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Conditions of Renewal
1Co 11:27 , 1Co 11:29
There are some few passages of Scripture which have caused a great deal of difficulty and heartache. There are others which have kept away from the altar, yea, from the Cross itself, many a young, timid, reverent spirit. The question is whether there is any need for this? I think not. I do not know of any passage of Scripture that ought to keep any soul from God, from God's house, from God's ordinances. We are so differently constituted that some of us can only be nursed for heaven. We want continual encouragement; we are soon made afraid by shadow, by unexplained and sudden sound, by incidents uncalculated and unforeseen. We must take care of that section of society; they must be encouraged, consoled, stimulated, comforted; whatever lies in their way of progress towards the Kingdom of heaven must be resolutely removed. Others are very courageous by nature: are extremely robust, words of encouragement are misspent upon them; they have a fountain of encouragement within their own hearts. Whether they are physically so strong, or intellectually so robust, or spiritually so complete, we need not stay to inquire; suffice it to say that they have no shadows, no spectres, no doubts, no difficulties.
There are two passages of Scripture which seem to have kept a good many men in a state of fear and in a state of apparent alienation from the Church. It may be profitable to look at these passages. If the difficulty can be taken out of them by fair reasoning, and by established laws of grammar, and the philosophy of language, a great point will have been gained. One of them is that remarkable passage already quoted in the text "It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." This has been a great battleground; innumerable Calvinists have slain innumerable Arminians within the four corners of this most solemn declaration. There was no need for the fray. All the energy was misspent All the high debate about election, reprobation, apostasy, was utterly in vain, so far as this particular text is concerned. There is nothing here to cast down the heart of any man who wants to come back again. One version of the Bible has put in the word "difficult" instead of the word "impossible." This little contribution of clemency we have received from the sternest of all languages, the Latin. We do not need the contribution. The word "impossible" is better than the word "difficult" in this connection. It is clearer, more to the point: it comprehends the case more entirely; let it therefore stand in all its tremendous import. There can be no doubt as to the characters represented by Apollos or Paul, whoever the writer may have been. He is urging the great doctrine and duty of progress; he wants the Church to get on "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God," and many other things. The Apostle was a man of progress. Speaking thus of baptism, he says, "It is impossible for those who were once enlightened" literally, for those who were really baptised: we say really baptised, because he is not referring to water-baptism, he is referring to the inner, the spiritual baptism, the chrism of fire, the visitation of the Holy Ghost upon the soul. It is impossible for those who have been baptised by the Holy Ghost, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and who were not only baptised by the Holy Ghost, but have been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, it is impossible for them if they fall away, to renew them again unto repentance. What construction can we put upon these words but that if we once leave Christ for one moment we can never get back again? If having been in Christ we do wrong, we commit one sin, we must commit a thousand more, for we are on the downward road, and we cannot be arrested in the infinite descent. There is no such reading in the text. We cannot stop the text at a given point, and say, "That is the doctrine, and certainly it would appear to be such."
But the text proceeds to give a reason why it is impossible to renew certain persons again to repentance, and that reason is this "Seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." Is not that a final reason? Yes, it is: but it is not a correct representation of the Apostle's reasoning. The English is to blame for the ruin it has brought. Over this false grammar have men fallen into despair. The Revisers were timid, because they were conservative. I blame them distinctly for want of courage. They had learning enough, prestige enough; they could have encountered momentary prejudices in a dignified and successful manner: but who ever got twelve or twenty Christian scholars together without their devouring one another, so courteously as sometimes perhaps in some degree to fall short of the point of courage? The tense changes in the latter part of the statement. "Seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" should read thus: "It is impossible for those who" then read the description "If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, whilst they are crucifying the Son of God afresh, and putting him to an open shame." The latter tense is present, it indicates an immediate and continuous action, something that is going on now, at this very moment; and the Apostle says, Brethren, if you continue to crucify the Son of God afresh, you can never get back again to your original state of acceptance, you can never recover your sense of adoption; the very act you are doing is fatal. Why then, should you be discouraged, if you really want to come back to Christ, and if you are endeavouring to lead a good life? If you are bethinking yourself, and trying to say the old sweet prayer, and if it be really your heart's desire to be recovered from your backslidings, there is nothing in this passage to hinder you coming home now.
