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and in thein a certain excellent theoprepy', or beauty worthy of Gol, and a not wise and inseparable comection of the whole, it C2ict lut a sent to a truth that forces itself upon him with so ira!'s arguments, and as securely admit what it thus knows for curtain, a: if it had seen it with its own eyes, or handled it with its own hands, or liad been taken up into the third helsins, ard heard it immediately from God's own mouth. W aterer the lust of the flesh nay murmur, whatever vain soilisis may cuibble and object, thougla perhaps the soul may not be able to answer or solve all objections, yet it persiis in tie acknowledgement of this truth, which it saw too ceaily, and heard too certainly, as it were from the mouth of God, ever to sufier itself to be drawn away from it by any sophistical reasonings whatever : “ For, I have not followed, says the believing soul, cunningly devised fables, when I believed the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but in the Spirit was eve witness of his majesty, and heard his voice from heaven, " 2 Pet. i. 16, 18. And thus fai this accompanied with 'u954015 suüstance, and Beyx.95, evidence, Heb. xi. I. and ringants ice full persuasion or assurance, Rom. iv. 21. It will not be unprofitable to consider a little the meaning of these word 3.
XII. The Apostle speaks more than once of tampopopice plerophory or full assurance ; as Col. ii. 2. rampspopiz ouveoëws, the fill assurance of understanding; Heb. vi. II. ranpapopíce instazbios. the full assurance of hope, Heb. x. 22. #impopopíce 715.5, full assurance of faith. According to its etymology the word plerophory', denotes a carrying with full sail, a metaphor, as it should seem, taken from ships when all their sails are filled with a prosperous gale. So that here it signifies the vehement inclination of the soul, driven forward by the Holy Spirit, towards an assent to the truth it is made sensible of. Hesychius, that most excellent master of the Greek language, explains it by Bilezionata, firmness. And in that sense, simpopogice rissws, plerophory of faith, is nothing but sipéwiece tñs és Xpisòn T!58W5, the siedfastness of faith in Christ, as the Apostle varies those phrases, Col. ii. 2. 5; and Timingarbagi peévse sgáqualce, are things most surely or firmly believed, Luke i, 1. So firm therefore must the believers assent be to diyine truth.
VILI. The term U7050515, h ypostasis substance, is also very emphatical, which the Apostle makes use of when he speaks of faith, Heb. xi. 1. Nor have the Latins any word that can fully express all its force and significancy. ist, 'Trósce i5 72 postasis denotes i be existence, or, as one of the ancients has
said, the extantia, the standing up of a t?:ing; in which sense philosophers say that a thing that really is has an imişuons that is, a real-existence, and is not the fiction of our own mind. And indeed faith makes the thing hoped for, though not actually existing, to have, notwithstanding an existence in the believer's inind, who so firmiy assents to the promises of God, as if the thing promised was already present with himn. Chrysostom had this in li's mind wien ke thus explained tiis passage: Ý yéquois ij" neparézovev, podé isov 'ov Úz ocúe: a7.X'ń lazis épísnoiy suring sy nuetipoe afuxñthe resurrect2011 does not pet exist in it::,, but hope (let us say faith) presents it to, and mokes it extant in our soul. A Greek scholiast cited by B:7o, hias most happily expressed the same thing: 'Etuda jag rà iv izziou devutés Fé έσιν, ως τέως μή παρόνια και πίστις ασιά τις αυτών και υπότασις γίνεται ειναι αυτή "αι Fapsīves teòtoy ciuce rupaoxsvázyox, die Tıçù av evveen, as things hoped for, are not yet extant, as not being present, fuith becomes a kind of substance and essence of them, in some measuregi extint and present with us, in that it believes them to be. 241:, Trisusı; also signifies a base or foundation, in which sense Diodorus Siculus, quoted by Gomarus, has said, isisa0.5 7 7448, that is, the foundation of the Sepuècbre. And Calviu's interpretation looks this way, faith, says he, is hypostasis, that is, il prop or possession on which we fix our feet. 3dly, It also denotes subsistence, or constancy, without yielding to any assault of the enemy. Thus Plutarch in Demetrius, šosios upicipéid Tūv lvcrtiwy, á 2.2.de oeuróvtwy, one of the enemy standing their ground, but all giving way. And Polybius in his descriprionos Horatius Cocles, they feared, sx'87w Triv dóna pery, ás muy úzócesis curs, not so much his strength, as his firmness and resolution, not to give way. And indeed there is something in faith that can with inirepidity sustain all the assaults of temptations, and not suir it to be moved from an assent to a truth once known. . Now if we join all this together, we may assert, that faith is so fin an assent to divine truth, as to set things future before us as if they were present, and that it is a prop to the soul on which it fixes its foot without yielding to any assault whatever.
