OUR NEED OF MORE FAITH.
PREACHED IN ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, PROVIDENCE,
AUGUST 11, 1843,
AT THE CONSECRATION OF
J. P. K. HENSHAW, D. D.,
AS BISHOP OF RHODE-ISLAND.
BY THE RT. REV. WILLIAM R. WHITTINGHAM, D. D.,
BISHOP OF MARYLAND.
PUBLISHED AT THE REQUEST OF THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY
ST. LUKE, XVII. 5.
AND THE APOSTLES SAID UNTO THE LORD, INCREASE OUR FAITH.
WE have little difficulty, as we think, in understanding this request of the apostles. They had been too often checked for having "little faith," not to have become sensible of their need of its increase. We have too plain and frequent exhibitions of their deficiency in the sacred narrative not to be thoroughly convinced of its reality and extent.
Yet it is very doubtful how far we enter into the meaning of the prayer or perceive the interest we have in it.
A prevalent modern interpretation limits the petition, and the Saviour's remark upon it, to a kind of faith, for which it assumes, there is no longer need nor call. The truth of that assumption concerning any kind or work of faith may well be doubted; and will certainly not be admitted by an earnest trusting spirit without the most explicit evidence.--But whether there be a kind or development of faith in Christ which having especial reference to the exercise of miraculous powers, has ceased with their withdrawal, or whether there be not, it is a distinct [3/4] question whether that be the kind of faith intended by the apostles in their prayer. It is on the ground of the context that it has been thought to be so. On the same ground, I conceive, there is stronger reason to believe otherwise. It is true that the immediately following sentence contains a saying of our Lord that has reference to the exercise of miraculous powers. But it is equally true that the sentence in as close connection which precedes the petition of the apostles, contains another saying of the Saviour inculcating duties pertaining to all, in all times and everywhere, who believe on Him, and on principles of equally extensive application. If it is fair (which I do not deny) to consider the Saviour's statement concerning the power of faith in its least quantity, as called forth by the apostles prayer to have theirs increased, it is equally fair to regard that prayer as suggested by the solemn exhibition of duty to which they felt themselves, with their present 'little faith,' unequal.
It was for the struggle with sin in their own hearts as well as for that with the powers of evil in their outward working and physical effects, that the conscience-stricken apostles asked more faith, when they heard their Lord denouncing the woe against those by whom offences come, and inculcating the charity which suffereth long, is kind, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things.
To this they felt themselves unequal, and they showed the power with which the word spoken by their Master pierced their inmost souls, and discerned [4/5] the thoughts and intents of their hearts, by singling out the cause of their infirmity for remedy by the Great Physician. They distrusted their own ability to keep the law of love, and rightly attributed the sense of weakness to a want of faith.
It is observable that this is the only occasion on which the sacred narrative relates of "the apostles" as such, that they preferred a petition to their Lord. Elsewhere they may be found mentioned as "disciples," distinguished only from the multitude in that they followed Christ, and not at all from the seventy who were sent forth on an inferior mission, or from the faithful women with whom they shared their Lord's society; one or more of them may be said to have joined in a remark or a request; but nowhere else is it written, "The apostles said unto the Lord."
