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BELIE'VE, v.t. To credit upon the authority or testimony of another; to be persuaded of the truth of something upon the declaration of another, or upon evidence furnished by reasons, arguments, and deductions of the mind, or by other circumstances, than personal knowledge. When we believe upon the authority of another, we always put confidence in his veracity.
When we believe upon the authority of reasoning, arguments, or a concurrence of facts and circumstances, we rest our conclusions upon their strength or probability, their agreement with our own experience, &c. 2. To expect or hope with confidence; to trust. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Ps.27.
BELIE'VE, v.i. To have a firm persuasion of any thing. In some cases, to have full persuasion, approaching to certainty; in others, more doubt is implied. It is often followed by in or on, especially in the scriptures. To believe in, is to hold as the object of faith. "Ye believe in God, believe also in me." John 14. To believe on, is to trust, to place full confidence in, to rest upon with faith. "To them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." John 1. Johnson. But there is no ground for much distinction.
In theology, to believe sometimes expresses a mere assent of the understanding to the truths of the gospel; as in the case of Simon. Act.8. In others, the word implies, with this assent of the mind, a yielding of the will and affections, accompanied with a humble reliance on Christ for salvation. John 1.12. 3.15.
In popular use and familiar discourse, to believe often expresses an opinion in a vague manner, without a very exact estimate of evidence, noting a mere preponderance of opinion, and is nearly equivalent to think or suppose.
BELIE'VED, pp. Credited; assented to, as true.
BELIE'VER, n. One who believes; one who gives credit to other evidence than that of personal knowledge.1. In theology, one who gives credit to the truth of the scriptures, as a revelation from God. In a more restricted sense, a professor of christianity; one who receives the gospel, as unfolding the true way of salvation, and Christ, as his Savior.
In the primitive church, those who had been instructed in the truths of the gospel and baptized, were called believers; in distinction from the catechumens, who were under instruction , as preparatory to baptism and admission to church privileges.
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