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for mercy, and a simple trust and reliance on the Saviour's merits; and then forms us to an union with him, and a hope in the future blessing she has promised. It thus becomes the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. Especially it worketh by love, purifieth the heart and overcometh the world; and the fruits of holiness thus produced, distinguish it as a living and divine principle, from a notional, a speculative, an unproductive assent of the understanding only.
By this faith-which, far from being the meritorious cause of the blessings of salvation, is itself the gift of God-the true penitent receives Christ Jesus unto justification. Feeling his own guilt and condemnation as a sinner, he reads the exhortations to repentance. He discovers the way of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. He ascertains that God has given to men eternal life; and that this blessing is treasured up in that Saviour who purchased it by his own obedience unto death, and is exalted to bestow it on all who humbly apply to him. He receives this testimony; he comes to God in the name of Christ; he prays for pardon and justification only through the merits and mediation of the Saviour; he renounces his own righteousness, and all reliance, whether in whole or in part, on the works of the law, and reposes all his trust in the righteousness of God by faith.
Thus he looks to Christ, as the Israelite to the brazen serpent, that he may live. He builds on him as the sure foundation. He is intimately united to him, as the graft is inserted into the stock. He flies to him as the manslayer fled to the city of refuge. He enters into him, so to speak, as Noah entered into the ark. He receives him as a man receives a free and unspeakably valuable gift. He welcomes him as the patient welcomes his physician, or as the captive hails his deliverer. He has him as the host has and entertains the guest. He possesses him, as the merchant-man the pearl of great price. Yea, he has even a claim to him, as the heir is entitled to the inheritance.
The faith, which is thus imputed to us for righteousness, and is the means of our justification without works, receives every part of God's testimony concerning Christ. It welcomes him, therefore, in all his other offices, as well as in those more immediately connected with our pardon and justification. It receives him as the great prophet and teacher of the church; and it submits to his yoke and yields a cheerful obedience to his commandments, as the ruler and king of his church. Thus it unites the penitent to Him, as the members are united to the head. It enables him to live by Him, as a man is sustained by his appointed food. It brings him to do every thing in his name regarding his will,
depending on his grace and aiming at his glory. It leads him in a word to receive the Saviour for all the ends and purposes for which he is revealed in holy Scripture.
I ask, then, whether such a person may not be said to have the Son. Is not Christ his? Has he not an interest in his benefits, a share in his salvation? Does not Christ, as it were, make over himself and all his blessings to him? Does he not come unto him and take up his abode with him? Does he not dwell in his heart by faith? Is there not such an intimate, though mysterious, union between the Saviour and the believer, that he " spiritually eats the flesh of Christ and drinks his blood, is one with Christ and Christ with him?" He has the Son. The eternal Son of God is possessed in the highest and most important sense, not by the heavens where he displays his glory, nor by the angels who worship before his face, nor by the devils who feel his power, nor by the creation which is supported by his providence, but by the lowly heart which bows to his grace and glories in his salvation.
And if the true believer thus has the Son, I farther ask WHETHER HE HAS NOT LIFE? Is
* See on the important subject of faith, "Christian Essays, by the Rev. S. C. Wilks,”—a work of great merit and deserving an attentive perusal.
+ Communion Service.
he not justified freely by God's grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus? Are not his sins cast, as it were, into the depths of the sea? Is he not cleansed by the blood of Christ from all sin? Is not the law of God satisfied, and the sentence of death reversed, and the gift of life bestowed? Does he not stand as righteous in God's sight? Is he not accepted in the Beloved. Is not the righteousness of God reckoned to Him as his property, and put upon him as his vesture? And is not this acquittal, this justification, this deliverance, life in the highest and most obvious sense? Was he not dead in the eye of the law, waiting only the execution of the sentence; and is he not now alive by a free acquittal? Does he not stand reconciled, absolved, adopted, beloved? Yes, he has eternal life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my words and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.
And has he not life also in the way of incipient glory and communion with his God? What is the true life of the rational creature, but the knowledge and love and service of God; and what then are righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, but the life of the soul? What is regeneration but the communication of a new life to the man before dead in trespasses
and sins? What are confession and self-abhorrence and hatred to sin; what are faith and love, holiness and communion with God; the duties of prayer, the emotions of gratitude, and the songs of praise, but the evidences of an awakened and quickened soul? And what is the source of all these but union with Christ?
And shall not these foretastes and earnests of heaven issue in that eternal life for which they prepare the Christian? For what is glory, but grace consummated? What is everlasting life, but the perfection of spiritual life? What is the kingdom of God above, but the same kingdom which was begun here, completed at last in all its parts, pervading the whole man, heightened, refined, indissoluble, eternal?
He then that hath the Son, hath life. He who possesses the fountain, commands the streams. He who buys the field, gains the treasure. He who obtains the Son, has all the blessings which flow from the Son, even pardon and holiness here, and eternal life hereafter.
But to strengthen the impression of these statements, we must now proceed to consider the awful reverse- HE WHO HATH NOT THE SON OF GOD, HATH NOT LIFE. This is, indeed, implied in the direct affirmation of the preceding part of the sentence; but it is added here, in a manner usual in the Holy Scriptures, in