David Clarkson on the three elements of saving faith

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Now if faith be so necessary, and unbelief so dangerous, it concerns us to know what it is to believe. It comprises, 1, knowledge; 2, assent; 3, dependence, or relying on the Lord Jesus Christ. 1. Knowledge. Faith is expressed by knowledge, Isa. 53:11. If knowledge be not faith, yet there can be no faith without knowledge. That blind faith of the papists is good for nothing but to lead them into the ditch. That ignorance is the mother of devotion, is one of the principles of the father of lies. Sure it is the nurse of unbelief. It is Satan’s muffler, which he makes use of to lead sinners blindfold into hell; it brings them there before they know where they are. Ignorant persons are like the Syrians, struck with blindness, 2 Kings 6:20. They thought they were going on a hopeful design, but when their eyes were opened, they found themselves in the midst of Samaria, in the midst of their enemies.

The first step to conversion is to open the eyes, to scatter darkness, Acts 26:18. He begins the new creation as he did the creation of the world: ‘Let there be light,’ Gen. 1. The first thing he produces is light. There is a dawning of the day before the day-star arise; some light goes before the sun rising. Such a dawning of knowledge there is before the Sun of righteousness arise, before Christ dwell in the heart by faith; some light from the law discovering sin and misery; some light from the gospel discovering Christ’s excellency and all-sufficiency. There is a competent knowledge of the mysteries of the gospel, a knowledge more distinct, more convincing, more affecting, than that which he had in the state of unbelief. ...

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