XIV. Nor ought it to be omitted that the Apostle calls faith theyzos, &' [2.850 opus: ww the evidence of things not seen. But zacyX05 devotes two things. Ist, Accrtain demonstration. Aristotle, Rhetoric. c. 14. says, $2.57205 do isso é sve je in doveros önaws izsiv, a7.2' &rws ás nusis aérojiv; demonstration is what cannot possibly be otherwise, but must necessarily be as we atirin. 2dly, Conviction of soul arising from such a demonstration of tlie truth: as Aristophanes in Pluto, oúry la 67 :1 je 337 w dóra otro su få rs78, 3 B 2
you cannot convince me of that. There is therefore in faith if it be i:y20s an elenchus) a demonstration, a certain conviction of soul arising from that clear and infallible demonstration. But this demonstration of truth rests on the testimony of God who cannot deceive : from which faith argues thus; whatever God, who is truth itself, reveals, cannot but be most true and worthy of all acceptation, though perhaps ! may not be able to see it with my eyes, or fuily conceive it in my mind.
XV. All this tends to instruct us that the assent which is in faith has a most certain assurance, which no certainty of any mathematical demonstration can exceed. Wherefore they speak very incautiously who maintain there may be falsehood in divine faith, since the proper object of faith is the testimony of God, which is necessarily true and more certain than any demonstration. Nor can any places of Scripture be brought in which any thing that is not true can be man's belief
XVI. But we are here to remove another difficulty : if faith is such a certain and firm assent, are those then destitute of true faith who sometimes waver even with respect to fundamental truths? I answer, ist, We describe faith, considered in the idea, as that Christian virtue or grace, the perfection of which we all ought to aspire after : and not as it sometimes subsists in the subject. 2dly, There may at times bę waverings, staggerings, and even inclinations to unbelief in the best of believers, especially when they are under some violent temptation, as is evident from the waverings of Asaph, Jeremiah, and others, about the providence of God: but these are certain defects of faith arising from the weakness of the flesh. zdly, Faith presently wrestles with those temptations, it never assents to those injections of the devil, or the evil desires of the carnal mind, nor is ever at rest, till having entered the sanctuary of God, it is confirmed by the teaching spirit of faith in the contemplation and acknowledgment of . those truths about which it was staggered. There at length, and no where else, it finds rest for the soles of its feet.
