Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Quote: Testimony and Faith

"No testimony, no faith: for faith is only the belief of testimony, or confidence in testimony as true. To believe without testimony, is just as impossible as to see without light. The measure, quality, and power of faith are always found in the testimony believed.

"Where testimony begins, faith begins; and where testimony ends, faith ends. We believe Moses just as far as Moses speaks or writes: and when Moses has recorded his last fact, or testified his last truth, our faith in Moses terminates. His five books are, therefore, the length and breadth, the height and depth, or in other words, the measure of our faith in Moses. The quality or value of faith is found in the quality or value of the testimony. The certainty of faith is the certainty of testimony. If the testimony be valid and authoritative, our faith is strong and operative. "If," says John, "we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater," stronger and more worthy of credit. The value of a bank bill, is the amount of the precious metals which it represents, and the indisputable evidence of its genuineness; so the value of faith is the importance of the facts which the testimony presents, and the assurance afforded that the testimony is true. True, or unfeigned faith, may be contrasted with feigned faith, but true faith is the belief of truth; for he that believes a lie, believes in vain.

"The power of faith is also the power, or moral meaning of the testimony, or of the facts which the testimony represents. If by faith I am transported with joy, or overwhelmed in sorrow, that joy or sorrow is in the facts contained in the testimony, or in the nature and relation of those facts to me. If faith purifies the heart, works by love, and overcomes the world, this power is in the facts believed. If a father has more joy in believing that a lost son has been found, than in believing that a lost sheep has been brought home to his fold, the reason of this greater joy is not in the nature of his faith, but in the nature of the facts believed." ~ Alexander Campbell, The Millennial Harbinger, August 1833

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