The passage thus rendered is supported by all the experience of life. It is impossible for any man who has fallen from sobriety to be renewed again to temperance, so long as he is debauching himself night and day with the drink which overcame him; if he will set it down, and retire from it, he shall yet be a sober man, but if he mean to recover his sobriety by drinking more deeply, then manifestly he is perpetrating an irony that is ridiculous and shameful. It any man have fallen from honesty it is impossible to recover him so long as he continues to steal. He must drop the action, he must feel burning shame on account of what he has done, and when his felonious hands would go forth to repeat the nefarious deed, he must draw them back and say, No: I will cry mightily unto God if haply I may yet be an honest man. Thus talking there shall be no doubt about his honesty. The Apostle's reasoning then is simply this: that if we continue to sin we cannot repent; whilst we are in the very act of crucifying the Son of God afresh, and putting him to an open shame, it is impossible for us to repent, to pray, to return. This is the noble teaching of the Apostle, this ought to be a comfort to us all. We sin every day, and yet it we do not want to sin, and if the sin be followed by heartache, confession, contrition, and mighty prayer at the Cross, we shall be renewed again unto repentance every eventide; but if we think we can, by simply confessing the sin, gain a new licence to recommit it, then our confession is a lie, and the very act of contrition is a trick which aggravates our guilt. The action must be bonâ-fide, the soul must mean what it says, the reality must be equal to the profession. We have therefore to declare this sweet gospel would God we could declare it in adequate music! There is no soul that has gone so far away from God to be unable to repent: and we have to declare this solemn truth, that any man who talks of repentance, and is at the same time crucifying the Son of God afresh, continuing to love his sins and to wallow in them, is a liar in the sanctuary. Return, O wanderer, to thy home: come back, poor soul, made afraid by backsliding. We have all been guilty of backsliding; the oaths are lying round about us like a million withered leaves: but if we really do not want to crucify the Son of God afresh, if we are really earnest about desiring to return, we can return. "Return, ye backsliders, and I will heal your backsliding!" is the cry of the Old Testament, is the gospel of the Cross.
Now, nearly immediately connected with this passage is one which the Apostle has written in connection with the administration of the Lord's Supper. The two passages may fairly be said to have a distinct and almost vital relation. How many people have been kept back from the Lord's table by these words: "Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.... For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." Timid souls by the hundred have been kept away from the Lord's Supper by these words. Yet there is nothing in them to keep away any soul. We have been frightened by shadows. We cannot but admire the timidity which says, I am so conscious of unworthiness that I dare not touch the sacramental bread, and sacramental cup. But such unworthiness is not referred to in this particular passage; therefore this passage must never be quoted when that sense of unworthiness is felt. When that sense of unworthiness is most deeply upon us, then should we come most reverently and hopefully to the Lord's table. What were the circumstances under which this declaration was made? Everything depends upon understanding the circumstances of the case. We must penetrate the atmosphere, if we would understand the admonition. Everything was debased in the Church at Corinth. That early Christian Church seemed to have a genius for deprivation and perversion and all manner of wrong. The Lord's Supper was instituted there as in other churches; the people came together to partake of the Lord's Supper, and instead of making a distinctly religious festival of it, they turned it into a carnival, holiday-making, feasting, rioting; so much that the Apostle says, "Have ye not houses to eat and drink in?" why should you come to the Lord's table to have a saturnalia, to feast yourselves in this way, and to debase yourselves in this riotous manner? Understand, therefore, that the Corinthians were not recognising the Lord's body in this matter but were simply feasting together and rioting together, eating bread and drinking wine together, until the religious consciousness was lost, and the whole ceremony became one of simple social festivity. Addressing himself to such circumstances, the Apostle said, Beware: you are contracting a guilt you ill suspect: if the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness! the Lord's Supper was meant to be a religious festival, a time of solemnity, a time of heart-inquest, a time of memory, so that all the pages of the Lord's earthly story might be recalled and felt in ever-deepening emotion; instead of this, you are making that holy feast a riot: whoever eateth this bread, and drinketh this cup, unworthily, irreverently, debasing the whole action into its very lowest forms, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself. And that is right.