That their prayer for "increase of faith," is so distinguished without designed significancy, it is hard to believe; the rather, as we find elsewhere the danger arising from offences given and received, which called forth this prayer, peculiarly connected with the work and duty of the ministry, and that more especially in its highest grade. When the Lord had warned His disciples to renounce all earthly gains and comforts, and be as men waiting for the coming of their Lord, His answer to Peter, (who asked him, "Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or unto all?") clearly intimated that although it had a sense in which all might receive its wholesome teaching, it was meant especially for the stewards of the mysteries of God, made by their Lord rulers over His Household, to give them [5/6] their portion of meat in due season; and having so pointed His address, He went on to utter that hard saying--"I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division; for from henceforth there shall be five in one house, divided three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
The baptism wherewith the Son of Man was baptized, is here set forth as that hardest trial of the humble and loving heart--to be, in preaching peace, the minister of divisions; in offering grace and mercy, the cause of envy, hatred, malice and uncharitableness. That He shared it with His apostles, in making them ministers and servants of their brethren, is expressly taught by His reply to the sons of Zebedee, "Ye shall drink of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with,"--with the comment on that grant to "the ten," who murmured at it, "Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." The self-sacrifice of our Redeemer is to be imitated and shared, as by all who take up their cross and follow Him, so especially [6/7] by those whom He calls to the apostleship. That self-sacrifice consisted in no slight degree in the perversion of His work of love by the frowardness of men into a "strange work" of wrathful visitation, "enduring the contradiction of sinners against Himself," His message and His instruments. "My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace," was His complaint by the mouth of His servant David: "I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war." "Although He was a man of peace," is Bishop Horne's comment on the passage--"meek, lowly and gracious in His deportment to all around Him; although He came to make peace, and to reconcile all things in heaven and earth; although His conversation and His preaching were of peace and love in the kingdom of God; yet no sooner did He open His mouth to 'speak' upon these divine subjects, but His enemies were up in arms, ready to apprehend, to accuse, to condemn, to crucify Him. Marvel not, O disciple of Jesus, if the world hate and oppose thee; but pray only, that when thou shalt be used as He was, thou mayest be enabled to bear that usage as He did"--pray, that when offences come, thy faith may be increased.
Again, the very precept of mutual forgiveness, which preceded the apostles' request for increase of faith, and the fuller statement of the awful danger of offence, are conjoined in the narrative of St. Matthew with the only express provision for Church discipline recorded to have come from the Saviour's lips, and with the promise of the power to bind and loose, which was made to the ministry in the apostles. [7/8] In connexion with this statement of their trust and functions, it was that the Lord Jesus warned the "greatest in the kingdom of heaven," meekly to bear their faculties, in the pregnant words "Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe unto the world, because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"
It is plain, from all these passages, that our Lord gave His first ambassadors no reason to indulge an expectation of peace in the discharge of their commission. Neither peace with the world around them, nor even peace among their immediate associates, is held out to them in prospect. The baptism with which their Master was baptized, was one of hatred and oppression--of suffering and contumely, brought on Him by teaching the truth among those who were unable to bear it and unwilling to receive it. Of that baptism it was given to them to share; and in perpetuating the commission by right of which they claimed it, they perpetuated the privilege, even so long as the rock on which the Church is founded shall endure, and the gates of hell make ineffectual war against the heavenly city. Well might they, as sent forth with such an errand and reception in anticipation, "Say unto the Lord, [8/9] Increase our faith!" To the world they were to give, and from it to expect, if themselves weak and wavering, offence and occasion of stumbling. Well might they pray to have the principle which is the world's antagonist and conqueror, multiplied and strengthened in them!
Experience abundantly confirmed the anticipations excited by the Saviour's teaching.
Peter and Jude have recorded their testimony against the "presumptuous, self-willed dreamers, who infested the church as spots in her feasts of charity, despising dominion, being not afraid to speak evil of dignities, and with great swelling words of vanity, promising their deluded brethren liberty, while they themselves were the servants of corruption."
James found it necessary to warn his brethren against those who seemed to be religious, and bridled not their tongues, but deceived their own hearts, their religion being vain: and to counsel them not to be many masters, knowing that they should receive the greater condemnation; eloquently laying open the deadly evils of the unruly tongue, and exposing the self-delusion of such as with bitter envying and strife in their hearts, lie against the truth.
To Paul it seemed that God had set forth the apostles like condemned prisoners in the amphitheatre, last, as it were appointed unto death, to be made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men; being exhibited as weak, despised, fools for Christ's sake, reviled, persecuted, defamed, made as [9/10] the filth of the earth, and the offscouring of all things. Even among his brethren, his own children in the faith, whom he had begotten in the Lord, he expected that his God would humble him by debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings and tumults; elsewhere, his preaching was slanderously reported of, and men falsely affirmed of him and his fellow-helpers in the gospel, that they said the very reverse of that which they really held.
