Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.…
First, then, this chapter shows us the different ways and modes of the working of faith. And secondly, it speaks to all characters of persons, showing the manner in which faith will affect particular characters. New men declare faith to be unreasonable. "Acting on trust! " says a godless man, "how strange a mode of acting! Surely those who do it are trusting to some vague fancy or feeling, they scarce know what, and call it faith." I answer, Although the thing which we believe, the object of faith, is most marvellous, yet faith itself, belief in the object, is no such strange or unusual thing. Every man constantly acts on faith, and the very man who laughs at another for acting on faith acts on faith himself every day.
1. That man trusts his memory. He does not now see or feel what he did yesterday, yet he has no doubt it happened as he remembers it.
2. Again, when a man reasons he trusts his reasoning powers; he knows one thing is true, and sees clearly that another follows from that. For example, he sees long shadows on the ground; then he knows the sun or moon is shining without looking round to see. But some one raises an objection. He says, "Very true; but in memory, reason, and daily life we trust ourselves; in religion we trust the word of another, and. that is hard." But there is no real difficulty. In this world we act on the evidence of others. What do we know without trusting others? Are there not towns and cities within fifty miles of us we never saw, yet we fully believe they are there.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.