I n a i t i ) a i t ò S a v i n g
f a i f y .
From Dr. Kuyper's "Work of the Holy Spirit." SHIP is ready to sail, but lacks a captain. Two men present themselves to the ship owner; both are pro- vided with excellent testi- monials signed by credita- ble and trustworthy per-
That vessel is our soul. It is tossing on the waters and needs a pilot. The voyage is long, and we ask, "Who will safely pilot i t ? " Then a testimony is laid be- fore us concerning One wonderfully skilled in the art of safely guiding souls into the desired haven. That testimony is Sacred Scripture, which throughout all its pages offers but one, ever continued, divine testi- mony concerning the unique excellence of the Christ as leading souls to the safe haven. With this testimony before us it is for us to decide whether we will ac- cept it or not. Its rejection ends the matter and Jesus will never be the Guide of our soul. But, accepting it, saying, " We believe all that is written," we can proceed. This confession implies: (1) faith in the genuineness of the testimony; (2) faith in God who gave it; (3) faith in the truth of its contents. But this is not saving faith, only faith in the testimony. To believe that it will prove true in our case, in our own persons, is quite different. This depends not upon the testimony, but upon whether we will submit ourselves to Him of whom it speaks. Although this Captain pilots souls safely across very deep waters, He does not pilot all souls. They must be able and willing to submit themselves to Him according to His demands. The unwilling are left be- hind and, trying to pilot themselves, they miserably perish. Hence we must submit. And this requires the laying aside of all our self-conceit, the utter casting out of self. So long as self stands in the way we refuse Him as our spiritual guide; nor do we believe in His power. ' But as soon as self is cast out, the ego silenced, and the soul abandons itself to Him, the sec- ond faith awakens and, upon bended knee, we cry: " My Lord and my God!" " F o r by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8); " f o r what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteous- ness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace but of debt; but to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." (Rom. 4:3-5).
sons. Of the absolute truth of these testi- monials the ship owner is thoroughly con- vinced. And yet in spite of this testimony one is engaged and the other dismissed. Conversing with both, the owner has found the first a very reasonable fellow, readily allowing him, as the owner of the ship, to issue orders; in fact as captain he would have nothing to say. But the other, a real sailor, demanded absolute control of the ship, otherwise he would not take the responsibility. And, since the ship owner enjoyed issuing orders, he pre- ferred the meek and tractable captain and dismissed the rough sailor. Consequently the tame commander, obeying orders, lost the ship the first voyage, while the rival ship, commanded by that Jack-tar, re- turned home laden with a rich cargo. We distinguish here two kinds of faith. First, faith or no faith in testimony pre- santed; second, faith or no faith in the persons to whom this testimony refers. In the illustration faith of the first kind was perfect. Those testimonies were ac- cepted as genuine; the ship owner had per- fect faith in the signatures. And yet it did not follow that he was immediately ready to entrust his property to either one of those eaptains. This required another faith; not only faith in the contents of those papers, but faith also that those contents would prove true regarding the command of his ship. Hence he carefully considered both men, and discovering that the one left no room for his self-assertion, it was natural that he engaged the other, who flattered his egotism. And influenced by this egotism he did not place that sec- ond faith in the right person. His neigh- bor, not .so egotistically inclined, kept the end in view, had faith in the good sea- many arid his profits were almost fabulous. Hence-»both meri had unconditional faith in the' 'testiftionies; but the one, denying hiiriself, had also faith in the excellent captain, and the other, refusing to deny himself, had not. Apply this to our relation to Christ.
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