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in their affliction they will seek me early. I Cor. xi. 32. when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Heb. xii. 7, 8. if ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not ? but if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Psal. xc. 3. thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. God however assigns a limit to chastisement, lest we should be overwhelmed, and supplies strength for our support even under those inflictions which (as is sometimes the case) appear to us too heavy to be borne. Psal. cxxv. 3. the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous, lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. Isai. lvii. 16. I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth, for the spirit should fail before me, &c. 2 Cor. i. 8–10. we would not have you ignoramt...... that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, &c....... that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death—. He even seems to repent of what he had done, and through his abounding mercy, as though he had in his wrath inflicted double punishment for our transgressions, compensates for our affliction with a double measure of consolation. Isai. xl. 2. speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the hand of Jehovah double for all her sins. lxi. 7. for your shame ye shall have double, and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion; therefore in their land they shall possess the double; everlasting joy shall be unto them. This compensation is more than an hundred-fold, Matt. xix. 29. even an infinite weight of glory. 2 Cor. iv. 17. for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Rom. viii. 18. I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Psal. xxxiv. 18, 19. Jehovah is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit: many are the afflictions of the righteous, but Jehovah delivereth him out of them all. lxxi. 20. thou which hast showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again. cxxvi. 5. they that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Acts xiv. 22. we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
We ought not therefore to form rash judgements respecting the afflictions of others. This was the error of Eliphaz, Job iv. and ix. 22, 23. and of the most despicable of men, chap. xxx. Psal. iii. 2. many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. xli. 8. an evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him. John ix. 3. neither hath this man sinned.
On the contrary, it is said of those who are not chastened, Psal. xvii. 14. they have their portion in this life. Hos. iv. 17. Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone.
Hence arises consolation to the afflicted. 2 Cor. i. 4. who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 1 Thess. iii. 3. that no man should be moved by these afflictions; for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 2 Tim. ii. 3. thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Rev. ii. 9. I know thy works and tribulation,
SAVING FAITH is A FULL PERSUASION OPERATED IN Us THROUGH THE GIFT OF GOD, where.BY we BELIEVE, on THE sole AUTHORITY OF THE PROMISE ITSELF, THAT ALL THINGS ARE OURS WHATSOEVER HE HAS PROMISED US IN CHRIST, AND ESPECIALLY THE GRAcE of
THROUGH THE GIFT of GoD. Eph. ii. 8. by grace are ye saved through ..faith, and that not of yourselves ; it is the gift of God. Philipp. i. 29. tento you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; given, that is, by the Father, through the Son and the Spirit. Matt. xi. 25. at that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father...... because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. xvi. 16, 17. thou art Christ...... flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. Luke xxii. 32. I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not. John vi. 44, 45. no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him ...... every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 2 Thess. i. 11. that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power. Heb. xii. 2. looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. I Cor. xii. 3. no man can say that
Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 2 Cor. iv. 13. we having the same spirit of faith. Gal. v. 22. the fruit of the Spirit is faith.
A FULL PERSUASION. Jer. xxxi. 34. they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith Jehovah : for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. John xvii. 3. this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Rom. iv. 18–21. who against hope believed in hope......and being fully persuaded, that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. viii. 38. I am persuaded that neither death—. 1 Thess. i. 5. our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. 2 Tim. i. 12. I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him. Heb. x. 22. let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. James i. 6. let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. Heb. xi. 1. faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen; where by substance is understood as certain a persuasion of things hoped for, as if they were not only existing, but actually present. John viii. 56. your jather Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it. Hence implicit faith, which sees not the objects of hope, but yields belief with a blind assent, cannot possibly be genuine faith, except in the case of novices or first converts, whose faith must necessarily be for a time implicit, inasmuch as they believe even before they have entered upon a course of instruction. Such was that of the Samaritans, John iv. 41. of the nobleman and his family, v. 53. of Rahab, Heb. xi. 31. and of the disciples, who believed in Christ long before they were accurately acquainted with many of the articles of faith. Those also belong to this class, who are slow of understanding and inapt to learn, but who nevertheless, believing according to the measure of their knowledge, and striving to live by faith, are acceptable to God. Isai. xlii. 3. a bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flar shall he not quench. Mark ix. 24. Lord, I believe, help thow mine unbelief. Faith is also called retroi6sais, or trust, with the same meaning. 2 Cor. iii. 4. such trust have we through Christ to God-ward. Eph. iii. 11, 12. in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him ; where however trust or confidence seems rather to be a particular effect or degree of faith, or a firm hope, than faith itself, inasmuch as it is said to come by faith; or perhaps by faith in this passage we are to understand the doctrine on which this confidence is founded. John xvi. 33. be of good cheer (confidite), I have overcome the world. Hence to trust and to believe are indiscriminately used in the same sense, both in the Old and New Testament. Psal. lxxviii. 22. because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation. Isai. x. 20. it shall stay upon Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, in truth (fide). Psal. xxxvii. 5. commit thy way unto Jehovah, trust also in him. Jer. xvii. 7. blessed is the man that trusteth in Jehovah, and whose hope Jehovah is. Matt. ix. 2. Son, be of good cheer (confide); thy sins be forgiven thee. As to the three divisions into which faith is commonly distinguished by divines, knowledge of the word, assent, and persuasion or trust, the two former equally belong to temporary, and even to historical faith, and both are comprehended in, or, more properly, precede a full persuasion.
ON THE sole AUTHORITY of HIS PROMISE. John xx. 29. blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. Rom. iv. 18. who against hope believed in hope. v. 21. being fully persuaded, that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 1 Cor. ii. 4, 5, my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 2 Cor. iv. 18. while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. v. 7. we walk by faith, not by sight. 1 Thess. ii. 13. when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God. Heb. xi. 7. by faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet. v. 19. accounting that God was able to raise him up. I Pet. i. 8. whom having not seen, ye love; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye