The Biblical Doctrine of Faith

by B.B. Warfield

I. The Philological Expression of Faith

The verb ' to believe' in the Authorized Version of the Old Testament uniformly represents the Hebrew pax?, Hiphil of IteK, except, of course, in Dan. vi. 23 where it represents the corresponding Aramaic form. The root, which is widely spread among the Semitic tongues, and which in the word 'Amen' has been adopted into every language spoken by Christian, Jew, or Mohammedan, seems everywhere to convey the fundamental ideas of 'fixedness, stability, steadfastness, reliability.' What the ultimate conception is which underlies these ideas remains somewhat doubtful, but it would appear to be rather that of 'holding' than that of 'supporting' (although this last is the sense adopted in " Oxf. Heb. Lex."). In the simple species the verb receives both transitive and intransitive vocalization. With intransitive vocalization it means 'to be firm,' 'to be secure,' 'to be faithful,' and occurs in biblical Hebrew only in the past participle, designating those who are 'faithful' (II Sam. xx, 19, Ps. xii. 1, xxxi. 23). With transitive vocalization it occurs in biblical Hebrew only in a very specialized application, conveying the idea, whether as participle or verbal noun, of 'caretaking' or 'nursing' (II Kings x. 1, 5, Est. ii. 7, Ru. iv. 16, II Sam. iv. 4, Num. xi. 12, Isa. xlix. 23, Lam. iv. 5; cf. II Kings xviii. 16 'pillars' and [the Niphal] Isa. lx. 4), the implication in which seems to be that of 'holding,' 'bearing,' 'carrying.' The Niphal occurs once as the passive of transitive Qal (Isa. lx. 4): elsewhere it is formed from intransitive Qal, and is used very much in the same sense. Whatever holds, is steady, or can be depended upon, whether a wall which securely holds a nail (Isa. xxii. 23, 25), or a brook which does not fail (Jer. xv. 18), or a kingdom which is firmly established (II Sam. vii. 16), or an assertion which has been verified (Gen. xlii. 20), or a covenant which endures for ever (Ps. lxxxix. 28), or a heart found faithful (Neh. ix. 8), or a man who can be trusted (Neh. xiii. 13), or God Himself who keeps covenant (Deut. vii. 9), is nags. The Hiphil occurs in one passage in the primary-physical sense of the root (Job xxxix. 24). Elsewhere it bears constantly the sense of 'to trust,' weakening down to the simple 'to believe' (Ex. iv. 31, Ps. cxvi. 10, Isa. vii. 9, xxviii. 16, Hab. i. 5). Obviously it is a subjective causative, and expresses the acquisition or exhibition of the firmness, security, reliability, faithfulness which lies in the root-meaning of the verb, in or with respect to its object. The r»K» is therefore one whose state of mind is free from faintheartedness (Isa. vii. 9) and anxious haste (Isa. xxviii. 16), and who stays himself upon the object of his contemplation with confidence and trust. The implication seems to be, not so much that of a passive dependence as of a vigorous active commitment. He who, in the Hebrew sense, exercises faith, is secure, assured, confident (Deut. xxviii. 66, Job xxiv. 22, Ps. xxvii. 13), and lays hold of the object of his confidence with firm trust.

The most common construction of pagfl is with the preposition and in this construction its fundamental meaning seems to be most fully expressed. It is probably never safe to represent this phrase by the simple ' believe'; the preposition rather introduces the person or thing in which one believes, or on which one believingly rests as on firm ground. This is true even when the object of the affection is a thing, whether divine words, commandments, or works (Ps. cvi. 12, cxix. 66, lxxviii. 32), or some earthly force or good (Job xxxix. 12, xv. 31, xxiv. 22, Deut. xxviii. 66). It is no less true when the object is a person, human (I Sam. xxvii. 12, Prov. xxvi. 25, Jer. xii. 6, Mic. vii. 5) or superhuman (Job iv. 18, xv. 15), or the representative of God, in whom therefore men should place their confidence (Ex. xix. 9, II Chron. xx. 20). It is above all true, however, when the object of the affection is God Himself, and that in differently whether or not the special exercise of faith adverted to is rooted in a specific occasion (Gen. xv. 6, Ex. xiv. 31, -Num. xiv. 11, xx. 12, Deut. i. 32, II Kings xvii. 14, II Chron. xx. 20, Ps. lxxviii. 22, Jon. hi. 5). The weaker conception of 'believing' seems, on the other hand, to lie in the construction with the preposition b, which appears to introduce the person or thing, not on which one confidingly rests, but to the testimony of which one assentingly turns. This credence may be given by the simple to every untested word (Prov. xiv. 15); it may be withheld until seeing takes the place of believing (I Kings x. 7, II Chron. ix. 6); it is due to words of the Lord and of His messengers, as well as to the signs wrought by them (Ps. cvi. 24, Isa. liii. 1, Ex. iv. 8, 9). It may also be withheld from any human speaker (Gen. xiv. 26, Ex. iv. 1, 8, Jer. xl. 14, II Chron. xxxii. 15), but is the right of God when He bears witness to His majesty or makes promises to His people (Isa. xliii. 10, Deut. ix. 23). In this weakened sense of the word the proposition believed is sometimes attached to it by the conjunction , 3 (Ex. iv. 5, Job ix. 16, Lam. iv. 12). In its construction with the infinitive, however, its deeper meaning comes out more strongly (Judg. xi. 20, Job xv. 22, Ps. xxvii. 13), and the same is true when the verb is used absolutely (Ex. iv. 31, Isa. vii. 9, xxviii. 16, Ps. cxvi. 10, Job xxix. 24, Hab. i. 5). In these constructions faith is evidently the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

No hiphilate noun from this root occurs in the Old Testament. This circumstance need not in itself possess significance; the notions of 'faith' and 'faithfulness' lie close to one another, and are not uncommonly expressed by a single term (so -k'httls, fides, faith). As a matter of fact, however, 'faith,' in its active sense, can barely be accounted an Old Testament term. It occurs in the Authorized Version of the Old Testament only twice: Deut. xxxii. 20 where it represents the Hebrew and Hab. ii. 4 where it stands for the Hebrew rw&K; and it would seem to be really demanded in no passage but Hab. ii. 4. The v very point of this passage, however, is the sharp contrast which is drawn between arrogant self-sufficiency and faithful dependence on God. The purpose of the verse is to give a reply to the prophet's inquiry as to God's righteous dealings with the Chaldseans. Since it is by faith that the righteous man lives, the arrogant Chaldsean, whose soul is puffed up and not straight within him, cannot but be destined to destruction. The whole drift of the broader context bears out this meaning; for throughout this prophecy the Chaldsean is ever exhibited as the type of insolent self-assertion (i. 7, 11, 16), in contrast with which the righteous appear, certainly not as men of integrity and steadfast faithfulness, but as men who look in faith to God and trustingly depend upon His arm. The obvious reminiscence of Gen. xv. 6 throws its weight into the same scale, to which may be added the consent of the Jewish expositors of the passage. Here we have, therefore, thrown into a clear light the contrasting characteristics of the wicked, typified by the Chaldsean, and of the righteous: of the one the fundamental trait is self-sufficiency; of the other, faith. This faith, which forms the distinctive feature of the righteous man, and by which he obtains life, is obviously no mere assent. It is a profound and abiding disposition, an ingrained attitude of mind and heart towards God which affects and gives character to all the activities. Here only the term occurs in the Old Testament; but on this its sole occurrence it rises to the full height of its most pregnant meaning.


The extreme rarity of the noun 'faith' in the Old Testament may prepare us to note that even the verb 'to believe' is far from common in it. In a religious application it occurs in only some thirteen Old Testament books, and less than a score and a half times. The thing believed is sometimes a specific word or work of God (Lam. iv. 12, Hab. i. 5), the fact of a divine revelation (Ex. iv. 5, Job ix. 16), or the words or commandments of God in general (with a Ps. cvi. 12, cxix. 66). In Ex. xix. 9 and II Chron. xx. 20 God's prophets are the object of His people's confidence. God Himself is the object to which they believingly turn, or on whom they rest in assured trust, in some eleven cases. In two of these it is to Him as a faithful witness that faith believingly turns (Deut. ix. 23, Isa. xliii. 10).

In the remainder of them it is upon His very person that faith rests in assured confidence (Gen. xv. 6, Ex. xiv. 31, Num. xiv. 11, xx. 12, Deut. i. 32, II Kings xvii. 14, II Chron. xx. 20, Ps. lxxviii. 22, Jon. iii. 5). It is in these instances, in which the construction is with a, together with those in which the word is used absolutely (Ex. iv. 31, Isa. vii. 9, xxviii. 16, Ps. cxvi. 10), to which may be added Ps. xxvii. 13 where it is construed with the infinitive, that the conception of religious believing comes to its rights. The typical instance is, of course, the great word of Gen. xv. 6, 1 And Abram believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness'; in which all subsequent believers, Jewish and Christian alike, have found the primary example of faith. The object of Abram's faith, as here set forth, was not the promise which appears as the occasion of its exercise; what it rested on was God Himself, and that not merely as the giver of the promise here recorded, but as His servant's shield and exceeding great reward (xv. 1). It is therefore not the assentive but the fiducial element of faith which is here emphasized; in a word, the faith which Abram gave Jehovah when he 'put his trust in God' (eiricrTevaev rw 6eu> LXX), was the same faith which later He sought in vain at the hands of His people (Num. xiv. 11, cf. Deut. i. 32, II Kings xvii. 14), / and the notion of which the Psalmist explains in the parallel, 'They believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation' v (Ps. lxxviii. 22). To believe in God, in the Old Testament sense, is thus not merely to assent to His word, but with firm and unwavering confidence to rest in security and trustfulness upon Him.

In the Greek of the Septuagint TnareveLv takes its place as the regular rendering of pajgi an d is very rarely set aside in favour of another word expressing trust (Prov. xxvi. 25 irdBea-0at). In a few cases, however, it is strengthened by composition with a preposition (Deut. i. 32, Judg. xi. 20, II Chron. xx. 20, cf. Sir. i. 15, ii. 10 etc., I Mace. i. 30, vii. 16 etc., kfxino-Teveiv; Mic. vii. 5, KaTCLTTLVTevav) ; and in a few others it is construed with prepositions (ev tlvl, Jer. xii. 6, Ps. lxxviii. 22, Dan. vi. 23, I Sam. xxvii. 12, II Chron. xx. 20, Mic. vii. 5, Sir. xxxv. 21; It was by being thus made the vehicle for expressing the high religious faith of the Old Testament that the word was prepared for its New Testament use. For it had the slightest possible connection with religious faith in classical speech. Resting ultimately on a root with the fundamental sense of ' binding/ and standing in classical Greek as the common term for 'trusting,' 'putting faith in,' 'relying upon,' shading down into 'believing,' it was rather too strong a term for ordinary use of that ungenial relation to the gods which was characteristic of Greek thought, and which was substantively expressed by 7ri0Tis — the proper acknowledgment in thought and act of their existence and rights. For this vo^etv was the usual term, and the relative strength of the two terms may be observed in their use in the opening sections of Xenophon's "Memorabilia" (I. i. 1 and 5), where Socrates is charged with not believing in the gods whom the city owned (vofxi^eLv tovs deovs), but is affirmed to have stood in a much more intimate relation to them, to have trusted in them {irio~Teveiv toIs deois). Something of the same depth of meaning may lurk in the exhortation of the Epinomis (980 C), ILoreuo-as rots deois ev%ov. But ordinarily TiareveLv rots deois appears as the synonym of von'i^eiv tovs deovs, and imports merely the denial of atheism (Plut. "de Superst.," n.;Arist."Rhet.,''ii.l7).Itwasonly by its adoption by the writers of the Septuagint to express the faith of the Old Testament that it was fitted to take its place in the New Testament as the standing designation of the attitude of the man of faith towards God.

