(Owen, Justification. part 10) as make him the direct and proper object of it. Such are they wherein it is called a "receiving" of him. John 1:12, "To as many as received him." Col.2:6, "As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord." That which we receive by faith is the proper object of it; and it is represented by their looking unto the brazen serpent, when it was lifted up, who were stung by fiery serpents, John 3:14,15; 12:32. Faith is that act of the soul whereby convinced sinners, ready otherwise to perish, do look unto Christ as he was made a propitiation for their sins; and who so do "shall not perish, but have everlasting life." He is, therefore, the object of our faith. (2.) He is so, as he is the ordinance of God unto this end; which consideration is not to be separated from our faith in him: and this also is confirmed by several sorts of testimonies:-- [1.] All those wherein the love and grace of God are proposed as the only cause of giving Jesus Christ to be the way and means of our recovery and salvation; whence they become, or God in them, the supreme efficient cause of our justification. John 3:16, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". So Rom.5:8; 1 John 4:9,10. "Being justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," Rom.3:24; Eph.1:6-8. This the Lord Christ directs our faith unto continually, referring all unto him that sent him, and whose will he came to do, Heb.10:5. [2.] All those wherein God is said to set forth and to make him be for us and unto us, what he is so, unto the justification of life. Rom.3:25, "Whom God has proposed to be a propitiation." 1 Cor.1:30, "Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and rectification, and redemption". 2 Cor.5:21, "He has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Acts 13:38,39; etc. Wherefore, in the acting of faith in Christ unto justification, we can no otherwise consider him but as the ordinance of God that end; he brings nothing unto us, does nothing for us, but what God appointed, designed, and made him to do. And this must diligently be considered, that by our regard by faith unto the blood, the sacrifice, the satisfaction of Christ, we take off nothing from the free grace, favour, and love of God. [3.] All those wherein the wisdom of God in the contrivance of this way of justification and salvation is proposed unto us. Eph.1:7,8, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he has abounded towards us in all wisdom and understanding." See chap.3:10,11; 1 Cor.1:24. The whole is comprised in that of the apostle: "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them," 2 Cor.5:19. All that is done in our reconciliation unto God, as unto the pardon of our sins, and acceptance with him unto life, was by the presence of God, in his grace, wisdom, and power, in Christ designing and effecting of it. Wherefore, the Lord Christ, proposed in the promise of the gospel as the object of our faith unto the justification of life, is considered as the ordinance of God unto that end. Hence the love, the grace, and the wisdom of God, in the sending and giving of him, are comprised in that object; and not only the acting of God in Christ towards us, but all his acting towards the person of Christ himself unto the same end, belong thereunto. So, as unto his death, "God set him forth to be a propitiation," Rom.3:25. "He spared him not, but delivered him up for us all," Rom.8:32; and therein "laid all our sins upon him," Isa.53:6. So he was "raised for our justification," Rom.4:25. And our faith is in God, who "raised him from the dead," Rom.10:9. And in his exaltation, Acts 5:31. Which things complete "the record that God has given of his Son," 1 John 5:10-12. The whole is confirmed by the exercise of faith in prayer; which is the soul's application of itself unto God for the participation of the benefits of the mediation of Christ. And it is called our "access through him unto the Father," Eph.2:18; our coming through him "unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need," Heb.4:15,16; and through him as both "a high priest and sacrifice," Heb.10:19-22. So do we "bow our knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," Eph.3:14. This answers the experience of all who know what it is to pray. We come therein in the name of Christ, by him, through his mediation, unto God, even the Father; to be, through his grace, love, and mercy, made partakers of what he has designed and promised to communicate unto poor sinners by him. And this represents the complete object of our faith. The due consideration of these things will reconcile and reduce unto a perfect harmony whatever is spoken in the Scripture concerning the object of justifying faith, or what we are said to believe therewith. For whereas this is affirmed of sundry things distinctly, they can none of them be supposed to be the entire adequate object of faith. But consider them all in their relation unto Christ, and they have all of them their proper place therein,-- namely, the grace of God, which is the cause; the pardon of sin, which is the effect; and the promises of the gospel, which are the means, of communicating the Lord Christ, and the benefits of his mediation unto us. The reader may be pleased to take notice, that I do in this place not only neglect, but despise, the late attempt of some to wrest all things of this nature, spoken of the person and mediation of Christ, unto the doctrine of the gospel, exclusively unto them; and that not only as what is noisome and impious in itself, but as that also which has not yet been endeavoured to be proved, with any appearance of learning, argument, or sobriety. II. The nature of justifying faith The nature of justifying faith in particular, or of faith in the exercise of it, whereby we are justified--The heart's approbation of the way of the justification and salvation of sinners by Christ, with its acquiescency therein--The description given, explained and confirmed:--1. From the nature of the gospel--Exemplified in its contrary, or the nature of unbelief, Prov.1:30; Heb.2:3; 1 Pet.2:7; 1 Cor.1:23,24; 2 Cor.4:3--What it is, and wherein it does consist.