Lecture 11. The Nature of Justifying Faith

{252} AFTER considering the office of Faith, it fitly follows to inquire what it is, both in itself, and as existing in the regenerate. This I propose now to do, and in doing it shall have the guidance of a text, which approaches as nearly as any statement in Scripture to a formal definition:—"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Our Church has nowhere defined faith. The Articles are entirely silent; and though the Homilies contain many popular descriptions, they present, as is natural, nothing consistent and accurate.

Religious faith is "the substance," or the realizing of what as yet is not here, but only "hoped for;" it is the making present what is future. Again: it is "the evidence" of what is not seen, that is, the ground or medium of proof, on or through which the unseen is accepted as really existing. In the way of nature, we ascertain the things around and before us, by sight; and things which are to be, by reason; but faith is our informant about things present which we do not see, and things future which we cannot forecast. And as sight contemplates form and colour, and reason the processes of argument, so faith rests {253} on the divine word as the token and criterion of truth. And as the mind trusts to sense and reason, by a natural instinct, which it freely uses prior to experience, so in a parallel way, a moral instinct, independent of experience, is its impelling and assuring principle in assenting to revelation as divine. By faith then is meant the mind's perception or apprehension of heavenly things, arising from an instinctive trust in the divinity or truth of the external word, informing it concerning them [Note 1]. Whether it acts upon that knowledge so obtained, depends upon something beyond with which we are not now concerned,—its particular moral state in a given case.

In other words, faith, as such, is not a practical principle or peculiar to religious men. Thus, in matters of this world, men believe, but are not influenced, unless they feel the matter to be important. On the other hand, if they are interested in it, they believe what they otherwise would not believe. So far, then, from faith directly causing action, action in a particular case may depend on circumstances on which faith also depends. Accordingly, there is nothing in the text to confine its definition to religious faith, except the indirect expression "hoped for;" which no one would say was strictly part of the definition. None, doubtless, but religious men can hope for what God's word announces; but leaving out this incidental word, the text might even be taken to describe the faith of evil spirits, which St. James both recognises as faith, and discriminates from religious faith. Religious {254} men believe and "hope;" "the devils believe and tremble." They believe in a judgment to come, for on one occasion they exclaimed against being "tormented before their time;" and on what, but on God's infallible word announcing it? Thus dread and despair are inseparable attendants upon the devils' faith; hope and trust upon religions faith; but both are in their nature one and the same faith, as being simply the acceptance of God's word about the future and unseen. Religious faith is nothing else but the faith of the religious, and despairing faith is the faith of the despairing. Dead faith is the faith of the dead; lively faith is the faith of the living. Justifying faith, strictly speaking, is not trust, or adherence, or devotedness, though in familiar language it allowably be so called, but faith,—the faith of trusting, adhering, devoted minds.

Faith, then, is not a virtue or grace in its abstract nature; else evil spirits could not possess it. It is so only under circumstances or in the particular case; Abraham's faith involved self-denial, the Blessed Virgin's faith implied love and hope. Faith is but an instrument, acceptable when its possessor is acceptable. And in this respect it differs from most other virtues, that it is not an excellence, except it be grafted into a heart that has grace. The devils cannot have love, humility, meekness, purity, or compassion,—they have faith. When, however, it is so grafted, then it makes progress, and the last becomes the first. "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory." And then it becomes the instrument of securing {255} that favour which more properly attaches to the soul exercising it; as the eye is said to see, whereas it is the organ of the mind.


But though faith, considered by itself, is not a grace, it must be borne in mind that it never does exist by itself; it always exists in this person or that, and, as exercised by the one or the other, it must be either a grace or not. Faith in the abstract does not exist except as a mere conception of our minds. The devils believe, and Christians believe; we may compare the two together, and observe that the outline of the faith in each is the same; they both realize the unseen and future on God's word. But an outline never exists by itself; it ever exists in a certain body or substance. One man is said to be the same as another man, when the mind contemplates them as man; yet after all the mind can but contemplate, it cannot create or alter what is external to it. In spite of our arbitrary abstractions, each existing man exists to himself, as an individual, complete in himself, independent of all others, differing from all others, in that he is he, and not they nor one with them, except in name. No one thing can be another thing; faith in this man is not faith in that; nay, the one is not necessarily like the other, except in outline, or as one kind of animal, for instance, is like another, or as a good spirit is like an evil one. An animal in the abstract, is neither man nor brute, but then there is no such thing as an abstract animal; every animal must be man or brute; and so faith, as actually existing, either is an excellence or it is {256} not, though considered in its abstract nature it has no positive character [Note 2].

