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tion of some millionaire, homeward bound to dinner. Unbelieving man conceives of God as caught, like himself, more with the grandeur of globes and the momentum of their flight, than with the viewless anguish of a rent heart, or the wan face and piteous moan of one - slain with hunger, who pines away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.” But how do these things appear to the believer—to him who has been spiritually illuminated, and realizes things somewhat as they are in the invisible world? He sees indeed the stupendous machinery of the material universe; he sees all about him the mesh work of worlds which God is moving and maintaining; but he sees amid this another mesh work, incomparably more important, which God is also superintending; he sees a vast but perfect system of soul-communication-a mesh work of telegraphic wires, connecting every human breast with the 6 sensorium of the universe," the heart of God. This is the spiritual reality of which Jacob saw in vision so beautiful a symbol — a ladder extending from earth to heaven, and angels descending and ascending upon it. Along these lines faith sees streaming forth perpetual emanations of wants, desires, tears and troubles, all speeding with electric rapidity to the throne of Ged. The voices of woe and cries for help are continually going up amid the ponderous movements of universal empire, (like signal guns from a ship in distress, booming above storm and thunder,) and not one of these voices ever fails to reach the ear of God. These two mesh-work systems, the material and the spiritual, never clash. Flaming worlds and ficry comets never impinge upon the lines of spiritual communication. The two systems harmonize and operate unobstructed within each other, like the earth's atmosphere and the sun's rays—the former, says the scientific Faraday, “ being a transparent dia-magnetic, is permo
ble to the sun's rays, though at the same time moving with great velocity across them." Or they may be compared to the complex operation of the muscular and nervous systems in the human body. The most energetic action of the muscles does not interfere with the communication of the slightest pain from the extremities to the seat of sensation. Indeed, the material system is the frame work upon which the spiritual system rests. Suns, stars, and planets, are but the posts which sustain the wires of Jehovah's telegraphic system.
Scriptural Doctrine and Duty of Faith,
By Rev. S. D. COCHRAN.
RESUMING the subject of the Scriptural Doctrine and duty of Faith at the point where we dismissed it in the last No. of the Quarterly, we proceed to show:
V. What is essentially involved in the exercise of voluntary faith, or confidence.
1. In the first place, it essentially involves the exercise of the very love to God which his law requires. Confiding is loving, and loving is, in part at least, confiding. Who can conceive of real love to God remembering what his character actually is, previous to, or independent of confidence in him? Benevolence and complacency towards an infinitely good Being without confidence! Impossible. On the other hand, who can conceive of real confidence in such a Being dissevered and dissociated from pure complacent benevolence? They are, and must be, in essence, one and inseparable. The commencement of faith is the birth of love—the disenthralment of the soul from selfishness, and its emergence into sacred goodwill to God and man; and the suspension, or expiration of the one, is the suspension or expiration of the other. Hence, the philosophic apostle says—" in Christ, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision: but faith which works by love”—and again—“purifying your hearts by faith.”
2. It also essentially involves universal obedience to the known applications of the Divine law—to all its known requisitions and prohibitions. Inspiration has absolutely settled this position. Says the apostle John—" Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him that is begotten of him. By · this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever (every one that) is born of God, overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God." This passage unequivocally teaches, l. That faith in Christ is moral renovation. 2. That it universally involves love to God, and his children. 3. That it universally involves the keeping (that is, obeying.) of his commandments; and that too, without feeling them to be grievous-in short, that faith, per se, is victory over the world. 4. That none do overcome the world, that is, love and obey God, but those that “ believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” Nothing can be more incontrovertibly taught in any words, than it is here inculcated, that rcal faith, by whomsoever exercised, essentially involves universal obedience to the Divine commandments. Let us ponder it a little further, 66 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God.” This is plain; but read again
-“ Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin." Reader, is this less plain? How legitimate the inspired logic that
16 Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” Now, consider another passage; “Hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” He that saith, “I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whosoever keepeth his word, in him, verily, is the love of God PERFECTED.” The apostle had never heard of the modern half-way house between sin and service! He had never grasped the sublime and accommodating theology of the Westminster Assembly that
no man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed!" With him there is no hesitating, mincing, doubtful utterances of the eternal and fundamental truth that sin and holiness never dwell together in the same mind; but a positive assertion of the contrary. This principle is the soul of this whole epistle —the very thing which he wrote it to establish. How absolutely certain do these passages renderit, that the modern doctrine of imperfection is false, and that the interpretation given to the 8th and 10th verses of the 1st chapter, by the advocates of Imperfectionism, is totally erroneous. And, how absolutely do they establish that sanctification is by faith. And, furthermore, how obvious is the mistake of that venerable Dr., who, in disclaiming Oberlin Perfectionism, said that “faith could never be any more perfect than the love that animates it.” Venerable mạn, it is faith that animates love--or, both Paul and John, and the bible universally, are mistaken! “ By faith we stand.”
