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of sinners; the first command given to condemned transgressors of his holy law, as placed under a dispensation of mercy; the most explicit token they can give of a disposition to submit to him, and return to a state of subjection to his authority. But if this be indeed the truth; no man can want any other warrant for faith in Christ, than the commandment itself which enjoins it.

The point will, however, be more fully established, by considering the language of the Scriptures concerning unbelief. "He, that believeth


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not God, hath made him a liar; because he be"lieveth not the record, that God gave of his "Son." "He that believeth not is condemned 'already; because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And "this is the condemnation, that light is come in"to the world, and men loved darkness rather "than light, because their deeds were evil. For

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every one that doeth evil hateth the light, "neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should "be reproved."" It is not only certain in fact, that "he who believeth not shall be damned:" but unbelief is the special ground of his condemnation; because it springs from hatred of the truth of God, through determined love of sin. This our Lord elsewhere illustrates. Having said to the Jews, "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life:" he adds, "How can ye bei John v. 10-12. John iii. 18-20.

lieve, who receive honour one of another; and "seek not the honour that cometh from God

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only ?" Disregard to God, and inordinate love of worldly honour, were the reasons, why these men did not, and could not, believe in Christ." Why do ye not understand my speech? "Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are "of your father the devil, and the works of your "father ye will do. He was a murderer;—he is a "liar and the father of it: and because I tell you "the truth, ye believe me not.' A disposition like that of the devil, rendered the persons in question incapable of believing Christ's words, or of coming to him for salvation.-" When He❞ (the Comforter) "is come, he shall convince the "world of sin;-because they believe not in me." The sin of disbelieving and crucifying the Messiah seems to have been immediately presented to the consciences of the Jews, on the day of Pentecost, when they were so pricked in their hearts, as to cry out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" And indeed, according to the degree of previous information, or means of instruction, convinced sinners are almost always peculiarly distressed in conscience, by recollecting their former proud and carnal neglect and contempt of the gospel. Nay they frequently imagine it to be even the unpardonable sin and this sometimes opens the way to powerful and durable temptations to despair, of John viii. 43-47.

'John v. 39-47.


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which, several instances have fallen under the writer's observation. The criminality of unbelief is indeed a species of guilt, of which the world at large has no conception, and which never troubles the consciences of mere moralists or formal Pharisees: but what real christian can deny, that rejec tion of Christ implies a high degree of enmity against God and his authority and glory; a contempt of his wisdom as foolishness, of his infinite mercy as needless, or of his authenticated truth as falsehood? The unbeliever says in his heart unto God, "Depart from me, I desire not the knowledge of thy ways:" or, "I shall have peace, in "the way of my own heart," though I reject the way of peace revealed in the gospel.

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St. Paul mentions so me, "that are contentious "and will not obey the truth, but obey unrigh"teousness;" and of men, "to whom God sends strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned, who believed not the "truth,but had pleasure in unrighteousness." So that the love of sin, and taking pleasure in it, effectually prevent men from "receiving the love of the "truth that they might be saved:" and this throws light upon another most alarming declaration of the apostle, "The Lord Jesus shall be re"vealed from heaven,-taking vengeance on them "that know not God, and obey not the gospel,"who shall be punished with everlasting des"truction.""

Rom. ii. 8. 2 Thess. i. 7-10. ii, 10-12.


"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from "the living God." "To day, if ye will hear his "voice harden not your hearts." "Ye do always 66 err in your hearts." It is therefore evident, that the Scriptures represent unbelief and rejection of Christ, as springing from the corrupt state of the


"How then shall we escape, if we neglect "so great salvation?" "See that ye refuse not "him that speaketh. For if they escaped not, "who refused him that spake on earth; much

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more shall not we escape, if we turn away from "him that speaketh from heaven.'" We should therefore consider unbelief, not merely as an occasional circumstance in the sinner's condemnation, in that it leaves him without remedy under the curse of the law: but as the direct cause of his condemnation; the most provoking disobediencé to God's express command, connected with a contemptuous refusal of his unspeakable mercy, resulting from reigning pride, rooted enmity, and determined love of sin in one form or other.

But if this be the case, it must certainly be the duty of all, who hear or may hear the gospel, to believe in Christ: and then it must follow, that nó man wants any warrant for his faith, except the Lord's own word; his testimony, invitation, and command, and his promise" in no wise "to cast out any one who comes to him."

▪ Heb. ii. 3. iii, xii. 25.

It may be useful to illustrate this important subject, by an apposite similitude. Suppose a physician should give the most publick notice that he will bestow advice,. medicines, and every other requisite, on all the sick persons in a certain district, who come and put themselves under his care. This notice would be a sufficient warrant; and no sick person, within that district, could want any other for applying to the physician, and expecting him to do all in his power for his recovery.-But some might deem themselves so little indisposed as not to need assistance; and others, being wealthy or proud, might disdain a gratuitous cure.. Some might be too busy or slothful, or self-indulgent, to pay due regard to their health; while others would place no confidence in the physician's skill, or the sincerity of his proposal. Nay, it is possible, there might be persons, who pretended to expect a cure from him, while they neglected to take his medicines or follow his directions.-Certainly none of these would derive any benefit from him: yet this would not arise from the want of a further warrant; but from their not considering his publick notice, as "a faithful saying, and worthy of "their acceptation." He who felt himself diseased, who desired a cure, confided in the physician's skill and faithfulness, and applied to him and observed his directions, might reasonably expect a cure. But should any man, professing to regard the publick notice, as a sufficient warrant

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