Then will you not come to the Lord's table? Shall there not be a great inrush upon the holy scene? Men have been afraid lest their unworthiness would keep them back. The unworthiness was not in reference to the individuals but in relation to their want of discernment as to the meaning of the feast. No longer was the Lord's body present amongst them, but a mere ceremony of eating and drinking. Will you then stand back any longer? Will you not come in, it may be timidly, and say, I, too, would like to touch this bread and this cup of memorial? Thus two classes are addressed, the backslider who says, "I once could pray, but I do not pray now" if he can add, "but I want to pray," then the first passage need not stand in his way; secondly, the timid, self-distrustful, and self-renouncing, the passage in the Corinthians has no reference whatever to you. If you say, "This feast is holy," and wish to observe it with becoming reverence, the doors are thrown wide open, and God's welcome is as broad as God's love. Why stand ye then outside? Come in! Come now! See me, or your own minister or friends in your own locality immediately, and say you wish to come to the Lord's table. That means making a profession without ostentation, doing a deed the sanctifying effect of which ought to flow through the whole life. Will you not say Yes? Then this will be your birthday if you will.
Almighty God, we bless thee for the uplifted Cross, whose light fills creation. We see a Cross everywhere; its great shadow makes the night and the morning of the world; without that Cross there is no security. It is in everything; where anything lives something else has died. We found this in the garden, and in the nest of the birds, and in the jungle of the wild beasts, and in our family life, and in our spiritual and educational life; that some may live some must die. Thou hast put death upon thy table, and made thy sacrament and oath and immortality even in the grave and in the presence of death. God forbid that we should glory save in the Cross! If men would lead us to the throne may we go to it by the Cross. Inasmuch as we have been called by thy love to see the Cross and know somewhat of its holiest meaning, if we be risen with Christ may we prove our resurrection by the heavenliness of our love, by the heavenliness of our citizenship, by the heavenliness of our service. O Christ, the Living One, thou didst come to take us to the Father. Show us the Father: may we know that he is close at hand, though we cannot see him; that if we could but open our soul's eyes we should see the Father in every little child, in every broken heart, in every budding flower. Oh, for eyes to see, heart-eyes, soul-eyes, the vision of the inner life, penetrating all cloud and darkness, and seeing the Shining Glory. Then should our life be rid of its burdens, its pains and its sorrow and its fear, and we should live the life of liberty. If any man is foolish enough to be making his own gospel, do thou chastise him with many disappointments day by day, until he shall begin to pray at the right altar. Thou hast sent thy Son to save us, to seek and to save the lost, to call sinners to repentance: help us to hear the music of his inviting voice, and to answer it because our sin is exceeding great. Oh, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling-place the prayer thy servant prayeth, and when thou hearest, Lord, forgive! Amen.
Things That Accompany Salvation
IT is quite right to be interested in a salvation that is central; that is essential, but salvation is not solitude. Salvation represents a great sociality. Salvation is the heart of a noble fellowship. Many writers and preachers have, no doubt, set forth the text as conveying the idea of a procession; salvation red as blood, bright as light, tuneful as embodied music, at the head, and then all the retinue, a thousand or ten thousand strong, following, their very march music, their very look an expectation and a prophecy. It is a beautiful picture. Every man's life is to be such. If we have regarded salvation as monasticism, loneliness, one little or great idea dissociated from other thoughts, and especially dissociated from active and expressive character, we have done injustice to its first, midst, and last idea and purpose.
There may be too much said about salvation when that term is too narrowly interpreted. No selfishness is so selfish as pious selfishness. No cruelty is so cruel as Christian cruelty. The bite of the wolf is nothing to the lie of the soul. What if your salvation and mine are of infinitely less consequence than we have supposed? If we have been looking on that term as simply expressive of that comfort, individual certainty of going higher and higher, and doing less and less, and enjoying the indolence of doing nothing, some strong man may one day arise who will tear that idea of salvation to rags and tatters. It is not true, therefore it is not healthy, therefore it ought to be put down. "Are you saved?" may be a wicked inquiry. Some will not understand how this can be, because some are only at the alphabet, and some have not begun to study their letters. There are children in the world who have never heard of the existence of the alphabet. We do not consult them upon higher statesmanship or the higher mathematics. In another sense there is no greater question than, "Are you saved? are you a new creature, a liberated soul, a mind on which there shines the whole heaven of God's light? Are you a soldier, a servant, a helper of the helpless, a leader of the blind? Are you akin to the soul of Christ?" It is impossible for us to get at Christ in any sense of acceptance, assurance, and identification, except through one gate. Can we not climb up, pierce the roof, and enter by a way of our own making? No. What is the name of the only gate that opens upon the presence-chamber of the Saviour? The name is the Cross. Have you ever heard it? That you have heard it as a name, we know, but there is hearing and hearing. The Cross may be a word, or it may be a sacrifice; a literal fact, or a suggestion infinite in its resources as the heart of God. It is in the latter larger, truer sense that the Cross is a gate, the one gate and the only gate to the presence and favour of the King.