If these things were so, my brethren, in the green tree, what should we expect in the dry? Why should we think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try us, as though some strange thing had happened unto us, when weak brethren, and men puffed up with the wisdom which descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish, join to fill the spiritual temple with distracting clamors, and groundless, but bitter accusations? We witness the fulfilment of our Lord's predictions; we share the lot of His chosen servants. We learn the full meaning of His gracious words, "Remember the word that I spake unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my Name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Far from being distressed when thus troubled on every side, it is our place to take with joy the inheritance to which the providence of God has called us to be successors; as well assured that though [10/11] perplexed, we have no occasion to be in despair; we may be persecuted, but shall never be forsaken; can be cast down, but not destroyed. Opposition of the thoughtless, the ignorant, the half-hearted, the unlearned, the unstable, the prejudiced and mistaken within ourselves; and the worldly-minded, the unprincipled, the perverse and incurably erroneous without, isnot a thing to startle us. It should be expected. We have every thing to prepare us for it. It is so far from being a legitimate discouragement, that it is one of the best signs of life in the Church. Made up, as our Lord has taught us it will always be, of bad elements commingled with the good, and placed, as its very name and office import it to be, in the midst of an unbelieving world, to bear witness to the truth, how can the Church, when doing its duty, and carrying out its principles, be free from strife within and opposition without? "That they which are approved may be made manifest," "there must be heresies within;" "without," that they who strive against the truth may be overcome, there must be "fightings."
Our age is pre-eminently one of unbelief. Half a century ago, the primitively wise and pious Presbyter, Jones of Nayland, so characterised his day. Since his time, the world and the Church have both in some measure changed the type, the one of its irreligion, the other of its infirmity. Infidelity, now comparatively quiet as regards assaults upon the outworks of the evidences of revealed truth, is secretly mining the foundations, and insinuating itself between the Church and the rock on which she [11/12] stands. The Church, pleased with the seeming victory, has been unconsciously bending herself to the insidious adversary, and receiving into her bosom the elements which work for her destruction. Like Hezekiah, she exhibits all her treasures to the envoys of the Assyrian, unaware that she is thereby inviting in the spoiler, and offering to his greedy gaze the possessions of her Lord, committed by him to her keeping, sedulously to be guarded for his honor. The word of preaching and the sacraments of grace, and the commission by which both are administered and derive their efficacy from Him who alone speaks and works by the instrumentality of His ministering servants, are the deposit committed to the church. Little by little, the world and Satan are cozening her out of her precious trust. Her commission, they assert, is vain pretence; to insist on it, narrow-minded bigotry. Her sacraments, mere expedient signs and decent rites; to recognize and expect more in them, superstition. Her message, to be heard and judged as any intellectual truths submitted to the eye in written documents, or to the ear in eloquent address; to regard it as indeed the word of God, yet teaching, by His Spirit, priestcraft and fanaticism.
The contest for external evidences, waged so fiercely in the three generations before the last, has predisposed too many even of the children of the Church to give in to these insolent and false assumptions of her enemies. Without actually admitting them in all their breadth, they refrain from openly assailing them. By silence on the contested [12/13] points, or by schemes of half-way concession, they virtually renounce, not their birth-right only, but their allegiance to Him whose highest gifts they have received in order to their transmission, unbroken and untarnished, to such as shall come after. Unhappily, the most amiable, pure-minded, humble and affectionate, are most liable to be led away with this delusion. They think they are studying the things that make for peace, and carrying out principles that tend to union; and perceive not that the peace is with the enemies of their Master, purchased by the betrayal of His cause, and the union, with those who are gathered together against His Name, on ground which he has never owned. They go with the majority, and forget that in this evil world, the majority is sure to be on the side of error and iniquity. "The Christian world" is the standard of their judgment, consciously or unconsciously adopted; while--to say nothing of the vagueness of the term, to the definition of which no mortal can set sure limits--it is forgotten to specify in what page of the Bible, in what line of its blessed contents, authority can be found for supposing that "the world" ever can become Christianized, or the Gospel meet with such acceptance as to form a "world" of its own, until the days come, as yet confessedly not arrived, when no man shall teach his brother, saying, Know the Lord, but all shall be taught of God.
