FAITH NECESSARY

“Whatsoever things are lovely, and pure, and of good report,” try and gain them; but remember that all these things put together, without faith, do not please God. Virtues without faith are whitewashed sins. Unbelief nullifies everything. It is the fly in the ointment; it is the poison in the pot. Without faith — with all the virtues of purity, with all the benevolence of philanthropy, with all the kindness of disinterested sympathy, with all the talents of genius, with all the bravery of patriotism, and with all the decision of principle — you have no title to divine acceptance, for “without faith it is impossible to please God.”’ Faith fosters every virtue; unbelief withers every virtue in the bud. Thousands of prayers have been stopped by unbelief; many songs of praise that would have swelled the chorus of the skies have been stifled by unbelieving murmurs; many a noble enterprise conceived in the heart has been blighted ere it could come forth by unbelief. Faith is the Samsonian lock of the Christian: cut it off, and he can do nothing. Peter, while he had faith, walked on the waves of the sea. But presently there came a billow behind him, and he said, “That will sweep me away”; and then another before, and he cried out, “That will overwhelm me”; and he thought, “How could I be so presumptuous as to walk on the top of these waves?” And as soon as he doubted, he began to sink. Faith was Peter’s life buoy — it kept him up; unbelief sent him down. The Christian’s life may be said to be always “walking on the water,” and every wave would swallow him up; but faith enables him to stand. The moment you cease to believe, that moment distress and failure follow. Oh, wherefore do you doubt then?