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must be guided by God's Word or it is good for nothing. Faith in God's Word is a higher kind of piety than mere faith in God, which itself must be produced and instructed out of God's Word. The earlier revelation of faith, as we have it in the Scriptures, is under the general form of faith in God; the latter, more advanced and perfect, that of faith in Christ. Both forms are tied to God's Word. In connection with the later, the earlier passes into the later, and is perfected only in it; so that all true piety, the piety of the Bible, is piety towards Christ. In proportion as it takes that form, from the spontaneous experience of peace founded in God's Word, it becomes purer, truer, holier. In proportion as it neglects that form, that development, it approximates to mere Deism and Pantheism. Self-abnegation itself may become an extremely subtle, intellectual form of self-ambition, self-congratulation, self-rest.

The faith in God which is built upon faith in His word, and tied to that, is the only true faith, and the highest of all faith. The mind, in the view of some, may seem to be very much confined in being thus moored to the record; but in this confinement is the soul's true freedom and power. The kite, of which you hold the string in your hand, struggles to get free; but its only possibility of soaring is in this seeming bondage. While you hold it confined, it sustains its flight. When you cut the string, it bounds as if it had a new impulse upwards. Then it wavers and plunges with irregular wild movements this way and that, always falling, till it pitches headlong to the earth. Just so it is with faith, and with the human mind in relation to the Word of God. They who cut loose from it play the most fanciful and extraordinary vagaries. They seem, at first, sometimes, as if they had a sudden upward impulse. Then they plunge and dive irregularly in space, and for a season turn the world's gaze upon them, as if they were meteors. By and by they pitch headlong and motionless to the earth. Yet some of those who watch them are very much disposed to regard their wavering pitches and plunges as the daring and sublime efforts of original and adventurous minds, conscious of power and disdaining to be fettered.

Now it is faith in God's word, not merely in God, which is the very soul of the work of missions. The work of missions is a work of faith. It is faith that begins it, faith alone that sustains it. It is faith in God as revealed in His word, and faith in His word as His word. Destroy that, and the cause of missions stops; weaken that, and the cause of missions falters and declines; strengthen that, and the cause of missions goes forward as God's cause. It is that which has sent forth every true missionary that has left our shores. It is that which has created every missionary station under heaven. It is that which animates and holds up every true missionary of the gospel. The spirit of missions,

and the power of the missionary would be annihilated, if you could strike successfully at that. What man would ever go forth on a mission among the heathen, or endeavor to establish such a mission, who did not believe that the soul of the sinner, dying out of Christ, perishes everlastingly?

But, these, it may be said, are mere truisms. Who does not know this? Who does not admit this? Multitudes do not know it; multitudes admit it, without knowing it. There is nothing more generally received, and less experimentally known, than faith in God's Word, as the energizing, spiritual principle of the soul. Most men are content with faith in God, faith in Christ, as a personal Saviour, without laboring after the deep, powerful, and often painful experience of the word sharper than any two-edged sword, the word as a fire in the bones, a fire in the soul, a fire in the conscience. Some have greater faith in God's providence, than they have in God's word; the providence they are sure is from God, but concerning His word they are always doubtful.

Now the man who believes God, has greater faith and greater power, than he who merely believes in God, the God of providence. When a man says I believe God, you understand him as referring to some particular declarations that God has spoken, some words of God, some disclosures of God, addressed to him as a man. He believes what God has uttered. He believes it, because God has uttered it, not merely because his fancy or imagination, or judgment, or reason, persuade him that it is true; nor because historians, or geologists, or mathematicians tell him that it is true. If he believes it because men tell him that it is true, that would be believing men not God. He believes what God says of men, not what men say of God. Such a faith as this, we fear, is rare; a faith enshrined in God's Word, and which can cope with the world, though the world were up in arms against it, and with the god of this world, and the tempter and adversary of the soul, by this single weapon, It is written !

In this, as in all other graces, manifestations, and possessions of spiritual power, the Lord Jesus Christ himself is our great example. In this, as the Captain of our salvation, he was made perfect through suffering; he entered upon our trials, and grappled with the adversary of our souls, the father of lies, and the author and worker of unbelief and darkness. The first great trial of Christ's own faith, was whether He himself could stand solely upon and by the Word of God, whether He would hold to that as in all things His guide and the ground of His confidence, and not to any inward light, assurance, or self-confidence, apart from that, or the interpreter of it. "If thou be the Son of God," said the infernal tempter, "command these stones that they be Inade bread." "IT IS WRITTEN," answered Christ, "that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth

out of the mouth of God shall man live." It was thus that he launched the lightnings and thunderings of the Word against the taunting, daring, blaspheming fiend, the enemy of God and man, and drove him to his own world of darkness. IT IS WRITTEN.

The man

And in this particular quotation from the Old Testament, as binding upon himself, addressed to himself, in all things made like unto his brethren, He makes us see the universality and unending life of the Word of God, under every dispensation, and for all ages, and that the child of God may stand upon every part of it, and claim every part as his own, and use every part, as the sword of the Spirit of God, quick and powerful. Great is the might thus imparted to the soul, and wielded by it. who can stand upon the Word of God, simply and solely as His Word, and because it is His Word, without requiring any other demonstration in regard to the particular truth enunciated, either from experience within, or evidence abroad, possesses the secret of energy and of victory; a power of faith, and a shield of faith, against which all the fiery darts of satan are blunted, quenched, and fall harmless. The man who can say "I know it is so, because God has said it; you need not ply me with your objections, or rather, though you bring ever so many, they go with me for just nothing, because what I stand upon is here in God's Word, and nothing can weigh the weight of a feather against that," such a man is strong, he is unassailable, he is overwhelming.

