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Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
This is the great and momentous word in Scripture, which hath given rise to endless disputes, and employed the minds of men in all ages to explain; and yet to thousands still remains as obscure as ever. But notwithstanding: all that the bewildered and erroneous mind of man may say on faith, the scriptural account of faith is the simplest and plainest thing in the world. Faith is no more than the sincere and hearty assent and consent of the mind to the belief of the being and promises of God, as especially revealed to the church in the person and redemption, work of the Lord Jesus Christ. JEHOVAH, in his threefold character of person, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, hath mercifully been pleased to reveal himself as "forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin," and giving eternal life to the church in Christ Jesus. And these blessings are all declared to be in the person, and procured to the church by the sole undertaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the glorious Head of his body the church, the fulness of him "that filleth all in all."
The hearty, cordial, and sincere belief in these blessed truths of God is called faith, because it is giving credit to the testimony of God, and relying upon his faithfulness for the fulfilment of them. The apostle John, in his first Epistle, fifth chapter, and ninth and following verses, puts this doctrine in so clear a point of view, that, under divine teaching, if attended to, it would be impossible to mistake it. "If we receive (saith John) the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. He that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us, eternal life; and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life."
No form of words could have been more happily chosen to state what is the act of faith, and to put it in a clear and full light. Immense and unspeakable blessings are promised by God. It is not the greatness of the blessings which demands our faith, but the greatness of the Being promising. Indeed, the greater the blessings are, the greater would be the difficulty of believing, unless some other warrant and authority become the foundation for belief. The bottom, therefore, of all faith is, that what we are called upon to is that cannot lie; JEHOVAH that will not lie. An Almighty Promiser that never can out-promise himself. Hence, when Moses at the bush desired a confirmation of the truth, the Lord gave him to deliver to Israel, by knowing his name, and having such assurances to make to them as might silence every doubt. "Behold," (said he,) "when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you, and they shall say unto me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM." That is, I AM a being self-existing, and eternal; and which, therefore, gives a being to all my promises. So that this is the sure ground of faith. Not the greatness and blessedness of the promise; but the greatness, blessedness, and faithfulness of the Promiser. And to believe in the almighty Promiser in his assurances in Christ, is faith. I only add, however, under this article, that though faith is the simplest and plainest act of the mind, yet both the possession and the exercise of it is the gift of God. "Unto you," (saith an apostle,) "it is given to believe." (Philippians 1:29) And hence every truly awakened and regenerated believer finds daily reason, to cry out, as the apostle did to Christ, "Lord, increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5)
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Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Faith'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​pmd/​f/faith.html. London. 1828.