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Faith is the life of a Christian and the main grace, Isa. lv. 3; Hab. ii. 4; Rom i. 17; Heb. x. 38; Gal. 22. 20. 2dly, That faith is wrought by the power of God, in which the soul is passive, though faith itself be an act of the soul; for I was overpowered in believing and drawn to God. 3dly, That faith hath a great influence on sanctification, so that one main reason of so little power against sin, so little holiness in life and conversation, is the want of the exercise of faith, and through a spirit of bondage, 1 Pet. i.5; Mark ix. 19, 23; Heb. xi. 33. By faith righteousness is wrought, and all apostasy proceeds from a decay of faith. 4thly, Where Christ hath begun a good work, he will continue still to perfect it, Phil i.6. 5thly, Faith and every other grace is at first but very imperfect, Matth. xiii. 31–”like a grain of mustard seed.” 6thly, God doth not always deliver in that way and manner that is thought or designed by the poor soul itself, but in an unexpected and often times contrary way. For I designed a fast to see if the Lord would break in with terror upon my soul itself, and that was the way by which I thought to return out of my backsliding, and behold, the Lord helped, by pressing and helping to believe, 2 Kings, v. 11; Prov. iii. 5; Isa. lv. 8. 7thly, Faith is the first grace in exercise, prior in time to any other, John vi. 29; Jer. xxxi. 19, “After I was turned, I smote upon my thigh.” And he that would do anything , let him fix his faith first, for “Whatever is not done in faith is sin.” 8thly, As faith and other graces have their flowing’s, so have they and will have their ebbings; they have their winters and summers, none must expect constant and uninterrupted growth; they have their witherings, that dependence and fresh application may be made to Christ, and that Christ for a renewed life may put a renewed obligation on the soul, Isa. xxxiii. 24; Psalm cii. 26; 1 Pet. i. 25. Let none expect constant health. It is said of the heavens, “Thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed.” 9thly, Days and times set apart extraordinarily, on some extraordinary occasion’s, are exceeding useful and profitable (if not needful) to the preservation of a Christian life; nor know I how folks can be Christians without it. There were occasional sacrifices as well as the daily burnt-offering, and days and times extraordinarily for extraordinary occasions. It is true,they are not stinted now under the Gospel, nor holy by precept as they were; but there is this moral in them that yet obliges that extraordinary mercies or troubles should have proportional extraordinary worship and address to God. For my own part, I cannot express how needful, yet how profitable and necessary these days have been–what others may do I know not. And I look on the neglect of extraordinary address to God as one main cause why there are so many decayed and are but high-way Christians.
—Rev James Fraser–Scottish Covenanter