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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Faith and Present Knowledge

Religious faith, like natural faith, exists, not perhaps in opposition to, but in distinction from present knowledge. That is to say, in the exercise of faith, we do many things both in nature and religion, of the results of which we do not possess, at the present time, any certain foresight. If faith did not carry us beyond the reach of our own understanding, beyond the line of human reason, beyond what we can now perceive, it would not be faith; and those, who might walk within the circle described by that measurement, could not be said to walk by faith, but by sight.

The daughter of a celebrated physician was once attacked by a violent and dangerous fever; but she exhibited great resignation and tranquillity. She said, she was ignorant of what might effect her cure; and if it were left to herself to prescribe, she might desire remedies which would be prejudicial. Shall I not gain every thing, she added, by abandoning myself entirely to my father? He desires my recovery; he knows, much better than I do, what is adapted to the restoration of my health; and having confidence, therefore, that every thing will be done for me which can be done, I remain without solicitude either in reference to the means or the result. — This was an instance of natural faith; believing without knowing; and entirely peaceable and tranquil, while trusting itself in the hands of another. Religious faith, in like manner, trusts itself in the hands of God; knowing nothing and enduring all things, in the full confidence that it will be well in the end.

— edited from The Life of Faith (1852) Part 1, Chapter 3.

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