« PrécédentContinuer »
them, will fill the Souls of the Infidels, as soon as they are taken from their Bodies, by an Angry and a Sin-revenging God!
These Infidels are more guilty, and their Guilt more aggravated than that of the Devils.
The Devils believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, and the Saviour of Men ; they believe all the Facts relating to him, mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.
But the Infidels deny them; and their Guilt is the more heinous, as Christ came into the World on purpose not to save the Devils, but the sinful Children of Men. And as the whole Series of his Actions, were Acts of Pity, of Love 'manifefted both to the Bodies and Souls of Men, as he came to purchase the Pardon of Sins, Peace with God, and everlasting Felicity for all that would become his Disciples.
O Merciful God, awaken the Consciences of those desperate Sinners; bring them to believe that Faith which they have hitherto been labouring to destroy ! Bring them to read, and consider what the blessed Jesus says, (in Matt. X. 32, 33.) whosoever therefore small confess me before Men, bim will I confefs also before my Father, which is in Heaven. But whosoever Jhall deny me before Men, bim will I a'lo deny before my Father which is in Heaven.
These Words should engage us not only to believe in Christ, but readily to own and acknowledge him to be our Redeemer, in whom we trust for Salvation, and they should restrain us from denying him.
In Mark viii. 36, 37, 38. Christ says, For wobat fall it profit a Man, if he gain the whole World, and lose his own Soul? or what shall a Man give in Exchange for bis Soul? Whoever i herefore shall he afhamed of me, and of my Words (which include his Doctrines and Laws,) in this adulterous, and Sinful Generations, of him also fail the Son of Man be ashamed, when he cometh in the Glory of his Father, with the Holy Angels.
These Sayings of Chriit import not only that. the Unbelievers, but also that those Profeffors of his Gospel, who to avoid Sufferings, or to gain any Worldly Advantage, shall either deny Christ, or be ashamed of him, or his Words and Doctrines, are appointed to inexpressible and everlafting Punishments, they lose their own Souls, and all the Happiness purchased by Christ, and offered to Sinners by the Gospel, and are not to be reckoned real Christians.
But though Men in Words may own Chrift, and call themselves Christians, yet if they live in allowed Disobedience to the Rules of his Gofpel, they are not sincere Christians. In Tit. i. 6. The Apostle says, They profess that they know God, but in Works deny him, being abominable and difobedient, and to every good Work reprobate.
Thus it appears fiom infallible Proofs, that Jesus of Nazareth who was born of the Virgin Mary, who led a Life of Sufferings and Sorrows, who was crucified and put to Death under Pontius Pilate, and who rose again from the Dead the third Day; is Christ, the promised Saviour.
I have said thus much concerning the Sin of Unbelief, and of Professors being ashamed to own Christ, and his Gospel, to warn People against complying with any Temptations, which may incline them to be guilty of those Crimes.
L ET T E R
Containing Remarks on some parts of the Holy
Scriptures, by which Persons may know themselves, whether they are fincere Christians, to whom the predicted Blessings do belong : And of their being in Covenant with God, and having the Holy Spirit dwelling in them : Likewise of the different Manner, in which the Holy Spirit bringeth Persons to be fincere Christians.
Shall now take Notice of some Parts of the Holy Scriptures from which we may know, who are real, serious Chriftians.
In Matt. x. 3. the Holy Jesus
says, Except ye be converted, and become as little Children, ye faall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: Therefore they who are not converted, and do not become as little Children, are not real, and serious Chriftians; because sincere Christians have many Promises, which are a folid Ground of Affurance that they shall be admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Another plain Conclusion may be added, viz. that therefore the Ministers of Christ, should explain, and prove the Necessity of that Converfion, which Christ speaks of.
In John iii. 3, 5. Christ the glorious. Teacher, who came down from Heaven, says, Except a Man be born again be cannot see the Kingdom of God. Except a Man be born of Water, and of the Spirit, be cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. Therefore they who are not born again, born of Water, and of the Spirit, are not to be reckoned sincere Christians.
And therefore the Ministers of Christ should explain the Nature, and preach the Necessity of being born again, according to our Saviour's Doctrine.
In 2 Cor. v. 17. It is said, If any Man be in Christ, he is a new Creature, old Things are past away, behold all Things are become new. Therefore, they who are not new Creatures, they in whom the old Things are not pat away, and in whom all Things are not become new, are not ferious, or real Christians : And therefore also the Ministers of Christ should explain, and preach the Doctrine of the new Creature, and of the passing away of the old Things, and of the Nature, and Necessity of all Things becoming new.
True Christians are distinguished from others by their receiving Christ, and trusting in him, In John i. 12, It is said, But as many as received bim, to them gave be power to become the Sons of God, even to them, that believe on bis Name.
The Devils believe that Christ is the Saviour of Men, and believe what is related in the Gofpels of his Birth, of his Doctrines, Miracles, Sufferings, Death and Resurrection, but they do not receive Christ; He was not offered to thema
True Believers receive him as their Saviour, and Prince, and consent to be subject to his Authority, and obedient to his Laws; and they trust in hini for his great Salvation.
St. Paul speaking of Christ, says, to the heathen Converts at Ephesus, In whom also, we bave obtained an Inberitance, being predestinated according to the Purpose of him, who worketh all Things after the Counsel of his own Will : That we (q. d. we Jews) should be to the Praise of his Glory, who first trusted in Chrift.
In whom ye (Gentiles) alsó trusted after that ye heard the Word of Trub, the Gospel of your Salvation : In whom also, after that ye believed ye were ; sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise. Eph. i. 11, 12, 13
True Believers, serious Christians, are distinguilhed by their Love to Christ, and their keeping his Commandments. Unto you therefore which believe, He, (that is Christ) is precious, says the Apostle, (1 Pet. ii. 7.) Therefore they to whom Christ is not precious, are not true Believers, or fincere Chriftians.
The fame Apostle speaking of Christ unto Believers, fays, Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with Yoy unspeakable and full of Glory. (1 Pet. 8. i.)
Divine Love with its happy Fruits, is the fulfilling of the Law.
In Deut. vi. 5. it is said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine Heart, and with all thy Soul, and with all thy Mind.
So in Matt. xxii. 37. which implies that Gincere Love to God is essential to true Piety.
In John xiv. 21. the blessed Jesus said, He ibat bath my Commandments, and keepeth them, be it is that loveth me; and be that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him, and ver. 24. he says, He ibat lovesh me not, keepeth not any Sayings.