This service the Septuagint could not perform for 7ri<ms also, owing to the almost complete absence of the noun 'faith' in the active sense from the Old Testament; but it was due to a Hellenistic development on the basis of the Old Testament religion, and certainly not without influence from Gen. xv. 6 and Hab. ii. 4 that this term, too, was prepared for New Testament use. In classical Greek irians is applied to belief in the gods chiefly as implying that such belief rests rather on trust than on sight (Plut. "Mor.," 756 B). Though there is no suggestion in this of weakness of conviction (for t'l<ttls expresses a strong conviction, and is therefore used in contrast with 'impressions'), yet the word, when referring to the gods, very rarely rises above intellectual conviction into its naturally more congenial region of moral trust (Soph. " Oed. Rex," 1445). That this, its fuller and more characteristic meaning, should come to its rights in the religious sphere, it was necessary that it should be transferred into a new religious atmosphere. The usage of Philo bears witness that it thus came to its rights on the lips of the Greek-speaking Jews. It is going too far, to be sure, to say that Philo's usage of 'faith' is scarcely distinguishable from that of New Testament writers. The gulf that separates the two is very wide, and has not been inaptly described by saying that with Philo, faith, as the queen of the virtues, is the righteousness of the righteous man, while with St. Paul, as the abnegation of all claim to virtue, it is the righteousness of the unrighteous. But it is of the utmost significance that, in the pages of Philo, the conception is filled with a content which far transcends any usage of the word in heathen Greek, and which is a refraction of the religious conceptions of the Old Testament. Fundamental to his idea of it as the crowning virtue of the godly man, to be attained only with the supremest difficulty, especially by creatures akin to mortal things, is his conception of it as essentially a changeless, unwavering 'standing by God' (Deut. v. 31), — binding us to God, to the exclusion of every other object of desire, and making us one with Him. It has lost that soteriological content which is the very heart of faith in the Old Testament; though there does not absolutely fail an occasional reference to God as Saviour, it is, with Philo, rather the Divinity, to 6v, upon which faith rests, than the God of grace and salvation; and it therefore stands with him, not at the beginning but at the end of the religious life. But we can perceive in the usage of Philo a development on Jewish ground of a use of the word tlgtls to describe that complete detachment from earthly things, and that firm conviction of the reality and supreme significance of the things not seen, which underlies its whole New Testament use.

The disparity in the use of the terms 'faith' and 'believe' in the two Testaments is certainly in a formal aspect very great. In contrast with their extreme rarity in the Old Testament, they are both, though somewhat unevenly distributed and varying in relative frequency, distinctly characteristic of the whole New Testament language, and oddly enough occur about equally often (about 240 times each). The verb is lacking only in Col., Philem., II Pet., II and III Jn., and the Apocalypse; the noun only in the Gospel of John and II and III Jn.: both fail only in II and III Jn. The noun predominates not only in the epistles of St. Paul, where the proportion is about three to one, and in St. James (about five to one), but very markedly in the Epistle to the Hebrews (about sixteen to one). In St. John, on the other hand, the verb is very frequent, while the noun occurs only once in I Jn. and four times in the Apocalypse. In the other books the proportion between the two is less noteworthy, and may fairly be accounted accidental. In the Old Testament, again, 'faith' occurs in the active sense in but a single passage; in the New Testament it is the passive sense which is rare. In the Old Testament in only about half the instances of its occurrence is the verb 'to believe' used in a religious sense; in the New Testament it has become so clearly a technical religious term, that it occurs very rarely in any other sense. The transitive usage, in which it expresses entrusting something to someone, occurs a few times both in the active (Lk. xvi. 11, Jn. ii. 24) and the passive (I Cor. ix. 17, Gal. ii. 7,

I Thess. ii. 4, I Tim. i. 11, Tit. i. 3); but besides this special case there are very few instances in which the word does not express religious believing, possibly only the following: Jn. ix. 18, Acts ix. 26, I Cor. xi. 18, Mt. xxiv. 23, 26, Mk. xiii. 21,

II Thess. ii. 11, cf. Acts xiii. 41, xv. 11, Jn. iv. 21, I Jn. iv. 1. The classical construction with the simple dative which prevails in the Septuagint retires in the New Testament in favour of constructions with prepositions and the absolute use of the verb; the construction with the dative occurs about forty-five times, while that with prepositions occurs some sixty-three times, and the verb is used absolutely some ninety-three times.

When construed with the dative, TTLareveiv in the New Testament prevailingly expresses believing assent, though ordinarily in a somewhat pregnant sense. When its object is a thing, it is usually the spoken (Lk. i. 20, Jn. iv. 50, v. 47, xii. 38, Rom. x. 16, cf. II Thess. ii. 11) or written (Jn. ii. 22, v. 47, Acts xxiv. 14, xxvi. 27) word of God; once it is divine works which should convince the onlooker of the divine mission of the worker (Jn. x. 38). When its object is a person it is rarely another than God or Jesus (Mt. xxi. 25, 32, Mk. xi. 31, Lk. xx. 5, Jn. v. 46, Acts viii. 12, I Jn. iv. 1), and more rarely God (Jn. v. 24, Acts xvi. 34, xxvii. 25, Rom. iv. 3 (17), Gal. iii. 6, Tit. iii. 8, Jas. ii. 23, I Jn. v. 10) than Jesus (Jn. iv. 21, v. 38, 46, vi. 30, viii. 31, 45, 46, x. 37, 38, xiv. 11, Acts xviii. 8, II Tim. i. 12). Among these passages there are not lacking some, both when the object is a person and when it is a thing, in which the higher sense of devoted, believing trust is conveyed. In I Jn. iii. 23, for example, we are obviously to translate, not 'believe the name,' but 'believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,' for in this is summed up the whole Godward side of Christian duty. So there is no reason to question that the words of Gen. xv. 6 are adduced in Rom. iv. 3, Gal. iii. 6, Jas. ii. 23 in the deep sense which they bear in the Old Testament text; and this deeper religious faith can scarcely be excluded from the belief in God adverted to in Acts xvi. 34, Tit. iii. 8 (cf. Jn. v. 24), or from the belief in Jesus adverted to in II Tim. i. 12 (cf. Jn. v. 38, vi. 30), and is obviously the prominent conception in the faith of Crispus declared in Acts xviii. 8. The passive form of this construction occurs only twice — once of believing assent (II Thess. i. 10), and once with the highest implications of confiding trust (I Tim. iii. 16). The few passages in which the construction is with the accusative (Jn. xi. 26, Acts xiii. 41, I Cor. xi. 18, xiii. 7,1 Jn. iv. 16) take their natural place along with the commoner usage with the dative, and need not express more than crediting, although over one or two of them there floats a shadow of a deeper implication. The same may be said of the cases of attraction in Rom iv. 17 and x. 14. And with these weaker constructions must be ranged also the passages, twenty in all (fourteen of which occur in the writings of St. John), in which what is believed is joined to the verb by the conjunction 6rt. In a couple of these the matter believed scarcely rises into the religious sphere (Jn. ix. 18, Acts ix. 26); in a couple more there is specific reference to prayer (Mk. xi. 23, 24); in yet a couple more it is general faith in God which is in mind (Heb. xi. 6, Jas. ii. 19). In the rest, what is believed is of immediately soteriological import — now the possession by Jesus of a special power (Mt. ix. 28), now the central fact of His saving work (Rom. x. 9,1 Thess. iv. 14), now the very hinge of the Christian hope (Rom. vi. 8), but prevailingly the divine mission and personality of Jesus Himself (Jn. vi. 69, viii. 24, xi. 27, 42, xiii. 19, xiv. 10, xvi. 27, 30, xvii. 8, 21, xx. 31, I Jn. v. 1, 5). By their side we may recall also the rare construction with the infinitive (Acts xv. 11, Rom. xiv. 2).

When we advance to the constructions with prepositions, we enter a region in which the deeper sense of the word — that of firm, trustful reliance comes to its full rights. The construction with kv, which is the most frequent of the constructions with prepositions in the Septuagint, retires almost out of use in the New Testament; it occurs with certainty only in Mk. i. 15, where the object of faith is 'the gospel,' though Jn. hi. 15, Eph. i. 13 may also be instances of it, where the object would be Christ. The implication of this construction would seem to be firm fixedness of confidence in its object. Scarcely more common is the parallel construction of eirl with the dative, expressive of steady, resting repose, reliance upon the object. Besides the quotation from Isa. xxviii. 16, which appears alike in Rom. ix. 33, x. 11, I Pet. ii. 6, this construction occurs only twice: Lk. xxiv. 25, where Jesus rebukes His followers for not 'believing on,' relying implicitly upon, all that the prophets have spoken; and I Tim. i. 16, where we are declared to 'believe on' Jesus Christ unto salvation, i.e., to obtain salvation by relying upon Him for it. The constructions with prepositions governing the accusative, which involve an implication of 'moral motion, mental direction towards,' are more frequently used. That with hci, indeed, occurs only seven times (four of which are in Acts). In two instances in Rom. iv. where the reminiscence of the faith of Abraham gives colour to the language, the object on which faith is thus said relyingly to lay hold is God, described, however, as savingly working through Christ — as He that justifies the ungodly, He that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Elsewhere its object is Christ Himself. In Mt. xxvii. 42 the Jewish leaders declare the terms on which they will become 'believers on' Jesus; in Acts xvi. 31 this is the form that is given to the proclamation of salvation by faith in Christ — 'turn with confident trust to Jesus Christ,' and appropriately, / therefore, it is in this form of expression that those are designated who have savingly believed on Christ (Acts ix. 42, xi. 17, xxii. 19). The special New Testament construction, however, is that with els, which occurs some forty-nine times, about four-fifths of which are Johannine and the remainder more or less Pauline. The object towards which faith is thus said to be reliantly directed is in one unique instance 'the witness which God hath witnessed concerning his Son' (I Jn. v. 10), where we may well believe that ' belief in the truth of the witness is carried on to personal belief in the object of the witness, that is, the Incarnate Son Himself.' Elsewhere the object believed on, in this construction, is always a person, and that very rarely God (Jn. xiv. 1, cf. I Jn. v. 10, and also I Pet. i. 21, where, however, the true reading is probably ttlutovs eis 6ebv), and most commonly Christ (Mt. xviii. 6, Jn. ii. 11, hi. 16, 18, 36, iv. 39, vi. 29, 35, 40, vii. 5, 31, 38, 39, 48, viii. 30, ix. 35, 36, x. 42, xi. 25, 26, 45, 48, xii. 11, 37, 42, 44, 44, 46, xiv. 1, 12, xvi. 9, xvii. 20, Acts x. 43, xiv. 23, xix. 4, Rom. x. 14, 14, Gal. ii. 16, Phil, i. 29,1 Pet. i. 8,1 Jn. v. 10, cf. Jn. xii. 36, i. 12, ii. 23, iii. 18,1 Jn. v. 13). A glance over these passages will bring clearly out the pregnancy of the meaning conveyed. It may be more of a question wherein the pregnancy resides. It is probably sufficient to find it in the sense conveyed by the verb itself, while the preposition adjoins only the person towards whom the strong feeling expressed by the verb is directed. In any event, what these pas sages express is ' an absolute transference of trust from ourselves to another/ a complete self-surrender to Christ.