Or, to take another illustration:—the animal nature, when found in man, is the organ of doing what neither the soul can do without it, nor it can do without the soul. It sees, and enables us to read; yet no one would so confuse the case, as to say that the animal nature, as such, reads, because we read through it. In some such way does faith stand towards a right state of mind. Together they make up religiousness; the one reports, the other feels and acts on the report. Moral rectitude without faith is a soul without eyes; faith without moral rectitude is perception without appreciation. It may see, but it cannot read the message of mercy, though it gaze ever so hard; it is said to do so, as the eye is said to read, but it does not of itself really appreciate or obey that message from above.

It would seem, then, that Luther's doctrine, now so popular, that justifying faith is trust, comes first, justifies by itself, and then gives birth to all graces, is not tenable;—such a faith cannot exist, and if it could, would not justify. For, as faith cannot exist except in this or that mind, so it cannot be as much as trust, without being also hope [Note 3], nor hope without having some {257} portion of love. Mere trust as little gives birth to other graces as mere faith. It is common indeed to say that trust in the mercy of God in Christ ensures all other graces, from the fertilizing effect of the news of that mercy on the heart. But surely that blessed news has no such effect unless the heart is softened to receive it; that softening then is necessary to justification, and by whatever name it is called, religiousness, or love, or renewal, it is something more than trust [Note 4]. That is, something more than trust is involved in justifying faith; in other words, it is the trust of a renewed or loving heart. But after all, it is an abuse of terms to go so far as to define faith to be trust, unless one might also {258} call the devil's faith despair. Faith is neither trust nor despair, but faith; though it takes the colour of trust or of despair, according to the mind into which it is received. But this is a subject which admits of fuller statement.


Justifying faith, then, may be considered in two main points of view; either as it is in itself, or as it exists in fact in those who are under grace. In the former point of view it is not necessarily even a moral virtue; but when illuminated by love, and ennobled by the Spirit, it is used as a name for all graces together, as having them all as its attendants and companions. In the alternative, then, of thus narrowing and of thus extending its meaning, our Homilies have chosen the latter course and the Romanists the former. The Roman schools define it almost in its bare distinctive outline, as it is in itself viewed apart from all circumstances or states of mind, as found in good and bad, as living and dead. They consider it an assent of the mind to God's word. On the other hand, our Homilies seem to consider that grace so changes its nature, that a description which answers to it, both before and after justification, is but a verbal generalization and a practical fallacy, as if a living body and a corpse were called by one name; and therefore they teach that faith must not be called real unless it is living. Accordingly, instead of attempting a strict definition, they enlarge upon its properties or adjuncts in the regenerate, and set it before us in all the health, energy, and fulness of stature which grace bestows. Each party appeals to St. Paul, {259} but Roman controversialists stop short at the words "substance" and "evidence," as including the whole essence of faith, which in consequence is nothing more than evil spirits may have. Our Homilies, on the contrary, writing popularly, describe it to be trust and obedience as well as bare faith; as if arguing, that St. Paul speaks of it as the substance of things hoped for, and appealing for its practical character to the various instances of obedience which follow in the course of the Chapter.