Many men are saved who do not know it. I have known so-called bad men whose disposition I have coveted. I have known them more largely than they have known themselves, though their breath is burned with unholy suggestion. I have known that their souls have been fruitful in noble and kindly thoughts. Let God say who is saved. "Lord, are there few that be saved?" No answer. Christ takes the statistics, but he does not publish them. He says in reply, rather than in answer, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate; do not be inquiring so much whether there be few or whether there may be many that be saved. Strive ye yourselves to enter in at the strait gate." We may be asking questions about others when we should be executing duties on our own behalf. There is nothing meaner in all God's universe, so far as we know it, than a pious miser, a miser by self-thought, self-condolence, self-flattery, self-regard, as though he should shut himself into his own garden and his own banqueting-hall, and should say, "What a wicked world it is, and how few that attend to religious ordinance and ceremony, and how much men are to blame themselves for the evil they are in and for the suffering they endure!" Talk of a man so, he is the devil's hired servant.
What are the things that accompany salvation? To the youngest, let me say, to accompany is to go with as we should say, "Are you walking to-day in the field? if so, I will go with you." Things that accompany salvation are things that go with salvation, keep it company, belong to it, have a right by kindred and by quality to be there. But what things can accompany salvation when salvation is interpreted in its higher and deepest sense? Is it a virgin beautiful with ineffable loveliness? Oh! were it not better she should walk in her fine linen alone on the green hills, in the flowering gardens, in the laden orchards? No. She will have with her a thousand little children, multiplied by ten thousand more, and cubed up into an unimaginable number. That virgin is social, friendly, a great housekeeper, and she goes forth, not in vanity, but in a natural expression of kindliness accompanied by others akin to her own soul.
Sometimes you see a procession and not the head of it. Did that sight ever deceive you? Never. Beholding the retinue, the procession, you say, Who is this? Not, Who are these? but, What is this? as if it were a single and not a plural explanation. Who is it? One soul. What is it? One event, yet not a soul alone, not an event dissociated from a common history. Are you satisfied to look upon the procession, upon the retinue, to see nothing besides? You know you are not. You want to see the leading figure, the main idea, the life of which these are the lives. Is the child satisfied to see the tail of the kite? The dear little child rounds his eyes and looks for the kite itself, and with joy he points it out, saying, "There, I see it." Dear little child, was it not enough to see the floating tail of the kite? No! the child will see the chief image itself. In that little figure, homely enough, and therefore all the better, we see the whole idea of this conception of a procession, a retinue.
"Things that accompany salvation." That word "accompany" might be made much larger and much more vital. Sometimes the procession is abreast of the king. It so happens that in this march sometimes the things do not accompany in the sense of following behind, but in the better and the excellent sense of going along with, as if arm in arm, placed so that it shall be difficult to say who leads so far as the mere stepping is concerned, and yet not difficult to say who leads so far as the larger life and regnacy of will are concerned. Some men make places for themselves. You say there is no room, these men soon find room enough. They do not claim it, it is conceded to them. There may be momentary opposition or envious interpretation, but all things give way before sovereign power, before supreme and noble character. At the last, confidence is promoted, integrity is crowned, but who has the deepest, clearest, largest, best ideas will always lead the empire and make republics into sovereignties.