Some confirmation of this explanation of the strong meaning of the phrase irurTeveLv eis may be derived from the very rich use of the verb absolutely, in a sense in no way inferior. Its absolute use is pretty evenly distributed through the New Testament occurring 29 times in John, 23 times in Paul, 22 times in Acts, 15 times in the Synoptics, and once each in Hebrews, James, I Peter, and Jude; it is placed on the lips of Jesus some 18 times. In surprisingly few of these instances is it used of a non-religious act of crediting, apparently only in our Lord's warning to His followers not to believe when men say '"Lo, here is the Christ," or "here"' (Mt. xxiv. 23, 26, Mk. xiii. 21). In equally surprisingly few instances is it used of specific acts of faith in the religious sphere. Once it is used of assent given to a specific doctrine — that of the unity of God (Jas. ii. 19). Once it is used of believing prayer (Mt. xxi. 22). Four times in a single chapter of John it is used of belief in a specific fact — the great fact central to Christianity of the resurrection of Christ (Jn. xx. 8, 25, 29, 29). It is used occasionally of belief in God's announced word (Lk. i. 45, Acts xxvi. 27), and occasionally also of the credit given to specific testimonies of Jesus, whether with reference to earthly or heavenly things (Jn. iii. 12, 12, i. 50, Lk. xxii. 67), passing thence to general faith in the word of salvation (Lk. viii. 12, 13). Twice it is used of general soteriological faith in God (Jude 5, Rom. iv. 18), and a few times, with the same pregnancy of implication, where the reference, whether to God or Christ, is more or less uncertain (Jn. i. 7, Rom. iv. 11, II Cor. iv. 13, 13). Ordinarily, however, it expresses soteriological faith directed to the person of Christ. In a few instances, to be sure, the immediate trust expressed is in the extraordinary power of Jesus for the performance of earthly effects (the so-called 'miracle faith'), as in Mt. viii. 13, Mk. v. 36, ix. 23, 24, Lk. viii. 50, Jn. iv. 48, xi. 40; but the essential relation in which this faith stands to ' saving faith' is clearly exhibited in Jn. iv. 48 compared with v. 53 and ix. 38, and Jn. xi. 40 compared with v. 15 and xii. 39; and, in any case, these passages are insignificant in number when compared with the great array in which the reference is distinctly to saving faith in Christ (Mk. ix. 42, xv. 32 [Jn. hi. 15], Jn. hi. 18. iv. 41, 42, 53, v. 44, vi. 36, 47, 64, 64, ix. 38, x. 25, 26, xi. 15, xii. 39, xiv. 29, xvi. 31, xix. 35, xx. 31, Acts ii. 44, iv. 4, 32, v. 14, viii. 13, xi. 21, xiii. 12, 39, 48, xiv. 1, xv. 5, 7, xvii. 12, 34, xviii. 8, 27, xix. 2, 18, xxi. 20, 25, Rom. i. 16, hi. 22, x. 4, 10, xiii. 11, xv. 13,1 Cor. i. 21, iii. 5, xiv. 22, xv. 2,11, Gal. iii. 22, Eph. i. 13,19, I Thess. i. 7, ii. 10, 13, II Thess. i. 10, Heb. iv. 3, I Pet. ii. 7). A survey of these passages will show very clearly that in the New Testament' to believe' is a technical term to express reliance on Christ for salvation. In a number of them, to be sure, the object of the believing spoken of is sufficiently defined by the context, but, without contextual indication of the object, enough remain to bear out this suggestion. Accordingly, a tendency is betrayed to use the simple participle very much as a verbal noun, with the meaning of ' Christian': in Mk. ix. 42, Acts xi. 21,1 Cor. i. 21, Eph. i. 13,19,1 Thess. i. 7, ii. 10,13 the participial construction is evident; it maybe doubted, however, whether oi irLVTevaavTes is not used as a noun in such passages as Acts ii. 44, iv. 32, II Thess. i. 10, Heb. iv. 3; and in Acts v. 14 ttkt-revovTes is perhaps generally recognized as used substantively. Before the disciples were called 'Christians' (Acts xi. 26, cf. xxvi. 28,1 Pet. iv. 16) it would seem, then, that they were called 'believers,' those who had turned to Christ in trusting reliance (oi TTKTTevaavTes), or those who were resting on Christ in trusting reliance (oi inarevovTes) ; and that the undefined ' to believe' had come to mean to become or to be a Christian, that is, to turn to or rest on Christ in reliant trust. The occasional use of oi -KiuToi in an equivalent sense (Acts x. 45, Eph. i. 1, I Tim. iv. 3, 12, I Pet. i. 21, Rev. xvii. 14), for which the way was prepared by the comparatively frequent use of this adjective in the classically rare active sense (Jn. xx. 27, Acts xvi. 1, I Cor. vii. 14, II Cor. vi. 15, Gal. iii. 9,1 Tim. iv. 10, v. 16, vi. 2, Tit. i. 6), adds weight to this conclusion; as do also the use of ainaTOL of ' unbelievers,' whether in the simple (I Cor. vi. 6, vii. 12-15, x. 27, xiv. 22-24,1 Tim. v. 8) or deepened sense (II Cor. iv. 4, vi. 14 f., Tit. i. 15, cf. Jn. xx. 27, Mt. xvii. 17, Mk. ix. 19, Lk. ix. 41), and the related usage of the words cltl(ttlol (Mk. ix. 24 (xvi. 14), Mt. xiii. 58, Mk. vi. 6, Rom. iv. 20, xi. 20,23,1 Tim. i. 13, Heb. iii. 12, 19), aTLtrreca (Mk. xvi. 11 (16), Lk. xxiv. 11, 41, Acts xxviii. 24,1 Pet. ii. 7), and bXiyoTiaTos (Mt. vi. 30, viii. 26, xiv. 31, xvi. 8, Lk. xii. 28), okiyoTnaTia (Mt. xvii. 20).

The impression which is thus derived from the usage of ino-Teveiv is only deepened by attending to that of t'httls. As already intimated, ttL<jtls occurs in the New Testament very rarely in its passive sense of 'faithfulness,' 'integrity' (Rom. iii. 3 of God; Mt. xxiii. 23, Gal. v. 22, Tit. ii. 10, of men; cf. I Tim.v. 12 'a pledge'; Acts xvii. 31 * assurance'; others add I Tim.

vi. 11, II Tim. ii. 22, iii. 10, Philem. 5). And nowhere in the multitude of its occurrences in its active sense is it applied to man's faith in man, but always to the religious trust that reposes on God, or Christ, or divine things. The specific object on which the trust rests is but seldom explicitly expressed. In some six of these instances it is a thing, but always something of the fullest soteriological significance the gospel of Christ (Phil. i. 27), the saving truth of God (II Thess. ii. 13), the working of God who raised Jesus from the dead (Col. ii. 12, cf. Acts xiv. 9, iii. 16), the name of Jesus (Acts iii. 16), the blood of Jesus (Rom. iii. 25), the righteousness of Jesus (II Pet. i. 1). In as many more the object is God, and the conception is prevailingly that of general trust in God (Mk. xi. 22, Rom. xiv. 22,1 Thess. i. 8, Heb. vi. 1, I Pet. i. 21, cf. Col. ii. 12). In most instances, however, the object is specified as Christ, and the faith is very pointedly soteriological (Acts xx. 21, xxiv. 24, xxvi. 18, Gal. ii. 16, 16, 20. Rom. iii. 22, 26, Gal. iii. 22, 26, Eph. i. 15, iii. 12, iv. 13, Phil. iii. 9, Col. i. 4, ii. 5,1 Tim. i. 14, iii. 13, 15, II Tim. i. 13, iii. 15, Philem. 5, Jas. ii. 1, Rev. ii. 13, xiv. 12). Its object is most frequently joined to it'lctt is as an objective genitive, a construction occurring some seventeen times, twelve of which fall in the writings of Paul. In four of them the genitive is that of the thing, namely in Phil. i. 27 the gospel, in II Thess. ii. 13 the saving truth, in Col. ii. 12 the almighty working of God, and in Acts iii. 16 the name of Jesus. In one of them it is God (Mk. xi. 22). The certainty that the genitive is that of object in these cases is decisive with reference to its nature in the remaining cases, in which Jesus Christ is set forth as the object on which faith rests (Rom. iii. 22, 26, Gal. ii. 16, 16, 20, hi. 22, Eph. iii. 12, iv. 13, Phil. iii. 9, Jas. ii. 1, Rev. ii. 13, xiv. 12). Next most frequently its object is joined to faith by means of the preposition h> (9 times), by which it is set forth as the basis on which faith rests, or the sphere of its operation. In two of these instances the object is a thing — the blood or righteousness of Jesus (Rom. iii. 25, II Pet. i. 1); in the rest it is Christ Himself who is presented as the ground of faith (Gal. iii. 26, Eph. i. 15, Col. i. 4, I Tim. i. 14, iii. 13, II Tim. i. 13, iii. 15). Somewhat less frequently (5 times) its object is joined to itLvtls by means of the preposition eis, designating, apparently, merely the object with reference to which faith is exercised (cf. especially Acts xx. 21); the object thus specified for faith is in one instance God (I Pet. i. 21), and in the others Christ (Acts xx. 21, xxiv. 24, xxvi. 18, Col. ii. 5). By the side of this construction should doubtless be placed the two instances in which the preposition 7rp6s is used, by which faith is said to look and adhere to God (I Thess. i. 8) or to Christ (Philem. 5). And it is practically in the same sense that in a single instance God is joined to -k'kttis by means of the preposition eiri as the object to which it restingly turns. It would seem that the pregnant sense of it'kttis as self-abandoning \/ trust was so fixed in Christian speech that little was left to be expressed by the mode of its adjunction to its object.