-- 2. The design of God in and by the gospel--His own glory his utmost end in all things--The glory of his righteousness, grace, love, wisdom, etc.--The end of God in the way of the salvation of sinners by Christ, Rom.3:25; John 3:16; 1 John 3:16; Eph.1:5,6; 1 Cor.1:24; Eph.3:10; Rom.1:16; 4:16; Eph.3:9; 2 Cor.4:6--3. The nature of faith thence declared--Faith alone ascribes and gives this glory to God.-- 4. Order of the acts of faith, or the method in believing-- Convictions previous thereunto--Sincere assent unto all divine revelations, Acts 26:27--The proposal of the gospel unto that end, Rom.10:11-17; 2 Cor.3:18,etc.--State of persons called to believe-- Justifying faith does not consist in any one single habit or act of the mind or will--The nature of that about which is the first act of faith--Approbation of the way of salvation by Christ, comprehensive of the special nature of justifying faith--What is included there in:--1. A renunciation of all other ways, Hos.14:2,3; Jer.3:23; Ps.71:16; Rom.10:3.--2. Consent of the will unto this way, John 14:6- -3. Acquiescency of the heart in God, 1 Pet.1:21.--4. Trust in God.- -5. Faith described by trust--The reason of it--Nature and object of this trust inquired into--A double consideration of special mercy-- Whether obedience be included in the nature of faith, or be of the essence of it--A sincere purpose of universal obedience inseparable from faith--How faith alone justifies--Repentance, how required in and unto justification--How a condition of the new covenant-- Perseverance in obedience is so also--Definitions of faith That which we shall now inquire into, is the nature of justifying faith; or of faith in that act and exercise of it whereby we are justified, or whereon justification, according unto God's ordination and promise, does ensue. And the reader is desired to take along with him a supposition of those things which we have already ascribed unto it, as it is sincere faith in general; as also, of what is required previously thereunto, as unto its especial nature, work, and duty in our justification. For we do deny that ordinarily, and according unto the method of God's proceeding with us declared in the Scripture, wherein the rule of our duty is prescribed, any one does, or can, truly believe with faith unto justification, in whom the work of conviction, before described, has not been wrought. All descriptions or definitions of faith that have not a respect thereunto are but vain speculations. And hence some do give us such definitions of faith as it is hard to conceive that they ever asked of themselves what they do in their believing on Jesus Christ for life and salvation. The nature of justifying faith, with respect unto that exercise of whereby we are justified, consists in the heart's approbation of the way of justification and salvation of sinners by Jesus Christ proposed in the gospel, as proceeding from the grace, wisdom, and love of God, with its acqiescency therein as unto its own concernment and condition. There needs no more for the explanation of this declaration of the nature of faith than what we have before proved concerning its object; and what may seem wanting thereunto will be fully supplied in the ensuing confirmation of it. The Lord Christ, and his mediation, as the ordinance of God for the recovery, life, and salvation of sinners, is supposed as the object of this faith. And they are all considered as an effect of the wisdom, grace, authority, and love of God, with all their acting in and towards the Lord Christ himself, in his susception and discharge of his office. Hereunto he constantly refers all that he did and suffered, with all the benefits redounding unto the church thereby. Hence, as we observed before, sometimes the grace, or love, or especial mercy of God, sometimes his acting in or towards the Lord Christ himself, in sending him, giving him up unto death, and raising him from the dead, are proposed as the object of our faith unto justification. But they are so, always with respect unto his obedience and the atonement that he made for sin. Neither are they so altogether absolutely considered, but as proposed in the promises of the gospel. Hence, a sincere assent unto the divine veracity in those promises is included in this approbation. What belongs unto the confirmation of this description of faith shall be reduced unto these four heads:--1. The declaration of its contrary, or the nature of privative unbelief upon the proposal of the gospel. For these things do mutually illustrate one another. 2. The declaration of the design and end of God in and by the gospel. 3. The nature of faith's compliance with that design, or its actings with respect thereunto. 