John 14:1. “Let not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me.” This I think very evidently appears to be a direction and encouragement, and not so much to carry in it an injunction and command. He had been telling them many discouraging things they should meet with, and particularly informing them of his departure; this greatly affected them; he saw it, and his bowels yearned over them, and therefore he thus addresses them, Let not your hearts be troubled; don’t be overwhelmed with sorrow; ye believe in God; I know ye do; ye believe him to be faithful and true: faithful in keeping covenant, and true in accomplishing all the promises he has made: Ye may also with equal confidence, repose in me: Yes, believe in me, when I tell you, though I go away, it is to prepare a place for you, and I will come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am there ye may be also. Cheering words, containing a kind direction and heavenly encouragement.
And let me add, that some of those scriptures cited by Mr. F. related to nothing more than to Christ as the promised Messiah, whom it was the duty of the Jews to have acknowledged, the evidence of his mission being so full and clear: and their refusing to acknowledge him in that capacity, in opposition to the most undeniable evidence, was practical and criminal unbelief. It is for want of making these distinction, I apprehend, Mr. F. and others have run into mistakes, and misunderstood various passages of scripture.