This will be plain to any one who consults the Homilies; which, as far as the words go, speak of faith, not in its characteristic features, but as instinct with the whole "mind of the Spirit," as illustrated by the entire assembly of graces which belong to the regenerate. For instance, first they develop it into trust and hope, laying it down that a quick and living faith "is not only the common belief of the Articles of our faith, but it is also a true trust and confidence of the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and a stedfast hope of all good things to be received at God's hand." [Note 5] Of course this does not mean that faith is hope, or that, strictly speaking, faith is trust, which would be a misuse of words, but that that faith which justifies, is not mere faith, but faith in trust and hope, and trust and hope in it. Next, they say "Dead faith is not the sure and substantial faith which saveth sinners. Another faith there is in Scripture, which is not, as the foresaid faith, idle, unfruitful, and dead, but 'worketh by charity,' as St. Paul declareth Gal. v." Here then is another element of lively faith, love; mere faith does not justify, {260} but faith which is one with love, animated and impregnated with love, and pouring itself out into trust or hope without ceasing to be faith. They continue: "This is the true, lively, and unfeigned Christian faith, and is not in the mouth and outward profession only, but it liveth and stirreth inwardly in the heart. And this faith is not without hope and trust in God, nor without the love of God and of our neighbours; nor without the fear of God, nor without the desire to hear God's word, and to follow the same, eschewing evil, and doing gladly all good works." Thus faith, according to these Homilies, is one with a spirit of godly fear and holy obedience also; and what makes this passage clearer is the circumstance that, whereas faith is here said to be "not without hope and trust," it was in the former passage said to be hope and trust, which shows that hope and trust are not to be taken as mere additions or consequences, but as characteristic appendages of justifying faith itself; therefore that godly fear and that holy obedience, which in this last passage it is said not to be "without," are to be taken as characteristics also. Elsewhere they are still more express: "There is one work in the which be all good works, that is, faith which worketh by charity. If thou have it, thou hast the ground of all good works; for the virtues of strength, wisdom, temperance, and justice, be all referred unto this same faith." [Note 6] Thus all "virtues," which are the "ground" of good works, exist in and with the faith that justifies. {261}

Such is the view taken of justifying faith in the Homilies, as extended out into that circle of graces of which it becomes the outline and peculiarity; whereas the Roman Church views it in that outline taken separately. The Homilies, being popular discourses, speak of it practically; Rome, speaking theologically, traces it to its elements. The one views it in the abstract, the other as it is in fact; the one considers it as the faith of the regenerate, the other as regenerate faith. Either notion is intelligible, whichever is the more advisable; but what is not at all intelligible is the notion of the Protestant schools, which makes it neither the one nor the other, but more than one, and less than the other, something between abstract and concrete, not mere assent to God's word, yet not so much as obedience, not bare faith, yet not living. Its upholders indeed boldly call their justifying faith, living, and reject the notion of its being bare faith; so far is well; but then they go on to define it to be mere trust, or a fiduciary apprehension of Gospel mercy, which, though certainly more than bare faith, is not necessarily living. It will be said that our Homilies sometimes so speak of it; certainly they do, but they are popular addresses. It is quite another thing when statements, which contain a true and impressive teaching, are taken as adequate and accurate definitions of the matter in hand. No such statements occur in our Articles; they do occur in the German Confessions [Note 7] from which the {262} Articles are taken. The silence then of the Articles is significant. What I am here speaking of is a formal declaration that faith is trust; and I ask on what intelligible principle is it that the Divines who make it, leave assent without going on to obedience? Why, if they begin to tint their outline, do they not finish the colouring? why, if they will consider it as confident assurance, do they not allow it, as the Homilies allow it, to represent hope, love, joy, peace, thanksgiving, devotedness, and all kinds of virtue, whatever indeed is necessary for "the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ"? Why do they say it only works by love and results in obedience, if they maintain that it is trust? why must trust be part of its essence, yet love and obedience external to it? why must trust be any more than its necessary exhibition, if obedience is to be considered as nothing more? why should it cease to be justifying faith if called love or obedience, yet not if it be called trust? Yet such is the way of viewing it, to which multitudes have accustomed themselves. They escape from the strict definition, then pitch {263} their tent in the very middle of their route, dread to go forward, and fire up at the very notion of going back, and have recourse to cries of alarm, protestations, and threats, if any the most gentle persuasion or most intelligible reasonings be used to turn them one way or the other.


This then is the false position, if I may so speak, which the schools in question have taken up. Their idea of faith is a mere theory, neither true in philosophy nor in fact; and hence it follows that their whole theology is shadowy and unreal. I do not say that there is no such thing as a trusting in Christ's mercy for salvation, and a comfort resulting from it. This would be resisting what we may witness daily, and what, under circumstances, it is our duty to exercise. Bad and good feel it. What is so unreal, is to say that it is necessarily a holy feeling, that it can be felt by none but the earnest, that a mere trust, without anything else, without obedience, love, self-denial, consistent conduct, conscientiousness, that this mere trust in Christ's mercy, existing in a mind which has as yet no other religious feeling, will necessarily renew the soul and lead to good works. This is the mere baseless and extravagant theory I speak of. Men may be conscious they trust; they may be conscious they gain comfort from trusting; they cannot be conscious that such a trust is of a practical character; they cannot be conscious that it changes the heart. The event alone determines this. That it raises present emotions they may be conscious; that it is such as permanently to impress their inner man they cannot know, {264} except they be prophets; for that is a thing future. It may, or it may not; and it is pernicious to say it must. However, to enter into its practical results is beside my present subject.

