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That which gives a man a right and title to it, in the first place, is the free invitation and promise of God: "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely;" there is the invitation: "and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out;" there is the promise to the coming heir.

Secondly, That which makes manifest our sonship and heirship is the grace of faith: "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus," Gal. iii. 26. The appropriating act of faith is called a receiving the promises, and a receiving Christ Jesus the Lord, Col. ii. 6; both are the same: for if we receive the promises, the Lord is our portion, held forth in the promise; and when it is called a receiving the Lord, it is the same; for all the promises are in him yea and amen.

Believing on the name of Christ for life and salvation is called a receiving of him: "He came unto his own, and his own received him not; but as many as received him, to them gave he power [or privilege] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name," John i. 11, 12. Thus you see, that the privilege of sonship and heirship is made manifest to us by faith; and faith ventures upon a divine grant.

Faith is likewise called a substance, and an evidence: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." The things which a believer hopes for is the everlasting enjoyment of his God in heaven; and as faith leads the mind to Christ, discovers Christ, lays

VOL. IV.

hold of Christ, applies Christ, and gives Christ a dwelling in the heart, by faith, Eph. iii. 17; it is called the substance of things hoped for: and as the witness of God's Spirit always attends it, and as it impresses the mind with the strongest persuasion, and confirms and ratifies the truth of God to the believing soul, it is called the evidence of things not seen.

To be short; faith is a divine persuasion, a humble confidence, a living fruit, an active grace, a discerning eye, an appropriating hand, and a moving foot. It is born of God; it is a divine substance, not a shadow; a living fruit of the Holy Ghost, not a barren assent; a comfortable assurance of all promised good, and not a deceiving fancy: the just live by it; they overcome the world by it: the saints' conflicts are called faith's fight, and their conquests are called faith's victory.

Faith is such a powerful demonstration to the believer's conscience, that if he were under a strong temptation, and violently beset with unbelief, he dare not deliberately lay his hand on his heart, look his Maker in the face, and say he has neither part nor lot in his great salvation. Faith, as an evidence of things not seen, would gainsay every word of such a rash declaration, bring him in culpable of falsehood, and make him retract every word even in the court of conscience; and who against faith and conscience can be heard infallible,' says Milton, yet many will presume.' The Psalmist said in his haste, "All men are liars;"

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but he that believes is not to make haste, nor draw such hasty conclusions, Isaiah xxviii. 16; for faith comes in as a deliberate evidence of the truth, and gainsays the whole of it, as may be seen in the Psalmist, "This is mine infirmity."

Ahimaaz. But if God's grant give me a right, and if faith secures the inheritance to me, as the scriptures that you have quoted plainly prove, for they say, that "God gave it to Abraham by promise;" and "if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect;" and again, "they which are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham," this is plainly proved. But then, why is a man said to obtain a right by doing? "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city," Rev. xxii. 14.

Cushi. Take heed that you never expound one scripture to contradict another; if you do, you will make a jargon of the sweetest harmony, charge divine rectitude with inconsistency, and the God of order with confusion. Wisdom says, "My mouth shall speak truth, and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge." Now, to shew you the meaning of the above text, first I will grant it you in your own sense, and see how the current of scripture will

harmonize with your opinion. We will suppose that a man, in a state of nature, never had committed an actual transgression; though God declares that all have sinned; yet, for argument's sake, we will add to that man abstinence from sin; that he has observed every precept of the law externally, and lived exactly to that rule; yet God has concluded all men in unbelief, Rom. xi. 32. And what says God of his works; "whatsoever is not of faith is sin," Rom. xiv. 23; and again, "without faith it is impossible to please God," Heb. xi. 6. And what says the Judge himself of such a man; "he that believeth not shall be damned." What says God of his human righteousness; "wo to them that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin."

The grand points of the law are two, that a man love God with all his heart, and his neighbour as himself; " on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Thus you see all the law hangs on the hinge of love; but what says God of the natural man? why, that "the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Therefore the Holy Ghost concludes, that if a man have all knowledge, and understand all mysteries, and speak with the tongue of men and angels; and if he give all his goods to feed the poor, and his body to be burned, and hath not charity, or love, it profiteth him nothing, 1 Cor. chap. xiii. He is still

of the works of the law, and " as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse;" for by the deeds of the law shall no flesh living be justified. Thus you see that your legal construction upon that text runs foul of half the word of God. Is not this darkening counsel by words without knowledge? Job xxxviii, 2. Will not God say of you, that ye have not spoken the thing that is right of me? Job xlii. 8.

Now let me shew you my opinion of that text. What is God's command concerning Christ and his gospel? The text, you know, mentions doing his commandments. Why he. says, "I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee [Moses], and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him," Deut. xviii. 18, 19. John brings this in, "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment," 1 John iii. 23. Now, suppose God should open the door of faith to a man, Acts xiv. 27; and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness in him, and the work of faith with power, 2 Thes. i. 11; insomuch that God should purify his heart by faith, Acts xv. 9; would not the above commands be obeyed by such a man? he hath received grace, by Christ, for obedience to the faith, Rom. i. 5; or,

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