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cally, as active and passive" senses of the same word, or logically, as sub-
1. The Hebrew word signifying ‘to believe, to trust, is the Hiphil pron. i. Hebrew. The Kal sps would mean ‘to strengthen, support, hold up, but is only found Tops
in the active participle, used as a substantive with the special sense, “one
* Throughout this note I have used would of course change places. the terms “active’ and ‘passive' in * “Qui fortis est, idem est fidens,’ reference to the act of believing. If says Cicero, Tusc. iii. 7. referred to the act of persuading they * See the note on Gal. iii. 11.
ii. Greek. riarus.
The influence of the Greek rendering however doubtless reacted upon the
Strom. ii. p. 432, Potter.
The usage of the Apocrypha is chiefly valuable as showing how difficult Apocryit is to discriminate the two meanings, where there is no Hebrew original Pha. to act as a check, and how easily the one runs into the other; e.g. Ecclus. xlvi. 15 €v triarret atroń sixpt&dorón trpoqrjrms kal yuajorón Öv motorres atroo morrès 6páorews, 1 Macc. ii. 52 'A8paap, oùxī āv repaguá, etpé6m triarös kai éAoytorón airá els öukatoorovnv; Ecclus. xlix. Io i\urpaşoaro arous év trio ret *Artöos. In these passages the active sense seems to be forcing itself into notice; and the writings of Philo, to which I shall have to refer presently, show that at the time of the Christian era miaris, “faith,’ ‘belief,' had a recognised value as a theological term.
In the New Testament miorris is found in both its passive and its active New Tes. sense. On the one hand it is used for constancy, trustworthiness, whether tament. of the immutable purpose of God, Rom. iii. 3 row motorriv rod esos karapyjoret, or of good faith, honesty, uprightness in men, Matt. xxiii. 23 doñkare rå 8apûrepa rod vôuov, rov kpiou kal rô #Aeos kai rov motorriv (see the note on Gal. v. 22). On the other hand, as ‘faith,’ ‘belief, it assumes in the teaching of our Lord, enforced and explained by St Paul, the foremost place in the phraseology of Christian doctrine. From this latter sense are derived all those shades of meaning by which it passes from the abstract to the concrete; from faith, the subjective state, to the faith, the object of faith, the Gospel, and sometimes, it would appear, the embodiment of faith, the Church (see Gal. i. 23, iii. 22–26, vi. Io).
All other senses however are exceptional, and triorris, as a Christian virtue, certainly has the active meaning, ‘trust,’ ‘belief.” But the use of the adjective oi ruo roi for the Christian brotherhood cannot be assigned rigidly either to the one meaning or the other. Sometimes the context requires the active, as Joh. xx. 27 um yivov dirtoros dANä marrós (comp. Gal. iii. 9), sometimes the passive, as Apoc. ii. Io yivov tworrës 4xpt 6avárov. But when there is no context to serve as a guide, who shall say in which of the two senses the word is used ? For the one it may be urged that the passive sense of triarrós is in other connexions by far the most common, even in the New Testament; for the other, that its opposite àmorros certainly means an ‘unbeliever.' Is not a rigid definition of the sense in such a case groundless and arbitrary 7 For why should the sacred writers have used with this meaning only or with that a term whose very comprehensiveness was in itself a valuable lesson"?
application of the passage (supposing
the looseness of St Paul's language
3. It has been seen that the meaning of the Greek mioris was reflected on its Hebrew original. No less was this meaning infused into its Latin rendering. The verb murrevo was naturally translated by ‘credo, but this root supplied no substantive corresponding to mioris, no adjective (for “credulus’ was stamped with a bad meaning) corresponding to morós. Words were therefore borrowed from another source, “fides,’ ‘fidelis.” Now “fides, as it appears in classical writers up to the time when it is adopted into Christian literature, is not so much “belief, trust,’ as “fidelity, trustworthiness, credit.’ Its connexion in some expressions however led the way toward this active meaning, at the very threshold of which it had already arrived". In the absence therefore of any exact Latin equivalent to the active sense of motorus”, the coincidence of “fides' with some meanings of the Greek word, and the tendency already manifested to pass into the required sense ‘belief, trust,” suggested it as the best rendering. Its introduction into Christian literature at length stamped it with a new image and superscription. In the case of the adjective “fideles’ again, the passive sense was still more marked, but here too there was no alternative, and the original trio roi was, as we have seen, sufficiently wide to admit it as at all events a partial rendering.
