Much is said concerning faith in the holy Scriptures, especially in the New Testament; and great stress is laid upon it, especially by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. This, I apprehend, is not very difficult to be accounted for. Ever since the fall of man, we have been entirely dependent on the mercy of God, through a Mediator. We all lie at his discretion, and are beholden to his mere sovereign grace for all the happiness we enjoy. We have nothing on which we can rely for the possession or continuance of any good, but the word and will of God. The only life, therefore, proper for a fallen creature in our world, is a life of faith—to be constantly sensible of our dependence upon God, continually going to him, and receiving all from him, for the life that now is and that which is to come.
Believers, and they only, are brought to be of a spirit suitable to such a kind of life. The hearts of all others are too full of pride and self-sufficiency; but these are contented to be pensioners on the bounty of another, can willingly commit their all into Christ’s hands, and venture their present and everlasting concerns upon his word. “The just shall live by faith.”
Self-renunciation, and confidence in another, are ideas which seem ever to accompany that of faith. The apostle speaks of being justified by faith; that is, not by our own righteousness, but by the righteousness of another:—of living by faith; that is, not by our own earnings, so to speak, but by the generosity of another:—of standing by faith; that is, not upon our own legs, as we should say, but upon those of another: and here,—of walking by faith; which is as much as if he had said,—We walk, not trusting our own eyes, but the eyes of another; we are blind, and cannot guide ourselves; we must therefore rely upon God for direction and instruction. This, my brethren, is the life we must live, while in this world, and this the manner in which we must walk in our progress toward the heavenly state. Great is the wisdom and goodness of God in so ordering it; great glory hereby redounds to him, and great good accrues to us.
Excerpt: Fuller, Andrew. Sermon. “The Nature and Importance of Walking by Faith.” Preached at Nottingham, before the Northamptonshire Association, June 2, 1784.]
Fuller, Andrew. The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller. Vol. 1. Joseph Belcher, ed. Sprinkle Publications. pg. 118.