XVII. That which follows this assent is the love of the truth thus known and acknowledged ; and this is the third act of faith, of which the Apostle speaks, 2 Thess. ii. 10. For since there is a clear manifestation of the glory of God in saving truths not only as he is true in his testimony, but also as his wisdom, holiness, justice, power, and other perfections shine forth therein, it is not possible but the believing
soul, viewing these amiable perfections of the deity in those truths, should break out into a flame of love to exult in them and glorify God. Hence the believer is said to give glory to God, Rom. iv. '20. and to love his praise, (glory) John xii. 43. Above all, the soul is delighted with the fundamental trụth concerning Christ. Loves it as an inestimable treasure, and as a pearl of great price: it is precious to believers, i Pet. ii. . yea, most precious. It is indeed true that love, strictly speaking, is distinguished from faith ; yet the acts of both virtues, or graces, are so interwoven with one another, that we can neither explain nor exercise faith without some acts of love interfering : such as is also that of which we now treat: This also is the observation of some of the greatest divines before me. As, not to mention others at present, Chamierus, Panstrat. T. 3. lib. '12. C. 4. No. 16. Wendelin, Theol. lib. 2. c. 24. ad Thes. 3. And both of them cite Au. gustine in their favour, who asking what is it to believe in God? answers, It is by believing to love. See also le Blanc, a divine of Sedan, in Thes. de fidei justificantis natura, &c. Sect. 95. '. But if any will call this love, according to the gloss of the schools, an imperate, or commanded act of faith, he is indeed welcome to do so for us ; if he only maintain that it is not possible but the believing soul, while in the exercise of faith, must sincerely love the truth as it is in Christ when known and acknowledged, rejoicing that these things are true, and delighting itself in that truth: far otherwise than the devils and wicked men, who, what they know to be true, they could wish to be false." ;
XVIII. Hence arises a fourth act of faith, a hunger and thirst after Christ. For the believing soul knowing, acknowledging and loving the truths of salvation cannot but wish that all those things which are true in Christ may also be true to him, and that he may be sanctified and blessed in and by those truths : And he seriously desires, that having been alienated from the life of God through sin, he may be again sealed unto the glory of God by free justification, and in that by sanctification. This is that hunger and thirst after righteousness mentioned Matt. v. 6. And pray what reason can be given why he who believes and feels himself a most miserable creature, and is fully persuaded that he can be delivered from his misery by nothing either in heaven or on earth; who sees, at the same time, the fulness of that salvation which is in Christ; and is assured he can never obtain salvation unless he be united to Christ; who from his very soul loves that truth that treats of the fulness of salvation which is in Christ alone, and in communion with him ; how iz it possibk, I say, that such a person should not seriodsly and ardently desire to have Christ dwelling in him, seek and pant after this, and indeed with such longings, as nothing short of the possession of the thing desired can satisfy : as hungor and thirsi are only allayed by meat and drink..
V . Trg hunger and thirst are followed by a receiving of Christ the Lord for ju-tification, sanctification, and so for complete salvation: which is the fifth, and indeed the for. mal and principal act of faith. Thus the heavenly Father freely offers his Son to the sick and weary soul; and Christ the Lord offers hiin:elf with all his benefits, and the fulness of salvation which is in him, saying, behold me, behold me, Isa. Ixv. I. And the soul now conscious of its own misery, and with joy and hope observing the fulness of salvation that is in Christ, and earnestly desiring communion with him, cannot but lzy hold on and receive, with the highest complacency of soul, that extraordinary blessing thus offered, and thus by receiving, appropriate or make it his own. And by this act, at length Christ becomes the peculiar property of the believing soul. Thus it lays claim to whatsoever is Christ's, which is oltred at the same time with Christ, and above all the righteousness of Christ, which is the foundation of salvation. And in this manner, by apprehending Christ, he is united to him; and being united to him, he is judged to have done and suffered what Christ, as his Surety, did and suffered in his room and stead. And thus it is easy to understand how we are justified by faith on Christ.
XX. The scripture more than once represents this act of faith in express terms. Remarkable is the passage, John i. I 2. “as many as received him," which is equivalent “ to them that believe on his name ;” and Col. ii. 6. “ as ye have therefore rec:ived Christ Jesus the Lord :" to which may be added what the Lord has very emphatically said, Isa. xxvii. $. “ let him take fast hold of my strength,” or my tower, so as not to let it go. For take fist hold of, and let go, are opposed, Prov. iv. 13.
XXI. But because the soul thus apprehending Christ for Salvation, does at the same time recline and stay itself upor him, therefore this act of faith is explained by this metaphor also, as Psalm lxxi. 6. “ by thee have I been holden up" (staved). Isa. xlvii. 2. “ stay themselves upon the God of Israel," pretending to and feigning a true faith : be is stapel, is another term used, Isa 1. 10. stay upon his Co!; add Isa. X. 20. 2 Chron. xvi. 7,8. If you would sub