The Trial Of Jesus: Its Value In The Foundation Of Faith -- By: Anonymous
BSac 56:222 (Apr 1899) p. 223
The Trial Of Jesus: Its Value In The Foundation Of Faith1
For more than eighteen hundred years, odium and anathema have been heaped on the Jews, in scorn for the infamous proceedings of their rulers, in their trial and condemnation of Jesus; and, at the present day, the mere announcement of a paper or address on that subject awakens at once a lively expectation of finding in it some new fuel to feed the old hate. So I hasten to disclaim any such purpose in this discussion.
On the contrary, I am persuaded, that, rightly viewed, the record of the trial of Jesus has (in the rational apprehension of God’s moral government) a function and place that exalts it into an essential and immediate connection with supreme and eternal things; so elevated and ennobling that, in their contemplation, the malignity shown by Christ’s enemies in his trial and crucifixion may, for the time at least, be overlooked, if not forgotten. This function or use of that record is the very simple and yet, as Christ uses it in his dispensation, the exalted function of testimony; But it is testimony which, because of the combination into which it enters and is essentially united, becomes an indispensable part of that sure foundation on which faith—faith in God, and Christ, and the Christian religion—may be safely built and securely rested.
BSac 56:222 (Apr 1899) p. 224
Lest I be thought to exalt too highly this element of evidence in connection with the process of engendering faith, 1 will make a brief attempt at analyzing one conception, at least, of faith: —that virtue that Christ so earnestly enjoins upon his followers. I conceive the Bible idea of faith to be not a single or simple, but a compound, virtue: compounded of belief and trust, in action; belief in some person or truth that maybe trusted in; and trusting in fact in such person or truth and committing one’s self to it seem to me the essential factors of the Bible idea of faith. If right in this, then we have two conceptions to deal with; namely, belief and trust. They are radically different in this: Trust is voluntary, a matter of the will. One may trust or refuse to trust as he wills. Not so with belief. Honest normal belief (such as we are here contemplating) is not voluntary, not a matter of the will; but such belief is a product, a product of testimony.
Analysis of any Bible example of faith will make this plain. Saul, fresh from participation in Stephen’s martyrdom, believed Jesus was not the Christ, but an impostor, and his alleged resurrection a wicked fabrication; so he persecuted Christ’s disciples. But the overwhelming evidence vouchsafed to Saul on the Damascus road when ...
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