Monday, June 22, 2009

God alone could foretell...

...if the grace of God should leave the best of us, the all-knowing God alone could foretell what we should do. You who are warmest for Christ would become like Laodicea for lukewarmness; you who are sound in the faith would become rotten with error; you who now walk before the Lord in excellency and integrity would be so weak that the first temptation would remove you from your steadfastness. It would be said of us as it was said of that once bright but now fallen star, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning.” Bright as we are when grace shines on us, we are nothing but darkness itself when the Lord withdraws himself.

It was said by the old makers of metaphors that in the soundest pomegranate there are always some rotten seeds, and the whitest swan has a black bill; to which we may add that there are worms under the greenest turf, and dead men’s carcases at the bottom of the calmest seas. In the best Christian there is enough of sin to make him the worst of transgressors if God should leave him. One who knew himself but little wrote that he was so full of Christ that there was no room for the devil, but I thought I saw the cloven foot peeping out even in that boastful speech.

From a sermon entitled "Hezekiah And The Ambassadors, Or Vainglory Rebuked," delivered August 5, 1866. Image by Ginny under Creative Commons License.

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