What are the "things that accompany salvation"? There are some things that would not accompany it. There are some things that through the very force of shame would decline to be in the retinue. Can a poor, tattered, ragged, dishonoured, self-discredited vagrant join the procession of the king? He says, "No, it is not my place, put me out of sight, let me die in darkness." Among the "things that accompany salvation," we find first of all purity of character. But does purity of character mean perfection? It does not. There is no perfect man. This cold space, this cage of time, could not hold him. Perfect man can only bloom in heaven, where the climate is pure and where the day has no night. By purity of character let us mean a real, honest motive, a just and noble desire, a wish to be, not in heaven, but heavenly in mind, thought, life, speech. This definition enables me to include a great number of persons in the Church who do not include themselves. It is sad to see how things are always placed in the Christian kingdom. There are some pedants who will not come in, and therefore ought always to be outside. Pedantry has no status in the New Jerusalem. There are some conceited persons who think they have attained all that is desirable; they do not come in, and in very deed they ought to be kept out. Self-complacency is not a virtue anywhere; in the New Jerusalem it is a blasphemy.
There, are, however, men who are getting wrong seven times a day who ought to be in the Church. They are Christlike and do not realise the fact. I have seen in their eyes tears which must have travelled to their eyes by way of the heart. Yet they blunder; I know it well; they fall flat down in the devil's mire. I have seen them many times; they are inflammable, passionate, wanting in self-control. Surely. But they are pressed and driven by five hundred ancestors who were worse than they are. The five hundred ancestors are smiting them as with scorpions. Blessed be God, it is not ours to judge. Christ will shut out no one that he can bring in, and he must be a son of perdition whom Christ cannot bring into his own feast of love and eternal fellowship.
Among the "things that accompany salvation" I give a foremost place to unselfishness of service; the service that never looks at itself in the Church mirror; that never dresses itself to go out to be seen ostentatiously in public; the service that is crowned with self-unconsciousness; that does good things by stealth and blushes to find them fame; the service that does things as a monarch does them, not knowing that they are being done, without any sense of taxation, and sacrifice, and painfulness. There is a doing that would rather do than not do. There is an action that must take place because the suppression would be not only unreasonable but intolerable. Love must serve. Many are working in that way who have no earthly fame. The Apostle recognised all such in the very text in which we find the words on which we are discoursing, for he says, "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love." Here is one of the things, therefore, which accompany salvation. Doing, always doing; doing simply, doing kindly, doing lovingly, doing in the Christly spirit. There are some actions that are oppressive to the very individuals for whom they are performed. Why? Because the manner of doing them is burdensome, aggressive, oppressive. Some people help you and therefore hinder you. Some people do for you things little or great with such self-effusiveness and self-display and with such an unreasoning expectation of gratitude, that the receiver of such services would gladly dispense with them. There is an action subtle as the atmosphere, silent as the night, always operating, never displaying, or demonstrating, or self-magnifying.
What shall we say of charity of heart? Does not that also accompany salvation? That is the larger love, that great mother-love which says, "If the house will not hold you, we must add another wing to it." Great love never takes out a two-foot rule and says, "There will only be room at this table for thirty," but love says, "You must find another table." But the room will not hold it. "Then take down the wall, and go into the garden." Love keeps pace with necessity. When the great feast was spread those who went out to call in the unfamiliar guests said, "Lord, it is done as thou hast said, and yet there is room." It was Christ who spoke that parable. He is great in finding room, but never was prevented from doing anything because there was nothing, or because there was little to begin with. "Five loaves" would do to begin with. The prodigal said, "There is bread enough in my father's house and to spare." All the evangelists who went out to call the hungry people to the supper said, "Lord, we have searched everywhere, and brought in everybody we can find from hedge and ditch and hole and rock, and still there is room." Who ever exhausted God? Who ever overthronged his heaven?
This must be the spirit of the individual Christian also. But here is a poor heretic who does not see his way clear to several of the dogmas of the Church. Oh! tell him to speak nonsense no longer, but to come in at once. Here is a soul greatly troubled because his experience is different from other experience that he has heard of. Tell him to come in this very instant, for there is a chair set on purpose for him at the corner of the table. Here is a man who rather revels in his infidelity, and gets drunk on his unbelief. Then keep him out. If a man is proud of his scepticism, we do not want him inside the Church, or out of it. He is not wanted anywhere. But if a poor soul should come in and say, "Oh, sirs, it is so dark; which is the way? Will a little child take hold of my hand; and if any wise man is here, will he kindly tell me where I ought to begin, what I ought to do, and how I ought to begin?" make room for him. You need not make room for him; the King, in drawing up his list of wedding guests, set a chair for him next himself.
