John Marbeck (ca. 1510-ca.1585) on What Faith Is

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in Faith and Assurance



What Faith is.

Faith is a sure confidence of things which are hoped for [Heb. 11:8.], and a certainty of things which are not seen. ¶ Faith and trust in Christ only, is the life and quietness of the conscience, and not trust in works how holy so ever they be or appear. Works cannot se the heart at rest, because we ever think they be not enough, nor yet good enough, but to few, and so fall we into mistrusting, after which follows despairing and so damnation, if we leave not the confidence in them, and stick to faith, which can receive and believe without mistrust, that Christ’s works no the cross, has full purged, cleansed, and loosed us from our sins.

Again, Faith is a lively and steadfast trust in the favor of God, wherewith we commit ourselves altogether unto God, and that trust is so surely grounded, and sticks so fast in our hearts, that a man would not once doubt of it, though he should die a thousand times therefore, and such trust wrought by the Holy Ghost through faith, makes a man glad, lusty, cheerful and true hearted unto God and all creatures, by means whereof, willingly and without compulsion, he is lad and ready to do good to every man, to suffer all things, that God may beloved and praised, which has given him such grace, so that it is impossible to separate good works from faith, even as it is impossible to separate heat from fire. Therefore take heed and beware of your own fantasies, which to judge of faith and good works, will seem wise, when indeed they are stark blind, and of all things most foolish. Pray God that he will vouchsafe to work faith in your heart, or else you shall remain evermore faithless, feign you imagine you, enforce you wrestle with yourself, an do what you wilt.

Again, Faith is to believing of God’s promises, and a sure trust in the goodness and truth of God, which is faith justified Abraham, Gen. 15. and was the mother of all his good works, which he afterward did, for faith is the goodness of all works in the sight of God. Good works are things of God’s commandment, wrought in faith. And to show a show at the commandment of God, to do your neighbor service with all, with faith to be saved by Christ (as God promises us) is much better then to build an Abby of their own imagination, trust to be saved by the feigned works of hypocrites. Jacob robbed Laban his uncle, Moses robbed the Egyptians, and Abraham is about to slay and burn is own son, and all are holy works because they are wrought in faith at God’s commandment. To steal, rob and murder, are no holy works before worldly people, but unto them that have their trust in God, they are holy when God commands them. What God commands not, gets no reward with God. Holy works of men’s imagination, receive their reward here as Christ testifies. Math. 6:2.                                                                       Tyndale.

Faith is an undoubted belief most firmly grounded in the mind.                           Bullinger. fo. 30.

Again, True faith is the well-spring and root of all virtues and good works, and first of all satisfies the mind and desire of man, and makes it quiet and joyful.                   Bullinger. fol. 54.

Iohn Marbeck, A Book of Notes and Common Places, collected and gathered out of the works of diuers singular Witers, and brought Alphabetically in order (Imprinted at London by Thomas East, 1581), 361-362. [Some words and spelling modernized.]

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