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Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bowen's Daily Meditations
Devotional: July 18th

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"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." - Matthew 16:24.

One of the greatest triumphs ever obtained by Satan, was when he induced men, from motives utterly unscriptural, and in connection with a system not Christian, to institute religious orders consecrated to poverty and external humiliation. In recoiling from this error, Protestantism has, it is to be feared, recoiled from the truth of which it is a perversion. The doctrine illustrating the spirituality of Christianity, voluntary sacrifice of position, wealth or ease, in order that the sincerity and faith and contentedness and hope and love of the Christian may be appropriately exhibited, this doctrine, though it may claim as large and broad a foundation for itself in the word of Christ as any other one doctrine, is now treated as a foolish fantasy, if not indeed as a heresy; and he that maintains it and practices it must exhibit a good deal of wisdom in other matters in order to be tolerated. There is no more sacred obligation resting upon Christians, under the sun, than the obligation to show forth the divine origin of Christianity by the exhibition, in their lives, of those evidences that are most calculated to affect mankind generally. God loves his people , he is no enemy to their comfort here; but he loves his truth and the removal of stumbling-blocks from the paths that tend to Christ; nor is it from harshness or indifference that he says to any, " Sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and follow me;" for he well knoweth that he has power to bestow - with poverty and inferiority of position - peace, and gladness such as riches can never impart. " But," you say, " what can a solitary individual do? If he resolve to do just what his Lord says, his course will be at once eccentric and unprofitable. The example of one man is nothing." But the question already considered recurs: Do the words of Christ accommodate themselves to the unbelief of the Church; and are all his requirements relaxed because Christians universally shut their eyes to them?

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