from Thomas Reade's, "On Faith"
True faith is not a mere passive
or an inoperative notion. It is a holy principle
wrought in the soul by the Spirit of God,
producing gracious habits, holy affections,
filial reverence, and obedience.
True faith is seated in the heart,
and purifying the whole inner man.
True faith unites the soul to Christ,
branch to the vine. It draws virtue from him,
whereby the believer is rendered fruitful in
every good work. The sweet fruits of the Spirit
appear and abound in rich luxuriance on these
favored branches, to the glory of God.
True faith feeds upon Christ continually,
the true bread which came down from heaven,
of which, whoever eats shall live forever.
True faith works by love to God,
his people, and
his word. It evidences its vitality by its fruits.
True faith purifies the heart from
war against all internal and external evil.
True faith overcomes the world,
when it smiles and when it frowns.
True faith views the glorious land
as its own, and triumphs over all intervening
difficulties and dangers which bestrew its path
True faith makes the believer confident,
watchful; bold, yet cautious; aspiring, yet humble.
He is confident, since the promises of God are
kindly given him to rest upon; watchful, since he
feels the deceitfulness of his rebellious heart.
Bold, since the honor of the Savior demands
his confession; cautious, lest he should be only
gratifying a proud spirit. Aspiring after that
honor which comes from God only; yet humble,
since he remembers his own vileness and utter
unworthiness of the least of the divine mercies.
If it be asked, how can faith effect such wonders?
The reply is, because faith is the gift of God, and
the power of God. The believer, abiding in Christ,
and deriving continual supplies of grace and
strength out of his fullness, becomes mighty
through this power which works in him mightily.
He is strengthened with might by his Spirit in
the inner man, to fight the good fight of faith,
and to lay hold on eternal life.
Weak and helpless in himself, he is strong in
the grace that is in Christ Jesus his Lord and
finally obtains the palm of victory through the
blood of the Lamb.
Thus, faith in Christ leads it to all true holiness.
Such is the faith of God's elect; a
faith which is according to godliness.