4. The order, method, and way of believing, as declared in the Scripture:-- 1. The gospel is the revelation or declaration of that way of justification and salvation for sinners by Jesus Christ, which God, in infinite wisdom, love, and grace, has prepared. And upon a supposition of the reception thereof, it is accompanied with precepts of obedience and promises of rewards. "Therein is the righteousness of God," that which he requires, accepts, and approves unto salvation,--"revealed from faith unto faith," Rom.1:17. This is the record of God therein, "That he has given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son," 1 John 5:11. So John 3:14-17. "The words of this life," Acts 5:20; "All the counsel of God," Acts 20:27. Wherefore, in the dispensation or preaching of the gospel, this way of salvation is proposed unto sinners, as the great effect of divine wisdom and grace. Unbelief is the rejection, neglect, non-admission, or disapprobation of it, on the terms whereon, and for the ends for which, it is so proposed. The unbelief of the Pharisees, upon the preparatory preaching of John the Baptist, is called the "rejecting of the counsel of God against themselves;" that is, unto their own ruin, Luke 7:30. "They would none of my counsel," is an expression to the same purpose, Prov.1:30; so is the "neglecting this great salvation", Heb.2:3,--not giving it that admission which the excellency of it does require. A disallowing of Christ, the stone "hos apedokimasan hoi oikodomountes", 1 Pet.2:7,-- the "builders disapproved of," as not meet for that place and work whereunto it was designed, Acts 4:11,--this is unbelief; to disapprove of Christ, and the way of salvation by him, as not answering divine wisdom, nor suited unto the end designed. So is it described by the refusing or not receiving of him; all ~o lo one purpose. What is intended will be more evident if we consider the proposal of the gospel where it issued in unbelief, in the first preaching of it, and where it continues still so to do. Most of those who rejected the gospel by their unbelief, did it under this notion, that the way of salvation and blessed proposed therein was not a way answering divine goodness and power, such as they might safely confide in and trust unto. This the apostle declares at large, 1 Cor.1; so he expresses it, verses 23,24, "We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." That which they declared unto them in the preaching of the gospel was, that "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures," chap.15:3. Herein they proposed him as the ordinance of God, as the great effect of his wisdom and power for the salvation of sinners. But as unto those who continued in their unbelief, they rejected it as any such way, esteeming it both weakness and folly. And therefore, he describes the faith of them that are called, by their approbation of the wisdom and power of God herein. The want of a comprehension of the glory of God in this way of salvation, rejecting it thereon, is that unbelief which ruins the souls of men, 2 Cor.4:3,4. So is it with all that continue unbelievers under the proposal of the object of faith in the preaching of the gospel They may give an assent unto the truth of it, so far as it is a mere act of the mind,- -at least they find not themselves concerned to reject it; yea, they may assent unto it with that temporary faith which we described before, and perform many duties of religion thereon: yet do they manifest that they are not sincere believers, that they do not believe with the heart unto righteousness, by many things that are irreconcilable unto and inconsistent with justifying faith. The inquiry, therefore, is, Wherein the unbelief of each persons, on the account whereof they perish, does insist, and what is the formal nature of it? It is not, as was said, in the want of an assent unto the truths of the doctrine of the gospel: for from such an assent are they said, in many places of the Scripture, to believe, as has been proved; and this assent may be so firm, and by various means so radicated in their minds, as that, in testimony unto it, they may give their bodies to be burned; as men also may do in the confirmation of a false persuasion. Nor is it the want of an especial fiduciary application, of the promises of the gospel unto themselves, and the belief of the pardon of their own sins in particular: for this is not proposed unto them in the first preaching of the gospel, as that which they are first to believe, and there may be a believing unto righteousness where this is not attained, Isa.1:10. This will evidence faith not to be true; but it is not formal unbelief. Nor is it the want of obedience unto the precepts of the gospel in duties of holiness and righteousness; for these commands, as formally given in and by the gospel, belong only unto them that truly believe, and are justified thereon. That, therefore, which is required unto evangelical faith, wherein the nature of it does consist, as it is the foundation of all future obedience, is the heart's approbation of the way of life and salvation by Jesus Christ, proposed unto it as the effect of the infinite wisdom, love, grace, and goodness of God; and as that which is suited unto all the wants and whole design of guilty convinced sinners. This such persons have not; and in the want thereof consists the formal nature of unbelief. For without this no man is, or can be, influenced by the gospel unto a relinquishment of sin, or encouraged unto obedience, whatever they may do on other grounds and motives that are foreign unto the grace of it. And wherever this cordial, sincere approbation of the way of salvation by Jesus Christ, proposed in the gospel, does prevail, it will