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written before him, for them that feareds ER M. the Lord, and thought on his name. But if good men are oppreffed with calumny, and their virtue be called into question, and perhaps, their natural weakness magnified into crimes, nothing can afford greater comfort than this, that they have an impartial witnefs who knows their innocence, and who will one day openly acquit them. They need not value the peevish and ill-natured cenfures of the world; if their own hearts do not con, demn them, they know that the all-feeing God will justify them.
3. From hence alfo, good men have juft reason to truft in God, at all times and in all places. For if he is every where prefent, he is to be relied upon continually, as a God at hand. The best of friends may be at a distance, and there may be no help in them; but nothing can feclude us from our intercourse with God, who fills the immenfity of space. If we are acceptable to him, and it is proper for our happiness, we may be affured of his protection in every fituation, state, and circumftance.
In the laft place, the confideration of God's being every where prefent, ought
SER M. to be matter of terror to wicked and irreligious men. For as he is ever with them, and their wickedness cannot be concealed from him, they may justly fear, that the divine vengeance will overtake them. And where will the workers of iniquity hide themselves from his allfeeing eye? Whither will they go from his spirit, or flee from his prefence? All
nature is not able to screen them from his view, or deliver them from his al mighty arm. There is no darkness nor fhadow of death, where the workers of ini quity may hide themselves.
ACTS XVI. 31.
Believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift, and thou halt be faved, and thy house..
HESE words were spoken by SERM.
of the utmost importance; What muft I do to be faved? He had been preaching at Philippi, a city in the Lower Afia, where he had been perfecuted, as he usually was, and thrown into prison, with his companion Silas; when lo! after prayer, at midnight, the prifon doors were in a miraculous manner opened. At which the jailor, being in great conternation, and feeing the immediate power of God giving teftimony to the gofpel, could no longer doubt of its divine original, and of the miffion of the apostle to preach it. And then, reflecting on his own wretchedness, and the neceffity of being a partaker of this fal
SER M. vation that was offered, he with great earneftnefs afks the apoftle, What must I do to be farved? To which he had for a full anfwer, the words of the text, Believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift, and thou fhalt be faved.
In which, we plainly fee the condition upon which we are to expect Salvation, viz. that we believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift. And this, as it is of the utmost confequence to us to know it, is frequently inculcated to us in the New Teftament. Thus our Saviour himself tells the Jews, John viii. 28. If ye believe not that I am he (the Chrift), ye shall die in your fins. And again, John iii. 18. He that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not, is condemned already, because he believeth not on the name of the only begotten Son of God. And after his refurrection, in his laft difcourfe with his difciples, he tells them, Mark xvi. 16. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be faved, but be that believeth not shall be damned. So very plain it is, that the believing on Jefus Chrift, is the condition of our falvation. Now this believing on him, implies a fuitable knowledge of
him; that is, of his doctrine, and what S ER M. he hath done, and the method of falva- VIII. tion through him. Not that the fame degree of knowledge is required in all, but fuch only as is confiftent with our capacities, our opportunities, and circumstances. And fuch knowledge is evidently neceffary; for in general, believing supposes the knowledge of the things that are believed. And to believe implicitly, without knowing something of the nature of the thing, and what we believe about it, is indeed to believe nothing at all.
In the following difcourfe, I fhall endeavour
I. To confider in general, what it is
II. What it is to believe in the Lord
I. Then to confider, in general, what it is to believe, and make fome obfervations. Now to believe any thing, is to affent to the truth of it, upon fome proper proof or evidence. For all propofitions that we believe to be true, we ei