What is to
be believed.

Now the matter to be believed, is here said to be the Gospel. That is, the glad tidings of reconciliation made by Christ Jesus between God and man, which though it be diversely, and in sundry speeches set out unto us in Holy Scripture, yet all is most sufficiently contained in this one sentence delivered by Christ himself, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life,” wherein this: that God the Father moved by nothing but his free love to mankind lost, has made a deed of gift and grant of his Son Christ Jesus unto mankind, that whosoever of all mankind, shall receive this gift by a true and lively faith, he shall not perish, but have everlasting life, with the same Apostle expressly says, 1 Joh. 5:11, “This is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son”: meaning, that this it is, which God has witnessed for us to believe, which “he that does not makes God a liar”; and shall most justly be condemned therefore: this then to be considered of every soul to whom God sends this message of the Gospel, do truly believe and give credit unto it to be true, that God has grant of Christ to sinners, so that if he accept this grant, he shall be saved.

Historical faith
necessary to
Justification, but
not sufficient.

This is that faith which in the schools called Historical, because it goes no further then to give assent and credit to the story of that which God speaks to be true, which one may believe for another; and, therefore, this cannot be true justifying faith, and this may be in those that know they are bidden to come: so that though this be necessary to true justifying faith, there is required another and more special work, namely, “To receive Christ, and life in him offered in the Gospel,” which was the second general point to be considered in the nature of justifying faith; namely, and beside assent of the mind and judgment to the truth of the Gospel, we give consent with our heart, and will, so willingly and gladly accept God’s gift of Christ, whereby, indeed, he is become ours, and we his, and so we in him “be made partakers of all things pertaining to life and godliness,” as the Apostle Peter speaks, where I would have this specially to be marked, that he says, this is by the “knowledge” or “acknowledging” of him, which I understand to be by true faith, whereby we know and acknowledge Christ to be ours.

Ezekiel Culverwell, A Treatise of Faith (London: Printed by I.D. for Hen: Overton, and are to be sold at his Shop at the entring in of Popes head-Alley out of Lumhard-streete, 1633), 14-17. [Some minor reformatting; some spelling modernized; marginal notes cited inline; and underlining mine.]

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