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general, so far from thinking thus, do not so much as allow, that the business is effectually begun, unless something farther than is here stated, be done. No information in the understanding, however correct and full; no conviction in the conscience, however strong, if not attended, or followed, by "faith "which worketh by love," is so much as a beginning of that "good work, which he who hath begun, "will perform until the day of Christ."1 "With "the heart man believeth unto righteousness." The truth must be received, as well as assented to; received as good, as well as acknowledged to be true; received, with the full consent of the will, and the desire and choice of the heart. Even when this is the case, the business of religion is not completed,' though it is effectually begun. We do indeed maintain, that he who thus believes in Christ, "hath "everlasting life, and shall not come into condem"nation; but is passed from death unto life.”3 We, however, decidedly hold, that, in order to obtain, and habitually possess, an inward assurance of being in this happy state; to evidence the sincerity of our faith and love; to grow more and more meet for heaven; to enjoy the delightful earnests of our inheritance; to glorify God; to "adorn the



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understanding became convinced that Christ was a Teacher "C come from God," "that Prophet that should come into the "world." Not only much remained to be done, but that ' which infinitely exceeded the natural powers of men, weakened and corrupted as they were by the fall of Adam, and by long and inveterate habits of vice and wickedness.'

1 Phil. i. 6.

2 Rom. x. 10.

3 John v. 24.

"doctrine of God our Saviour in all things," and to do "good to all men," as we have opportunity: ¿ not only much remaineth to be done, but that 'which infinitely exceeds the natural powers' of fallen man. And here we are happy to find, that his Lordship coincides with us in sentiment. We would therefore continually and earnestly exhort those who have believed, "Giving all diligence, to "add to their faith, virtue; and to virtue, know"ledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; "and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to bro"therly kindness, charity."1 We would say to them, "Whereunto ye have attained, walk by the 66 same rule" we would urge them to " press for"ward;"" to abound more and more:" "to be "stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the "work of the Lord; forasmuch as we know, that, "our labour is not in vain in the Lord."2 P. xxviii. 1. 15. As many, &c.'' The word rendered power,* is not durai, but sciav.-1. Licentia. 2. Auctoritas. 3. Potestas, jus. 4. Magistratus, facultas, ab ori licet. (Hederic,)-Licentia,


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12 Pet. i. 5-10.

21 Cor. xv. 58. Phil. iii. 14-16. 1 Thes.

ív. 1,


3: As many as received him, to them gave he power to become "the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" 'bare belief therefore in Christ did not make them "the sons of "God,"- this was to be the effect of " power from on high".

given subsequent to belief.'

4 John i. 12. 5 Matt. xxviii. 18. Rom. xiii. 1. 1 Cor. ix. 4. 6.

12. 18. xi. 10. Eph. i. 21. Gr. si




licence, permission. (Ainsworth.) Though frequently rendered power, in the New Testament, it far more frequently signifies authority; as, if needful, might easily be shewn. Many have explained the word, in the text under consideration, to mean privilege; but jus, or, right, (for a gift, confers a right to the thing given, however freely,) seems to be its proper import. It cannot, however, I think, with deference to more competent judges, signify a physical power, enabling the man to perform some action, of which he before was incapable: (for by what act of their own, subsequent, to believing, do men become the sons of God?) but a right to the adoption, which may be pleaded at the throne of "Ye grace.






are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ," and not by any subsequent act or cause of action. "And because ye are sons, God hath sent "forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying "Abba, Father."1 Wherefore they, which be 'endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's purpose, by his Spirit working "in due season; they through grace obey the call; 'they be justified freely; they be made the sons of 'God by adoption; they be made like the image of 'his only begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk re


ligiously in good works." The order and arrangement, in this passage, of the several particulars, require peculiar notice.

The text under consideration gives us, likewise, the right view of saving faith. They, who believe

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in Christ, receive him, as their Prophet, Priest, " and King," they thus become partakers of Christ," "Of him are they in Christ Jesus, who of God is "made unto them, Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanc"tification, and Redemption." For This is the "record, that God hath given unto us eternal life, " and this life is in his Son: he that hath the Son


"hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, " hath not life." They become "all one in Christ "Jesus," and so "the children of God."4

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P. xxix. l. 13. "Repent, &c."5 The apostle's exhortation intimates nothing like the lines which follow, not as a comment, but as if spoken by Peter, and which are an evident addition to the word of God. The persons addressed were not called believers; but they were exhorted " to repent and be " baptized," (as professing faith in Christ,)" for the "remission of sins, and thus receive the gift of the "Holy Ghost." Did they at all believe in Christ, before they repented of having crucified him? And would baptism of itself improve such an impenitent


» (1

Heb. iii. 14.

21 Cor. i. 30.

s 1 John v. 11, 12.

!' 4 Gal. iii. 26—28.

$ Acts ii. 38.



Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of "Jesus Christ, ist, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost," without which, your present belief cannot be improved into that true and lively faith which is ❝ essential to salvation. The rite of baptism was ordained by 'Christ himself; and its twofold office is here described by his 'apostle, namely, that it washes away the guilt of former sins, and imparts the Holy Ghost to those who shall previously have ' repented and believed.'




faith into that true and lively faith which is essential to salvation;" Does baptism itself wash away the guilt of sins? Is this "the Fountain opened for "sin and for uncleanness?" Ananias indeed said to Saul, "Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy "sins, calling on the name of the Lord:" but surely his sins were washed away, not in the, baptismal water, but by the blood of Christ the Lord, through faith in his name, which he professed in baptism; and in answer to his prayer. "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our "sins in his own blood."5 "These have washed "their robes, and made them white in the blood of "the Lamb." To ascribe that to the opus operatum of baptism, which is so expressly in scripture ascribed to the blood of Christ, is in fact to return to the ceremonies of the Mosaick law," which' ❝stood only in meats and drinks, and divers bap-' "tisms:" (BaπTIσos) whereas the blood of "Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered "himself without spot to God, purges the con"science from dead works to serve the living God."" Baptism, as the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace,' namely, a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness," may with some propriety be called "the laver of regene "ration" but it can in no sense be the laver of




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* Remarks on p. 22. Refut. 4 Rom. x. 9-14.


Heb. ix. 10-14.


Zech. xiii. 1.

5 1 John i. 7.
8 Ch. Catechism.

3 Acts xxii. 6 Rey. i. 5. vii,

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