By Richard Sibbes
We have seen briefly there is another life than the life of nature; and the root and spring of it is the Son of God. Now the way of conveyance of this life is “by faith.” A fountain is not sufficient to send forth water abroad; there must be pipes to convey it for use. So from the heart and liver there must be arteries and veins for the maintenance of life and conveyance of blood through all the body.
Christ is the heart and liver of all spiritual life; but there must be a conveyance to bring it to us, and this is faith. But why is faith the grace to convey life to us?
Because we are saved now out of ourselves by another. Therefore that grace which brings us to this great good must lead us out of ourselves. This faith does, which is the hand of the soul, to lay hold of all the graces, excellencies, and high perfections of Christ.
Because faith gives all the glory to the party whom it relies on and trusts, as in Romans 3:20. Paul shows why works were excluded; and such a righteousness was brought in, he says, the he might be just, and the justifier of him who believes; and then he adds, “Where is boasting then? it is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.” If by love it has come, or humility, patience, or anything in us, there might be some boasting; but this looks another way, lays hold upon another’s riches. Faith acknowledges nothing to be at home; therefore it goes to another to fetch it, which else it would not do.
Because we must be brought back to God by a contrary way than we were lost by; for the same way could never have recovered. The serpent, we know, shook Eve’s faith in believing the threatening. While they kept the word and feared the commandment, they kept their life; but, losing this fearing respect, they lost communion with the fountain of love. So we fell by infidelity, and must return again by faith in the righteousness of another.
This common domain writing modernized in few places by this site.