BLTC Press Titles

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The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

Duty of Sinners to Believe in Jesus Christ

by Andrew Fuller



W HAT has been already advanced on the nature of faith in Christ may contribute to the deciding of the question, Whether it be the duty of the ungodly; but in addition to this, the Scriptures furnish abundance of positive evidence..-. -The principal part of that which has occurred to me may be comprehended under the following propositions :—

I. Unconverted Sinners Are Commanded,


*or Salvation.—It is here taken for granted, that whatever God commands, exhorts, or invites us to comply with, is the duty of those to whom such language is addressed. If therefore saving faith be not the duty of the unconverted, we may expect, never to find any addresses of this nature directed to them in the holy Scriptures. We may expect God will as soon require them to become angels as christians, if the one be no more their duty than the other.

There is a phraseology suited to different periods of time. Previous to the coming of Christ, and the preaching of the gospel, we read but little of believing: but other terms fully expressive of the thing are found in abundance. I shall select a few examples, and accompany them with such remarks as may shew them to be applicable to the subject.

Psalm ii. 11, 12. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling: hiss the Son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little: blessed are all they that put their trust in him. The psalm is evidently a prophecy of the resurrection and exaltation of the Messiah. Whatever reference may be had to Solomon, there are several things which are not true of either him or his government; and the whole is applicable to Christ, and is plentifully applied to him in the New Testament.

The kings and judges of the earth who are here admonished to serve the Lord Messiah with fear, and to kiss the Son lest he be angry, are the same persons mentioned in verse 2, which words we find in the New Testament applied to Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel."

Acts iv. 27.

that is, they were the enemies of Christ, unregenerate sinners, and such, for any thing that appeared, they lived and died.

The command of God addressed to these rulers is of a spiritual nature, including unfeigned faith in the Messiah, and sincere obedience to his authority. To kiss the Son, is to be reconciled to him, to embrace his word and ordinances, and bow to his sceptre. To serve him with fear, and rejoice with trembling, denote that they should not think meanly of him on the one hand, nor hypocritically cringe to him, from a mere apprehension of his wrath, on the other; but sincerely embrace his government, and even rejoice that they had it to embrace. That which is here required of unbelievers is the very spirit which distinguishes believers; a holy fear of Christ's majesty, and a humble confidence in his mercy; taking his yoke upon them, and wearing it as their highest delight. That the object of the command was spiritual, is also manifest from the threatening, and the promise annexed to it, lest ye perish from the wayblessed are all they that put their trust in him. It is here plainly supposed that if they did embrace the Son, they should not perish from the way, and if they did put their trust in him, they should be blessed. The result is, unconverted sinners are commanded to believe in Christ for salvation: therefore believing in Christ for salvation is their duty.

Isaiah lv. 1—7. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the' waters, and he that hath no money: come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread; and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not; and nations that knew not thee, shall run unto thee, because of the Lord thy God, and for the holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found; call ye upon him, while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. This is the language of invitation: but divine invitation implies an obligation to accept it; otherwise the conduct of those who made light of the gospel supper, and preferred their farms and merchandize before it, had been guiltless.

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