Monday, August 10, 2009

Every man has the need for grace

A man with religion is not any better than a man without it unless that religion changes his heart and makes a new man of him. The heart under a Christian’s coat is as vile as that under a Bushman’s sheepskin unless grace has renewed it. If you shall take a child and tutor him in all the outward observances of our own holy faith, if you shall see that in everything he is brought up after the straitest sect that your judgment shall select, yet unless the Holy Ghost shall come and give him a new heart and a right spirit his heart will find out ways of showing its sin, put it under what restraint you will.

Nay, it has been notorious that some who were brought up with Puritanic rigidity have been the most vicious in after life, and those who have not been so have become what is almost as detestable, hypocritical pretenders to a religion to whose real power they are strangers. “Ye must be born again,” is a truth which is as true in the Hottentot’s kraal as it is in the midst of this congregation, and as true in the home of piety as it is in the haunt of vice. The old nature everywhere, wash it, and cleanse it, and bind it, and curb it, and bridle it, is still the old fallen nature, and cannot understand spiritual things.

From a sermon entitled "The Heart - A Den Of Evil," delivered January 27, 1867. Image by Olof S under Creative Commons License.

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