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The Condition of the Gospel
Covenant, and the Merit of
The Fourth Sermon on this Text.
JOHN XX. 31.
believe that Jesus is the Christ, the
Have in my former Discourses on
these words treated largely of the Nature of Christian Faith, particu. larly as it Sanctifies, Justifies, and Saves men. All that I farther propose
is, to make some reflections Volume whole Discourse, particularly that XII. which relates to justifying Faith, and
then to apply all to our own Use.
I have already taken notice of two Objections, to which my Discourse may seem liable, and if yet there remain any prejudice upon any
Man's Spirit against this Doctrine, I would desire such calmly to consider it, and the agreeableness of it not to the opinions of men, but to the Word of God, and the suitableness of it to the great design of Christian Religion, every where exprest in the Gospel, which is to bring men to Holiness and Obedience. And what Argument and consideration can be more
powerful to take men off from sin, and to excite them to the practice of Holiness, than this, that Repentance and Obedience are an indispensable Condition of our Justification and Pardon? And this is the very point in difference, whether the Gospel do not make Repentance and Obedience conditions of our Pardon and Justification, as well as an assent to the truth of the Gospel, and a trust in Chrift
as the meritorious cause of our Salva
Sermon tion. That they are, I have endeavoured to prove from Scripture; and for X. the farther clearing of it, I desire that the Nature of the Gospel-Covenant may be well consider'd, which I take to be this. On God's part there are certain Benefits promised, Juftification, and Pardon of sin, and eternal Life and Salvation. On our part there are certain Conditions required before we can be made partakers of those Benefits; these are, to assent to the truth of the Gospel, trusting in Christ as our only Saviour, Repentance from dead works, and a sincere purpose and resolution of Obedience, and a holy life; these make
the whole and entire Condition of the Gospel, and are often exprest by this one word, Faith, which signifies the whole duty of a Christian; because he that truly believes the Gospel, will do whatever the Gospel requires. And hence it is, that to be a Christian, and to be a Believer, are in the Phrase of the New Testament all one. Now the matter in controversie is plainly this; whether this whole Condition be required of us in order to our Par
ndon and Justification, as well as in
tance, and Obedience, and Holiness
the condition that we are justified, we are saved. And 'tis evident by necefsary consequence from the general acknowledgment of Divines; for I think this is universally agreed by Divines,