Viewed in its theological aspect, in which it is now before us, the Protestant account will be found to give a character of vagueness and equivocation to the whole system built upon it. What indeed can be expected but arbitrary distinctions and unreal subtleties in the conformation of a theology, which has a flaw in its leading principle, which starts with maintaining that faith is, what nothing ever was or can be, an abstraction in actual existence,—an object or thing which contains in it in fact only what the name contains,—an aspect, side, quality, and property standing by itself,—and, as if this were not enough, which lays down, when we go on to inquire what faith is, that it is mere trust, and yet necessarily spiritual? Hence, not unnaturally, it is a source of never-ending disputes between persons who seem to agree together, yet go away and act differently, and still wonder why they differ. I describe faith, and another describes it, and perhaps we even use the same terms, yet agree in nothing else. Why is this? because I aim at contemplating things as they are, and must be, in their embodied form; and he, on the contrary, has a notion that he may seize a certain portion of the idea conveyed by the word faith, more than assent, less than obedience, and may give it a substantive existence, and carry it on to results such as he pleases to assign to it.

The one view then differs from the other as the likeness of a man differs from the original. The picture resembles {265} him; but it is not he. It is not a reality, it is all surface. It has no depth, no substance; touch it, and you will find it is not what it pretends to be. When I assign an office to faith, I am not speaking of an abstraction or creation of the mind, but of something existing. I wish to deal with things, not with words. I do not look to be put off with a name or a shadow. I would treat of faith as it is actually found in the soul; and I say it is as little an isolated grace, as a man is a picture. It has a depth, a breadth, and a thickness; it has an inward life which is something over and above itself; it has a heart, and blood, and pulses, and nerves, though not upon the surface. All these indeed are not spoken of, when we make mention of faith; nor are they painted on the canvas; but they are implied in the word, because they exist in the thing. What has been observed above, of the distinction between the meaning of the word and of the thing, righteousness, applies here. Love and fear, and heavenly-mindedness, and obedience, and firmness, and zeal, and humility, are as certainly one with justifying faith, considered as a thing existing, as bones, muscles, and vital organs, are necessary to that outward frame of man which meets the eye, though they do not meet it. Love and fear and obedience are not really posterior to justifying faith for even a moment of time, unless bones or muscles are formed after the countenance and complexion. It is as unmeaning to speak of living faith, as being independent of newness of mind, as of solidity as divisible from body, or tallness from stature, or colour from the landscape. As well might it be said that an arm or a foot can exist {266} out of the body, and that man is born with only certain portions, head or heart, and that the rest accrues afterwards, as that faith comes first and gives birth to other graces. This illustration holds with only one limitation; that faith, though connatural with other graces, has a power of reacting upon them, by placing more constraining objects before them, as motives to their more vigorous exercise.

This then is what is meant by the doctrine that faith is not justifying unless informed or animated by love; isolated or bare faith being impossible in a Christian, or in any one else, and existing only in our conceptions, and not being a grace or virtue when so conceived. That such is the doctrine of Scripture has been variously shown in the discussion of the subjects which have come before us. Here I will but cite two celebrated passages from St. James and St. Paul. St. Paul says, "Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing." And St. James, after warning his brethren against "holding the faith" of Christ "in respect of persons," that is, in an unloving spirit, as the context shows, proceeds to say, that it is "perfected by works," and that "without works" it is "dead," as a body without the soul. That is, as the presence of the soul changes the nature of the dust of the earth, and makes it flesh and blood, giving it a life which otherwise it could not have, so love is the modelling and harmonizing principle on which justifying faith depends, and in which it exists and acts.


I conclude, then, by stating what is, as I conceive, the {267} special fruit or work of faith under the Gospel, and its influence upon the Christian; in doing which I shall assume, what this is not the place to prove, that it is an original means of knowledge, not resolvable into sense, or the faculty of reasoning, confirmed indeed by experience, as they are, but founded on a supernaturally implanted instinct; an instinct developed by religious obedience, and leading the mind to the word of Christ and of His Apostles as its refuge.

