« AnteriorContinuar »
THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.
"The just shall live by faith."
HEBREWS X, 38.
"Now abideth faith."
I CORINTHIANS, xiii, 13.
HE just shall live by faith. The word just means the righteous man, the man of integrity, the man who is trying to do right, and who is living to the level of his best thought. Faith, whatever it is, is something which he is to live by, to use every day as he is to use his hand to touch and grasp, and as he uses his eye to see and his ear to hear. Faith is not something to be put on as your Sunday coat, that you are to approach as you do the Sabbath day, with a certain formality and custom. Faith is something which is to stand intimately related to the daily uses of the human soul. Now, the word faith, familiar as it is to us, has certain varying meanings. It may mean trust or confidence. One man has faith in another, that is, he believes in the man's integrity, his honesty of dealing, his truth of word, and he trusts him with his property, with his person, with his honor. That is faith in Faith, however,
its simplest and most natural form. may be another thing. The convictions on which a trust rests to those are sometimes given the name
faith. My faith is my belief. On it I rest my confidence and my trust. My belief is in the truth of a certain thing, in the body of truths which are offered for my acceptance. The sum of my convictions makes my faith, and so the word faith is sometimes used in this way. "The Christian faith," the body of its doctrine, the sum of its teachings, the gathering together of its great truths-these make up, if we could only know what they are, the Christian faith, the faith once delivered to the saints.
Again, I say, on these convictions we rest our confidence, our trust. And faith has yet another meaning, and it is this: it is that power or faculty by means of which we see things that can not be seen by the eye and hear things that can not be heard by the ear. It is that power or faculty by which we penetrate the outlying, invisible or spiritual world, and bring back to the soul reports of what is to be found therein. Here are three uses of the word faith. They are interlinked. One depends upon the other. With this power or faculty of the soul, we enter into the great spiritual world and bring back certain truths, and these being tested by life, become to us convictions or confidences, and on them we rest our lives or our trust.
First, then, goes this searcher of the invisible, this fine faculty, this persistent power, of the nature of which we know very little, and can not define, out into the outlying, invisible or spiritual world, and brings back to us certain reports. We test these in life. We prove our soul by experiment. Some of them are false reports. Some of them are intermixed with error. Some of them are actual and awful truths. These sink down into our nature, as they have into the soul of the world, and become its great convictions, its abiding truths, and it is these which lead us to trust nature and God.