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The Life of Faith

August 9, 2012

William Romaine’s trilogy, The Life, Walk, and Triumph of Faith, was originally published as three separate works. The Life of Faith was published in 1764, The Walk of Faith followed in two parts in 1771, and The Triumph of Faith appeared in 1795, shortly before Romaine’s death. As with any book, new or old, opinions of its merits are varied.  Even though J. C. Ryle could say, “I am… content with such teachings about sanctification as I find in… ‘The Life, Walk, and Triumph of Faith’ of William Romaine,” John Wesley, on the other hand, referred to The Life of Faith as “a hotch potch as I have ever seen and is a brimful of Antinomianism (as are all Mr Romaine’s writings).”

The “Monthly Review” of 1764 said, in regard to The Life of Faith, “There is a certain class of readers which, no doubt, will look upon this as a sweet treatise, a comfortable treatise, a precious treatise, a soul-reviving, soul-refreshing treatise &c. To us it appears a silly treatise, a stupid treatise, a nonsensical treatise, a fanatical treatise.”  [Cited by Tim Shenton in An Iron Pillar’: The Life and Times of William Romaine, (Darlington: Evangelical Press, 2004), 201, 263.]

I would call it a soul-reviving and soul-refreshing treatise:

When corruption rise, temptations are strong, enemies numerous, dangers on every side, that is the time to glorify Christ, by making use of his promised strength.  Then put thy trust in the captain of thy salvation, and fear not.  Look unto Jesus, and look at nothing but him.  The battle is his.  He will fight for thee, and thou shalt hold thy peace.  Leave him to direct all, to do all, and to finish all relating to it, and then, as he can get all the glory, thou , thou shalt see what a salvation he will bring thee.  O that thy faith did but reach to the extent of his promises!  How successful would be thy spiritual warfare, such victories over thine enemies, corruptions so subdued, the world so crucified, Satan so defeated, as thou canst now scarce believe.  The Lord increase thy faith!  Look up to him for it: because, as thy faith increases, let the battle grow hotter and hotter, thou wilt find thyself safer, and have more reason to give thanks to God, through Jesus Christ thy Lord.

[William Romaine, The Life, Walk, and Triumph of Faith, Reprint (Choteau, MT: Old Paths Gospel Press), 57-58.]

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