The Gospel, then, as contrasted with all religious systems which have gone before and come after, even those in which God has spoken, is specially the system of faith and "the law of faith," and its obedience is the "obedience of faith," and its justification is "by faith," and it is a "power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." For at the time of its first preaching the Jews went by sight and the Gentiles by reason; both might believe, but on a belief resolvable into sight or reason,—neither went simply by faith. The Greeks sought after "wisdom," some original and recondite philosophy, which might serve as an "evidence" or ground of proof for "things not seen." The Jews, on the other hand, "required a sign," some sensible display of God's power, a thing of sight and touch, which might be "the substance," the earnest and security "of things hoped for." They wanted some carnal and immediate good, as "the praise of men;" for this they did their alms, fasted and prayed, not looking on to witnesses unseen, but for an earthly reward; or, if they wrought for God, it was in a grudging, calculating way, as if to make their services go as far as possible, resting in them as ends, and {268} suspicious of God as of a hard or unjust Master. Such was the state of the world, when it pleased Almighty God, in furtherance of His plan of mercy, to throw men's minds upon the next world, without any other direct medium of evidence than the word of man claiming to be His; to change the face of the world by what the world called "the foolishness of preaching" and the unreasoning zeal and obstinacy of faith, using a principle in truth's behalf which in the world's evil history has ever been the spring of great events and strange achievements. Faith, which in the natural man has manifested itself in the fearful energy of superstition and fanaticism, is in the Gospel grafted on the love of God, and made to mould the heart of man into His image.


The Apostles then proceeded thus:—they did not rest their cause on argument; they did not rely on eloquence, wisdom, or reputation; nay, nor did they make miracles necessary to the enforcement of their claims [Note 8]. They did not resolve faith into sight or reason; they contrasted it with both, and bade their hearers {269} believe, sometimes in spite, sometimes in default, sometimes in aid, of sight and reason. They exhorted them to make trial of the Gospel, since they would find their account in so doing [Note 9]. And of their hearers "some believed the things which were spoken, some believed not." Those believed whose hearts were "opened," who were "ordained to eternal life;" those did not whose hearts were hardened. This was the awful exhibition of which the Apostles and their fellow workers were witnesses; for faith, as a principle of knowledge, cannot be exactly analyzed or made intelligible to man, but is the secret, inexplicable, spontaneous movement of the mind (however arising) towards the external word,—a movement not to the exclusion of sight and reason, for the miracles appeal to both, nor of experience, for all who venture for Christ receive daily returns of good in confirmation of their choice, but independent of sight or reason before, or of experience after. The Apostles appealed to men's hearts, and, according to their hearts, so they answered them. They appealed to their secret belief in a superintending providence, to their hopes and fears thence resulting; and they professed to reveal to them the nature, personality, {270} attributes, will, and works of Him "whom their hearers ignorantly worshipped." They came as commissioned from Him, and declared that mankind was a guilty and outcast race,—that sin was a misery,—that the world was a snare,—that life was a shadow,—that God was everlasting,—that His Law was holy and true, and its sanctions certain and terrible;—that He also was all-merciful,—that He had appointed a Mediator between Him and them, who had removed all obstacles, and was desirous to restore them, and that He had sent themselves to explain how. They said that that Mediator had come and gone; but had left behind Him what was to be His representative till the end of all things, His mystical Body, the Church, in joining which lay the salvation of the world. So they preached, and so they prevailed; using indeed persuasives of every kind as they were given them, but resting at bottom on a principle higher than the senses or the reason. They used many arguments, but as outward forms of something beyond argument. Thus they appealed to the miracles they wrought, as sufficient signs of their power, and assuredly divine, in spite of those which other systems could show or pretended. They expostulated with the better sort on the ground of their instinctive longings and dim visions of something greater than the world. They awed and overcame the passionate by means of what remained of heaven in them, and of the involuntary homage which such men pay to the more realized tokens of heaven in others. They asked the more generous-minded whether it was not worth while to risk something on the chance of augmenting and perfecting {271} those precious elements of good which their hearts still held; and they could not hide what they cared not to "glory in," their own disinterested sufferings, their high deeds, and their sanctity of life. They won over the affectionate and gentle by the beauty of holiness, and the embodied mercies of Christ as seen in the ministrations and ordinances of His Church. Thus they spread their nets for disciples, and caught thousands at a cast; thus they roused and inflamed their hearers into enthusiasm, till "the Kingdom of Heaven suffered violence, and the violent took it by force." And when these had entered it, many of them, doubtless, would wax cold in love, and fall away; for many had entered only on impulse; many, with Simon Magus, on wonder or curiosity; many from a mere argumentative belief, which leads as readily into heresy as into the Truth. But still, those who had the seed of God within them, would become neither offences in the Church, nor apostates, nor heretics; but would find day by day, as love increased, increasing experience that what they had ventured boldly amid conflicting evidence, of sight against sight, and reason against reason, with many things against it, and more things for it, they had ventured well. The examples of meekness, cheerfulness, contentment, silent endurance, private self-denial, fortitude, brotherly love, perseverance in well-doing, which would from time to time meet them in their new kingdom,—the sublimity and harmony of the Church's doctrine,—the touching and subduing beauty of her services and appointments,—their consciousness of her virtue, divinely imparted, upon themselves, in subduing, {272} purifying, changing them,—the bountifulness of her alms-giving,—her power, weak as she was and despised, over the statesmen and philosophers of the world,—her consistent and steady aggression upon it, moving forward in spite of it on all sides at once, like the wheels in the Prophet's vision, and this in contrast with the ephemeral and variable outbreaks of sectarianism [Note 10],—the unanimity and intimacy existing between her widely-separated branches,—the mutual sympathy and correspondence of men of hostile nations and foreign languages,—the simplicity of her ascetics, the gravity of her Bishops, the awful glory shed around her Martyrs, and the mysterious and recurring traces of miraculous agency here and there, once and again, according as the Spirit willed,—these and the like persuasives acted on them day by day, turning the whisper of their hearts into an habitual conviction, and establishing in the reason what had been begun in the will. And thus has the Church been upheld ever since by an appeal to the People,—to the necessities of human nature, the anxieties of conscience, and the instincts of purity; forcing upon Kings a sufferance or protection which they fain would dispense with, and upon Philosophy a grudging submission and a reserved and limited recognition. {273}


