Faith And Its Semblances -- By: C. Walker

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 044:174 (Apr 1887)
Article: Faith And Its Semblances
Author: C. Walker


Faith And Its Semblances

Rev. C. Walker

The diversity of meaning and of opinion as to what is properly to be expressed by this word, is mainly among the philosophers and theologians. The popular notion, presented from the pulpit, trust in God, trust in Christ, in his person and word and promises, meets its demands practically. Often, however, in connection with this, there are additions that involve great confusion. A glance, first, at some of the modes in which it is described in Scripture may aid us in our investigation as to its true meaning.

I. Faith Is To Be Distinguished From Sight And Sense

“We walk not by sight, but by faith.” “He saw and believed.” “Thou hast believed because thou hast seen.” “We look at the things that are not seen.” “He endured as seeing Him who is invisible.”

Faith, here, is not contradictory or opposed to sight; is distinguished from it, contrasted with it. In some cases sight is preliminary to faith, but does not include it. “He saw and believed.” Others who saw, did not believe. In the former of these cases, through the medium of sight, the new and distinct element of faith found occasions of existence and operation.

So again, while faith sees the unseen, and is occupied with the supersensible, it is not thus occupied with all unseen realities. The unseen things of psychological and ethical, and even of physical science, are matters not of faith, but of knowledge. No physicist ever saw, or expects to see, a molecule or an atom—to touch, to taste, to smell, or to hear it. So, in many

other departments of human investigation and knowledge. There must be a peculiar element in unseen things, which relates them to faith, which properly makes them objects of faith; they are grounded as to their existence, to use the thought of President Hopkins’ in the character or mind of some person. ‘‘Faith is the substance,” ὑπόσταωσις, the substantial reality in the mind “of things hoped for,” and the “conviction ἔλεγχος of things unseen,” not all things hoped for and unseen, but of those revealed in the Divine Word, and coming from or contained in the Divine Person.

Seen things, things of sense, may thus lead to faith, and unseen things may be known where there is no faith. Seen things may reveal a person and produce faith; unseen things misrepresenting or hiding such person, may lead to positive unbelief. The infidel may easily find material for his scepticism in the region of the supersensible; and the believer in that of the seen and visible for his faith.

II. Faith Is To Be Distin...
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