Faith Built on Sense is No [Saving] Faith

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Andrew Gray (Works, pp. 63, 64):

Ye must know that a Christian is not to build his faith upon sense, nor sensible enjoyments. Sense may be an evidence of faith, but it must not be the foundation of faith: I know there are some that oftentimes cry out, “Except I put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into the hole of his side, I will not believe:” and indeed it is a mystery unto the most part of us, to be exercising faith upon a naked word of promise, abstractly from sense: to love an absent Christ, and to believe on an absent Christ, are the two greatest mysteries of Christianity.

But that sense is no good foundation for faith, may appear, 1. That faith which is builded upon sense, is a most inconstant, a most fluctuating and transient faith. I know sense hath its fits of love, and, as it were, hath its fits of faith; sometimes sense is sick of love, and sometimes sense is strong in faith, but ere six hours go about, sense may be sick of jealousy, and sick of unbelief, as you may see from Psalm 30:6. Sense, that bold thing will instantly cry out, My mountain standeth strong; I will never be moved: but behold how soon it changeth its note, Thou hidest thy face, and I was troubled. At one time it will cry forth, Who is like unto him that pardoneth iniquity, and that passeth over transgressions? But ere many hours go about, it will sing a song upon another key, and cry out, Why art thou become unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?

2. That faith which is built upon sense, wanteth the promise of blessedness, for this is annexed to believing that is founded upon the word, according to that in John 20:29, Blessed are those that have not seen, and yet have believed. Nor hath that faith which is built upon sense such a solid joy waitting on it, as faith that is built upon the naked word of promise, as may be cleared from that word, 1 Pet. 1:8, where faith exerciseth itself upon Christ not seen, maketh a Christian rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory, a joy that doth not attend believing, founded upon sense.

3. That faith that is built upon sense, giveth not much glory to God; for faith that is built upon sense, exalteth not the omnipotency of God. I will tell you what is the divinity of sense; let me see, and then I will believe; but it knoweth not what it is to believe upon trust, and because the Lord hath spoken in his holiness and in effect, faith that is built upon sense, is no faith, even as Rom. 8:21, Hope that is seen, is not hope: and therefore when the Lord seeth a Christian making sense an idol, that he will not believe; but when he seeth and feeleth, this doth often provoke the majesty of the Lord to withdraw himself from the Christian, and to deny him that sweet influence of heaven, and those consolations that are above, so that in an instant he hath both his sense and his faith to seek.​
 
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