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tian Advocate in the University of Cambridge.But this is not our present concern.
Whoever will examine the numerous passages of scripture, in which the word faith occurs with'out any adjunct, will find that something is always
understood. Faith must have an object. Faith 'is of itself an imperfect expression, though per
haps from its frequent use, and the obviousness
of the person or thing signified, it is scarcely 'noticed as such. "The name of faith,' says
Hooker,“ being properly and strictly taken, it 'must needs have reference unto some uttered 'word as the object of belief.''l
This note contains an important instruction. Faith bears the same relation to revealed truth, which the eye does to light. Without the one, the other must be useless; and God would never have created eyes, if he had not created, or purposed to create, light. The uttered word is the
object of belief.': “ The sure testimony of God” is that which faith credits and trusts; and thus the simplest believer is made “ wise unto eternal “ salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.” But all other faith, in matters of religion, must either be mere opinion ; or credit given to human testimony, reasoning, or authority.?
• The word believe, in all its various inflexions, occurs many hundred times, but, if I mistake not, the word belief occurs only once, in the New - Testament.' 3
'Note, Ref. 127.
? Comp, Ref. 112.
There was, it seems, only one place, in which it was convenient to translate the word niotis, belief : for it is the same word, which is in other places rendered faith.
No man, says the learned and judicious • Hooker, can attain belief by the bare contem• plation of heaven and earth, for that they neither aré sufficient to give us as much as the least spark of light concerning the very principal 'mysteries of our faith.'!
If this be well grounded, as no doubt it is, what are we to think of that statement concerning faith, which has lately been considered ? 2
* That belief or faith may exist, unaccompanied by any of the Christian virtues and graces, appears from the ease of Simon Magus, already referred to, who is said to hüve“ believed," and yet « « his heart was not right in the sight of God;" "he was " in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."'3
It is readily allowed, nay strenuously insisted on, that “ dead faith” may thus exist, and often does : but not “ the faith which worketh by love,” and “ overcometh the world," and which may be
as evidently known by good works, as a tree is • discerned by the fruits.' To this faith all the blessings of salvation are constantly promised, in the same inspired writings, which at other times used the word in so much lower a sense. 4 And no
' Ref. 129. Note, Ref. 102, 103.—See also Book I. c. i. $ 4. On the case of the Gentiles. Ref. 130.
• Comp. John iii. 14-18, 36, v. 24. with ii. 23–25. xii. 42, 43.
other faith is spoken of as justifying, either in the scripture, or in our articles. 1.
As it is here supposed, 2 that this faith might - in fact be separated from love, it cannot signify “the same as in the epistle to the Romans, where
it is such an assent to a divine declaration as produces a suitable temper and conduct.'3
Does the apostle here speak of justification by faith? And did not the pious Doddridge intend, by referring to the epistle to the Romans, to shew that this was not the justifying faith there spoken of ? 4
"We have therefore this apostle's authority, not only for maintaining the possibility of faith ex“isting without charity, and its utter inefficacy in
that case, but also for considering charity as su*perior to faith when they “abide” together. Nor
is it difficult to comprehend the reason of this superiority; for surely it is more easy to convince the understanding of the 'truth of the gospel, than to correct the selfishness of our nature, and 'to impress our minds with the principles of di
yine love, or piety towards God, and of universal benevolence towards men, so as to practise both in the degree required by our holy religion, namely, to “ love God with all our heart, and 'soul, and strength," and " our neighbour as our(selves." : 5
In whạt respects love is greater than even true
Gal. v. 6. Jam. ii. 20—26. i John v. 4,5. Art. xii. ? 1 Cor. xiii. 2.
Note, Doddridge, Ref. 130. * Rom. iii. 22,26, 30, iv. v. 1, 2. Ref. 131.
faith has before been shewn :' and no doubt it is far more easy to prevail with men to adopt a new creed, than to lead a new life. Man's arguments and persuasions, especially when recommended by selfish motives, will do the former, but God alone, by a new creation, can effect the latter. “We « are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus “ unto good works." 2 And, lest any one should
be deceived for lack of right understanding “thereof, it is diligently to be noted, that faith is
taken in the scripture two manner of ways. “There is one faith which in scripture is called a
dead faith, which bringeth forth no good works, , but is idle, barren, and unfruitful. And this
faith, by the holy apostle St. James, is compared to the faith of devils, which believe God to be true and just, and tremble for fear; yet they do nothing well, but all evil. And such a manner of faith have the wicked and naughty Christian people, which confess God, as St. Paul saith, in their mouths, but “ deny him in their deeds, - being abominable, and without the right faith, 3 "and to all good works reproveable.".... 'It con“sisteth only in believing the word of God, that it is true, And this is not properly called faith. But, as he that readeth Cæsar's Commentaries, believing the same to be true, hath thereby a knowledge of Cæsar's life and notable acts, be'cause he believeth the history of Cæsar, yet it is
• Close of preceding chapter, on Ref. 102. Eph. ii. 10.
3 Tit. i. 16. 'Attendais, from 'ATELJÉW, John iï. 36. Rom. xi. 30. xv. 31. Gr. Words from this root, sometimes convey the idea of unbelief, and at others, of disobedience. Heb. iii. 18. 1 Pet. ji. 7, 8. Gr.
not properly said that he believeth in Cæsar, of whom he looketh for no help or benefit: even so - he that believeth that all that is spoken of God in " the Bible is true, and yet liveth so ungodlily,
that he cannot look to enjoy the promises and benefits of God; although it may be said that “such a man hath a faith and belief to the words
of God; yet it cannot be said that he believeth 'in God.'— Another faith there is in scripture, which is not, as the aforesaid faith, idle, unfruitful, and dead, but worketh by charity, &c.—This faith doth not lie dead in the heart, but is lively and fruitful in bringing forth good works.'— Now this faith certainly cannot consist without charity: and we have no controversy with any man about another kind of faith. This faith both justifies, and preserves a man in a justified state : but the utter inefficacy of the faith spoken of by his Lordship renders it as insufficient to justify a man at first, as to preserve him afterwards in a justified state. Why should it not? It is dead and can do nothing.
Having understood that baptism was essential to entitle him to the blessings of this new and 'merciful dispensation, of the divine authority of which he was fully persuaded, he would eagerly apply to some one of those who were commissioned to baptize; and baptism, administered according to the appointed form to a true be‘liever, 'would convey justification; or in other words, the baptized person would receive remis
Homily of Faith, Part 1.