Imatges de pàgina
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to believers, as Saints, Friends, and Children of God; but when those things which God, has prepared and laid up for them that love him are fully disclosed, now foon to take place, it will appear to all, that their honors are meetly bestowed, even the unknown ho. nors of that day. It will then be seen, that the faith of God, as being the substance of things, has in itself an excellence and merit to raise the believer above the heavens, to justify him standing at God's right hand, and to glorify him upon the throne of the eternal Son.

From the views we have taken of the na. ture of the divine will, it appears that there is a heaven, a kingdom, &c. which belongs to the essential glory of God; and is insepa, rable from his eternal power and Godhead. These things, therefore, which believers hope for, and on account of which they are juftified, are wrought in God, and compose his divinity; so that, being justified by faith, the ground of their justification is none other than God himself. The hope of believers is raised by nothing less than the promises which God madeunto their Father Abraham, which are all comprised in this, I will be a God unto thee, and to thy feed after thee. All the exceeding great and precious promises, are fummed

up in this promise of himself. This is the substance of things hoped for—our life is hid with Christ in God.

In the new heaven and new earth, which believers, according to the promise, look for, and where all their hopes will be satisfied, this promise will be perfectly fulfilled, and God himself Mall be with them, and be their God. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth! And not only are they justified by him, as being himself their judge ; but also, It is God that justifieth, as being himself their righteousness,

Section 2. Faith, the Evidence of Things

not seen. The evidence of things not seen, which is the word of promise and gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, together with the subftance of things hoped for, is taken into the definition of faith; for the substance of things, all the treasures of the kingdom of heaven, even God himself, are invelted in the gospel promise; which, therefore, represents truly the substance of things hoped for,

The promise of God in Christ Jesus, is of the nature of a bond ; and it is given, in good faith, to the full amount of this infinite substance; and the whole inheritance of the Father is infallibly holden by it. For men verily swear by the greater : and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife, Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew urto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath : Thnt by tivo imputable things, in which it was impossible for Gotto lie, we might have strong confolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold up,

en the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both fure and scdfast, and which entereih into that within the vail. Heb. vi. Wherefore the evidence of things not feen, which we have in the confirmed promise of God in Christ Jesus, may be eIteemed as the substance itself, and may be safely accounted to the full value of the inte. rest secured in the eternal fellowhip of the Father and the Son: ard thus to be the heirs of promise, is nothing less than to be heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.

The propriety of confidering the evidence of things not seen, as belonging to the definition of faith, and the necellity of connect. ing it with the substance itself, may be illustrated by the nature of bank establishments, the operations of which have now become very familiar. A fund being established and fecured in bank, promissory bills are issued upon the faith of the bank. These bills, from a bank of good credit, will pass currently for cash, because cash will be given for them at the bank. They represent the property in the fund; and to so great an amount as the bills fpecify, it is invested in them, and they are evidence of that right; therefore they go under the same denomination as the species they represent, and are reckoned as so much cash. The promise of God, and the gospel of Jesus Christ, is heaven's bank bill; and as the substance of things hoped for is faith, the evidence of things not seen bears the same denomination, and with the greatelt proprisiy is reckoned as faith,

These treasures of the unseen world, the precious things of faith, were all comprised in the reward promised to Christ in the covenant of redemption, whereby he was appointed heir of all things. By his Father's will, and his own covenant righteousness, the whole inheritance belongs to him; wherefore the promises are all made out in his name, and the interest secured to him for his use and advantage for ever. Hence the name of Christ is used to express the unsearchable riches of the promises; it stands for the whole gospel, and to preach Christ is to preach the whole counsel of God: For the Son of God Jesus Christ, who was preached by us, even by me, and Sylvanus, and Tymotheus, was not

but in him was yea.For all the promises of God in him are yea; and in him amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Cor. i. 19, 20. As the glory of God is the glory of benevolence, the things put into the hands of Christ, both in their nature and in their destination, were liberal things; they all were the things of God's free spirit, and bare the distinguishing inscription of the glory of heaven, to be given away; and this, to the blessed Saviour, gave them their highest value, and made them molt perfealy his own, that they bore thus the impressions of his own heart, and as the gifts of the God of love, of inestimable price, were destined to the glory of his grace. His glory, therefore, as being full of grace and truth., appears in his ability and freeness to enrich others with all riches in himself. This, indeed, is the

yea and nay,

glory, as of the only begotten of the Father ; and this he manifested towards us, by his giving himself for us,

The death of Christ operated upon the promiseș like an indorsement, or the superscription of the name of the owner, upon a bond; by which it has a public credit, and the right of property in that name is transferred to the bearer or holder, whoever he be; or if the matter be considered in the view of being a will or testament, it becomes of force, and the interest bequeathed passes to the heirs, by the death of the testator. The promises being thus the property of Christ by his death, were signed over as a charity to the world, with a free invitation to all men to come and receive the bounty, with no other qualification than that of their being needy linners; and with a promise that they shall enjoy it as their own for ever, upon the fimple evidence of their holding faith, or their keeping the word of God and the testimony of

Jesus Christ. This evidence is equally free for all;-it is as free for one man as another;

- it is in its nature as free and unconhned as the air which we breathe. The evidence of things not seen, in the gospel of Jesus Christ, can no more be bound than the beams of the fun; and is as much a common bounty, as is the light of day.

Sing, O ye heavens-'tis deep and high!

More than the waters of the flood!
Shout, all the earth-behold, 'tis nigh!

It comes unsought, the gift of God!

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