1 Now faith is the foundation of our hopes of happiness, and the persuasion we have about things not evident to our senses. 2 and it was for their faith that our fore-fathers acquired so great a reputation.
3 'Tis by faith we learn that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the visible world was not made out of any thing that did appear.
4 'Twas by faith that Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he was declared righteous, God himself having testified that he accepted his offering, and after he died for his faith, he was not silent.
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he might avoid dying; and he could not be found, because God had translated him: for 'tis recorded, that before his translation he was approved by God. 6 now without faith it is impossible to be acceptable to him: for he that presents himself to God, cannot but believe he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who make their addresses to him.
7 'Twas by faith that Noah being divinely warned of unforeseen events, with a religious concern built an ark to the preservation of his family; whereby the world became inexcusable, and he obtained the reward of that righteousness which is by faith.
8 'Twas by faith that he who was named Abraham, showed his obedience in travelling to a foreign country, which he was afterwards to inherit; and began his journey without knowing where he was going. 9 'twas by faith that he sojourned in a land that was promised, as in a strange country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who were equally entitled to the same promise. 10 for he had in view the city, whose foundations are sure, the architect and founder being God.
11 'Twas likewise through faith that Sara, though barren, received the power of becoming pregnant, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 so that even a single person whose vigour was gone, gave rise to a posterity as numerous as the stars of the sky, or the sands on the sea-shore, which cannot be numbred.
13 These all died in faith, without receiving what was promised, having only a distant view of what they eagerly expected, professing to live as strangers and pilgrims in the land. 14 for they. that make such a declaration, show plainly that they seek some other country. 15 and truly, if that had been in their view, they might have had an opportunity of returning to the place from whence they came. 16 they desired therefore a better, that is, an heavenly country: so that God is very justly stiled their God: for he had appointed a city for them.
17 'Twas by faith that Abraham, when put to the trial, offered up Isaac: HE offered up his darling son, to whose posterity the promises were to be made good: 18 of whom it was said, "only the descendants of Isaac shall be counted your posterity:" 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the grave; from whence, in a figurative sense, be may be said to have been recover'd.
20 By faith Isaac predicted the future fortunes of Jacob and Esau. 21 by faith Jacob when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped leaning upon the top of his staff. 22 by faith Joseph when he died, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel; and gave directions concerning his burial.
23 'Twas by faith that the parents of Moses conceal'd him for three months after his birth, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 by faith Moses when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 chusing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 esteeming the sufferings of Israel greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had an eye to the reward.
27 by faith he left Egypt without being apprehensive of the king's resentment: for he remain'd firm, as if he saw him who is invisible. 28 through faith he celebrated the passover, and sprinkled blood, that the destroying angel might pass by the first-born. 29 By faith they passed thro' the red sea, as by dry land: which the Egyptians attempting to do, were drowned.
30 by faith they made the tour of Jericho for seven days, in consequence of which the walls fell down. 31 by faith Rahab having given the spies a safe reception, escap'd being destroyed with unbelievers, tho' she had led a dissolute life.
32 And what shall I say more? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, of Barak, of Samson, of Jephthae, of David, of Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, practis'd justice, obtained what was promised, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 were proof against the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, show'd their resolution in distress, and their valour in fight, putting to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 women recovered their children, tho' dead, by their being raised to life again: some expired under torments, refusing to be delivered; that they might obtain a better deliverance at the resurrection. 36 others suffer'd cruel indignities and scourgings, besides chains and imprisonment. 37 they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandred about in sheepskins, and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented: 38 (of whom the world was not worthy) they wandred in desarts, and in mountains, having no retreat but the dens and caves of the earth.
39 Tho' these were all celebrated for their faith, they did not receive the reward that was promised: 40 because God out of his distinguishing kindness to us, would not let them arrive before us to the enjoyment of perfect felicity.