infallibly produce both repentance and obedience. If the mind and heart of a convinced sinner (for of such alone we treat) be able spiritually to discern the wisdom, love, and grace of God, in this way of salvation, and be under the power of that persuasion, he has the ground of repentance and obedience which is given by the gospel. The receiving of Christ mentioned in the Scripture, and whereby the nature of faith in its exercise is expressed, I refer unto the latter part of the description given concerning the soul's acquiescence in God, by the way proposed. Again: some there were at firsts and such still continue to be, who rejected not this way absolutely, and in the notion of it, but comparatively, as reduced to practice; and so perished in their unbelief. They judged the way of their own righteousness to be better, as that which might be more safely trusted unto,--as more according unto the mind of God and unto his glory. So did the Jews generally, the frame of whose minds the apostle represents, Rom.10:3,4. And many of them assented unto the doctrine of the gospel in general as true, howbeit they liked it not in their hearts as the best way of justification and salvation, but sought for them by the works of the law. Wherefore, unbelief, in its formal nature, consists in the want of a spiritual discerning and approbation of the say of salvation by Jesus Christ, as an effect of the infinite wisdom, goodness, and love of God; for where these are, the soul of a convinced sinner cannot but embrace it, and adhere unto it. Hence, also, all acquiescency in this way, and trust and confidence in committing the soul unto it, or unto God in it, and by it (without which whatever is pretended of believing is but a shadow of faith), is impossible unto such persons; for they want the foundation whereon alone they can be built. And the consideration hereof does sufficiently manifest wherein the nature of true evangelical faith does consist. 2. The design of God in and by the gospel, with the work and office of faith with respect thereunto, farther confirms the description given of it. That which God designs herein, in the first place, is not the justification and salvation of sinners. His utmost complete end, in all his counsels, is his own glory. He does all things for himself; nor can he who is infinite do otherwise. But in an especial manner he expresses this concerning this way of salvation by Jesus Christ. Particularly, he designed herein the glory of his righteousness; "To declare his righteousness," Rom.3:20;--of his love; "God so loved the world," John 3:16; "Herein we perceive the love of God, that he laid down his life for us," 1 John 3:16; of his grace; "Accepted, to the praise of the glory of his grace," Eph.1:5,6;--of his wisdom; "Christ crucified, the wisdom of God," 1 Cor.1:24; "Might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God," Eph.3:10;- -of his power; "it is the power of God unto salvation," Rom.1:16;-- of his faithfulness, Rom.4:16. For God designed herein, not only the reparation of all that glory whose declaration was impeached and obscured by the entrance of sin, but also a farther exaltation and more eminent manifestation of it, unto the degrees of its exaltation, and some especial instances before concealed, Eph.3:9. And all this is called "The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ;" whereof faith is the beholding, 2 Cor.4:6. 3. This being the principal design of God in the way of justification and salvation by Christ proposed in the gospel, that which on our part is required unto a participation of the benefits of it, is the ascription of that glory unto God which he designs so to exalt. The acknowledgment of all these glorious properties of the divine nature, as manifested in the provision and proposition of this way of life, righteousness, and salvation, with an approbation of the way itself as an effect of them, and that which is safely to be trusted unto, is that which is required of us; and this is faith or believing: "Being strong in faith, he gave glory to God," Rom.4:20. And this is in the nature of the weakest degree of sincere faith. And no other grace, work, or duty, is suited hereunto, or firstly and directly of that tendency, but only consequentially and in the way of gratitude. And although I cannot wholly assent unto him who affirms that faith in the epistles of Paul is nothing but "existimation magnifice sentiens de Dei potentia, justitia, bonitate, et si quid promiserit in eo praestando constantia", because it is too general, and not limited unto the way of salvation by Christ, his "elect in whom he will be glorified;" yet has it much of the nature of faith in it. Wherefore I say, that hence we may both learn the nature of faith, and whence it is that faith alone is required unto our justification. The reason of it is, because this is that grace or duty alone whereby we do or can give unto God that glory which he designs to manifest and exalt in and by Jesus Christ. This only faith is suited unto, and this it is to believe. Faith, in the sense we inquire after, is the heart's approbation of, and consent unto, the way of life and salvation of sinners by Jesus Christ, as that wherein the glory of the righteousness, wisdom, grace, love, and mercy of God is exalted; the praise whereof it ascribes unto him, and rests in it as unto the ends of it,--namely, justification, life, and salvation. It is to give "glory to God," Rom.4:20; to "behold his glory as in a glass," or the gospel wherein it is represented unto