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          True Saving Faith Described


This justifying faith, which we assert to be so discernible, is, in the Lord's deep wisdom and gracious condescension, variously expressed in Scripture, according to the different actings of it upon God, and outgoings after Him; so that every one who has it may find and take it up in his own mould. It sometimes acts by a desire of union with Him in Christ; this is that looking to Him in Isaiah – ‘Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.' (Isa. 45: 22.) This seems to be a weak act of faith, and far below other actings of it at other times perhaps in that same person. Men will look to what they dare not approach (in their apprehension), which they dare not touch or embrace; they may look to one to whom they dare not speak: yet God has made the promise to faith in that acting, as the fore-cited Scripture shows: and this He has done mercifully and wisely; for this is the only discernible way of the acting of faith in some. Such are the actings or outgoings of faith expressed in Scripture by 'hungering and thirsting after righteousness' (Matt. 5: 6), and that expressed by willing – 'And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.' (Rev. 22: 17.)

Again, this faith goes out sometimes in the act of recumbency, or leaning on the Lord, the soul taking up Christ then as a resting stone, and God has so held him out, although he be a stumbling-stone to others. (Rom. 9: 33.) This acting of it is hinted in the expressions of trusting and staying on God, so often mentioned in Scripture; and precious promises are made to this acting of faith – 'God will keep them in perfect peace whose minds are stayed on Him; because such do trust in Him. Trust in the Lord: for with Him is everlasting strength.' (Isa. 26: 3, 4.) 'They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which abideth for ever.' (Psa. 125: 1.) I say, the Lord has made promises to this way of faith's acting, as knowing it will often go out after Him in this way with many persons; and this way of its acting will be most discernible to them . . .



“The Christian's Great Interest” by William Guthrie (Banner of Truth Trust, 1997), pp65-66. This work, along with a short memoir of William Guthrie (1620-1665), is available here.