Accordingly, the use of the word without specified object is vastly preponderant. In a few of such instances we may see a specific reference to the general confidence which informs believing prayer (Lk. xviii. 8, Jas. i. 6, v. 15). In a somewhat greater number there is special reference to faith in Jesus as a worker of wonders — the so-called 'miracle faith' (Mt. viii. 10, ix. 2, 22, 29, xv. 28 [xvii. 20] [xxi. 21], Mk. ii. 5, iv. 40, v. 34, x. 52, Lk. v. 20, vii. 9, viii. 25, 48, xvii. 19, xviii. 42, Acts iii. 16, xiv. 9) although how little this faith can be regarded as non-soteriological the language of Mt. ix. 2, Mk. ii. 5, Lk. v. 20 shows, as well as the parallelism between Lk. vii. 50 (cf. viii. 48, xvii. 19) and Mt. ix. 22, Mk. v. 34. The immense mass of the passages in which the undefined irians occurs, however, are distinctly soteriological, and that indifferently whether its implied object be God or Christ. Its implied reference is indeed often extremely difficult to fix; though the passages in which it may, with some confidence, be referred to Christ are in number about double those in which it may, with like confidence, be referred to God. The degree of clearness with which an implied object is pointed to in the context varies, naturally, very greatly; but in a number of cases there is no direct hint of object in the context, but this is left to be supplied by the general knowledge of the reader. And this is as much as to say that t'lo-tls is so used as to imply that it had already become a Christian technical term, which needed no further definition that it might convey its full sense of saving faith in Jesus Christ to the mind of every reader. This tendency to use it as practically a synonym for ' Christianity' comes out sharply in such a phrase as oi en tt'l(tt6u>s (Gal. hi. 7, 9), which is obviously a paraphrase for 'believers.' A transitional form of the phrase meets us in Rom. iii. 26, rbv h 7rt(7T€cos 'Irjcrov; that the 'Irjaov could fall away and leave the simple oi en irLarecos standing for the whole idea, is full of implications as to the sense which the simple undefined irlans had acquired in the circles which looked to Jesus for salvation. The same implications underlie the so-called objective use of ttlcttls in the New Testament. That in such passages as Acts vi.

7, Gal. i. 23, iii. 23, vi. 10, Phil. i. 25, Jude 3, 20 it conveys the idea of ' the Christian religion' appears plain on the face of the passages; and by their side can be placed such others as the following, which seem transitional to them, namely: Acts xvi. 5,1 Cor. xvi. 13, Col. i. 23,1 Tim. i. 19, iv. 1, 6, v. 8, Tit. i. 13, and, at a slightly further remove, such others as Acts xiii. 8, Rom. i. 5, xvi. 26, Phil. i. 25, I Tim. iii. 9, vi. 10,12, II Tim. iii.

8, iv. 7, Tit. i. 4, iii. 15, I Pet. v. 9. It is not necessary to suppose that ttl(ttls is used in any of these passages as doctrinafidei; it seems possible to carry through them all the conception of 'subjective faith conceived of objectively as a power,'—even through those in Jude and I Timothy, which are more com monly than any others interpreted as meaning doctrina fidei. But this generally admitted objectivizing of subjective faith makes irlans, as truly as if it were understood as doctrina fidei, on the verge of which it in any case trembles, a synonym for ' the Christian religion.' It is only a question whether' the Christian religion' is designated in it from the side of doctrine or life; though it be from the point of view of life, still 'the faith' has become a synonym for 'Christianity,' 'believers' for 'Christians,' 'to believe' for 'to become a Christian,' and we may trace a development by means of which tt'lcttls has come to mean the religion which is marked by and consists essentially in ' believing.' That this development so rapidly took place is significant of much, and supplies a ready explanation of such passages as Gal. iii. 23, 25, in which the phrases 'before the faith came' and 'now that faith is come' probably mean little more than before and after the advent of 'Christianity' into the world. On the ground of such a usage, we may at least re-affirm with increased confidence that the idea of 'faith' is conceived of in the New Testament as the characteristic idea of Christianity, and that it does not import mere 'belief in an intellectual sense, but all that enters into an entire self-commitment of the soul to Jesus as the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.

II. The Historical Presentation of Faith

It lies on the very surface of the New Testament that its writers were not conscious of a chasm between the fundamental principle of the religious life of the saints of the old covenant and the faith by which they themselves lived. To them, too, Abraham is the typical example of a true believer (Rom. iv., Gal. iii., Heb. xi., Jas. ii.); and in their apprehension ' those who are of faith,' that is, 'Christians,' are by that very fact constituted Abraham's sons (Gal. iii. 7, Rom. iv. 16), and receive their blessing only along with that' believer' (Gal. iii. 9) in the steps of whose faith it is that they are walking (Rom. iv. 12) when they believe on Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead (Rom. iv. 24). And not only Abraham, but the whole series of Old Testament heroes are conceived by them to be examples of the same faith which was required of them 'unto the gaining of the soul' (Heb. xi.). Wrought in them by the same Spirit (II Cor. iv. 13), it produced in them the same fruits, and constituted them a 'cloud of witnesses' by whose testimony we should be stimulated to run our own race with like patience in dependence on Jesus, 'the author and finisher of our faith' (Heb. xii. 2). Nowhere is the demand of faith treated as a novelty of the new covenant, or is there a distinction drawn between the faith of the two covenants; everywhere the sense of continuity is prominent (Jn. v. 24, 46, xii. 38, 39, 44,1 Pet. ii. 6), and the 'proclamation of faith' (Gal. hi. 2, 5, Rom. x. 16) is conceived as essentially one in both dispensations, under both of which the law reigns that 'the just shall live by his faith' (Hab. ii. 4, Rom. i. 17, Gal. hi. 11, Heb. x. 38). Nor do we need to penetrate beneath the surface of the Old Testament to perceive the justice of this New Testament view. Despite the infre-quency of the occurrence on its pages of the terms 'faith,' 'to believe,' the religion of the Old Testament is obviously as fundamentally a religion of faith as is that of the New Testament. There is a sense, to be sure, in which all religion presupposes faith (Heb. xi. 6), and in this broad sense the religion of Israel, too, necessarily rested on faith. But the religion of Israel was a religion of faith in a far more specific sense than this; and that not merely because faith was more consciously its foundation, but because its very essence consisted in faith, and this faith was the same radical self-commitment to God, not merely as the highest good of the holy soul, but as the gracious Saviour of the sinner, which meets us as the characteristic feature of the religion of the New Testament. Between the faith of the two Testaments there exists, indeed, no further difference than that which the progress of the historical working out of redemption brought with it.

The hinge of Old Testament religion from the very beginning turns on the facts of man's sin (Gen. iii.) and consequent unworthiness (Gen. iii. 2-10), and of God's grace (Gen. iii. 15) and consequent saving activity (Gen. iii. 4, iv. 5, vi. 8, 13 f.).

This saving activity presents itself from the very beginning also under the form of promise or covenant, the radical idea of which is naturally faithfulness on the part of the promising God with the answering attitude of faith on the part of the receptive people. Face to face with a holy God, the sinner has no hope except in the free mercy of God, and can be authorized to trust in that mercy only by express assurance. Accordingly, the only cause of salvation is from the first the pitying love of God (Gen. iii. 15, viii. 21), which freely grants benefits to man; while on man's part there is never question of merit or of a strength by which he may prevail (I Sam. ii. 9), but rather a constant sense of unworthiness (Gen. xxxii. 10), by virtue of which humility appears from the first as the keynote of Old Testament piety. In the earlier portions of the Old Testament, to be sure, there is little abstract statement of the ideas which ruled the hearts and lives of the servants of God. The essence of patriarchal religion is rather exhibited to us in action. But from the very beginning the distinctive feature of the life of the pious is that it is a life of faith, that its regulative principle is drawn, not from the earth but from above. Thus the first recorded human acts after the Fall the naming of Eve, and the birth and naming of Cain are expressive of trust in God's promise that, though men should die for their sins, yet man should not perish from the earth, but should triumph over the tempter; in a word, in the great promise of the Seed (Gen. iii. 15). Similarly, the whole story of the Flood is so ordered as to throw into relief, on the one hand, the free grace of God in His dealings with Noah (Gen. vi. 8, 18, viii. 1, 21, ix. 8), and, on the other, the determination of Noah's whole life by trust in God and His promises (Gen. vi. 22, vii. 5, ix. 20). The open declaration of the faith-principle of Abraham's life (Gen. xv. 6) only puts into words, in the case of him who stands at the root of Israel's whole national and religious existence, what not only might also be said of all the patriarchs, but what actually is most distinctly said both of Abraham and of them through the medium of their recorded history. The entire patriarchal narrative is set forth with the design and effect of exhibiting the life of the servants of God as a life of faith, and it is just by the fact of their implicit self-commitment to God that throughout the narrative the servants of God are differentiated from others. This does not mean, of course, that with them faith took the place of obedience: an entire self-commitment to God which did not show itself in obedience to Him would be self-contradictory, and the testing of faith by obedience is therefore a marked feature of the patriarchal narrative. But it does mean that faith was with them the precondition of all obedience. The patriarchal religion is essentially a religion, not of law but of promise, and therefore not primarily of obedience but of trust; the holy walk is characteristic of God's servants (Gen. v. 22, 24, vi. 9, xvii. 1, xxiv. 40, xlviii. 15), but it is characteristically described as a walk 'with God'; its peculiarity consisted precisely in the ordering of life by entire trust in God, and it expressed itself in conduct growing out of this trust (Gen. hi. 20, iv. 1, vi. 22, vii. 5, viii. 18, xii. 4, xvii. 23, xxi. 12, 16, xxii.). The righteousness of the patriarchal age was thus but the manifestation in life of an entire self-commitment to God, in unwavering trust in His promises.

The piety of the Old Testament thus began with faith. And though, when the stage of the law was reached, the emphasis might seem to be thrown rather on the obedience of faith, what has been called 1 faith in action,' yet the giving of the law does not mark a fundamental change in the religion of Israel, but only a new stage in its orderly development. The law-giving was not a setting aside of the religion of promise, but an incident in its history; and the law given was not a code of jurisprudence for the world's government, but a body of household ordinances for the regulation of God's family. It is therefore itself grounded upon the promise, and it grounds the whole religious life of Israel in the grace of the covenant God (Ex. xx. 2). It is only because Israel are the children of God, and God has sanctified them unto Himself and chosen them to be a peculiar people unto Him (Deut. xiv. 1), that He proceeds to frame them by His law for His especial treasure (Ex. xix. 5; cf. Tit. ii. 14). Faith, therefore, does not appear as one of the precepts of the law, nor as a virtue superior to its precepts, nor yet as a substitute for keeping them; it rather lies behind the law as its presupposition. Accordingly, in the history of the giving of the law, faith is expressly emphasized as the presupposition of the whole relation existing between Israel and Jehovah. The signs by which Moses was accredited, and all Jehovah's deeds of power, had as their design (Ex. iii. 12, iv. 1, 5, 8, 9, xix. 4, 9) and their effect (Ex. iv. 31, xii. 28, 34, xiv. 31, xxiv. 3, 7, Ps. cvi. 12) the working of faith in the people; and their subsequent unbelief is treated as the deepest crime they could commit (Num. xiv. 11, Deut. i. 32, ix. 23, Ps. lxxviii. 22, 32, cvi. 24), as is even momentary failure of faith on the part of their leaders (Num. xx. 12). It is only as a consequent of the relation of the people to Him, instituted by grace on His part and by faith on theirs, that Jehovah proceeds to carry out His gracious purposes for them, delivering them from bondage, giving them a law for the regulation of their lives, and framing them in the promised land into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. In other words, it is a precondition of the law that Israel's life is not of the earth, but is hid with God, and is therefore to be ordered by His precepts. Its design was, therefore, not to provide a means by which man might come into relation with Jehovah, but to publish the mode of life incumbent on those who stand in the relation of children to Jehovah; and it is therefore that the book of the law was commanded to be put by the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that it might be a witness against the transgressions of Israel (Deut. xxxi. 26).

