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Faith the Source of Duty.

Faith the Source of Duty.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
EDITED BY REV. HENRY NEWLAND,


Psalm cxliv. 15.

" Happy are the people that are in such a case : yea,
blessed are the people that have the Lord for their
God."
EDITED BY REV. HENRY NEWLAND,


Psalm cxliv. 15.

" Happy are the people that are in such a case : yea,
blessed are the people that have the Lord for their
God."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 25, 2014
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FAITH THE SOURCE OF DUTY. EDITED BY REV. HERY EWLAD, Psalm cxliv. 15. " Happy are the people that are in such a case : yea, blessed are the people that have the Lord for their God." THE conditions on which we are admitted into the Christian Covenant, are, as we know, Re pentance, Faith, and Obedience, and we should do well to notice this order in which they are presented to us, for that in itself involves a doctrine, and it is because it does involve a doctrine that the Church never deviates from it in all its teachings. In the Catechism we hear first of renouncing the devil and his works ; then of believing all the Articles of the Christian faith ; and lastly, of keeping God s Holy Will and Commandment. So it is in the Seasons of the Spiritual Year. To a certain extent, these three subjects must be taught FAITH THE SOURCE OF DUTY. 115 together ; for repentance without faith is de spair, faith without repentance is presumption, and obedience without faith or repentance, supposing such a thing possible at all, would be self-confidence and self-reliance. Still the order is adhered to generally. And now let us see why. It is seldom of much use to point out to a man what is his real interest. He may believe and be fully
 
convinced that the happiness of the life to come exceeds that of the present, and yet present pleasure and present temptation may, and generally does, outweigh his better judg ment. othing future can be certain to out weigh present gratification while the mind of man is constituted as it is. We see instances every day of men sacrificing their earthly future to their present pleasures in matters which are before their eyes, and which, there fore, require no exercise of faith whatever; and if men will do this with earthly things which they can see, how much more will they do it in heavenly things which they cannot see ? othing will keep a man stedfastly in the line of his duty, except making his present pleasure in following it greater than the plear sure which the various temptations to depart from it can possibly hold out to him. He, therefore, must have learnt to feel a positive 116 FAITH THE SOURCE OF DUTY. and present pleasure in the act of serving God,  just as he would feel a positive and present pleasure in the act of doing a service or a kindness to parent or dear friend, before he can feel any confidence in his power of resist ing temptations. ow we cannot love one in whom we do not believe ; neither can we un derstand the extent of God s mercies till we have seen the greatness of our own deliverance. Hence it is that repentance, which shows us the greatness of our danger, leads to faith, and faith, which shows us the price of our de liverance, leads to obedience. Hence, therefore, the teaching of the Church.
 
As it is repentance that opens the heart to faith, so it is Advent that opens the heart to the mysteries of the Incarnation ; and Lent to those of the Atonement. And as it is a sense of our past sins and dangers, but not without a thankful remembrance of our deliverance, which constrains us to obedience, so the doctrines of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, must have been laid to heart together before we can enter into those of the Sundays after Trinity, which, pointing out the duties of the repentant, regenerated, and renewed Christian, hold out no present inducements to the performance of them, except the natural love which we must feel towards such a Father FAITH THE SOURCE OF DUTY. 117 and Benefactor, and the natural pleasure which we should derive from serving Him. This has been the object of the Church s teaching all along in the weekly lessons af forded by its Gospels and Epistles; and as the Old-Testament Lessons are selected as auxiliary to these, we may expect to find the same idea running through them also. And so it is ; they have done by type, by figure, and by. example, what the ew-Testa ment Lessons have done by precept and reve lation. Did they not warn us of the Lord s coming in Advent, and then show us in Christ mas-Tide that the Lord was the Saviour also ; and in Epiphany, that His Light is manifested to us, and in us ? Did they not hold out ex

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