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text. Believe on the
The answer to that enquirie is in the Lord Jefus Chrift, and That is, "Believe in Jefus Chrift, as a divine teacher, and re"ceive the doctrine taught by him, and you "will know, how you may be faved. Ob"ferve and follow the precepts and rules "of that doctrine, and you will obtain fal"vation."
The former may be thought the primarie and most obvious meaning of the words: but the later is alfo implied. The question is: What must I do to be faved. The answer is: Believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift: and thou shalt be faved. That is, you will know what you ought to do in order to obtain falvation: You will have all the means of falvation, every thing requifite for your direction and affistance. Confequently, if you obferve and follow the rules contained in the religion of Jefus Chrift, you will be faved.
There are therefore three things to be spoken to. First, the direction here given: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, the benefit propofed, and annexed thereto: And thou shalt be faved. Thirdly, the con
nection between faith in Jefus Chrift and fal- SERM. vation, with the evidence of it. XI.
I. In the first place I fhould fhew, what is meant by believing on the Lord Jefus Chrift.
One thing plainly implied is, believing him to be a divine teacher, fent from God: and that he is the Chrift, or the Meffiah, the great perfon spoken of by the Prophets, and whom God had promifed to fend. This we may learn by comparing fome texts in the Gofpels.
In the fixteenth of St. Matthew is an account, how our Lord afked the difciples concerning the opinions, which men had of him, and then their own. And when Peter anfwered, for himself, and the reft: Thou art the Chrift, the Son of the living God; he commended him, and declared him blessed.
Again John vi. 68. 69. Peter answered, and faid: Lord, to whom should we go? Thou haft the words of eternal life. And we believe, and are fure, that thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God.
John xi. 37. Martha fays: Yea Lord, I believe, that thou art the Christ, the Son of
SERM. God, which fhould come into the world. And XI. at ver. 41. 42. of the fame chapter, our Lord having, at the grave of Lazarus, addreffed a particular thanksgiving to the Father, adds: And I know, that thou hearest me always: but because of the people that ftand by, I faid it: that they might believe, that thou didst fend me.
John xvi. 30. the difciples fay: By this
John vi. 28. 29. Then faid they unto him:
And it is often taken notice in the Gof-
receive him, as a Prophet, or the great Pro- SERM. XI. phet, that was to come into the world.
2. Another thing, included in faith in Chrift, is believing his words, receiving the doctrine taught by him, or believing the Christian religion.
This is fo closely connected with the foregoing particular, that they feem to be both one and the fame: and, certainly, are inseparable. He who believes, that Jefus is fent of God, and the Chrift, muft believe that his words are true. However, I prefume, it is not amifs, to observe this distinctly.
Our Lord, who, as before fhewn, often fpeaks of believing in him, whom God had fent, does also frequently speak of believing, or receiving his words. For he had a doctrine. He was a Prophet, or a teacher fent from God. And receiving his doctrine is believing in him. What it was, we perceive from the hiftorie of his life, writ by the Evangelifts. In general, it was: Repent. Or, Repent, and believe the gospel. And to fuch as received, and obeyed that doctrine, he promiseth everlasting life.
John vii. 16. 17. Jefus answered them, and faid: My doctrine is not mine, but his
SERM. that fent me. If any man will do his will, be XI. fhall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of my-felf. John xiv. 24. The word, which you hear, is not mine: but the Father's, which fent me. Many of the Jews could not receive his words, because of their prevailing prejudices, and carnal affections. Of the difciples he says: John xvii. I have given unto them the words, which thou gavest me: And they have received them, and have believed, that thou didst fend me. ...vi. 63. Again he fays: The words that I speak unto you, they are fpirit, and they are life. And because he had the words of eternal life, the disciples believed in him, and determined to abide with him. And knowing the truth and importance of the doctrine, taught by Mark viii. him, he declares: Whofoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, now, of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in the glorie of his Father, with the holy angels.
Believing in Chrift is often expreffed by coming to him. John v. 40. Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life. And Mat. xi. 28. 29 Come unto me, all ye that labor and