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To expect faith without a promise is as if a man should expect a crop of corn without seed; for the promise is the immortal seed of God’s Word whereby the Spirit breeds this faith in the hearts of all who are His. So said Christ in John 5:25; “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear it shall live.” It is spoken of raising of a dead man from the grave of sin. First, there is the voice of Christ to the soul before there can be an echo again of that soul to Christ. And so the power of the promise must first come to the soul, and before we can return an echo back to the Lord, The Lord must say, “Come to Me,” before the soul can say, “I come Lord.” Therefore, when you see much deadness and unfitness of heart in you towards the promise, do not then leave, and give up and say, “Thus I am, and so it is with me.” But go to the promise and say, “Whatever frailties I find in myself, yet I will look to the Lord and to His promise. For if I want faith, the promise must settle me; and I must not bring faith to the promise, but receive faith from it to believe. And therefore, I will wait upon God till He is pleased to work it.”
–Thomas Hooker–The Poor Doubting Christian drawn to Christ Page 69.
Thomas Hooker (1586-1647)
Rev. Thomas Hooker was born in Leicestershire, England on July 7, 158. He was educated at Queen’s College, Cambridge, and later at Emmanuel College, “the nursery of the Puritans,” as it was called. He received both the B.A. and M.A. degrees. He ministered in Chelmsford, Essex for a time, where he was very popular with the other ministers, and distinguished himself for comforting afflicted and doubting souls. Fleeing Archbishop William Laud’s persecution of those with Puritan leanings, Hooker went first to Holland, where he preached in Amsterdam for two years, and then sailed for New England in 1633. He settled first in Boston, and then removed to Hartford, from which place he was actively and conspicuously involved in all the major political and theological issues and debates of his day, including the antinomian controversy with Anne Hutchinson. He died in July 1647; his death was mourned as a public calamity