Such was the triumph of Faith, spreading like a leaven through the thoughts, words, and works of men, till the whole was leavened. It did not affect the substance of religion; it left unaltered both its external developments and its inward character; but it gave strength and direction to its lineaments. The sacrifice of prayer and praise, and the service of an obedient heart and life, remained as essential as before; but it has infused a principle of growth. It has converted grovelling essays into high aspirings,—partial glimpses into calm contemplation,—niggard payments into generous self-devotion. It enjoined the law of love for retaliation; it put pain above enjoyment; it supplanted polygamy by the celibate; it honoured poverty before affluence, the communion of Saints before the civil power, the next world before this. It made the Christian independent of all men and all things, except of Christ; and provided for a deeper humility, while it supplied an overflow of peace and joy.

Top | Contents | Works | Home


1. [hosper ophthalmos deitai photos epideiknuntos ta horata, outo de au kai ho nous deitai pisteos epideiknuouses ta deia, kai ten peri touton doxan phulattouses bebaian].—Theodor. adv. Gent. i. p. 714.
Return to text

2. Vid. the author's Essay on Assent, ch. viii. ž 2, pp. 272-275.
Return to text

3. Luther and Calvin both virtually grant that faith and hope are inseparable, or parts of one thing, though Luther, and perhaps Calvin, deny this of faith and love. "Reipsa igitur fides et spes vix discerni possunt, et tamen est aliquod discrimen inter ipsas … Sicut … in politia prudentia sine fortitudine vana est, ita fides in Theologia sine Spe nihil est, quin spes fert et perdurat in malis et vincit ea. Et vicissim, sicut fortitudo sine prudentia temeritas est, ita spes sine fide prŠsumptio in spiritu.—Luth. in Gal. v. 5. Fieri non poterit quin spem ŠternŠ salutis comitem secum habeat individuam, vel potius ex se gignat et exerat, etc.—Calv. Instit. iii. 2, ž 42. As to faith producing hope, this, supposing they are parts of one, is a distinction merely in the way of viewing it.
Return to text

