages their hearts in 66 love and affection to him. This oblation of an heart “ fixed with dependance and affection on him, is the “ most acceptable tribute we can pay him, the founda“ tion of true devotion, and life of all religion. What “ a value he puts on this depending on his word, and
resting satisfied on his promises, we have an example “ in Abraham; whose faith was counted to him for
righteousness, as we have before remarked out of “ Rom. iv. And his relying firmly on the promise of “ God, without any doubt of its performance, gave him “ the name of the father of the faithful; and gained him “ so much favour with the Almighty, that he was called “ the friend of God, the highest and most glorious title “ that can be bestowed on a creature!"
The great out-cry he makes against me in his two next sections, p. 57–60, as if I intended to introduce ignorance and popery, is to be entertained rather as the noise of a petulant scold, saying the worst things she could think of, than as the arguing of a man of sense or sincerity. All this mighty accusation is grounded upon these falsehoods: That “I make it my “ great business to beat men off from divine truths; “ that I cry down all articles of the christian faith, but
one; that I will not suffer men to look into chris“ tianity; that I blast the epistolary writings.” I shall add no more to what I have already said, about the epistles, but those few words out of my “ Reasonable“ ness of christianity,” page 154, “ The epistles, re“ solving doubts, and reforming mistakes, are of great " advantage to our knowledge and practice.” And, p. 155, 156, “ An explicit belief of what God requires 66 of those, who will enter into, and receive the bene“ fits of the new covenant, is absolutely required. The “ other parts of divine revelation are objects of faith, “ and are so to be received. They are truths, whereof
none, that is once known to be such, i. e. of divine “ revelation,] may, or ought to be disbelieved.”
And as for that other saying of his, 66 That I will “ not suffer men to look into christianity:" I desire to know where that christianity is locked up, which“ I “ will not suffer men to look into.” My christianity, I confess, is contained in the written word of God; and that I am so far from hindering any one to look into, that I every-where appeal to it, and have quoted so much of it, that the unmasker complains of being overlaid with it, and tells me it is tedious. 6. All di“ vine revelation, I say, p. 156, requires the obedience “ of faith; and that every one is to receive all the “ parts of it, with a docility and disposition prepared “ to embrace and assent to all truths coming from God; “ and submit his mind to whatever shall appear to him “ to bear that character." I speak, in the same page, of men's endeavouring to understand it, and of their interpreting one place by another. This, and the whole design of my book, shows that I think it every christian's duty to read, search and study the holy scriptures : and make this their great business : and yet the good unmasker, in a fit of zeal, displays his throat, and cries out, p. 59, “ Hear, O ye heavens, and give “ ear, O earth ; judge whether this be not the way to “ introduce darkness and ignorance into Christendom;
whether this be not blinding of men's eyes," &c. for this mighty pathos ends not there. And all things considered, I know not whether he had not reason, in his want of arguments, this way to pour out his con
For neither the preaching of our Saviour and his apostles, nor the apostles creed, nor any thing else, being with him the faith of a christian, i. e. sufficient to make a christian, but just his set of fundamental articles, (when he himself knows what they be ;) in fine, nothing being christianity but just his system, it is time to cry out, Help, neighbours ! hold fast, friends ! Knowledge, religion, christianity is gone, if this be once permitted, that the people should read and understand the scripture for themselves, as God shall enlighten their understandings in the use of the means; and not be forced