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Nevertheless, what was wanting in the original constitution of human nature, God has been graciously pleased to supply by the interposition of his almighty pouver in the Christian dispensation, uniting himself in his second Person to the man Jesus, enabling him to perform an unsinning obedience, and voluntarily lay down his life upon the cross: who by his example, probably exhibited in the Hades, as well as upon earth, together with the doctrines and institutions delivered by him and influence of his Religion upon the world, will raise human nature some time or other, either in this life or the next, to that perfection which it had not received on its first formation. Thus death came upon all men by Adam, and in Christ all are made alive. But as a turnpike road is made for the convenience of all his Majesty's subjects, yet multitudes of subjects will never travel it; so though Christ lived and died for all

, yet all will not reap the benefit of his coming. For he has only prepared the way and provided the aids needful for conducting to the completion of righteousness, but it is by faith that each particular man must enter upon


way. Till such entry he remains in his natural state of condemnation, but the first step he takes upon the right road, which is done by faith in Christ, justifies him; and if he persevere in his progress by attaining faith in the comprehensive sense described in $ 23, so far as his time of life and opportunities will permit, he may be pronounced a just or righteous man, in the same manner as the suckling child was pronounced a sinner; that is, not as possessed of actual righteousness, but as one who by the means and methods provided in the Christian dispensation, will infallibly be raised to it; for in the estimation of his character he may avail himself of the good improvement expectant therein, to which those means and methods are efficacious. This I take to be the true sense of imputed righteousness, and the application of Christ's merits to ourselves: for nothing passes immediately from him to us, nor does faith transfer a secret virtue or supernatural energy,

which the free-thinker would say carried the air of charm and magic, nor operate otherwise than by the effect it must naturally take upon our mind and motions. Neither can any man expect to become completely righteous in this world, but if he be justified or made just, it is only by having a reversion secured to him of righteousness in the world to come. Thus both condemnation and justification neither change nor declare a man's present condition, but that which the circumstances he stands in will unavoidably lead into : and the latter is rather the foundation of a sure and certain hope, than the investiture of an actual possession.


27. Then for what is said, that the just shall live by faith, if it. be understood that they shall attain eternal life thereby, this is the same as salvation, of which we have spoken before : if that the tenor of their conduct will be shaped thereby, this follows from the nature of human action, constantly determined by our desires and ideas, which depend upon our habitual persuasions. Therefore those in whose imagination the gratifications of appetite and enjoyment of present pleasures appear the most desirable good, will always act accordingly, making it the business of their lives to hunt after them: whereas such as are intimately possessed with a true and strong faith in God, his providence and constitution of universal nature, will take it for their ruling principle; which of course must render their actions conformable thereto, for the general aim of their desire will lie towards the benefits attainable by such actions. And though it be impracticable to take immediate direction from this principle in every minute instance, yet their other rules of conduct will be branched out from this, and it will lie ever wakeful in their minds to withhold them from following any unwarrantable desire repugnant thereto. So that it may be truly said the just shall live by faith, because it will infallibly produce a life of righteousness, and makes the essential difference between just and unjust.

And though I have all along supposed this to be faith in the Father, yet since no man can come to the Father unless through the Son, the same may with equal justice be affirmed of Faith in him: for if an adherence to the doctrines of the Gospel be the sole necessary means whereby a just sense of God can be effectually introduced, or kept alive and vigorous in the mind, the just may be said to live by faith in Christ, which secures to them that faith whereby they live, with as much propriety as a man is said to live upon his estate, though he does not eat the acres, nor clothe himself with the trees, but because with the rents and profits he purchases the necessaries and accommodations of life.

28. The words attempted to be explained in these three sections are of very little currency among us, and no wonder; for being taken from the Jewish language, there is a great hazard of their being misapplied and misunderstood : but their being still some sets of people very fond of spending their thoughts upon them, I was willing to lend a helping hand towards ascertaining their genuine and rational meaning. Yet since they are now grown obsolete, it were perhaps expedient for the teacher to lay the old language wholly aside, and after examining carefully what was the sense intended originally to be conveyed therein, to deliver it in modern dialect more familiar and intelligible to his hearers :



wherein it may possibly amount to no more than that the Christian Religion has rescued human nature from that impotence, and subjection under appetite and passion, which must have proved fatal ; and has enabled mankind to attain such regularity of conduct, exemption from the prevalence of sensible objects, and degree of righteousness, as will be the sufficient preparative for a life of perfection and happiness in their next stage of being. But then this must be understood of the human race in general, and implies a connection of interests between the several members, so that the aid imparted to some, may, by some means of communication to be carried on in the next world, redound to the benefit of others; because multitudes are born and pass off this earthly stage without ever having an opportunity of reaping any benefit during their abode here.

