Friday, May 14, 2010

By Faith

Now faith is 'the assurance of things hoped for'. It helps to be content before we receive our distant and future comforts. A Christian has tasted how sweet God is in Christ, therefore he groans after the full enjoyment of him. Faith is, in every way, as sure as actual fulfilment, though not as sweet. In faith, a believer waits as long as God has anything for him to do in this world, upon this security of faith. It is true he is in a strait, and his desires press him, yet he will wait. Thus St. Paul:'I am hard pressed ... to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better' (Phil. 1:23-24). Many men say they believe this, but alas, how does that belief influence him? Does it affect him like things that are present and enjoyable do? Alas, in general, things temporal work more upon us that things eternal, and the things visible than things invisible. A small matter will prove to be a temptation, and a little pleasure or profit will greatly motivate us. We do not have half the seriousness in spiritual things as in earthly. Surely men do not cherish heaven since they labour and care for it so little. Alas! They live as if they have never heard of such a thing, or do not believe what they hear, since every toy and trifle is preferred before it. If a poor man understood that some great inheritance was bequeathed to him, would he not often think of it, and rejoice in it and long to take possession of it? The promise of eternal life is left with us in the gospel, but who puts in for a share? Who longs for it? Who takes hold of it? Who gives all diligence to make sure of it? Who desires to go and see it? O, that I might be dissolve, and be with Christ! If these hopes have so little an influence on us, it is a sign we do not cherish them more in our hearts.

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