us, 2 Cor.3:18; to have in our hearts "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ," 2 Cor.4:6. The contrary whereunto makes God a liar, and thereby despoils him of the glory of all those holy properties which he this way designed to manifest, l John 5:10. And, if I mistake not, this is that which the experience of them that truly believe, when they are out of the heats of disputation, will give testimony unto. 4. To understand the nature of justifying faith aright, or the act and exercise of saving faith in order unto our justification, which are properly inquired after, we must consider the order of it; first the things which are necessarily previous thereunto, and then what it is to believe with respect unto them. As,-- (1.) The state of a convinced sinner, who is the only "subjectum capax justificationis." This has been spoken unto already, and the necessity of its precedency unto the orderly proposal and receiving of evangelical righteousness unto justification demonstrated. If we lose a respect hereunto, we lose our best guide towards the discovery of the nature of faith. Let no man think to understand the gospel, who knows nothing of the law. God's constitution, and the nature of the things themselves, have given the law the precedency with respect unto sinners; "for by the law is the knowledge of sin." And gospel faith is the soul's acting according to the mind of God, for deliverance from that state and condition which it is cast under by the law. And all those descriptions of faith which abound in the writings of learned men, which do not at least include in them a virtual respect unto this state and condition, or the work of the law on the consciences of sinners, are all of them vain speculations. There is nothing in this whole doctrine that I will more firmly adhere unto than the necessity of the convictions mentioned previous unto true believing; without which not one line of it can be understood aright, and men do but beat the air in their contentions about it. See Rom.3:21-24. (2.) We suppose herein a sincere assent unto all divine revelations, whereof the promises of grace and mercy by Christ are an especial part. This Paul supposed in Agrippa when he would have won him over unto faith in Christ Jesus: "King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest", Acts 26:27. And this assent which respects the promises of the gospel, not as they contain, propose, and exhibit the Lord Christ and the benefits of his mediation unto us, but as divine revelations of infallible truth, is true and sincere in its kind, as we described it before under the notion of temporary faith; but as it proceeds no farther, as it include no act of the will or heart, it is not that faith whereby we are justified. However, it is required thereunto, and is included therein. (3.) The proposal of the gospel, according unto the mind of God, is hereunto supposed; that is, that it be preached according unto God's appointment: for not only the gospel itself, but the dispensation or preaching of it in the ministry of the church, is ordinarily required unto believing. This the apostle asserts, and proves the necessity of it at large, Rom.10:11-17. Herein the Lord Christ and his mediation with God, the only way and means for the justification and salvation of lost convinced sinners, as the product and effect of divine wisdom, love, grace, and righteousness, is revealed, declared, proposed, and offered unto such sinners: "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith," Rom.1:17. The glory of God is represented "as in a glass," 2 Cor.3:18; and "life and immortality are brought to light through the gospel," 2 Tim.1:10; Heb.2:3. Wherefore,-- (4.) The persons who are required to believe, and whose immediate duty it is so to do, are such who really in their own consciences are brought unto, and do make the inquiries mentioned in the Scripture,--"What shall we do? What shall we do to be saved? How shall we fly from the wrath to come? Wherewithal shall we appear before God? How shall we answer what is laid unto our charge?"--or such as, being sensible of the guilt of sin, do seek for a righteousness in the sight of God, Acts 2:37,38; 16:30,31; Micah 6:6,7; Isa.35:4; Heb.6:18. On these suppositions, the command and direction given unto men being, "Believe, and thou shalt be saved;" the inquiry is, What is that act or work of faith whereby we may obtain a real interest or propriety in the promises of the gospel, and the things declared in them, unto their justification before God? And,--1. It is evident, from what has been discoursed, that it does not consist in, that it is not to be fully expressed by, any one single habit or act of the mind or will distinctly whatever; for there are such descriptions given of it in the Scripture, such things are proposed as the object of it, and such is the experience of all that sincerely believe, as no one single act, either of the mind or will, can answer unto. Nor can an exact method of those acts of the soul which are concurrent therein be prescribed; only what is essential unto it is manifest. 