Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.…
In the realm of the unseen faith examines and discriminates. Faith is not credulity. Faith is not the promiscuous acceptance of this, that, and everything which lies out of sight. Faith is the criterion and touchstone of things unseen. When one comes to her with a professed doctrine, saying, "In the world out of sight, the world of spirit and heaven, there exists such or such a truth, such or such a reality, such or such a being;" faith, the faculty by which we take account of the unseen, applies herself to the subject, puts it to the test of Scripture, asks its evidences and examines them, rejects the worthless, ratifies the true, and finally gives judgment upon the result and upon the issue. Faith has lived long enough to know — even from Scripture — how confident sometimes are "lying wonders," how easy it is to find evidences for any folly, how far we might drift from the moorings of truth and duty if we gave heed to every doctrine which professed to rest (as St. Paul once expressed it)upon "spirit, or word, or letter as from us." It is the office of Faith to test and to discriminate things unseen — to decide whether they belong to the revealed invisible, or to the conjectured, imagined, fancied invisible — and according to her judgment upon this question, so to determine the further question, Shall I accept, or shall I refuse? Faith takes God's Word, and tests every professed truth by it. Faith is the touchstone of all matters lying in the region of spirit — she decides whether, for her, they are true or false, by seeing whether they agree, or whether they conflict, with her own one guide, which is the revelation, the inspiration, of God. This exercise of faith implies, then, one earlier. Before faith can test things unseen by the Word of God, she must have that Word, and she must know it.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.