But the truth of the proposition we are illustrating is equally manifest from the nature of the case. How is it possible that one should actually consent to the declarations of God that he should actually confide in him for the very things be has promised-grace to sanctify, as well as to save--and yet violate, at the sume time, any known application-any known requirement or prohibition of the Eternal Legislator? Conscious confidence, and conscious sin can never, by any possibility, co-exist in the same mind. The instant an individual chooses an object which he perceives or suspects to be contrary to the will of God, his confidence expires: Its hallowed and purifying fire dies in his heart, and the baleful gloom of distrust assumes its place darkening all within.
3. Another thing which it essentially involves is a complete acquiescence in all the dispensations of God's Providence. Who can actually commit and trust himself to the divine disposal, and yet object to any of his doings? Murmuring or repining “ shows a will most incorrect to Heaven.” The language of faith, even under the sorest of trials, must ever be “it is all for the best.” Be it health, or wealth, or reputation, or friends, of which we are deprived, still, even while the trusting soul lies crushed and bleeding under the dispensation, it raises no quarrel with the operation of the divine prerogative; but, like the beggared, disgraced and bereaved Job, it spontaneously exclaims--- The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
4. Another thing essentially involved in genuine faith is the assumption of our own pardon and acceptance for Christ's sake. If faith consists in assuming the truth of the Divine declarations, it must involve this, wherever the gospel is known. In it, God promises justification or pardon and acceptance, to every one that believeth, and when he believes. Now to believe this promisc, varied into ten thousand forms in the Bible, is to assume its fulfilment in the High Court of Heaven. If this be not so, appropriating faith, as it is called, is out of the question. Appropriating faith is nothing else than confidently assuming that promised blessings are ours, unless the promise refers to some future time; and then, it is assuming that it will be infallibly fulfilled, at that time. But wherever a blessing is pledged to us immediately on the fulfillment of a specified condition, the instant wc fulfil the condition, we are bound to assume it as actually ours. This is the case with the promises of justification and of the Holy Spirit; and consequently, as it respects them, faith is simply appropriating, or assuming the blessings promised as actually ours. It is impossible, therefore, that one should actually confide in God, as a God of truth, and yet not assume his own justification forthwith, or in the very act of confiding. This assumption is simply" getting to our seal that God is true.”
5. Faith also essentially involves hope in relation to the ful> fillment of all promises relative to the future, whether in time or eternity.
Hope consists of desire and expectation. We often desire what we do not expect, as when one incurably sick desires recovery; and, on the contrary, we often expect what we do not desire, as when a merchant expects bankruptcy; but when we both desire and expect any object or class of objects, this iş Hope.
Now all future blessings promised to believers must be regarded by them as desirable. Continued acceptance with God-sanctifying grace--the cheering light of God's countenance flowing forever on the soul-heaven and its hallowed society and services--the peerless and dazzling splendor of the eternal prize which awaits the saintly conqueror at the end of his earthly career-all these are unspeakably desirable, and they are all promised to those that believe. Whoever therefore believes must expect to receive them. Not to expect them is unbelicf. Consequently hope, which, as we have shown, consists of desire and expectation, is an essential element of real faith; and the full assurance of faith. Well does every believer know her power.
“ She, with uplifted foot, set free from earth,
6. It also essentially involves a spirit of prayer. Prayer is its breathing, its natural exhalation, its extending its bands for promised good. Who can contemplate his own, and the world's wants, and the promises of God to those who believe ingly ask for their satisfaction, and refrain from lifting his heart in supplication ? Who can contemplate the riches of grace
in Christ towards himself and his race, without spontaneously uttering his fervent gratitude in praises and thanksgivings!