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 5, 2017

Faith Repels Contrary Suggestions

Faith implies the previous existence, in a greater or less degree, of perception and human reasoning. And such being the circumstances of its origin, it may properly be regarded as a principle or state of mind, entirely suitable to a reflecting and rational nature. But it ought to be remarked further, that, when faith, for its appropriate and adequate reasons, has attached itself to its appropriate objects, it does not allow itself to be driven from its position by any adverse suggestions, even when such suggestions are sustained by the imposing authority of thought and of deduction. This is particularly true of religious faith.

We illustrate the subject thus. We believe in God. That is to say, we believe in the fact of his existence. What we perceive, and what we feel, and what reason teaches us, leaves no doubt, that God is. To God, considered as an object of belief, faith attaches itself with the greatest firmness. Once having taken its position, it remains unchanged; in other words, it is, and it continues to be a fixed and controlling principle of the mind, notwithstanding reason may suggest many doubts as to the mode of his existence and the manner of his operation.

And in connection with this general view, I think we may lay down the principle, that the stronger our faith is, the less we are likely to be perplexed by such reasonings as have been indicated. We may suppose, in illustration of what has now been said, a case of this kind. A person, who has full faith in God, is afflicted by some great calamity. Reason is ready to inquire, why it is so, or suggest many doubts as to its justice. But strong faith, having its source in appropriate and adequate grounds of origin, and resting in the general idea of God’s truth and justice and goodness, repels all such suggestions at once; and maintains the soul in quietness and Christian strength.

The Life of Faith (1852) Part 1, Chapter 14.

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