Now it becomes a question of infinite importance, how we are to get this great faith, how feel it, how be masters of it, how obtain this unassailable confidence, as an element, fixture, and fire of the soul. In this we are most certainly thrown upon God. His Word itself leads us to Himself for all knowledge of Himself, without some degree of which we cannot discern Him in His Word, cannot see and feel his Word as His. 66 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." This spiritual vision and faith are the work of the Spirit of God; but in being the gift of God, and by being His gift, this faith becomes and is, at the same time, a natural element of character, a voluntary thing, the working of the will and the affections, as God works in them to believe, to will, and to do. True faith is not a creation, nor possession of the intellect, but of the heart, of God's Spirit in the heart. The witness of man cannot produce it, but only the witness of the Spirit can. And the Holy Spirit, according to God's promise in Isaiah, is always joined with the Word, so that, if the Word be used in humble dependence upon God, for His light and teaching in it, the Holy Spirit is always given with it.

No mere intellect, no mere intellectual speculation, ever attained to this faith, or ever will. An intellect, the proudest and strongest in the world, without a regenerate heart, might work

upon the Word of God a thousand years, and still be dark. The natural heart, the heart sinful, earthly, unbelieving, receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither knoweth them, because they are spiritually discerned. And here is the very nexus that ties this faith to power, here is the secret of its energy, here is the cause and account of its infinite importance and might as the element of the missionary character. It is a thing of the affections, it is a life, the life of God in the soul of man, indestructible, vital, a spiritual instinct, working as a nature, with all the inexpugnable, obstinate, and growing power of a nature. Therefore, though the intellect be weak, this faith may be very strong; though the soul may be, in the world's sense, ignorant; this faith, the soul's vision and knowledge through the affections, may be simple, undoubting, and as persuasive and overcoming as the light. Mere self is as blind as the mole, even in the greatest intellect, and in digging, always digs in the dark. This faith, which works by love, brings with it, both the light and the power of love. Hence, as a missionary element, it is unwearied, persevering, elastic, patient of difficulties, indomitable. Whatever portion of it exists, exists through a beating heart, in which Christ's words abide, and which abides in Christ.

Now even in natural things the union of mind and heart is strong. What, indeed, is true genius, but mind full of heart? And faith is the union of mind and heart, filled with the life of God, on fire with God's love, of which God's words, burning in it, are the fuel. Faith is the flame produced by God's words burning in the affections. Those words are as living coals, and the flame is as pure oxygen, serene, bright, intense, irresistible. So faith, in one sense, is an experience, and acts as an experience. It becomes the vлoστασis, the substantia of things hoped for, the ɛyzos, the demonstration, of things not seen. It is not the understanding in the common sense, nor the substance, in the common sense, of things hoped for, but the standing under; the thing that is under them, and bears them up as realities in the soul. Many persons mistake the ὑπόθησις, for the υπόστασις, the mere hypothesis, the speculation, for the substance, the creature of the intellect and imagination for the flame and reality of the words burning in the heart. Thence arises weakness, doubt, superficiality, wildness, uncertainty, fickleness, great theories often, and much vain knowledge, but little life. Thence the Word of God becomes a fog, or a bank of mist by night, instead of a fire; or rather, it is not the Word that becomes such, but the mere intellect, to which it appears such, and which sails about upon a sea of doubt, even amidst eternal realities.

It is manifest from several passages in Paul's epistles, especially, that to receive the Word of God as the Word of God, and not of man, this witness of the Spirit, and this faith consequent

upon it, are necessary. It is not belief in mere human testimony that constitutes this faith; indeed, to say that we believe a particular book to be the Word of God, because men say that it is, carries an absurdity on the face of it. Hence the sacred writers do not appeal to men for confirmation, but to God. "And my speech and my preaching," Paul says, "was not with enticing word's of man's wisdom, but in demonstrations of the Spirit and of power. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." Why was this? We may be sure it was not because the apostle could not have coped with Jews, or Greeks, or Romans, on the ground of mere human wisdom; for, reasoning in their own way, he could have overwhelmed them. There was no system in the world that had such incomparable, irresistible power of evidence, secular evidence, historical evidence, every kind of evidence that men ever appeal to. And, indeed, all other systems were systems of ineffable absurdity and nonsense, compared with the system of the gospel; and if in regard to the creation, or the nature of God, or the nature of matter and mind, Paul had chosen to go into a philosophical argument, he could have reasoned by metaphysical abstractions, and scientific demonstrations likewise, so powerfully, so luminously, and could have shown with such convincing light the insane folly of men's speculations, that the whole world would have been satisfied. But this was just what Paul would not do. He would have men's Christian faith to stand not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. And Christian faith could stand in no other way. There might have been a faith produced by Paul's speculations, after the taste and manner of the Grecians, a philosophic faith and admiration. But no mere reasoning, not even Paul's, and no mere array of evidences, not the most indisputable and impregnable, could have produced faith, Christian faith, faith in God. That is the exercise of a loving, contrite, humble heart, the work of God's Spirit in the heart. And the curse of weakness, nay, God's own curse, is upon any thing that usurps its place, anything that puts man's strength instead of God's, or that honors man's testimony rather than God's, or that makes God's testimony to depend upon man's. "Forasmuch as this people have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men, therefore behold I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid."

And this is a thing which comes to pass in every community, in every generation, among every people, however intellectual, where faith in man usurps the place of faith in God, where the Word of God is brought to the bar of human reason to be tried,

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