“…they say, ‘of all other

“…they say, ‘of all other most clear, where speaking of those things which are called indifferent, in the end he concludeth, That ‘whatsoever is not of faith is sin.’ But faith is not but in respect of the Word of God. Therefore whatsoever is not done by the Word of God is sin.” Whereunto we answer, that albeit the name of Faith being properly and strictly taken, it must needs have reference unto some uttered word as the object of belief: nevertheless sith the ground of credit is the credibility of things credited; and things are made credible, either by the know condition and quality of the utterer, or by the manifest likelihood of truth which they have in themselves; hereupon it riseth that whatsoever we are persuaded of, the same we are generally said to believe. In which generality the object of faith may not so narrowly be restrained, as if the same did extend no further than to the only Scriptures of God. ‘Though,’ saith our Saviour, ‘ye believe not me, believe my works, that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me and I in him.’ ‘The other disciples said unto Thomas, We have seen the Lord;’ but his answer unto them was, ‘Except I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into them, I will not believe.’ Can there be any thing more plain than that which by these two sentences appeareth, namely, that there may be a certain belief grounded upon other assurance than Scripture: any thing more clear, than that we are said not only to believe the things which we know by another’s relation, but eve whatsoever we are certainly persuaded of, whether it be by reason or by sense?”
(Richard Hooker, Book Two of The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity – so to answer the Puritan’s demand that nothing be done but that which is directly found in scripture, and if something be done that is not found in scripture, then it is sin.)

Leave a Reply