Where there is this charity, Christ is. Where, then, charity does not exist, there is no Church. Unutterably do I hate a man and the disposition that would keep out of the Church any poor, maimed, bruised soul that wants to be in it. "But he does not think as we do." And who are we that should do the superior thinking and set up a standard theology? I will not be one of the number. I was born yesterday; to-day I am groping and struggling and wandering and stumbling in prayer; and tomorrow I shall not be here. Does the poor soul want to love Christ? If so, here is a seat for him at the Lord's table. "Is not the Lord's table set up for perfect people?" By no means. For then would it be a banquet in a wilderness far from any human heart.
There is another accompaniment to salvation which must not be forgotten; let it be named as final in the list, but only as initial in its suggestions. And it is evangelistic zeal. What is the meaning of evangelistic? It means that some soul has a truth, a gospel, which he says he must go and tell everybody all over the world. That is the meaning of evangelistic. The truth burns him until he tells it. The gospel that fills his soul is the gospel for every creature. And he must talk about it; propagate it, publish it, circulate it. He must breathe it on every wind, and send it to every sea to be carried to every golden shore. What did the Apostle mean when he said he was a debtor to the barbarians? This has often been misinterpreted, and the Apostle Paul has been represented as a very humble person, because he confessed his obligations to everybody, to the Jew, to the Gentile, to the Greek, to the barbarian, to the bond, and to the free. And the favourite pulpit idea has been that Paul was so willing to acknowledge that everybody had been favourable to him, and kindly disposed towards his life, and had contributed something towards his service. Nothing of the kind. Paul's idea was the evangelistic idea. What I hold, said Paul, belongs to the very first man I meet, and the man beside me, and the man behind me, and all the world, Jew, Gentile, Greek, barbarian, bond, free. Wherever there is a man, I am his debtor. "Oh, sir, come, I know this truth, and therefore I owe it to you" that is the Cross of Christ in eloquent action. Not, "I have received something from you, poor barbarian, and therefore I must give something back." "I never received a thing from you in my life, but I know a truth that would make a man of you, I know a gospel that would serve you, therefore I am your debtor. Come, and I will pay it. This truth I do not hold as mine only, but as yours also." Fly abroad, thou mighty gospel, go forth, thou queen of truth and love, and be thy retinue more in number than the sands upon the seashore, brighter than the stars that beam in the diadem of night!
Almighty God, we have heard that thy mercy endureth for ever. All the great houses of history have said this. We know it of a truth; we take up the great song and sing it with our whole heart; for we have tasted and seen and handled of the Word of life. Thou hast saved us. Thy mercy has been near us all the day and all the night; thou hast come to us in the darkness of our despair and in the humiliation of our weakness, and thou hast breathed great gospels into our sinking hearts. Oh, how loving is thy voice, how majestic and tender in music! Behold, thou canst speak a word in season to him that is weary, and thou canst order the armies of heaven. We rejoice in thy love; we draw near to thy pity; because there are tears in thine eyes and thou didst look upon sinful men, we dare come quite close to thee and say, Have mercy upon me! Thy mercy endureth for ever; this we will say in the morning and in the evening; when we awake in the night-watches we will say, Thy mercy endureth for ever. Teach us that we live in thy mercy; because thy love faileth not, our life is permitted to add to its days. We do not live because of thy greatness or thy justice, thy power or thy majesty, but because of thy tenderness and love, and pity and gentleness, and fatherly-motherly care. What are these great, sweet words thou hast sent unto us to live upon, to hide in our hearts, and turn into daily life? Like as a father pitieth his children; casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you; last of all he sent his Son; God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son: these are thy words; we cannot mistake them; these voices are not earthborn; behold these great utterances fall from heaven, and bring all heaven with them. Help us to answer their grand appeal, that we may be broken in heart, humble in spirit, meek of disposition, obedient in will, and abounding alway in the fruits of the Spirit. Amen.
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Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Hebrews 6". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25