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hope which is in him. The miracles of Christ were performed in the presence of his disciples, “that they might believe in him, and that believing they might have life through his name.” When he had given Thomas full proof of his resurrection he said to him, “Be not faithless, but believing."
Now if we believe, on good evidence, that Jesus is the Son of God, and a teacher sent by him, we must believe all his doctrines and precepts, promises and threatenings, and whatsoever he has taught either by his own mouth, or the mouth of his Apostles ; for, being a divine teacher, hewould only bear witness to the truth; and he would not employ his divine power in supporting the credit of his apostles, if they had deviated from his instructions. When, therefore, Paul and Silas required the jailor to believe in Christ, they required him to believe the whole compass of the christian revelation, as far as it had been opened to him, and to receive such additional instructions as should, on the same authority, be afterward communicated.
But then the faith, to which the promise of salvation is annexed, is not a cold assent of the mind to the general truth of the gospel, and to the parti. cular doctrines contained in it; but such a belief as includes correspondent exercises and motions of heart. It is believing with the heart, and receiving the love of the truth. The word of God is said “effectually to work in them who believe.”
Our belief of Christ's divine authority must be accompanied with reverence and submission. Our belief of his holy and perfect character must be attended with love and delight. Our belief of the great things which he has done and suffered for us, must operate in a way of gratitude and joy. Our belief of his meritorious atonement and prevalent intercession must lead us to trust in God through him, and to do all things in his name. Our belief
of his sinless and amiable example must induce us to walk as he walked. So that faith, taken in its just latitude and extent, is nothing less than a subjection of soul to the whole gospel of Christ. It is an unreserved dedication of ourselves to his service, and a humble reliance on him for righteous. ness and strength.
If any now enquire, what they must do to be sav. ed, here is the answer—"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be saved."
You will say, you believe the gospel to be true. Very well ; but if you believe it to be true; see that your hearts and lives are conformed to it, and that you act under its influence. You believe that Jesus is the Christ, But have you seen your own sinfulness, the justice of the law which condemns you, and your incapacity to rescue yourselves from its awful sentence? - Is Christ precious to you ? Have you committed your souls to him to be sanctified by his spirit, and saved by his righteousness ?-_Have you chosen his service, and do you walk in imitation of his life, and in reliance on his grace ? By such enquiries judge, whether you have believed to the saving, or only to the deceiving of your souls.
Whatever exercises of mind you have felt whatever duties you have done whatever meants you have attended ; rest in nothing short of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. These are the terms of salvation.
If you ask, how you shall obtain this faith ; the Apostle says, “ faith comes by hearing." Hear the word of God with diligent attention, and give earnest heed to the things which you hear, lest, at any time, you should let them slip.
“ the word avails nothing without the Spirit.” But remember, “ God gives the Spirit in the hearing of faith. Pray always that he would fulfil in you the work of faith with power.". VOL. II.
You will say,
“Quench not the Spirit.” Abstain from those things, which tend to extinguish his kindly influen
Give entertainment to the serious and rational convictions excited in your minds. Seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near.
Some will ask perhaps, Whether they can expect success in such a use of means, as any are capable of in their unregenerate state ?-We cannot promise men success on any thing short of a sincere compliance with the gospel. We aim, however, to address them according to the different characters in which they appear. We wonld instruct the ignorant, alarm the thoughtless, undeceive the selfconfident, and encourage the desponding, and thus be made all things to all men, that we may by all means save some. We would place duty before all men, and urge it by gospel motives. We would shew them the impossibility of obtaining salvation by strict law; open the plan of grace, and press their compliance with it. When we hear them speaking, and see them acting discreetly—when we observe in them an attention to their religious advantages, and an engagedness in the work of their salvation, we hope they are not far from the king. dom of God. We hope, the good work begun will be accomplished. But we exhort them to look to themselves, that they lose not the things which they have gained. And we solemnly warn them, that if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them, than the beginning.
Then said Micah, Now I know that the Lord will do me good,
sceing I hade a Leojte to my priesi,
GOD instituted, for the church of Israel, a form of worship adapted to their circumstances, and to that age of the world. Its peculiar ordinances were designed to guard them against the sų. perstitions of the heathens, and to preserve them from disunion among themselves.
Before the temple at Jerusalem was built, God appointed, that his tabernacle should be placed in Shiloh, and that the tribes should there assemble, at the great festivals instituted in the law.
To perform the common service of the tabernacle the tribe of Levi was separated ; and from this tribe the family of Aaron was selected for the peculiar duties of the priesthood ; such as offering sacrifice, burning incense, expounding the law, and enquiring at the oracle.
The continued enjoyment of God's favour depended on a faithful adherence to his institutions.
The Jews, though fully instructed in the true and acceptable worship of God, soon began to corrupt it by human inventions. Instead of assembling at the place where God had recorded liis name, they chose other places of worship according to their own humour. Instead of attending on the ministrations of the orderly priests, who were set apart and educated for their office, they made priests of the lowest of the people. Instead of directing their adorations to the one Supreme God, they worshipped the heathen deities, which were but creatures of imagination, or senseless idols formed by art and man's device.
The first successful attempt to introduce idolatry into the church of Israel, is related in the chapter where our text is, and in the next following. Previous attempts, indeed, had been made ; but those, being open and publick, gave an alarm, and were immediately opposed. This was made more privately, and in a time of political confusion, when there was no king—no settled government, in Israel ; and therefore it met with no effectual opposition.
The idolatry, which finally proved the ruin of the Jews, began in the house of Micah; was here car. ried on by a vagrant Levite; from hence it was transferred to the tribe of Dan; and there it continued, until the ark of God was taken by the Philistines, and the tabernacle removed from Shiloh. After this, it was for a time suppressed; but in the reign of Jeroboam, it was again revived, and was never wholly and finally extirpated until the Babylonian captivity.
This Micah was of Mount Ephraim. He lived in the same house with his mother, who probably was a widow. She had, by some means, collected a