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SERM. The answer to that enquirie is in the XI.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. That is, “ Believe in
Jesus Christ, as a divine teacher, and re“ceive the doctrine taught by him, and you " will know, how you may be saved. Ob“ serve and follow the precepts and rules “ of that doctrine, and you will obtain fal
The former may be thought the primarie and most obvious meaning of the words: but the later is also implied. The question is: What must I do to be saved. The answer is: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ : and thou shalt be saved. That is, you will know what you ought to do in order to obtain salvation : You will have all the means of falvation, every thing requisite for your direction and assistance. Consequently, if you observe and follow the rules contained in the religion of Jesus Christ, you will be saved.
There are therefore three things to be spoken to. First, the direction here given : Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, the benefit proposed, and annexed thereto: And thou halt be saved. Thirdly, the con
nection between faith in Jesus Christ and fal- SERM. vation, with the evidence of it.
I. In the first place I should shew, what
is meant by believing on the Lord Jesus
Chrift. One thing plainly imp'ied is, believing him to be a divine teacher, fent from God : and that he is the Christ, or the Messiah, the great person spoken of by the Prophets, and whom God had promised to send. This we may learn by comparing some texts in the Gospels.
In the sixteenth of St. Matthew is an account, how our Lord asked the disciples concerning the opinions, which men had of him, and then their own. And when Peter answered, for himself, and the rest : Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God; he commended him, and declared him blessed.
Again John vi. 68. 69. Peter answered, and said: Lord, to whom should we go? Thou haft the words of eternal life. And we believe, and are sure, that thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God.
John xi. 37. Martha says: Yea Lord, I believe, that thou art the Christ, the Son of
SERM. God, which should come into the world. And XI. at ver. 41. 42. of the same chapter, our
Lord having, at the grave of Lazarus, addressed a particular thanksgiving to the Father, adds: And I know, that thou bearest me always : but because of the people that stand by, I said it: that they might believe, that thou didst send me.
John xvi. 30. the disciples say: By this we believe, that thou camest forth from God. And in the following chapter, our Lord, in his prayer and thanksgiving to the Father, says. This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast fent. And of the difciples he says: ver. 8. They have surely known, that I came out from thee : and have believed, that thou didst send me.
John vi. 28. 29. Then said they unto him : What shall we do, that we may work the works of God? Jesus answered, and said unto them: This is the work of God, that ye
be. lieve on bim, whom he hath sent.
And it is often taken notice in the Gofpels, that many believed on Jesus, but the Pharisees believed not : that is, they did not
receive him, as a Prophet, or the great Pro- SERM.
XI. phet, that was to come into the world,
2. Another thing, included in faith in Christ, is believing his words, receiving the doctrine taught by him, or believing the Christian religion.
This is so closely connected with the foregoing particular, that they seem to be both one and the same : and, certainly, are inseparable. He who believes, that Jesus is sent of God, and the Christ, must believe that his words are true. However, I presume, it is not amiss, to observe this distinctly.
Our Lord, who, as before shewn, often speaks of believing in him, whom God bad sent, does also frequently speak of believing, or receiving his words. For he had a doctrine. He was a Prophet, or a teacher sent
And receiving his doctrine is believing in him. What it was, we perceive from the historie of his life, writ by the Evangelists. In general, it was : Repent. Or, Repent, and believe the gospel. And to such as received, and obeyed that doctrine, he promiseth everlasting life.
John vii. 16. 17. Jesus answered them, and said: My doctrine is not mine, but his
Serm. that sent me. If any man will do bis will, be
God, or whether I speak of my-felf. John
nal affections. Of the disciples he says : John xvii. I have given unto them the words, which
tbou gavest me : And they have received them,
and have believed, that thou didst send me. ... vi. 63. Again he says: The words that I speak un
to you, they are spirit, and they are life. And
and importance of the doctrine, taught by Mark viii. him, he declares: Whosoever hall be ashamed
of me and my words, now, of him also shall
Believing in Christ is often expressed by