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the unbelief of men is a fault for all on
So on the other hand tho' Faith be the gift of God; yet those that believe not are faulty upon this account, that they quench and resist the blessed motions of God's Spirit, and the influence and Operation of the Spirit of God, which accompany the Truth of the Gospel to the minds of men, and produce their Effect wherever they are not opposed and rejected by the pre- . judice and perverseness of men.
Volume III. Let us depend upon God for XII.
every good gift; and earnestly beg the assiltance and influence of his holy Spirit, which is so necessary to us to beget Faith in us, and to preserve, and to make it effectual upon our hearts and lives. Bread is not more necessary to the support of our natural life, than the holy Spirit of God to our spiritual life.
For our encouragement to ask this gift of God's Holy Spirit, our Saviour hath told us, that God is very ready to bestow him upon us. No Father upon Eearth is more ready to give bread to his Children that cry after him, than God is to give his Spirit to those that heartily and earnestly beg it of him. So our Saviour aisures us, Luke 11. II, 12, 13. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will be give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a filh give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will be offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly, Father give the holy Spirit to them that ask him?
And now I have done with the first thing that I propounded, which was to Sermon open the Nature of Faith to you in ge
V. neral. I have been the longer upon this, because I thought it very material, and important to the settling of right apprehensions in us concerning Religion,and Divine things; and I have all along endeavoured to make things as easie and plain as the nature of the subject would permit. And tho’ probably many things that I have said, might not be within the full reach and comprehension of all capacities, yet because I hoped they might be useful and beneficial to fome at least, I could not think the other confideration a fufficient reason why I should wholly omit them, and pass them by; remembring what St.Paul says, that he was a debter to the wise, as well as the unwise. And St.Peter tells us, that St. Paul in his Epistles wrote many things, which were hard to be understood by fome Persons; yet because those things might be of ute to others, the Spirit of God did not think fit to omit the writing of them.
What remains I shall reserve for another Discourse, with which I shall conclude this Subject.
The Efficacy, Usefulness
, and Reasonableness of Divine Faith.
The Sixth Sermon on this Text.
HEB. XI. 6.
But without Faith it is impossible to
N Discoursing on these words, I
have dispatchid the first thing which I propos’d, viz: to give an acá count of the Notion and Nature of Faith in general; under which I have largely treated of a Religious or Dis vine Faith in particular.