Monday, November 15, 2010

No Such Thing as Easy Believism?

Well, there is, of course. But genuine belief is both simple and impossible.

From Walter Marshall's classic The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification:
[P]eople are offended at the duty of believing on Christ, as too slight and easy a remedy to cure the leprosy of the soul; they would have some harder thing enjoined them, to the attainment of so great an end as this everlasting salvation. The performance of all the moral law is not accounted work enough for this end {Matt. 19. 17, 20).

However easy the work of believing seemeth to many; yet common experience hath sowed, that men are more easily brought to the most burdensome reasonable and inhuman observations, as the Jews and Christians Galatians were more easily brought to take upon their necks the yoke of Moses law, which none were able to bear (Acts. 15. 10). The heathens were more easily brought to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods (Deut. 12:31). The Papists are brought more easily to their vows of chastity and poverty, and obedience to the most rigorous rules of monastic discipline; to macerate and torture their bodies with fastings, scourges, and pilgrimage; and to bear all the excessive tyranny of the Papal hierarchy, in a multitude of burdensome superstitious and ridiculous devotion.

They that slight the work of faith for its easiness show, that they were never yet made sensible of innumerable sins, and the terrible curse of the law and wrath of God they lied under; and of the darkness and vanity of their minds, the corruption and hardness of their hearts, and their bondage under the power of sin and Satan; and have not been truly humbled; without which they cannot believe in a right manner. Many sound believers have found by experience, that it hath been a very hard matter to bring their hearts to the duty of believing; it hath cost them vigorous struggles and sharp conflicts with their own corruptions, and Satan’s temptations. It is so difficult a work, that we cannot perform it without the mighty working of the Spirit of God in our hearts...

People choose to trust the tenuous but hard work of persona law-keeping, hard-fought obedience accomplished by great effort and sweat, because simply believing is too difficult. If simply believing were easy, more people would do it.


Anonymous said...


Roberta said...

That's the truth!

Lazaro said...

jared, can i translate and plubish this post in to spanish?