The effect of the law was consonant with its design. Many, no doubt, looked upon it in a purely legalistic spirit, and sought, by scrupulous fulfilment of it as a body of external precepts, to lay the foundation of a claim on God in behalf of the nation or the individual, or to realize through it, as a present possession, that salvation which was ever represented as something future. But, just in proportion as its spirituality and inwardness were felt, it operated to deepen in Israel the sense of shortcoming and sin, and to sharpen the conviction that from the grace of God alone could salvation be expected. This humble frame of conscious dependence on God was met by a twofold proclamation.

On the one hand, the eyes of God's people were directed more longingly towards the future, and, in contrast with the present failure of Israel to realize the ordinances of life which had been given it, a new dispensation of grace was promised in which the law of God's kingdom should be written upon the heart, and should become therefore the instinctive law of life of His people (Jer. xxiv. 7, xxxi. 11 f., Ezek. xxxvi 25 f.; cf. Ezek. xvi. 60, Joel hi., Jos. ii. 9 f.). It lay in the very nature of the Old Testament dispensation, in which the revelation of God was always incomplete, the still unsolved enigmas of life numerous, the work of redemption unfinished, and the consummation of the kingdom ever yet to come, that the eyes of the saints should be set upon the future; and these deficiencies were felt very early. But it also lay, in the nature of the case, that the sense of them should increase as time passed and the perfecting of Israel was delayed, and especially as the whole national and religious existence of Israel was more and more put in jeopardy by assaults from without and corruption from within. The essence of piety came thus to be ever more plainly proclaimed as consisting in such a confident trust in the God of salvation as could not be confounded either by the unrighteousness which reigned in Israel or by Jehovah's judgments on Israel's sins, such a confidence as even in the face of the destruction of the theocracy itself, could preserve, in enduring hope, the assurance of the ultimate realization of God's purposes of good to Israel and the establishment of the everlasting kingdom. Thus hopeful waiting upon Jehovah became more and more the centre of Israelitish piety, and Jehovah became before all 1 the Hope of Israel' (Jer. xiv. 8, xvii. 13, 1. 7, cf. Ps. lxxi. 5). On the other hand, while thus waiting for the salvation of Israel, the saint must needs stay himself on God (Isa. xxvi. 3,1. 10), fixing his heart on Jehovah as the Rock of the heart (Ps. lxxiii. 26), His people's strength (Ps. xlvi. 1) and trust (Ps. xl. 4, lxv. 5, lxxi. 5, Jer. xvii. 7). Freed from all illusion of earthly help, and most of all from all self-confidence, he is meanwhile to live by faith (Hab. ii. 4). Thus, along with an ever more richly expressed corporate hope, there is found also an ever more richly expressed individual trust, which finds natural utterance through an ample body of synonyms bringing out severally the various sides of that perfect commitment to God that constitutes the essence of faith. Thus we read much of trusting in, on, to God, or in His word, His name, His mercy, His salvation (nasi), of seeking and finding refuge in God or in the shadow of His wings (fieri), of committing ourselves to God (bbi), setting confidence (bp?) in Him, looking to Him (talari), relying upon Him (yo&i), staying upon Him (faes), setting or fixing the heart upon Him (a 1 ? pari), binding our love on Him (ptfn), cleaving to Him (pan). So, on the hopeful side of faith, we read much of hoping in God (nip), waiting on God (bir), of longing for Him (ran), patiently waiting for Him (bbinrn), and the like.

By the aid of such expressions, it becomes possible to form a somewhat clear notion of the attitude towards Him which was required by Jehovah of His believing people, and which is summed up in the term "faith." It is a reverential (Ex. xiv. 31, Num. xiv. 11, xx. 12) and loving faith, which rests on the strong basis of firm and unshaken conviction of the might and grace of the covenant God and of the trustworthiness of all His words, and exhibits itself in confident trust in Jehovah and unwavering expectation of the fulfilment of, no doubt, all His promises, but more especially of His promise of salvation, and in consequent faithful and exclusive adherence to Him. In one word, it consists in an utter commitment of oneself to Jehovah, with confident trust in Him as guide and saviour, and assured expectation of His promised salvation. It therefore stands in contrast, on the one hand, with trust in self or other human help, and on the other with doubt and unbelief, despondency and unfaithfulness. From Jehovah alone is salvation to be looked for, and it comes from His free grace alone (Deut. vii. 7, viii. 18, ix. 5, Amos iii. 2, Hos. xiii. 5, Ezek. xx. 6, Jer. xxxix. 18, Mai. i. 2), and to those only who look solely to Him for it (Isa. xxxi. 1, lvii. 13, xxviii. 16, xxx. 15, Jer. xvii. 5, xxxix. 18, Ps. cxviii. 8, cxlvi. 3, xx. 7, I Sam. xvii. 45, Job xxxi. 24, Ps. Hi. 9). The reference of faith is accordingly in the Old Testament always distinctly soteriological; its end the Messianic salvation; and its essence a trusting, or rather an entrusting of oneself to the God of salvation, with full assurance of the fulfilment of His gracious purposes and the ultimate realization of His promise of salvation for the people and the individual. Such an attitude towards the God of salvation is identical with the faith of the New Testament, and is not essentially changed by the fuller revelation of God the Redeemer in the person of the promised Messiah. That it is comparatively seldom designated in the Old Testament by the names of 'faith,' 'believing,' seems to be due, as has been often pointed out, to the special place of the Old Testament in the history of revelation, and the adaptation of its whole contents and language to the particular task in the establishment of the kingdom of God which fell to its writers. This task turned on the special temptations and difficulties of the Old Testament stage of development, and required emphasis to be laid on the majesty and jealousy of Jehovah and on the duties of reverence, sincerity, and patience. Meanwhile, the faith in Him which underlies these duties is continually implied in their enforcement, and comes to open expression in frequent paraphrase and synonym, and as often in its own proper terms as is natural in the circumstances. Especially in the great crises of the history of redemption (Gen. xv., Ex. iv. 5, xix. 9, Isa. vii.) is the fundamental requirement of faith rendered explicit and prominent.

On the coming of God to His people in the person of His Son, the promised Messianic King, bringing the salvation, the hope of which had for so many ages been their support and stay, it naturally became the primary task of the vehicles of revelation to attract and attach God's people to the person of their Redeemer. And this task was the more pressing in proportion as the form of the fulfilment did not obviously correspond with the promise, and especially with the expectations which had grown up on the faith of the promise. This fundamental function dominates the whole New Testament, and accounts at once for the great prominence in its pages of the demand for faith, by which a gulf seems to be opened between it and the Old Testament. The demand for faith in Jesus as the Redeemer so long hoped for, did indeed create so wide a cleft in the consciousness of the times that the term faith came rapidly to be appropriated to Christianity and' to believe' to mean to become a Christian; so that the old covenant and the new were discriminated from each other as the ages before and after the 'coming of faith' (Gal. iii. 23, 25). But all this does not imply that faith now for the first time became the foundation of the religion of Jehovah, but only suggests how fully, in the new circumstances induced by the coming of the promised Redeemer, the demand for faith absorbed the whole proclamation of the gospel. In this primary concern for faith the New Testament books all necessarily share; but, for the rest, they differ among themselves in the prominence given to it and in the aspects in which it is presented, in accordance with the place of each in the historical development of the new life; and that is as much as to say in accordance with the historical occasion out of which each arose and the special object to subserve which each was written.

Indeed, the word 'to believe' first appears on the pages of the New Testament in quite Old Testament conditions. We are conscious of no distinction even in atmosphere between the commendation of faith and rebuke of unbelief in Exodus or the Psalms and the same commendation and rebuke in the days just before the 'coming of faith' (Lk. i. 20, 45); these are but specific applications of the thesis of prophetism, expressed positively in II Chron. xx. 20 and negatively in Isa. vii. 9. Already, however, the dawn of the new day has coloured the proclamation of the Baptist, the essence of which Paul sums up for us as a demand for faith in the Coming One (Acts xix. 4), and which John reports to us (Jn. iii. 36). In the synoptic report of the teaching of Jesus, the same purpose is the dominant note. All that Jesus did and taught was directed to drawing faith to Himself. Up to the end, indeed, He repelled the unbelieving demand that He should ' declare plainly' the authority by which He acted and who He really was (Mt. xxi. 23, Lk. xxii. 67): but this was only that He might, in His own way, the more decidedly confound unbelief and assert His divine majesty. Even when He spoke of general faith in God (Mk. xi. 22), and that confident trust which becomes men approaching the Almighty in prayer (Mt. xxi. 22||Mk. ix. 24, Lk. xviii. 8), He did it in a way which inevitably-directed attention to His own person as the representative of God on earth. And this accounts for the prevalence, in the synoptic report of His allusions to faith, of a reference to that exercise of faith which has sometimes been somewhat sharply divided from saving faith under the name of 'miracle faith' (Mt. viii. 10, 13 || Lk. vii. 9; Mt. ix. 2; Mt. ix. 22 || Mk. v. 34, Lk. viii. 48; Mt. ix. 28, 29; Mt. xv. 28; Mt. xvii. 20 || Mk. ix. 20; Mt. xxi. 21, 22, cf. Lk. xvii. 6; Mk. iv. 40; Mk. v. 36 || Lk.

viii. 50; Mk. x. 52 || Lk. xviii. 42; Lk. vii. 9). That in these instances we have not a generically distinct order of faith, directed to its own peculiar end, but only a specific movement of that entire trust in Himself which Jesus would arouse in all, seems clear from the manner in which He dealt with it, now praising its exercise as a specially great exhibition of faith quite generally spoken of (Lk. vii. 9), now pointing to it as a manifestation of that believing to which ' all things are possible' (Mk.

ix. 23), now connecting with it not merely the healing of the body but the forgiveness of sins (Mt. ix. 2), and everywhere using it as a means of attaching the confidence of men to His person as the source of all good. Having come to His own, in other words, Jesus took men upon the plane on which He found them, and sought to lead them through the needs which they felt, and the relief of which they sought in Him, up to a recognition of their greater needs and of His ability to give relief to them also. That word of power, 'Thy faith hath saved thee/ spoken indifferently of bodily wants and of the deeper needs of the soul (Lk. vii. 50), not only resulted, but was intended to result, in focusing all eyes on Himself as the one physician of both body and soul (Mt. viii. 17). Explicit references to these higher results of faith are, to be sure, not very frequent in the synoptic discourses, but there are quite enough of them to exhibit Jesus' specific claim to be the proper object of faith for these effects also (Lk. viii. 12, 13, xxii. 32, Mt. xviii. 6 11 Mk. ix. 42, Lk. vii. 50), and to prepare the way for His rebuke, after His resurrection, of the lagging minds of His followers, that they did not understand all these things (Lk. xxiv. 25, 45), and for His great commission to Paul to go and open men's eyes that they might receive 'remission of sins and an inheritance among the sanctified by faith in Him' (Acts xxvi. 18).