4. Calvin attempts to overcome this obvious inference thus: Quoniam res maxime dubia est, uno verbo statuimus, eos inepte loqui quum fidem formari dicunt, accessione piŠ affectionis ad assensum facta; quum assensio quoque pia affectione constet.—Instit. ii. 2, 8. That is, assent is not made justifying by the presence of spiritual feeling, because justifying assent consists in spiritual feeling. Bucer is not more successful. Vera utique fides, certaque de Dei erga nos bonitate persuasio, illico ex se ejus quoque summum amorem ac reverentiam gignit, studiumque omnium quŠ Deo probantur, et odium eorum quŠ ille detestatur.—Enar. in Matt. viii. f. 83. Jackson puts the case clearly in his definition of faith, as "a firm and constant assent or adherence unto the mercies and loving-kindness of the Lord, or generally to the spiritual food exhibited in His sacred word, … grounded upon a taste or relish of their sweetness, wrought in the soul or heart of man by the Spirit of Christ."—B. iv. c. 9, p. 667. Jackson, however, does not allow this "taste of their sweetness" to involve love; but this seems a question of words. (Vide supra, p. 236, note.)
Return to text

5. Sermon of Faith, Part I.
Return to text

6. Of Good Works, Part I. [This is "fides formata," which is justifying.]
Return to text

7. Et fidei vocabulum, non solum cognitionem historiŠ de Christo significat, sed etiam credere et assentiri huic promissioni, quŠ est Evangelii propria, in qua propter Christum nobis promittuntur remissio peccatorum, justificatio, et vita Šterna.—Conf. August. 2, 1540. Illa fides, quŠ justificat, non est tantum notitia historiŠ sed est assentiri promissioni Dei.—Apol. Conf. August. HŠc fides simul est fiducia acquiescens in Mediatore.—Confess. Saxon. Jackson says that "confidence, fiducia, or trust," is "so nearly allied to faith, that some include it in the essence or formal signification of the word in the learned tongues; which opinion may seem to have some countenance from the Book of Homilies. But what there is said of faith to this purpose is a popular description, not an accurate or artificial definition, like as also we may not think the author of those Homilies meant formally and essentially to define faith, when he said that 'faith is a firm hope,' for so in the same place doth he describe it."—B. iv. ch. 10, s. 6, p. 673. Jackson differs in some points from the view contained in these Lectures.
Return to text

8. Vid. Acts xvii. 23; xxiv. 25. Paley, whose work on the Evidences is founded on the notion that the miracles wrought by Christ and His Apostles are to be the ground of our faith, feels the difficulty that in fact they were not so accounted in early times. After quoting passages of the Fathers in his favour, he adds, ''I am ready, however, to admit that the ancient Christian advocates did not insist upon the miracles in argument so frequently as I should have done. It was their lot to contend with notions of magical agency, against which the mere production of the facts was not sufficient for the convincing of their adversaries. I do not know whether they themselves thought it quite decisive of the controversy."—Part iii. c. 5, fin. Then on what did they believe? Again: are not philosophical objections as cogent now against miracles as the belief in magic then?
Return to text

9. [poteron beltion estin autois alogos pisteuousi katestalthai pos ta ethe kai ophelesthai, dia ten peri ton kolazomenon epi hamartiais kai timomenon epi ergois chrestois pistin, e me prosiesthai auton ten epistrophen meta philes pisteos, heos an epidosin heautous exetasei logon ... he peri tou ta kreittona kai ta kat' euchen apantesesthai pistis tolmain pantas poiei, kai epi ta adela kai dunata allos sumbenai].—Orig. in Cels. i. 9-11.
Return to text

10. [esbesto men gar autika, pros autes energeias apelenchomena ta ton echthron epitechnemata, allon ep' allais aireseon kainotomoumenon; huporrheouson aei ton proteron, kai eis polutropous kai polumorphous ideas allote allos phtheiromenon; proeiei d' eis auxesin kai melethos, aei kata ta auta kai hosautos exhousa, he tes katholou kai mones alethous ekklesias lamprotes, to semnon kai eilikrines kai eleutherion, to te sophron kai katharon tes entheou politeias te kai philosophias eis hapan genos 'Ellenon te kai barbaron apostilbousa].—Euseb. Hist. iv. 7, fin.
Return to text

Top | Contents | Works | Home

Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright ę 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.