As it was in the beginning, so it will be to the end. The form of the warfare may differ, the secret spring remains the same. Unbelief may become
courteous, smooth, easy, compromising. The softness of the age may dislike the hardness even of unbelief. It will leave the casket, while it steals
the jewel ; it will grant the shadow, so that it secure the substance ; it will respect the " idea, " while it abhors the reality ; it will do homage to a painted
lifeless semblance of truth, so that we will substitute its phantom for the living " truth, as it is in Jesus." But as faith is one, so unbelief is one. Mysteries
which the human mind cannot fathom ; absolute submission to the will of God; untampering acceptance of all, the minutest truths of God ; unchangeableness of the Faith amid the changes and progress
of human science ; oneness of the Faith amid the conflict of human opinions ; dealings of God, which man must adore, not scrutinize ; treasures of Divine
grace in earthen vessels ; reasonings which themselves spring from a hidden, illuminating, wisdom ; — the human unsanctified intellect hates these with an unvarying, deadly hatred ; it will scoff at what it dares, explain away, what the average reverence of the age will not allow to be treated with scorn, but never
will it accept them, until itself be changed by the All-Powerful Grace of God,
But our Lord still says to His own, " Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." Faith, being a Divine gift, is mightier than human reason.
You may often not yourselves be able to develop in words the grounds or the strength of your convictions. You may be tempted to be vexed or dis
quieted in yourselves, because words of God, which stamp the faith upon your own souls, seem to another, unconvincing ; or because truths, which to you areas your own souls, and are inwrought into your very souls and are a part of them, seem to others as "idle tales and they believe them not." The grounds of faith are often the more difficult to be produced in detail, even because Faith is a Divine Gift. The very deepest principles of Faith are often those which can least be analyzed. Faith was anterior to reasoning ; it is more comprehensive than reasoning ; it outlives reasoning. It is a centre to which allreasoning converges, which countless lines of reasoning intersect ; but itself contains them all, and is contained by none. The distinctive colours into
which faith's primal light can be resolved, may be counted ; but its piercing light and kindling gloware not in the resolved ray. Faith has a direct
power over the soul, and speaks to it, and is heard by it, because it is from God. Words of Scripture which express its truth touch a chord of he soul which cannot but respond, because it has been attuned to it by God. As when our Divine Lord was in the flesh, " the very Brightness and
Majesty of the hidden Divinity, which shone through His Human Countenance, drew at first sight" those unto Himself, all who had eyes to see it, and the Apostles were converted and left their all, and followed Him without delay, though they had seen no miracles nor any other token of Divine authority, so now too, His words speak to the ear of those who
are His, with a Divine force, because they are the living words of the Eternal Word.
The very presence of Faith is God's witness upon earth. He Who " out of the mouths of babes and sucklings perfected praise," and by " the weak things of the world confounds the things that are mighty," even now, overawes all but conceited unbelief, by the simple conviction of faith. Its dogmatism chafes the world, even because in the presence of its firm rootedness, the world feels the more its own unstayedness. If, but for a moment, amid the parting clouds of human opinions, theories, speculations, guesses, reasonings, the soul's eye catch but one glimpse of that deep azure sky of faith in its serenity,
it feels that it has seen something deeper, higher, calmer, clearer, of more piercing beauty, than all which sweeps over it and shrouds it at times from sight. For where opinion vacillates, scepticism suspects the truth, doubt misgives, reason argues, speculation clouds, imagination fails, there faith knowswhat it believes, more certainly than any object of the senses ; as certainly, although not as vividly as if God had quickened its eye to see what it shall see hereafter. Faith knows more certainly than the senses ; for the senses may deceive us, God cannot.