It is very natural that a much fuller account of Jesus' teaching as to faith should be given in the more intimate discourses which are preserved by John. But in these discourses, too, His primary task is to bind men to Him by faith. The chief difference is that here, consonantly with the nature of the discourses recorded, much more prevailing stress is laid upon the higher aspects of faith, and we see Jesus striving specially to attract to Himself a faith consciously set upon eternal good. In a number of instances we find ourselves in much the same atmosphere as in the Synoptics (iv. 21 sq., 48 sq., ix. 35); and the method of Jesus is the same throughout. Everywhere He offers Himself as the object of faith, and claims faith in Himself for the highest concerns of the soul. But everywhere He begins at the level at which He finds His hearers, and leads them upward to these higher things. It is so that He deals with Nathan-ael (i. 51) and Nicodemus (iii. 12); and it is so that He deals constantly with the Jews, everywhere requiring faith in Himself for eternal life (v. 24, 25, 38, vi. 35, 40, 47, vii. 38, viii. 24, x. 25, 36, xii. 44, 46), declaring that faith in Him is the certain outcome of faith in their own Scriptures (v. 46,47), is demanded by the witness borne Him by God in His mighty works (x. 25, 36, 37), is involved in and is indeed identical with faith in God (v. 25, 38, vi. 40, 45, viii. 47, xii. 44), and is the one thing which God requires of them (vi. 29), and the failure of which will bring them eternal ruin (iii. 18, v. 38, vi. 64, viii. 24). When dealing with His followers, His primary care was to build up their faith in Him. Witness especially His solicitude for their faith in the last hours of His intercourse with them. For the faith they had reposed in Him He returns thanks to God (xvii. 8), but He is still nursing their faith (xvi. 31), preparing for its increase through the events to come (xiii. 19, xvi. 29), and with almost passionate eagerness claiming it at their hands (xiv. 1, 10, 11, 12). Even after His resurrection we find Him restoring the faith of the waverer (xx. 29) with words which pronounce a special blessing on those who should hereafter believe on less compelling evidence — words whose point is not fully caught until we realize that they contain an intimation of the work of the apostles as, like His own, summed up in bringing men to faith in Him (xvii. 20, 21).

The record in Acts of the apostolic proclamation testifies to the faithfulness with which this office was prosecuted by Jesus' delegates (Acts iii. 22, 23). The task undertaken by them was, by persuading men (Acts xvii. 4, xxviii. 24), to bring them unto obedience to the faith that is in Jesus (Acts vi. 7, Rom. i. 5, xvi. 26, cf. II Thess. i. 8, II Cor. x. 5). And by such 'testifying faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ' (Acts xx. 21, cf. x. 43) there was quickly gathered together a community of ' believers' (Acts ii. 44, iv. 4, 32), that is, of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts v. 14, ix. 42, xi. 17, xiv. 23), and that not only in Jerusalem but beyond (viii. 12, ix. 42, x. 45, xi. 21, xiii. 48, xiv. 1), and not only of Jews (x. 45, xv. 1, xxi. 20) but of Gentiles (xi. 21, xiii. 48, xiv. 1, xv. 7, xvii. 12, 34, xviii. 27, xix. 18, xxi. 25). The enucleation of this community of believers brought to the apostolic teachers the new task of preserving the idea of faith, which was the formative principle of the new community, and to propagate which in the world, pure and living and sound, was its chief office. It was inevitable that those who were called into the faith of Christ should bring into the infant Church with them many old tendencies of thinking, and that within the new community the fermentation of ideas should be very great. The task of instructing and disciplining the new community soon became unavoidably one of the heaviest of apostolic duties; and its progress is naturally reflected in their letters. Thus certain differences in their modes of dealing with faith emerge among New Testament writers, according as one lays stress on the deadness and profitlessness of a faith which produces no fruit in the life, and another on the valuelessness of a faith which does not emancipate from the bondage of the law; or as one lays stress on the perfection of the object of faith and the necessity of keeping the heart set upon it, and another on the necessity of preserving in its purity that subjective attitude towards the unseen and future which constitutes the very essence of faith; or as one lays stress on the reaching out of faith to the future in confident hope, and another on the present enjoyment by faith of all the blessings of salvation.

It was to James that it fell to rebuke the Jewish tendency to conceive of the faith which was pleasing to Jehovah as a mere intellectual acquiescence in His being and claims, when imported into the Church and made to do duty as ' the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory' (ii. 1). He has sometimes been misread as if he were depreciating faith, or at least the place of faith in salvation. But it is perfectly clear that with James, as truly as with any other New Testament writer, a sound faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the manifested God (ii. 1) lies at the very basis of the Christian life (i. 3), and is the condition of all acceptable approach to God (i. 6, v. 15). It is not faith as he conceives it which he depreciates, but that professed faith (Keyrj, ii. 14) which cannot be shown to be real by appropriate works (ii. 18), and so differs by a whole diameter alike from the faith of Abraham that was reckoned unto him for righteousness (ii. 23), and from the faith of Christians as James understood it (ii. 1, i. 3, cf. i. 22). The impression which is easily taken from the last half of the second chapter of James, that his teaching and that of Paul stand in some polemic relation, is, nevertheless, a delusion, and arises from an insufficient realization of the place occupied by faith in the discussions of the Jewish schools, reflections of which have naturally found their way into the language of both Paul and James. And so far are we from needing to suppose some reference, direct or indirect, to Pauline teaching to account for James' entrance upon the question which he discusses, that this was a matter upon which an earnest teacher could not fail to touch in the presence of a tendency common among the Jews at the advent of Christianity (cf. Mt. iii. 9, vii. 21, xxiii. 3, Rom. ii. 17), and certain to pass over into Jewish-Christian circles: and James' treatment of it finds, indeed, its entire presupposition in the state of things underlying the exhortation of i. 22. When read from his own historical standpoint, James' teachings are free from any disaccord with those of Paul, who as strongly as James denies all value to a faith which does not work by love (Gal. v. 6, I Cor. xiii. 2, I Thess. i. 3). In short, James is not depreciating faith: with him, too, it is faith that is reckoned unto righteousness (ii. 23), though only such a faith as shows itself in works can be so reckoned, because a faith which does not come to fruitage in works is dead, non-existent. He is rather deepening the idea of faith, and insisting that it includes in its very conception something more than an otiose intellectual assent.

It was a far more serious task which was laid upon Paul. As apostle to the Gentiles he was called upon to make good in all its depth of meaning the fundamental principle of the religion of grace, that the righteous shall live by faith, as over-against what had come to be the ingrained legalism of Jewish thought now intruded into the Christian Church. It was not, indeed, doubted that faith was requisite for obtaining salvation. But he that had been born a Jew and was conscious of the privileges of the children of the promise, found it hard to think that faith was all that was requisite. What, then, was the advantage of the Jew? In defence of the rights of the Gentiles, Paul was forced in the most uncompromising way to validate the great proposition that, in the matter of salvation, there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile, •— that the Jew has no other righteousness than that which comes through faith in Jesus Christ (Gal. ii. 15 sq.), and that the Gentile fully possesses this righteousness from faith alone (Gal. iii. 7 sq.) ; in a word, that the one God, who is God of the Gentiles also, 'shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith' (Rom. iii. 30). Thus was it made clear not only that ' no man is justified by the law' (Gal. ii. 16, iii. 11, Rom. iii. 20), but also that a man is justified by faith apart from law-works (Rom. iii. 28). The splendid vigour and thoroughness of Paul's dialectic development of the absolute contrast between the ideas of faith and works, by virtue of which one peremptorily excludes the other, left no hiding-place for a work-righteousness of any kind or degree, but cast all men solely upon the righteousness of God, which is apart from the law and comes through faith unto all that believe (Rom. iii. 21, 22). Thus, in vindicating the place of faith as the only instrument of salvation, Paul necessarily-dwelt much upon the object of faith, not as if he were formally teaching what the object is on which faith savingly lays hold, but as a natural result of his effort to show from its object the all-sufficiency of faith. It is because faith lays hold of Jesus Christ, who was delivered up for our trespasses and was raised for our justification (Rom. iv. 25), and makes us possessors of the righteousness provided by God through Him, that there is no room for any righteousness of our own in the ground of our salvation (Rom. x. 3, Eph. ii. 8). This is the reason of that full development of the object of faith in Paul's writings, and especially of the specific connexion between faith and the righteousness of God proclaimed in Christ, by which the doctrine of Paul is sometimes said to be distinguished from the more general conception of faith which is characteristic of the Epistle to the Hebrews. This more general conception of faith is not, however, the peculiar property of that epistle, but is the fundamental conception of the whole body of biblical writers in the Old Testament and in the New Testament (cf. Mt. vi. 25, xvi. 23, Jn. xx. 29, 31, I Pet. i. 8), including Paul himself (II Cor. iv. 18, v. 7, Rom. iv. 16-22, viii. 24); while, on the other hand, the Epistle to the Hebrews, no less than Paul, teaches that there is no righteousness except through faith (x. 38, xi. 7, cf. xi. 4).

That in the Epistle to the Hebrews it is the general idea of faith, or, to be more exact, the subjective nature of faith, that is dwelt upon, rather than its specific object, is not due to a peculiar conception of what faith lays hold upon, but to the particular task which fell to its writer in the work of planting Christianity in the world. With him, too, the person and work of Christ are the specific object of faith (xiii. 7, 8, iii. 14, x. 22). But the danger against which, in the providence of God, he was called upon to guard the infant flock, was not that it should fall away from faith to works, but that it should fall away from faith into despair. His readers were threatened not with legalism but with 'shrinking back' (x. 39), and he needed, therefore, to emphasize not so much the object of faith as the duty of faith. Accordingly, it is not so much on the righteousness of faith as on its perfecting that he insists; it is not so much its contrast with works as its contrast with impatience that he impresses on his readers' consciences; it is not so much to faith specifically in Christ and in Him alone that he exhorts them as to an attitude of faith — an attitude which could rise above the seen to the unseen, the present to the future, the temporal to the eternal, and which in the midst of sufferings could retain patience, in the midst of disappointments could preserve hope. This is the key to the whole treatment of faith in the Epistle to the Hebrews its definition as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (xi. 1); its illustration and enforcement by the example of the heroes of faith in the past, a list chosen and treated with the utmost skill for the end in view (xi.); its constant attachment to the promises (iv. 1, 2, vi. 12, x. 36, 38, xi. 9); its connexion with the faithfulness (xi. 11, cf. x. 23), almightiness (xi. 19), and the rewards of God (xi. 6, 26); and its association with such virtues as boldness (iii. 6, iv. 16, x. 19, 35), confidence (iii. 14, xi. 1), patience (x. 36, xii. 1), hope (iii. 6, vi. 11, 18, x. 23).

