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2 Cor. xiii. 5. Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith ;
prove your own selves,
I KNOW not any admonition in the Scriptures which has a stronger claim to four attention, than that which calls upon us, to examine ourselves whether we be in the faith.
In discoursing on this subject, it is my intention, First, to speak of the necessity of Faith ; Secondly, to point out certain marks or tokens, by which we may judge, whether we are in the Faith or not; and, Thirdly, to mention some of the means of increasing and strengthening Faith,
By Faith, I mean that strong belief of the truths revealed to us in the word of God, which disposes us to perform what is there commanded ;-such belief, particu
larly, of those doctrines, which are shortly brought together in the Apostles' Creed.
I. The necessity of faith is self-evident; for there can be no religion at all without faith. “ He that cometh to God must be“ lieve that he is, and that he is the re“ warder of them that diligently seek him.” The
purpose of religion is, to teach us how to please God; but, “ without faith it is
impossible to please him b.” It appears that the object which God had in view, when he made a revelation of himself to the world, was the deliverance of men from a state of sin, and consequently of misery and death, and the leading them on to holiness of living and happiness. The attainment of this object, was one great reason why he sent his Son down upon earth; for he came, we are told, to “purify “ unto himself a peculiar people zealous “ of good works®;" he came to teach us
deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, “ and to live soberly, righteously, and
godly in this present world d.” In order
e Titus ii. 14.
a Heb. xi. 6. • Titus ii. 12.