True Faith

From The Rules and Exercises of Holy Living, IV, 1 (1650)

St. James’s sign is the best: “Show me your faith by your works.’ Faith makes the merchant diligent and venturous, and that makes him rich. Ferdinand of Aragon believed the story told by Columbus, and therefore he furnished him with ships, and got the West Indies by his faith in the undertaker. But Henry the Seventh of England did not believe Columbus, and therefore did not trust him with shipping, and lost all the purchase of that faith.

Christ told us, ‘He that forgives shall be forgiven.” If we believe this, it is certain we shall forgive our enemies; for all of us need and desire to be forgiven… He that believes does not make haste, but waits patiently till the times of refreshment come, and dares to trust God for the morning, and is no more solicitous for the next year than he is for that which is past…

If you dare to trust God when the case, to human reason, seems impossible, and trust to God then also out of choice, not because you have nothing else to trust to, but because he is the only support of a just confidence, then you give a good testimony of your faith. True faith is confident. True faith will venture all the world upon the strength of its persuasion. Will you lay your life on it, your estate, your reputation, that the doctrine of Jesus Christ is true in every article?

Jeremy Taylor was an Anglican cleric, the author of the twin devotional manuals, The Rules and Exercises of Holy Living and Holy Dying. Classed among the Caroline Divines, he was famed in his time as a preacher and moral theologian, Taylor served as chaplain to King Charles I, and after the Restoration, became Bishop of Down and Connor in Ireland. He is commemorated on August 13 on the liturgical calendars of many Anglican churches.


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