What has been offered in the preceding sections concerning the essence of faith seems deserving a more accurate consideration, as being founded upon the sensitivo-rational constitution of human nature, containing two faculties, understanding and imagination ; the latter the executive power, by whose ministry alone the other can effectuate her resolves: and faith is the habit, setting the impulses of that to their proper direction. This idea will guide us in our judgments of a man's faith, which are commonly taken according to the rectitude or orthodoxy of his tenets : whereas in such estimation it is not so material to inquire what are his particular opinions, as what vigor and steadiness of persuasion he has in the best of those he holds; and if he have some erroneous notions, they may be presumed owing to his want of a full and habitual persuasion in the sound ones, which would have better cleared his optics.

This likewise may lead us into a right interpretration of Religion, by considering its manner of operation, and the uses wherefore it was calculated; which were not so much to inform the understanding, as to supply the place of it where deficient in the vulgar, and discipline imagination to obey the dictates of reason where better informed. Our rational faculty might answer our purposes much better than it does, if it were always properly employed, and had the inferior faculties constantly under command. What we want is, something to direct our thoughts to the most profitable objects, and to impress the result of those thoughts upon the mind and memory, so as afterwards to rise spontaneously, and become a perpetual motive of action. This Religion performs by its authority, its doctrines, its institutions, and its general currency, turning reason into the proper channels of inquiry, and bringing the trains of imagination and springs of affection to take

the course our best judgment would recommend. Bare knowledge does not constitute the moral character : he who knows much is a good speculatist, yet may still be the carnal man, actuated inost commonly by the present impulse, or toiling in the service of some ruling passion, which happens to predominate in his fancy. But he who has brought his knowledge of what is most beneficial to become an habitual vivid persuasion and ruling principle of conduct, is the spiritual or just man who lives by faith, so far as the imperfection of his present nature will permit.



The just who live by Faith, shall not want the perpetual Feast of Hope, heart-cheering manna, peculiar food for man: for sensitive pleasure and gratification of appetite he shares in cominon with the brutes, and tastes perhaps with far inferior relish to theirs. Indulgent Nature, kind to the meanest of her offspring, has prepared sensual delights for them: food, and warmth, and rest, the commerce of the sexes, and wanton gambols on earth, in air, or water, fill up their employment, and make the value of their lives. They enjoy the momentary pleasure as it comes; they move by impulse of objects striking their senses, and follow present instinct even in making provision against future wants, whereof they have no apprehension.

But to man she has given understanding, far-sighted faculty, looking forward perpetually upon good to come, and finding present solace in the prospect. At his first entrance into life he differs little from his brother animals, affected only by sense like them; but the joyful glee of youthful blood quickly subsides; the charm of novelty, that rendered every motion and every scene engaging, flies off; pleasures of sense fall rarely in his way, and his hours would pass irksome, were he not to borrow amusement from those in view before him. The mental


opens, to let in joys the senses cannot furnish, the joys of expectation anticipating pleasures yet to come.

But what is that troop of earth-born hopes first glittering in the eye

of young imagination, like those lucid vapors that at even over the marish glide meteorous ? Playthings, gewgaws, diversions, the uncontrolled liberty of manhood; followed in riper years by fancied scenes of riches, power, honors, or martial, poetic, and philosophic fame. Such prospects severally may soothe the fond fancy for the present, but quickly involve in the miry sloughs of disappointment; or if successful, prove fallacious of the expectation, or at best they satiate in the possession ; for he is counted

; the most wretched of men who is come to the end of all his hopes.

But thou, celestial Grace, soft-handed sister and inseparable companion of saving Faith, foretaste of heavenly joys, perpetual source of living waters, refreshing the heart with never-failing delight, thou alone canst exhibit an unfading prospect; for thou endest not but in endless, uncloying fruition. Chance and external circumstance have no power over thee, disaster, sickness, and adversity make us cling closer to thee; ignorance and involuntary mistake cannot remove thee from us, nor can anything besides our own wilful misconduct turn thy face away. Present reward of virtue, the charm that makes her amiable; thou spurrest on our industry, sweetenest our labors, and givest confidence in time of trial; the glory thou settest before us strengthens our fortitude, and blunts the point of those allurements which would urge to intemperance; the serenity, cheerfulness, and inward satisfaction wherewith thou overspreadest the mind, making it easy in itself, renders it more susceptible of hearty good-will to others. Sole remedy of pressing evils, the balmy salve to heal our sores, the security in danger that no intolerable evil shall befall: thine anchor firmly fixed in solid ground, holds us steady amid the pressing blasts of passion, the tempestuous storms of fortune, and boiling torrents of vice and folly; and when the seas are open, the cheering gales waft us smoothly to the desired port.

Do thou inspire me with thine exhilarating spirit, giving energy and courage, but not intoxicating : for the meanest, well-intended labors may claim thy patronage. Afford it, then, benign,

, soft-shining goddess, diffuse thy mild but piercing rays upon my inward sense; that I may discern the tenacious bottom where thou lovest to cast thine anchor, the strong-connected golden chain whereby thou holdest to it, thy robes and vesture, thy countenance and person; and thence mark out wherein thou differest from those delusive phantoms that flatter mortal fancy, and in what few features they resemble thee.

2. For there is a degree of similitude between all hopes, because they all spring from the same affection in human nature. For as persuasion is the genus, whereof faith is a particular species, so the virtue we have now under contemplation, is a dis

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