— edited from The Life of Faith (1852) Part 1, Chapter 1.
The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Degrees of Natural Faith
Natural faith, which is always the same in its nature or essence, exists in different degrees. And this is so truly and distinctly the case, that we frequently employ different names as expressive of the different degrees of credence, which we yield. Differences in the degree of belief depend chiefly upon differences in the evidence, which is presented before the mind. And as the evidence in its different kinds is greater or less, we are in the habit of designating the resulting belief by names appropriate to its strength, such as presumption, slight or strong presumption, probability, low or high probability, and certainty. The same inward consciousness, which teaches us the nature of faith, indicates also the degree of it. And in accordance with this general view, which is scripturally as well as philosophically correct, we very frequently and very properly speak of a person’s faith in reference to its degree; describing one person as a man of strong faith and another as a man of weak or small faith, or by some other epithets intermediate in signification.