With much that is similar to the situation implied in Hebrews, that which underlies the Epistles of Peter differs from it in the essential particular that their prevailingly Gentile readers were not in imminent danger of falling back into Judaism. There is, accordingly, much in the aspect in which faith is presented in these epistles which reminds us of what we find in Hebrews, as, for example, the close connexion into which it is brought with obedience (I Pet. i. 2, 22, ii. 7, iii. 1, iv. 17), its prevailing reference to what is unseen and future (I Pet. i. 5, 7-10, 21), and its consequent demand for steadfastness (v. 9, cf. i. 7), and especially for hope (i. 21, cf. i. 3, 13, iii. 5, 15). Yet there is a noteworthy difference in the whole tone of the commendation of faith, which was rooted, no doubt, in the character of Peter, as the tone of his speeches recorded in Acts shows, but which also grew out of the nature of the task set before him in these letters. There is no hint of despair lying in the near background, but the buoyancy of assured hope rings throughout these epistles.

Having hearkened to the prophet like unto Moses (Deut. xviii. 15, 19, Acts iii. 22, 23), Christians are the children of obedience (I Pet. i. 14), and through their precious faith (I Pet. i. 7, II Pet. i. 1) possessors of the preciousness of the promises (I Pet. ii. 7). As they have obeyed the voice of God and kept His covenant, they have become His peculiar treasure, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex. xix. 5,1 Pet. ii. 9). Naturally, the duty rests upon them of living, while here below, in accordance with their high hopes (I Pet. i. 13, II Pet. i. 5). But in any event they are but sojourners and pilgrims here (I Pet. ii. 11, i. 1,17), and have a sure inheritance reserved for them in heaven (i. 4), unto which they are guarded through faith by the power of God (i. 5). The reference of faith in Peter is therefore characteristically to the completion rather than to the inception of salvation (i. 5, 9, ii. 6, cf. Acts xv. 11). Of course this does not imply that he does not share the common biblical conception of faith: he is conscious of no difference of view from that of the Old Testament (I Pet. ii. 6); and, no less than with James, with him faith is the fountain of all good works (I Pet. i. 7, 21, v. 9, II Pet. i. 5); and, no less than with Paul, with him faith lays hold of the righteousness of Christ (II Pet. i. 1). It only means that in the circumstances of his writing he is led to lay special emphasis on the reference of faith to the consummated salvation, in order to quicken in his readers that hope which would sustain them in their persecutions, and to keep their eyes set, not on their present trials, but, in accordance with faith's very nature, on the unseen and eternal glory.

In the entirely different circumstances in which he wrote, John wished to lay stress on the very opposite aspect of faith. For what is characteristic of John's treatment of faith is insistence not so much on the certainty and glory of the future inheritance which it secures, as on the fulness of the present enjoyment of salvation which it brings. There was pressing into the Church a false emphasis on knowledge, which affected to despise simple faith. This John met, on the one hand, by deepening the idea of knowledge to the knowledge of experience, and, on the other, by insisting upon the immediate entrance of every believer into the possession of salvation. It is not to be supposed, of course, that he was ready to neglect or deny that out-reaching of faith to the future on which Peter lays such stress: he is zealous that Christians shall know that they are children of God from the moment of believing, and from that instant possessors of the new life of the Spirit; but he does not forget the greater glory of the future, and he knows how to use this Christian hope also as an incitement to holy living (I Jn. iii. 2). Nor are we to suppose that, in his anti-Gnostic insistence on the element of conviction in faith, he would lose sight of that central element of surrendering trust which is the heart of faith in other portions of the Scriptures: he would indeed have believers know what they believe, and who He is in whom they put their trust, and what He has done for them, and is doing, and will do, in and through them; but this is not that they may know these things simply as intellectual propositions, but that they may rest on them in faith and know them in personal experience. Least of all the New Testament writers could John confine faith to a merely intellectual act: his whole doctrine of faith is rather a protest against the intellectualism of Gnosticism. His fundamental conception of faith differs in nothing from that of the other New Testament writers; with him, too, it is a trustful appropriation of Christ and surrender of self to His salvation. Eternal life has been manifested by Christ (Jn. i. 4, I Jn. i. 1, 2, v. 11), and he, and he only, who has the Son has the life (I Jn. v. 12). But in the conflict in which he was engaged he required to throw the strongest emphasis possible upon the immediate entrance of believers into this life. This insistence had manifold applications to the circumstances of his readers. It had, for example, a negative application to the antinomian tendency of Gnostic teaching, which John does not fail to press (I Jn. i. 5, ii. 4, 15, iii. 6): 'whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God' (I Jn. v. 1), and 'whosoever is begotten of God doeth no sin' (I Jn. iii. 9). It had also a positive application to their own encouragement: the simple believer was placed on a plane of life to which no knowledge could attain; the new life received by faith gave the victory over the world; and John boldly challenges experience to point to any who have overcome the world but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God (I Jn. v. 4, 5). Accordingly, it is characteristic of John to announce that' he that believeth hath eternal life' (Jn. iii. 36, v. 24, vi. 47 ; 54,1 Jn. iii. 14,15, v. 11,12, 13). He even declares the purpose of his writing to be, in the Gospel, that his readers 'may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that, believing, they may have life in his name' (xx. 31); and in the First Epistle, that they that believe in the name of the Son of God 'may know that they have eternal life'(I Jn. v. 13).

III. The Biblical Conception of Faith

By means of the providentially mediated diversity of emphasis of the New Testament writers on the several aspects of faith, the outlines of the biblical conception of faith are thrown into very high relief.

Of its subjective nature we have what is almost a formal definition in the description of it as an ' assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen' (Heb. xi. 1). It obviously contains in it, therefore, an element of knowledge (Heb. xi. 6), and it as obviously issues in conduct (Heb. xi. 8, cf. v. 9,1 Pet. i. 22). But it consists neither in assent nor in obedience, but in a reliant trust in the invisible Author of all good (Heb. xi. 27), in which the mind is set upon the things that are above and not on the things that are upon the earth (Col. iii. 2, cf. II Cor. iv. 16-18, Mt. vi. 25. The examples cited in Heb. xi are themselves enough to show that the faith there commended is not a mere belief in God's existence and justice and goodness, or crediting of His word and promises, but a practical counting of Him faithful (xi. 11), with a trust so profound that no trial can shake it (xi. 35), and so absolute that it survives the loss of even its own pledge (xi. 17). So little is faith in its biblical conception merely a conviction of the understanding, that, when that is called faith, the true idea of faith needs to be built up above this word (Jas. ii. 14 ff.). It is a movement of the whole inner man (Rom. x. 9, 10), and is set in contrast with an unbelief that is akin, not to ignorance but to disobedience (Heb. hi. 18, 19, Jn. hi. 36, Rom. xi. 20, 30, xv. 31, I Thess. i. 8, Heb. iv. 2, 6, I Pet. i. 7, 8, hi. 1, 20, iv. 18, Acts xiv. 2, xix. 9), and that grows out of, not lack of information, but that aversion of the heart from God (Heb. hi. 12) which takes pleasure in unrighteousness (II Thess. ii. 12), and is so unsparingly exposed by our Lord (Jn. hi. 19, v. 44, viii. 47, x. 26). In the breadth of its idea, it is thus the going out of the heart from itself and its resting on God in confident trust for all good. But the scriptural revelation has to do with, and is directed to the needs of, not man in the abstract, but sinful man; and for sinful man this hearty reliance on God necessarily becomes humble trust in Him for the fundamental need of the sinner — forgiveness of sins and reception into favour. In response to the revelations of His grace and the provisions of His mercy, it commits itself without reserve and with abnegation of all self-dependence, to Him as its sole and sufficient Saviour, and thus, in one act, empties itself of all i claim on God and casts itself upon His grace alone for salvation. It is, accordingly, solely from its object that faith derives its value. This object is uniformly the God of grace, whether conceived of broadly as the source of all life, light, and blessing, on whom man in his creaturely weakness is entirely dependent, or, whenever sin and the eternal welfare of the soul are in view, as the Author of salvation in whom alone the hope of unworthy man can be placed. This one object of saving faith never varies from the beginning to the end of the scriptural revelation; though, naturally, there is an immense difference between its earlier and later stages in fulness of knowledge as to the nature of the redemptive work by which the salvation intrusted to God shall be accomplished; and as naturally there occurs a very great variety of forms of statement in which trust in the God of salvation receives expression. Already, however, at the gate of Eden, the God in whom the trust of our first parents is reposed is the God of the gracious promise of the retrieval of the injury inflicted by the serpent; and from that beginning of knowledge the progress is steady, until, what is imphed in the primal promise having become express in the accomplished work of redemption, the trust of sinners is explicitly placed in the God who was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself (II Cor. v. 19). Such a faith, again, could not fail to embrace with humble confidence all the gracious promises of the God of salvation, from which indeed it draws its life and strength; nor could it fail to lay hold with strong conviction on all those revealed truths concerning Him which constitute, indeed, in the varied circumstances in which it has been called upon to persist throughout the ages, the very grounds in view of which it has been able to rest upon Him with steadfast trust. These truths, in which the 'Gospel' or glad-tidings to God's people has been from time to time embodied, run all the way from such simple facts as that it was the very God of their fathers that had appeared unto Moses for their deliverance (Ex. iv. 5), to such stupendous facts, lying at the root of the very work of salvation itself, as that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God sent of God to save the world (Jn. vi. 69, viii. 24, xi. 42, xiii. 19, xvi. 27, 30, xvii. 8, 21, xx. 31, I Jn. v. 15), that God has raised Him from the dead (Rom. x. 9, I Thess. iv. 14), and that as His children we shall live with Him (Rom. vi. 8). But in believing this variously presented Gospel, faith has ever terminated with trustful reliance, not on the promise but on the Promiser, — not on the propositions which declare God's grace and willingness to save, or Christ's divine nature and power, or the reality and perfection of His saving work, but on the Saviour upon whom, because of these great facts, it could securely rest as on One able to save to the uttermost. Jesus Christ, God the Redeemer, is accordingly the one object of saving faith, presented to its embrace at first implicitly and in promise, and ever more and more openly until at last it is entirely explicit and we read that 'a man is not justified save through faith in Jesus Christ' (Gal. ii. 16). If, with even greater explicitness still, faith is sometimes said to rest upon some element in the saving work of Christ, as, for example, upon His blood or His righteousness (Rom. iii. 25, II Pet. i. 1), obviously such a singling out of the very thing in His work on which faith takes hold, in no way derogates from its repose upon Him, and Him only, as the sole and sufficient Saviour.

