Such we believe to be the purport of the three words of our Lord that in our version are rendered, "Have faith in God," and' in the margin, more literally, "Have the faith of God."
"All God's giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them."
Man needs a creed, and will have one. Here is an inspired creed: short, intelligible, and to the point. It meets every man's need, is suitable to every age, and to every country, and appropriate in every circumstance of daily life. It bears on all man's temporal affairs, it meets his every spiritual want. To God's faithfulness should we look for our necessary food- "Give us this day our daily bread." To Him, too, should we look for raiment, for He clothes the lilies of the field. Every care for temporal things we should bring to Him, and then be careful for nothing. To Him likewise should we come with all spiritual want, "that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Is our path dark? He is our sun. Are we in danger? He is our shield. If we trust Him, we shall not be put to shame; but if our faith fail, His will not-"If we believe not, He abideth faithful."
Want of trust is at the root of almost all our sins and all our weaknesses; and how shall we escape from it, but by looking to Him, and observing His faithfulness? As the light which shines from the dark waters of the lake is the reflection of the sun's rays, so man's faith is the impress and reflection of God's faith. And more, the man who holds God's faith will not cheat his neighbour, nor be faithless to his own covenants. The man who holds God's faith will not be foolhardy or reckless, but he will be ready for every emergency. The man who holds God's faith will dare to obey Him, however impolitic it may appear. Abraham held God's faith, and offered up Isaac, accounting that God was able to raise him up. Moses held God's faith, and led the millions of Israel into the waste-howling wilderness. Joshua knew Israel well, and was ignorant neither of the fortifications of the Canaanites, nor of their martial prowess; but he held God's faithfulness, and led Israel across the Jordan. The Apostles held God's faith, and were not daunted by the hatred of the Jews, nor by the hostility of the heathen. The early Christians held God's faith, and when the need arose, acted on the Lord's command, "Sell that ye have and give alms:" and thus none had any lack. "And what shall I more say, for the time would fail me to tell" of those who, holding God's faithfulness, had faith, and by it "subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens."
Satan too has his creed: "Doubt God's faithfulness." "Hath God said? Are you not mistaken as to His commands? He could not really mean so. You take an extreme view-give too literal a meaning to the words. Then it is not quite true that such and such a result will follow." Ah! how constantly, and alas, how successfully, are such arguments used to prevent whole-hearted trust in God, whole-hearted consecration to God. How many souls will be damned because they will not trust simply and solely to God's saving love and power! How many Christians go mourning, and lose joy, strength, and opportunities of helping others, because they do not hold God's faithfulness! How many estimate difficulties in the light of their own resources, and thus attempt little, and often fail in the little they attempt! All God's giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them. See the cases of David, of Jonathan and his armour-bearer, of Asa, Jehoshaphat, and many others. Oh! beloved friends, if there is a living God, faithful and true, let us hold His faithfulness. If there is an eternity of bliss, of reward for those who love Him-if He will verily withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly, let us "Hold God's faithfulness," and walk worthy of Him. If there is an eternity of woe, if " All have sinned, and are coming short of the glory of God. Let us seek to
"Rescue the perishing,
Care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave:
Weep o'er the erring one,
Lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the Mighty to save."
Holding His faithfulness, we may go into every province of China. Holding His faithfulness, we may face with calm and sober but confident, assurance of victory, every difficulty and danger. We may count on grace for the work, on pecuniary aid, on needful facilities, and on ultimate success. Let us not give Him a partial trust, but daily, hourly, serve Him, "holding God's faithfulness."
Taken From China's Millions, November, 1875.