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But How shall i get faith?

An extract from Walter Marshall's sermon on justification



Walter Marshall was an English Presbyterian minister – a Puritan – best known today for his excellent work on sanctification. Born in 1628, he was forced to leave his parish in the infamous Great Ejection of 1662. However, he remained faithful to the call of God, shortly finding another congregation which he pastored until his death in 1680.  



Question. But how shall I get faith?

Answer. Faith is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8), and by the gospel (Romans 1:15-17). Faith comes by hearing the gospel preached (Romans 10:17), and that comes in working faith, not in word only, but in power (1 Thessalonians 1:5), beyond what can be done by natural or human attainment (John 6:63). Therefore, if you have no beginning of it in you, your only way is to attend to the gospel and to meditate on your sin and misery and Christ's excellency, that so you may be inclined in your heart to believe (Song of Solomon 1:3; Galatians 2:16; Psalm 9:10), for this is the way God uses to beget faith (Isaiah 55:3). But if you have a desire and inclination to fly from yourself to Christ, in the bent of your heart, so that you prefer Christ above all, then the Spirit has begun and will carry on the work, so that now you may pray confidently for faith (Song of Solomon 1:4; Luke 11:13; Mark 9:24).