Sidor som bilder

encourage us to forsake our fins; they abuse his grace in that instance, to encourage them to continue in them: Which is, to contemn the goodness of God, and defpise the mercy they fhould adore. And so Saint Paul himself suggests : Despiselt thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering ; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

To which we may add, the great imprudence of the delay of reformation, whatever may be the occasion of it. For, that a man, who is born to die, and after death must come to judgement, should put off repentance till the morrow, when for aught he knows he may die to-day, and eternally perish for want of it, is such an imprudence and neglect, as we could never believe any one would be guilty of, if we did not find it evident in experience.

The genuine use of that liberty, whereunto God hath called us by the gospel, is, to use the freedom that God hath given us from the many and scrupulous laws of Moses, as a motive to a freer compliance with the excellent precepts of the gospel; Vol. IV.


always. upon

always remembering, that these precepts design not our bondage, but our freedom, For, is it bondage, to live in the faith and hope of a world to come? Is it boridage to be just and temperate ? Is it bondage to be kind and innocent ? And, in short, is it any bondage to love God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbour as ourfelves? No, this is bondage, to ferve our appetites, and to lose the government of ourselves, and the command of our own actions, by their unreasonable importunities. There is no such thraldoin in the world, as to be denied the very liberty of pursuing that, which our own reason, our own conscience approves as good, and avoiding that which it disal lows. And this is the liberty which our fins deny to us; namely, the liberty to use ourselves for our own advantage, in things of the greatest weight and moment, in the concerns of the world to come.

And now, to conclude all: Let us make a right use of that liberty, in which our blessed Lord hath placed us. Since God, through the mediation of Jesus Christ, is pleased to admit us to repentance, and,

upon repentance, to pardon of fin and etera nal life; let us make acknowledgement of this his grace, by the diligent practice of that duty, which hath the assured promise of it: Neither refusing, nor delaying, where our duty to our sovereign Lord, and gratitude for his grace and mercy, and prudence and charity to ourselves, oblige us both to speed and diligence.


The Just shall live by Faith.

[From Dr. OwtrAm. )
HEB. X. part of the 38th verse.

The just shall live by faith.
T H E author of this epistle tells us

elsewhere, that faith is the sub

stance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen : for if they are seen, it is then not faith, but knowledge.

For belief is of several kinds :

1. There is a belief grounded upon probable reason, upon likely and promising arguments, which yet are not certain nor evident, but may possibly be false though they seem true ; and this belief is called opinion.

2. There is a belief grounded upon certain and evident reasons, wherein if a

H 3


« FöregåendeFortsätt »