Witsius on Faith and Love

“The natural consequence of this assent, is the LOVE of the truth thus known and acknowledged. This is the third act of faith, and of this the Apostle speaks when he says; “They received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.” Since the saving truths of the Gospel afford a bright manifestation of the glory of God, as not only his veracity in his testimony, but also his wisdom, holiness, righteousness, goodness, power, and other divine perfections, shine forth in them,—the believing soul, contemplating these amiable perfections of the Deity in those truths, cannot fail to burn with an ardent love for them, to exult in them, and to glorify God…We admit that, strictly speaking, love is to be distinguished from faith; yet the workings of these two graces are so interwoven with each other, that we can neither explain nor exercise faith, without some operations of love intermingling, such as that of which we now treat. This remark has been formerly made by some of the greatest Divines; as, not to mention others at present, by Chamier and Wendelin. Each of these writers avails himself of the authority of Augustine, and makes the following quotation from him: “What is it to believe in God? It is by believing to love him.” See, also, Le Blanc, that celebrated Divine of Sedan, in his learned Theses. If any one, however, is disposed, agreeably to the language of the Schools, to denominate this love, an imperate act of faith, we shall not contend with him; provided it is understood that the believing soul, while exercising faith, cannot but sincerely love the doctrines of the Gospel, known and acknowledged, as they are in Jesus, rejoicing that such things are true, and delighting in the truth; and is thus very differently affected from devils and ungodly men, who disrelish those doctrines which they know to be true, and wish that they were false.”

Thanks to Gary Steward for this quotation. (Witsius, The Apostles’ Creed, 2 vols. 1:46-48).

    Post authored by:

  • R. Scott Clark
    Author Image

    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

    More by R. Scott Clark ›

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!