It is in vain to attempt to conceal it from ourselves, fathers and brethren, that in this way faith is gradually diminishing, and the Church becoming [13/14] more worldly in its tone, its temper, and its teaching. Those who are set for the defence of the Gospel are too often to be found sapping its bulwarks, by maintaining them on worldly principles. Its high truths are lowered to the level of the natural man's perceptions, to avoid the charge of mysticism and superstition. Its means and channels of grace are discarded, to please the multitude, who presume to decide that they are unworthy of their Author. Its terms of acceptance are changed to suit men's notions of congruity and consistency, and part distorted by separation from what were propounded at the first as inseparable adjuncts, part kept back, lest they should operate unfavorably on the reception of the rest: "mercy" and "truth" are in effect, too often sundered: "righteousness" and "grace" torn from their sweet embrace in the mystery of redemption; "grace" and "holiness" placed in an unnatural attitude of estrangement; "judgment" taken from those hands to which it was committed because they once were pierced in working out "salvation."
For these evils where shall we seek the remedy? Surely not in running to opposite extremes of error, and setting aside the great truths which have been distorted and corrupted, and giving exclusive preference to the points which it is the tendency of the day to undervalue! No! but in praying to Him whose only gift it is, to "increase our faith," that holding fast the foundation, we may build upon it the whole superstructure:--to "increase our faith," that we may rise above the world's estimate of fit and right, and reasonable, and humbly accept and [14/15] boldly offer to our brethren all the mercies of God in Christ, as they were given to his Church, to keep and hand down to the end of time, free and fresh from the fountain of his love; to "increase our faith," that we may fearlessly go forward in the discharge of our commission, regardless of the worlds countenance or disfavor, and doing our work as in our Master's sight, and unto Him alone.
How greatly do we need to have our faith increased in that soul-stirring, animating truth--the abiding presence of the Redeemer with His Church! Dowe realize that Presence as the source of spiritual life, health, strength, to the Church, because it is His Body, and to individuals because they are living members of that Body? Do we take His gracious promise to be "always with" those whom He sends forth as the Father had sent Him, in its fulness of meaning and unlimitedness of application? Fathers and brethren, our past history, our present situation, our difficulties, and doubts, and fears, our hesitancy in doctrine and timidity in action, prove that we do not!
For example, we allow a false construction to be set upon the blessed truth itself, and then keep back the truth for fear of the charge of teaching that construction. Who magnify the Lord Jesus and His work? They, who, taking the literal import of His written word, see Him in every thing that tends to the salvation of the sinner's soul, ascribe the work from first to last to Him and Him only,--His counsel, His grace, His merits, His intercession, His presence, and His power--and because it is all from first to last of Him [15/16] and Him only, regard every step in the progress of the work, every instrument in its accomplishment, every means of its advancement, as alike worthless in itself, and alike important when traced up to Him? What is the Church as made up of men, but a crowd of miserable sinners, without one claim on the mercy which has plucked them from perdition? What are its sacraments, in-so-far as man's share in them extends, but utterly valueless trifles, the petty occupations of a creature crushed before the moth, and that creature alienated from its God by sin? Let faith in those sacraments see Christ, who has ordained them, that in them we may "put Him on," and "feed on Him:" does it thereby lessen, or exalt his redeeming love, the all-sufficiency and alone sufficiency of His atonement? Let faith in the Church perceive the authenticated channel for communication to the souls of the elect of those gifts and graces without which they must perish everlastingly, and the means of joining itself to Him on whom alone it leans for deliverance from condemnation and acceptance before God,--does it thereby set aside, or the more distinctly apprehend, the Saviour to whom it clings? It is want of faith alone, that throws difficulty and doubt about the doctrine of Christ's presence in his Church and sacraments; and makes the sinner fain to explain away the letter of Holy Scripture into trope and metaphor, that offence may not be taken by those who stumble at the truth. Oh, beloved, respected, honored fathers in the apostleship, have courage to believe that He who sent forth the first receivers of the grace you bear is verily and of a [16/17] truth with you in your arduous trust, and will as really glorify Himself by your ministry as He once did by that of the chosen twelve, in proportion to the altered needs and circumstances of His Church, if your faith fail not. Faithless or believing, He works and will work, by you, for His own glory and the good of souls; but, O, how His work might run and spread had we faith to see Him in it, and go forward in the strength of His abiding presence! How should we then be bold in our God to speak unto the brethren the gospel of God with much contention!