The English terms “faith, faithful,” derived from the Latin, have inherited the latitude of meaning which marked their ancestry; and it is perhaps again that we are able to reader riorris, rigorot, by comprehensive words which, uniting in themselves the ideas of “trustfulness’ and ‘trustworthiness,' of ‘Glauben’ and ‘Treue, do not arbitrarily restrict the power of the original.
The faith of Abraham.
From the investigation just concluded it appears that the term ‘Faith' can scarcely be said to occur at all in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old
Results of the fore
or the Gospel which belongs to Christ?
search would prove this position untenable. At all events the ordinary sense of “fides’ in classical writers is “trustworthiness, credit, fidelity to engagements.’
* The Latin language indeed offered two words of a directly active meaning, “fidentia” and “fiducia'; but the former of these seems never to have obtained a firm footing in the language (see Cic. de Inv. ii. 163, 165, Tusc. iv. 8o), and the signification of both alike was too pronounced for the sense required. * Fidentia' does not occur at all in the Latin translations (if the Concordance to the Vulgate is sufficient evidence); “fiducia’ is not uncommon, frequently as a rendering of trappmata, less often of remolòmats, 64paos, but never of riorris. Fides, fiducia, occur together in Senec. Ep. 94.
Testament. It is indeed a characteristic token of the difference between going inthe two covenants, that under the Law the “fear of the Lord’ holds very Yestigamuch the same place as ‘faith in God,' 'faith in Christ, under the Gospel. * Awe is the prominent idea in the earlier dispensation, trust in the later. At the same time, though the word itself is not found in the Old Testament, the idea is not absent; for indeed a trust in the Infinite and Unseen, subordinating thereto all interests that are finite and transitory, is the very essence of the higher spiritual life.
In Abraham, the father of the chosen race, this attitude of trustfulness Lesson of was most marked. By faith he left home and kindred, and settled in a Abra: strange land: by faith he acted upon God's promise of a race and an inhe- }.” ritance, though it seemed at variance with all human experience: by faith he offered up his only son, in whom alone that promise could be fulfilled”. Thus this one word “faith’ sums up the lesson of his whole life. And when, during the long silence of prophecy which separated the close of the Jewish from the birth of the Christian Scriptures, the Hebrews were led to reflect and comment on the records of their race, this feature of their great forefather's character did not escape notice. The two languages, which having supplanted the Hebrew, had now become the vehicles of theological teaching, both supplied words to express their meaning. In the Greek triarus, in the Aramaic Rn).2b'n, the hitherto missing term was first found.
As early as the First Book of Maccabees attention is directed to this lesson: “Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness”?' Here however it is touched upon very lightly. But there is, I think, sufficient evidence to show that at the time becomes of the Christian era the passage in Genesis relating to Abraham's faith had a thesis become a standard text in the Jewish schools, variously discussed and to. commented upon, and that the interest thus concentrated on it prepared the way for the fuller and more spiritual teaching of the Apostles of Christ.
This appears to have been the case in both the great schools of Jewish theology, in the Alexandrian or Graeco-Judaic, and the Rabbinical or Jewish proper, under which term we may include the teaching of the Babylonian dispersion as well as of Palestine, for there does not seem to have been any marked difference between the two.
Of the Alexandrian School indeed Philo is almost the sole surviving (i) Alexrepresentative, but he represents it so fully as to leave little to be desired. &ndrian In Philo's writings the life and character of Abraham are again and again udaism, commented upon*. The passage of Genesis (xv. 6), doubly familiar to us from the applications in the New Testament, is quoted or referred to at
* Acts vii. 2–5, Rom. iv. 16–22, Heb. xi. 8–12, 17—19.
* 1 Macc. ii. 52. Other less distinct references in the Apocrypha to the faith of Abraham are 2 Macc. i. 2, Ecclus. Xliv. 19–21. In both passages riaros occurs, but not triarts.
* The history of Abraham is made
the direct subject of comment in the