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and give us satisfaction that we shall Volume receive a Reward, which will outXII. weigh and countervail our present Suf
ferings, then Faith is likely to support us under Sufferings.
And that this is no strange thing which the Apostle speaks of Faith, he shews that in all Ages Faith hath been the principle of all Holy and Heroick Actions. By it the Elders obtained a good report; it is that which made the Holy Men of the Old Testament so famous; and this he proves throughout this Chapter, by a large indu&tion of particular Instances, in which we see the power of Faith, the wonderful effects of it, and the mighty works it hath done in the World.
But because he said before that Faith is the evidence, or conviction of things not seen, as well as a confident expeitation of things hoped for, before he comes to instance in the effects of Faith upon particular persons in the Old Testament, he proves it to be The evidence of things not seen, that is, being convinc'd and perswaded of things of which we have no sensible and o
cular demonstration, ver. 3d. Thro' Faith we understand that the Worlds Sermon
I. were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen, were not made of things which do appear; that is, tho' we were not present at the ma-, king of the World, nor did see it framed; yet we are satisfied, and do believe that it was made by the powerful word of God, and that all those things which we see were not produced out of things which do now appear, but either immediately out of nothing, or a dark confused Chaos.
And having, thus prov'd that we may be perswaded of things we do not see, of things past, or future, he comes to the particular instances of the Holy Men of the Old Testament, in whom the power of Faith did
appear. He begins with Abel, who being perswaded of the Being of God, and the Perfection and Excellency of the Divine Nature, and consequently that he was worthy to be served with the best, by virtue of this Faith offer'd up to God A more excellent Sacrifice than Cain. The second Instance is in Enoch, who being perswaded of the Being of God,
and of his Goodness to reward them Volume that serve him, was a righteous Man, XII. and studious to please God; and as a
reward of this Faith and Obedience, God translated him, that he should not see death; upon which the Apostle affumes, ver. 6. But without Faith, it is impossible to please God. As if he had said, unless a Man do believe, and be perswaded of some Principles, it is impossible any Man should be Religious, or endeavour to do any thing that is pleasing or acceptable to God: for Religion, and the Service of God, and an endeavour to please him, do suppose at least that I believe and am perswaded of these two things, of the Being, and of the Goodness of God, that there is such a Being as I serve and seek to please, and that his goodness is such, that it will not be in vain to serve him, he will not let me be a loser by it.
And that here by pleasing, we are to understand in general the performing any action of Religion, is evident from the equivalent terms which are used in the next words, For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him; where coming
where coming to God, Sermon and seeking of him, are of the fame
I. importance with pleasing him. Now to come to God, and seek him, in Scripture Phrafe signifie the fumm of Religion, it being usual in the language of Scripture, to express the whole of Religion by any eminent principle, or part, or effect of it; as by the knowledge, remembrance, or fear of God in the Old Testament; by the love of him, and faith in him, in the New, by coming to him, seeking him, calling upon his Name, and pleasing of him.
Now that coming to God, and Feeking him, are of the same importance here with pleasing of him, will be clear to any that consider the Apostle's reasoning here in the Text, which supposeth these to be the same, otherwise there would be no force in his Argument. For the Proposition which he proves is, That without Faith it is impossible to please God. The Argument he useth is this, If every one that comes to God majt believe that he is, &c. then without Faith it is
impossible to please him ; but
every one Volume that comes to God, must believe that he XII. is. Now unless coming to God, and
seeking bim, be the same thing with pleasing him, this would be no good Argument; for there would be four terms in it; but if these Phrases be made equivalent, then the Argument is good. Thus, If every one that comes to God, that is, that will please him, must believe that he is, &c. thien without Faith it is impossible to please him : but every one that comes to God, that is, that will please him, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, or that endeavour to please him: therefore without Faith it is impoffible to please him.
Which Proposition doth not only signifie that Faith is necessary to Religion, and a Condition without which it cannot be; but implies likewise, that it is a Cause or Principle of it: not only the Foundation upon which all Religion must be built, but the Fountain from whence it springs. For this I take to be imply'd in the words, not only that there can be no Religion unless we believe a God; but suppo