Note 1. This Article consists of two parts—that which affirms the nature and Divine origin of Faith, and that which denies the error of Duty-faith.

In the first part, it is affirmed that upon chosen, blood- bought and heaven-born sinners a faculty or power is imparted called, “precious faith,” or, “the faith of (namely, that which is peculiar to, or characteristic of) God’s elect that this power is manifested in acts of spiritual belief or trust, one of which is specified, namely, believing in the Lord Jesus “to the saving of the soul and that salvation, (in its fullest and most comprehensive sense) is conjoined with it.

These weighty words involve many important truths.

That the Faith in question is “precious,” inasmuch as it differs, not only in its objects but in its nature, from the ordinary acts of credence and trust, of which the minds of natural or unregenerate men are capable.

That this Faith is not the supreme or highest exercise of the mental powers which belong to men as men, but is a distinct principle or faculty bestowed by the Holy Ghost on chosen redeemed, and heaven-born sinners, who obtain it through the righteousness of Christ.[1]

That the faculty of Faith, or the ability to believe, and the acts which spring from it, should be carefully distinguished.

That the possession of the principle of precious Faith leads to the act of belief in God, and trust in Jesus as the Saviour.

That Faith in its principle and actions is conjoined with salvation.

That the Holy Spirit who is the Author of Faith must energise this principle before acts of belief and trust can be performed.

These points are amplified and substantiated in the author’s Manual, pages 186—263, to which the reader is referred.

How far our convictions on this subject differ from what is currently held and taught by modern Christians, the reader will, it is hoped, be able to judge.

Granting the truth of what is advanced, it is evident that Faith is the fruit of Divine grace. Grace determined who should believe. (Acts 13:48; 2 Thess 2:13.) On these Grace confers the principle of Faith, (Eph 2:8 ; 1 Pet 1:1;) Grace calls forth this principle into acts of credence and trust, (Acts 18:27 ; Phil 1:29.)

The Gospel of Grace encourages and directs these acts, (Rom 10:17;[1] 1 Thess. 1:6.) Grace connects these acts with salvation. Grace must operate ere Faith can exist. Grace must influence ere Faith can act. Grace crowns with the promised blessing. (Rom 1:16; Heb 10:39; 1 Pet 1:9.)

[1] The doctrine that the believing acts of saved siuners result from the possession of a spiritual faculty or principle, is not (as some imagine) peculiar to ourselves, or even to Calvinists, as such.
Thus A. S. Paterson, A.M., (a moderate but firm Calvinist,) in his work on the Shorter Catechism, page 267, denies it, and contends that ‘‘saving Faith is neither more nor less than belief of the Gospelthat “there is no difference with respect to the manner of believing,” between it and ordinary credence and trust—“and that it is distinguished from ordinary faith only with respect to the object or thing believed.”
On the other hand, William Jones. M.A., of Nuyland— (1726-1800,) the great Hutchinsonian divine—and a pronounced opponent of Calvinism, writes:
“For an object to be admitted into the mind,” it must “find a faculty there which corresponds with its own peculiar nature.”
“For spiritual truth there must be a spiritual sense, and the Scripture calls this sense by the name of Faith—which word sometimes signifies the act of believing; sometimes the matter which is to be believed ; but in many cases it is used for that sense or capacity in the intellect by which the invisible things of the Spirit of God are admitted and approved.’* Works, 1801, vol. iv. pages 16. 17, and vol. vii. page 287.
[2] “Faith com6th by hearing, or rather, as in the Revised Version, “belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” A knowledge of the Gospel does not create the principle of Faith, but calls it forth into exercise—and that, not by any inherent efficiency in the report itself, but, “ by the Gospel’s coming in power, and in the Holy Ghost.” (1 Thess 1:6.)


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