“Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith.” Matt. 15:28.
Great boldness in the faith, argues great faith. There be three things in faith, in this notion: (1.) An agony and a wrestling of faith, which is a heavenly violence in believing: (2.) To be carried with a great measure of persuasion and conviction, with full and hoisted-up sails in believing, There is a rich assurance of faith. Not that only, but in the abstract, there is the riches of assurance. There is all riches of assurance; all riches of the full assurance of faith. So strong prevailing light, produces a strong faith: alas! it is but twilight of evidence that we have. (3.) To be bold, and to put on a heavenly stoutness and daring, in venturing with familiarity unto the throne of grace, is a strong faith, (Heb. 4:16). We are to come with liberty, and holy boldness to the throne, as children to their father: so the church, with heavenly familiarity, and the daring of grace and faith, prays, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.” (Cant. 1:2.) John’s leaning on Christ’s bosom, is not familiarity of love only, but of faith also: “In whom we have boldness and access,
A humble faith, such as was in this woman, is a great faith. The more sins that are pardoned, as it infers the more love to Christ, (Luke 7:47) so the unworthier a soul is in itself to believe pardon in Christ, argues the greater faith. It must be a great faith to believe the pardon of ten thousand talents, than to believe the forgiveness of five hundred pence. Christ esteems it the greatest faith in Israel, that the centurion abases himself, as one unworthy to come under one roof with him; and that he exalts Christ in his omnipotency, to believe that he can command all diseases at his nod, (Matt. 8:8-10).
A strong desire of a communion with Christ, is an argument of a strong faith. “Surely, I come quickly;” (Rev. 22:20). Faith answers with a hearty desire, “Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus,” and, 2 Pet. 3:12.35 Faith desires an union with Christ, and a marriage union. The reason is, strong faith comes from strong love; and strong coals of desiring to be dis-solved, and to be with Christ, (Phil. 1:23,) burns in at heaven’s door; love-sickness for glory goes as high, as the lowest step of the throne that the Lamb Christ sits on; and it is faith and love together, that desires Christ to mend his pace, and saith, “Make haste, my beloved, and be as a roe or young hart upon the mountains of spices.” (Cant. 8:14). The fervour of love challenges time, and the slow-moving wheels of years and months, and reckons an hour for a day, and a day for a year, “Oh, when wilt thou come to me?” (Psalm 101:2). Faith with love cannot endure to wait until tomorrow; faith puts Christ to posting, and “leaping over mountains, and skipping over hills,” (Cant. 2:8😉 and adds wings to him, to flee more quickly. Yet is there a caution here most considerable: Faith both walks leisurely, and with leaden feet, and moves swiftly with eagle’s wings. Faith, in regard of love, and desire of union with God, is swift, and hath strong motions for a union; yea, a love-sickness to be at the top of the mount, to be satiated with a feast of Christ’s enjoyed face; but, in regard of a wise assurance, that God’s time is fittest, it makes no haste. So, to wait on, and to haste, may stand together, (2 Pet. 3:10). Samuel Rutherford