For lack of faith in the abiding presence of her Saviour, the Church is paralyzed. Were He seen and known among us, would our little ones be ignorant of Him, and our laity acknowledge him not, as is now the case? Would doctrine and exhortation be languid and ineffectual as they now are, from week to week, and from year to year, if we of the ministry preached, and you of the laity heard, as in the presence of Him who died to save us, and is to come again to judge us, whose words and not our own, we speak, to whose voice, and not that of mortal, sinful man, ye listen? Would the sacraments be offered in vain to so large a proportion of attendant worshippers, or partaken by so many in cold formalism, or in lukewarm interest, or transient excitement of mere feeling, were men taught to see in them verily and indeed the water and the blood from the wounded side of their Redeemer, offered by His own gracious hand to the participation of their faith, for the medicine of their souls? Would discipline be so loose, [17/18] so valueless, so utterly inefficient, as it is now felt, and mournfully acknowledged to have become, were it realized that the Lord Christ Himself to whom all power in Heaven and earth is given, whose smile is life and his wrath destruction, rebukes, admonishes, chastises and cuts off the offending member of His Body, on whom such sentence is lawfully and rightly inflicted in His name? Would the ranks of the ministry be so empty: the support of the ministry so miserably meagre and insufficient; the souls of so many myriads at our very doors left unwatched and unfed for want of pastors; the maintenance of the ordinances so scantily provided for and inefficiently carried out, at best; the missionary work of the Church, that trust for the souls of those without, for which unquestionably a most severe account will be exacted--so inadequately appreciated, so neglected, so wretchedly starved: would these things be, had we faith to perceive the Presence of Him who walks among us, silently asking each, is this all thou hast to do for Him who died for thee?--Fathers! brethren beloved! Have we not need, in view of these things, to say unto the Lord, increase our faith! Lord help our unbelief! Lord make Thy presence known unto us, in the abundance of thy grace, and fruits of thy blessed Spirit!
In the true indwelling and effectual working of that blessed Spirit, indeed we no less need to have our faith increased. We formally acknowledge Him as the Author and Giver of spiritual life and strength, the source of everything within us that is not deserving of God's wrath and condemnation, the supplier [18/19] of every thing by which we can hope to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. But how little do we realize the personal fellowship with Him, as a person of the ever-blessed Godhead, into which we have been brought by baptism, and in which we are kept by faith, His gift, while we partake the privileges of membership in the mystical body which He animates as its living soul! How jejunely, how timidly, how seldom do we present as an incentive to personal holiness and an awful safeguard against sin, the consideration which the apostle presses that the Christian who defiles his body by ungodly living defiles the temple of the Holy Ghost! How completely have we suffered the sinful divisions of modern times to suppress the truth that there is an unity of the Spirit, to be violated by false teaching, causeless separations, and presumptuous insubordination, and which they who violate, sin directly against God the Holy Ghost, by destroying, as far as in them lies, His living temple! How inadequately is the pentecostal gift, sent down from the Father and the Son, to be forever in and with the Church, a living fountain of spiritual life, appreciated! How little are its glories held forth to view! how feebly the awful responsibilities attendant on its abuse enforced! He in whom as members of Christ's body, we live and move and have our being, though He be not far from every one of us in power and influence, and gracious operation, is but too often farthest from our thoughts when He should be to us all in all. In the day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy, when the [19/20] feeble stumble, and the little ones of Christ are made the objects of hatred, and scoffs, and false accusations, to whom should we have recourse, but to Him, the Comforter, who is able, even in the midst of affliction, to give joy and peace in believing to those whose souls are stayed on Him? Instead of rendering evil for evil, and railing for railing, is it not our privilege to lean on Him and be secure? "Not us, Lord, do the shafts of thine enemies wound, but Thee! Thine is the quarrel, be Thine the victory!"