2. That which, in order of nature, seems to have the precedency, is the assent of the mind unto that which the psalmist retakes himself unto in the first place for relief, under a sense of sin and trouble, Ps.130:3,4, "If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?" The sentence of the law and judgment of conscience lie against him as unto any acceptation with God. Therefore, he despairs in himself of standing in judgment, or being acquitted before him. In this state, that which the soul first fixes on, as unto its relief, is, that "there is forgiveness with God." This, as declared in the gospel, is, that God in his love and grace will pardon and justify guilty sinners through the blood and mediation of Christ. So it is proposed, Rom.3:23,24. The assent of the mind hereunto, as proposed in the promise of the gospel, is the root of faith, the foundation of all that the soul does in believing; nor is there any evangelical faith without it. But yet, consider it abstractedly, as a mere act of the mind, the essence and nature of justifying faith does not consist solely therein, though it cannot be without it. But,-- 3. This is accompanied, in sincere believing, with an approbation of the way of deliverance and salvation proposed, as an effect of divine grace, wisdom, and love; whereon the heart does rest in it, and apply itself unto it, according to the mind of God. This is that faith whereby we are justified; which I shall farther evince, by showing what is included in it, and inseparable from it:-- (1.) It includes in it a sincere renunciation of all other ways and means for the attaining of righteousness, life, and salvation. This is essential unto faith, Acts 4:12; Hos.14:2,3; Jer.3:23; Ps.71:16, "I will make mention of thy righteousness, of thine only." When a person is in the condition before described (and such alone are called immediately to believe, Matt.9:13; 11:28; 1 Tim.1:15), many things will present themselves unto him for his relief, particularly his own righteousness, Rom.10:3. A renunciation of them all, as unto any hope or expectation of relief from them, belongs unto sincere believing, Isa.50:10,11. (2.) There is in it the will's consent, whereby the soul betakes itself cordially and sincerely, as unto all its expectation of pardon of sin and righteousness before God, unto the way of salvation proposed in the gospel. This is that which is called "coming unto Christ", and "receiving of him," whereby true justifying faith is so often expressed in the Scripture; or, as it is peculiarly called, "believing in him," or "believing on his name." The whole is expressed, John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (3.) An acquiescency of the heart in God, as the author and principal cause of the way of salvation prepared, as acting in a way of sovereign grace and mercy towards sinners: "Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God," 1 Pet.1:21. The heart of a sinner does herein give unto God the glory of all those holy properties of his nature which he designed to manifest in and by Jesus Christ. See Isa.42:1; 49:3. And this acquiescency in God is that which is the immediate root of that waiting, patience, longsuffering, and hope, which are the proper acts and effects of justifying faith, Heb.6:12,15,18,19. (4.) Trust in God, or the grace and mercy of God in and through the Lord Christ, as set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, does belong hereunto, or necessarily ensue hereon; for the person called unto believing is,--first, Convinced of sin, and exposed unto wrath; secondly, Has nothing else to trust unto for help and relief; thirdly, Does actually renounce all other things that tender themselves unto that end: and therefore, without some act of trust, the soul must lie under actual despair; which is utterly inconsistent with faith, or the choice and approbation of the way of salvation before described. (5.) The most frequent declaration of the nature of faith in the Scripture, especially in the Old Testament, is by this trust; and that because it is that act of it which composes the soul, and brings it unto all the rest it can attain. For all our rest in this world is from trust in God; and the especial object of this trust, so far as it belongs unto the nature of that faith whereby we are justified, is "God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself" For this is respected where his goodness, his mercy, his grace, his name, his faithfulness, his power, are expressed, or any of them, as that which it does immediately rely upon; for they are no way the object of our trust, nor can be, but on the account of the covenant which is confirmed and ratified in and by the blood of Christ alone. Whether this trust or confidence shall be esteemed of the essence of faith, or as that which, on the first fruit and working of it, we are found in the exercise of, we need not positively determine. I place it, therefore, as that which belongs unto justifying faith, and is inseparable from it. For if all we have spoken before concerning faith may be comprised under the notion of a firm assent and persuasion, yet it cannot be so if any such assent be conceivable exclusive of this trust. This trust is that whereof many divines do make special mercy to be the peculiar object; and that especial mercy to be such as to include in it the pardon of our own sins. This by their adversaries is fiercely opposed, and that on such grounds as manifest that they do not believe that there is any such state attainable in this life; and that if there were, it would not be of any use unto us, but rather be a means of security and negligence in our duty: wherein they betray how great is the ignorance of these things in their own minds. But mercy may be said to be especial two ways:--First, In itself, and in opposition unto common mercy. Secondly, With respect (continued in part 11...) ---------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: ownjs-10.txt .