The saving power of faith resides thus not in itself, but in the Almighty Saviour on whom it rests. It is never on account of its formal nature as a psychic act that faith is conceived in Scripture to be saving, as if this frame of mind or attitude of heart were itself a virtue with claims on God for reward, or at least especially pleasing to Him (either in its nature or as an act of obedience) and thus predisposing Him to favour, or as if it brought the soul into an attitude of receptivity or of sympathy with God, or opened a channel of communication from Him. It is not faith that saves, but faith in Jesus Christ: faith in any other saviour, or in this or that philosophy or human conceit (Col. ii. 16, 18, I Tim. iv. 1), or in any other gospel than that of Jesus Christ and Him as crucified (Gal. i. 8, 9), brings not salvation but a curse. It is not, strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith or the nature of faith, but in the object of faith; and in this the whole biblical representation centres, so that we could not more radically misconceive it than by transferring to faith even the smallest fraction of that saving energy which is attributed in the Scriptures solely to Christ Himself. This purely mediatory function of faith is very clearly indicated in the regimens in which it stands, which ordinarily express simple instrumentality. It is most frequently joined to its verb as the dative of means or instrument (Acts xv. 9, xxvi. 18, Rom. iii. 28, iv. 20, v. 2, xi. 20, II Cor. i. 24, Heb. xi. 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 21, 23, 24 || 27, 28, 29, 30, 31); and the relationship intended is further explained by the use to express it of the prepositions eK (Rom. i. 17, 17, iii. 26, 30, iv. 16, 16, v. 1, ix. 30, 32, x. 6, xiv. 23, 23, Gal. ii. 16, iii. 7, 8, 9, 11,12, 27, 28, v. 5,1 Tim. i. 5, Heb. x. 38, Jas. ii. 24) and did (with the genitive, never with the accusative, Rom. iii. 22, 25, 30, II Cor. v. 7, Gal. ii. 16, iii. 14, 26, II Tim. iii. 15, Heb. vi. 12, xi. 33, 39, I Pet. i. 5), — the fundamental idea of the former construction being that of source or origin, and of the latter that of mediation or instru mentality, though they are used together in the same context, apparently with no distinction of meaning (Rom. hi. 25, 26, 30, Gal. ii. 16). It is not necessary to discover an essentially different implication in the exceptional usage of the prepositions eiri (Acts hi. 16, Phil. iii. 9) and Kara (Heb. xi. 7, 13, cf. Mt. ix. 29) in this connexion: kiri is apparently to be taken in a quasi-temporal sense, 'on faith/ giving the occasion of the divine act, and /card very similarly in the sense of conformability, 'in conformity with faith.' Not infrequently we meet also with a construction with the preposition kv which properly designates the sphere, but which in passages like Gal. ii. 20, Col. ii. 7, II Thess. ii. 13 appears to pass over into the conception of instrumentality.

So little indeed is faith conceived as containing in itself the energy or ground of salvation, that it is consistently represented as, in its origin, itself a gratuity from God in the prosecution of His saving work. It comes, not of one's own strength or virtue, but only to those who are chosen of God for its reception (II Thess. ii. 13), and hence is His gift (Eph. vi. 23, cf. ii. 8, 9, Phil, i. 29), through Christ (Acts iii. 16, Phil. i. 29, I Pet. i. 21, cf. Heb. xii. 2), by the Spirit (II Cor. iv. 13, Gal. v. 5), by means of the preached word (Rom. x. 17, Gal. iii. 2, 5); and as it is thus obtained from God (II Pet. i. 1, Jude 3,1 Pet. i. 21), thanks are to be returned to God for it (Col. i. 4, II Thess. i. 3). Thus, even here all boasting is excluded, and salvation is conceived in all its elements as the pure product of unalloyed grace, issuing not from, but in, good works (Eph. ii. 8-12). The place of faith in the process of salvation, as biblically conceived, could scarcely, therefore, be better described than by the use of the scholastic term 'instrumental cause.' Not in one portion of the Scriptures alone, but throughout their whole extent, it is conceived as a boon from above which comes to men, no doubt through the channels of their own activities, but not as if it were an effect of their energies, but rather, as it has been finely phrased, as a gift which God lays in the lap of the soul. 'With the heart,' indeed, 'man believeth unto righteousness'; but this believing does not arise of itself out of any heart indifferently, nor is it grounded in the heart's own potencies; it is grounded rather in the freely-giving goodness of God, and comes to man as a benefaction out of heaven.

The effects of faith, not being the immediate product of faith itself but of that energy of God which was exhibited in raising Jesus from the dead and on which dependence is now placed for raising us with Him into newness of life (Col. ii. 12), would seem to depend directly only on the fact of faith, leaving questions of its strength, quality, and the like more or less to one side. We find a proportion, indeed, suggested between faith and its effects (Mt. ix. 29, viii. 13, cf. viii. 10, xv. 28, xvii. 20, Lk. vii. 9, xvii. 6). Certainly there is a fatal doubt, which vitiates with its double-mindedness every approach to God (Jas. i. 6-8, cf. iv. 8, Mt. xxi. 21, Mk. xi. 23, Rom. iv. 20, xiv. 23, Jude 22). But Jesus deals with notable tenderness with those of 'little faith,' and His apostles imitated Him in this (Mt. vi. 30 f., 20, xiv. 31, xvi. 8, xvii. 20, Lk. xii. 28, Mk. ix. 24, Lk. xvii. 5, cf. Rom. xiv. 1, 2,1 Cor. viii. 7, and see Doubt). The effects of faith may possibly vary also with the end for which the trust is exercised (cf. Mk. x. hi ha ava(3\e\f/w with Gal. ii. 16 €7rioTeu-cranev ha 5t/catoj0w/xey). But he who humbly but confidently casts himself on the God of salvation has the assurance that he shall not be put to shame (Rom. xi. 11, ix. 33), but shall receive the end of his faith, even the salvation of his soul (I Pet. i. 9). This salvation is no doubt, in its idea, received all at once (Jn. iii. 36, I Jn. v. 12); but it is in its very nature a process, and its stages come, each in its order. First of all, the believer, renouncing by the very act of faith his own righteousness which is out of the law, receives that 'righteousness which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God on faith' (Phil, iii. 9, cf. Rom. iii. 22, iv. 11, ix. 30, x. 3, 10, II Cor. v. 21, Gal. v. 5, Heb. xi. 7, II Pet. i. 1). On the ground of this righteousness, which in its origin is the ' righteous act' of Christ, constituted by His 'obedience' (Rom. v. 18, 19), and comes to the believer as a ' gift' (Rom. v. 17), being reckoned to him apart from works (Rom. iv. 6), he that believes in Christ is justified in God's sight, received into His favour, and made the recipient of the Holy Spirit (Jn. vii. 39, cf. Acts v. 32), by whose indwelling men are constituted the sons of God (Rom. viii. 13). And if children, then are they heirs (Rom. viii. 17), assured of an incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance, reserved in heaven for them; and meanwhile they are guarded by the power of God through faith unto this gloriously complete salvation (I Pet. i. 4, 5). Thus, though the immediate effect of faith is only to make the believer possessor before the judgment-seat of God of the alien righteousness wrought out by Christ, through this one effect it draws in its train the whole series of saving acts of God, and of saving effects on the soul. Being justified by faith, the enmity which has existed between the sinner and God has been abolished, and he has been introduced into the very family of God, and made sharer in all the blessings of His house (Eph. ii. 13 f.). Being justified by faith, he has peace with God, and rejoices in the hope of the glory of God, and is enabled to meet the trials of life, not merely with patience but with joy (Rom. v. 1 f.). Being justified by faith, he has already working within him the life which the Son has brought into the world, and by which, through the operations of the Spirit which those who believe in Him receive (Jn. vii. 39), he is enabled to overcome the world lying in the evil one, and, kept by God from the evil one, to sin not (I Jn. v. 19). In a word, because we are justified by faith, we are, through faith, endowed with all the privileges and supplied with all the graces of the children of God.

Literature.  Schlatter, "Der Glaube im NT" (includes a section on " Der Glaube vor Jesus ") is the most comprehensive work on the biblical idea of faith. The general subject is also treated by Lutz, "BiblischeDogmatik,"p.312; H.Schultz, "Ge-rechtigkeit aus dem Glauben im A. u. NT" (in JDTh, 1862, p. 510); Hofmann, "Schriftbeweis," i, p. 381; Riehm, "Lehrbr. d. Hebraerbr.," p. 700; Cremer, "Bib. Theol. Lex." s. maris, -kkj-reuco; Hatch, "Essays in Biblical Greek," p. 83. For OT, cf. the relevant sections in the treatises on "OT Theology," especially those of Oehler, H. Schultz, Riehm, Dillmann; and the commentaries on the passages, especially Delitzsch on Genesis and Hab akkuk. For NT, cf. Huther, "far} und -Kiareheiv im NT" (in JBDTh, 1872, p. 182), and the relevant sections in the general treatises on "NT Theology," especially those of Neander ("Pflanzung," etc.), Schmid, Reuss, Weiss, Beyschlag, Holtz-mann, and in the treatises on the theology of the several NT writers, such as Wendt,'' The Teaching of Jesus''; Usteri,' 1 Paul-inischer Lehrbegr."; Pfleiderer, "Paulinism"; Stevens, "The Pauline Theology"; Lipsins, "Paulinische Rechtfertigungs-lehre "; Schnedermann," De fidei ratione ethica Paulina "; Haus-leiter, "Was versteht Paulus unter christlichem Glauben?" (in "Greifswalder Studien," p. 159); Riehm, "Lehrbegr. d. Heb-raerbr."; Reuss, "Die Johan. Theologie" (in "Beitrage zur d. Theol. Wissenschaft," i, 56); Kostlin, "Lehrbegr. Johann."; Weiss," Der Johann. Lehrbegr."; Stevens," The Johannine Theology "; Weiss, "Der Petrin. Lehrbegr.": also such commentaries as Riickert on "Romans"; Sanday-Headlam on "Romans"; Lightfoot on "Galatians"; Haupt on "I John"; Mayor on " James "; Spitta on "James." The whole body of doctrinal discussion may be reviewed in De Moor, " Commentarius in J. Marckii Compendium," iv, p. 287 f.; cf. also John Ball, "A Treatise of Faith" (3rd ed. London, 1637), Julius Kostlin, "Der Glaube, sein Wesen, Grund und Gegenstand" (1889), and "Der Glaube und seine Bedeutung fur Erkentniss, Leben und Kirche " (1891). For some interesting historical notes, see Harnack, "Die Lehre von der Seligkeit allein durch den Glauben in der alten Kirche" (in Zeitschrift. /. Theol u. Kirche, 1895, p. 88); E. Konig, "Der Glaubensact des Christen" (1891); and for a general survey, Cunningham, "Historical Theology," ii, pp. 56 ff.



1 Article "Faith," from "A Dictionary of the Bible," ed. by James Hastings, v. i, pp. 827-838. Pub. N. Y. 1905, by Charles Scribner's Sons.


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