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| Patience Both Antecedent and Subsequent to Faith. |
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Both Antecedent and Subsequent to Faith.
Accordingly it is patience which is both
subsequent and antecedent to faith. In short, Abraham believed God, and
was accredited by Him with righteousness;9075
but it was patience which proved his faith, when he was bidden
to immolate his son, with a view to (I would not say the temptation,
but) the typical attestation of his faith. But God knew whom He had
accredited with righteousness.9076
| 9075 See Bible:Gal.3.6 Bible:Jas.2.23">Gen. xv. 6; Rom. iv. 3, 9, 22; Gal. iii.
6; James ii. 23.|
So heavy a precept,
the perfect execution whereof was not even pleasing to the Lord, he
patiently both heard, and (if God had willed) would have
fulfilled. Deservedly then was he “blessed,” because
he was “faithful;” deservedly “faithful,”
because “patient.” So faith, illumined by patience, when it
was becoming propagated among the nations through
“Abraham’s seed, which is Christ,”9077
and was superinducing grace over the
made patience her pre-eminent coadjutrix for
amplifying and fulfilling the law, because that alone had been lacking
unto the doctrine of righteousness. For men were of old wont to require
“eye for eye, and tooth for tooth”9079
and to repay with usury “evil with evil;” for, as yet,
patience was not on earth, because faith was not either. Of course,
meantime, impatience used to enjoy the opportunities which the law
gave. That was easy, while the Lord and Master of patience was absent.
But after He has supervened, and has united9080
the grace of faith with patience, now it is no longer lawful to
assail even with word, nor to say “fool”9081
even, without “danger of the
judgment.” Anger has been prohibited, our spirits retained,
the petulance of the hand checked, the poison of the tongue9082
| 9081 See Matt. v. 22; and Wordsworth in loco,
who thinks it probable that the meaning is
extracted. The law has found more than it
has lost, while Christ says, “Love your personal enemies, and
bless your cursers, and pray for your persecutors, that ye may be sons
of your heavenly Father.”9083
| 9082 Ps. cxl. 3; Rom. iii. 13; James iii.
Do you see
whom patience gains for us as a Father? In this principal precept the
universal discipline of patience is succinctly comprised, since
evil-doing is not conceded even when it is deserved.
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