But how should we avail ourselves of the precious right so to cast all our cares on Him whose own temple it is our blessedness to be, when we so dimly perceive His life-giving Presence in its most intimate vouchsafements! In the most solemn terms that man can use, we are about to invoke that Presence to give efficiency to the highest instrumental act of which man is capable. As our lips intone the awful words, "Come, Holy Ghost, Eternal God," do we, fathers and brethren, enter within the vail they partially withdraw, and see Whom we have among us, and for what end? O! how could misgivings, and distrusts, and jealousies, and doubts and fears co-exist one moment with a just perception of His actual overshadowing to take part--yea, all--inthe perpetuation of the line which he originated to radiate from himself to the ends of the world? In the name of Him, the present Giver, this our brother is to be solemnly charged to stir up the grace of God given him by the imposition of our hands. Are those meaning words to be used in profane mockery, with no real import? If not--as most surely not--how [20/21] much do they declare! How little are we able to fathom the depth of their significancy! How deeply, while they falter on our tongues, should we feel our need to say unto the Lord, "Increase our faith!" faith in his ability and willingness to give grace for the apostleship, by the unworthy, wretched instrumentality of mortal hands! faith, that he who gives the grace will make it effectual to its ends!--faith that the working of His power here manifest to perpetuate, shall be always and everywhere manifested, to the praise of the glory of his grace, to uphold, assist, guide, counsel and overrule the ministry of which He is the Author, out of weakness to perfect strength, in earthen vessels to hand down heavenly treasures, even the unsearchable riches of Christ, the grace of God that bringeth salvation.
For such increase of our faith we are taught to pray, as the Apostles did. But it is for prayer itself, moreover, that we, in an especial manner, need to have our faith increased. Of prayer, one of the most highly gifted of our day embodied his own experience in the remark, that as it is man's highest privilege and most imperious want, so is it his most arduous duty, tasking all his powers, and proving all unequal to the task. The Spirit must make intercession for us, to obtain for our poor efforts the least measure of success. By his unutterable groanings our cold, listless and imperfect supplications may be turned into fervent, effectual prayer, of ability, through the potent name in which it is presented, to draw down blessing, even to the increase of that Spirit which gives it life. Faith must make that [21/22] prevailing intercession ours. For want of faith we fall short of it, and experience the deadly consequences as individuals, and as a church. Is it not for this that many are weak and sickly among us--spiritually diseased, even to the point of death--while all are comparatively feeble, inert, slow of resolve, and slower of performance; ready to see the lion in the path when called to duty, and readier to turn the back in ignominious retreat, when the world's threatening scowl bids us abandon the Lord's controversy? Prayer alone can recover us from this diseased condition--the prayer of faith, offered up by holy hands, without wrath and doubting. We have not, because we ask not. We ask, and receive not, because we ask amiss. Wavering, like waves of the sea that are driven with the wind and tossed, let us not think that we shall receive any thing of the Lord. Let faith to pray aright, be the object of our first petition; and, O fathers and brothers, let thatpetition be put up with the unfeigned depth of self-humiliation, with the passionate earnestness of entreaty that befit our needs as individuals, and our condition as a body. Now once more we are about to offer up our Litany for ourselves, the whole Church, and in particular this our brother, who is to be set apart to its highest office and trust. Brethren of the congregation, pray for us, your ministers in the Lord, that faith may be given to us, that we fail not, nor be found wanting in that day. Brethren, the stewards of the mysteries of God, pray for yourselves and them, that faith may be increased in us, severally and as a body, to perceive and know [22/23] the truth as it is in Jesus, holding fast the foundation of God, which standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His; and let every one that nameth the Name of Christ, depart from iniquity. In the eternal counsel of God the Father, to save us sinners from wrath and condemnation by the gift of His Only Begotten Son:--in the gracious mission of God the Son, to redeem with his own precious blood a peculiar people, and dwell in them, as their Prophet, Priest and King:--in the blessed operation of God the Holy Ghost, sanctifying to Himself, with His own gifts and graces, those whom the Son redeems, and the Father justifies--Lord, INCREASE OUR FAITH.