Many things will combine to wrest it from you, my younger brethren. Through one thing only can you hold it, the grace of God. New, though false, lights dazzle at the outset of life; novelty attracts ; the old faith may be pictured to you as antiquated ; a strict oneness of faith as illiberal ; the very Love of God is set in array against the Revelation of God, as though God could not mean what yet He has said ; belief in God, as He has revealed Himself, may be pictured to you as derogatory to God. "Go not after them, nor follow them," is your Saviour's warning as to those who shall come in His Name, and whom He hath not sent. Old must the faith be, since as soon as man needed redemption, the Redeemer was promised, and the truths of the Gospel lay implicitly involved in the revelation to Adam; and He Who eighteen hundred years ago, more fully declared it as the power of God unto salvation, changeth not. "One" must it be, for contradictories cannot both be true, and He has said, there is "One Faith," as there is "One God " and "One Lord."

 

Independent it must be of the progress of the human mind, since Faith relates to eternal truths, about Which human reason would, by itself, dimly grope, the Being and the Ways of the Infinite, which human reason cannot grasp, nor fathom, nor survey, nor discover, nor re-order. Yet faith, too has progress as well as grace ; but as the reward of faith received, and grace well-used; faith for faith, and grace for grace. Simple faith which believes that it may understand, understands more and more by the help of God, because it believes. It longs to discover no new truths, but to love more deeply, and contemplate more truly, and cleave more constantly, and be conformed more wholly, to Him in Whom it has believed; and as it meditates, the fire kindles, and a ray from the Eternal Truth fills it with brightness, and light from the Eternal Light dissipates its remaining darkness, lays open what was hidden, makes plain what was doubtful, deepens what was believed, draws the soul on to love more deeply what, by the light of faith, it has seen, until faith brings it to the Palace of the Eternal King, where it beholds, face to Face, Him Whom it has believed, dwells in Him, on Whom it has dwelt, is joined for ever to Him, to Whom it here clave by love, the Co-Eternal Trinity, One God, Blessed for evermore. Amen.

Comment