« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Faith which he now speaks of, but Justifying Faith, and that
1. Because he had before preferred Charity before the Faith of Miracles, saying, though I have all Faith, that is, the highest degree of that kind of Faith, so that I could remove Mountains and have no Charity, I am nothing. Wherefore it is not probable, that he would here again compare it with that Faith.
2. Because he joyns it with Hope, which is also another eminent Grace, and an effect or fruit of Justifying Faith. And this may suffice to have been spoken concerning the first particular, namely, what kind of Faith we are here to understand. Now as concerning the second particular, to wit, what we may conceive to be the import of the particle Now in this place, I shall take it for granted, that it must here relate unto Time, and so understanding it, these words Now abideth Faith, Hope, Charity, may have a double Sense.
1. They may be understood in way of opposition unto what he had before spoken concerning extraordinary Gifts. Those extraordinary Gifts were but for
a time, chiefly for the first Ages of the Church. But though those Gifts cease, yet still these Graces remain, and even Now abide, and shall be of standing and perpetual use to the end of the World, as long as God shall have a Church upon Earth.
2. The words may be understood in opposition to the Life to come ; Nom abideth Faith, Hope, and Charity, these three ; they are all of perpetual use as long as we are here: But not fo hereafter; for though Charity shall never fail
, yet Faith and Hope shall extend no farther than this Life, for there shall be no use of them in Heaven. When we come thither we shall have attained the end of our Faith, the Salvation of our Souls, and be put into actual possession of the things hoped for. So then, whereas the Apostle faith, Now abideth Faith, Hope
, Charity, these three, but the greatest of these is Charity ; 'tis as much as if he had said, it's true, there are besides Charity, other Graces also of Great and Universal ufe in the Church Militant for all Times and Ages thereof, the chief of which are Faith and Hope, but
yet however neither of them may be compared with Charity, that excel
lent Grace goes beyond them both. These two points therefore we have in the words.
1. That Faith, Hope and Charity, are Graces of great and singular use, and Thall so be to the end of the World.
2. That though they be all three very eminent and singularly useful Graces, yet the most excellent
them all is Charity. To begin with the former of these ; Faith, Hope and Charity, are Graces of great and singular use. Concerning the excellency and usefulness of Faith, much might be said ; I shall' confine
self to the particulars ensuing.
1. Faith is that Grace by which alone we apprehend Christ to our Justification. Hence is Justification so often ascribed to Faith. By him, that is, by Christ, all that believe are Justified from all those things from which they could not be Justified by the Law of Moses, Acts. 13. 39. To him give all the Prophets witness, that through his Name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive Remision of Sins, that is, shall be Justified and Acquitted from his Sins, Ads 10. 43. Being Justified by Faith, we have Peace with God, Rom. 5. I, Sin it is that makes a breach be
tween God and us. Your Iniquities have
your God, and your Sins have hid his Face from you, Ifa. 59. 2. But now by Faith our Persons being Justified, and the Guilt of our Sins removed, the breach that was between God and us is closed
up. 3. Faith brings us into the Honourable, Sweet and Comfortable Estate of Gods Adopted Children ; to as many as received him, that is, to as many as by a lively Faith received Christ, to them be gave
Power to be the Sons of God, even to them that believe in his Name, John 1. 12. By him we have access by Faith into the Grace wherein we stand, that is, into the Grace of Sonship and Adoption, Rom. 5. 2. By Faith we have freedom and boldness to make our Addresses unto God in Prayer. In Christ We have boldness, and access with confidence thro? the Faith of him, Eph. 3. 12. Through Faith in Christ it is that we are encouraged to go unto God in Prayer. Having such an High Priest
, let us dram near with a true Heart, in full affurance of Faith, Heb. 10. 21, 22.
4. Faith is the Root of all other Graces. Faith purifieth the Heart, Ads 15.9. and consequently purifieth and
cleanseth the whole Man, and the Life and Conversation ; for from the Heart are the issues of Life, Prov. 4. 23. As the Heart is, such is the Man, and such are his ways, and the course of his Life.
5. Faith makes all our Services pleasing and acceptable unto God. Without Faith it is impossible to please him, Heb. 11. 6. By Faith Abel offered a more excellent Sacrifice than Cain, Heb. 11. 4. A Sacrifice which was in Gods Account of greater worth and value, and found acceptance with God, which Cain's Sacrifice did not, because it was not prefented unto him in Faith.
6. Faith is a Grace most useful and necessary in every Estate and Condition. . Without Faith a Man can neither use Prosperity, no bear Adversity aright. In either condition, the Just live by Faith, Hab. 2. 3. The Life which I now live, faith the Apostle, I live by the Faith of the Son of God, Gal. 2. 20. And so much concerning Faith. Now as for Hope, this is also many ways fingularly useful. I shall give a few Instances of the usefulness of it.