Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kept from sin - by love

Before your conversion you used to hear moral essays, and to yield your assent to the excellence of virtue, but when temptation attacked you, what help could mere moral essays afford you? What strength to resist sin did you find in your belief in the excellence of virtue? Did you not resign yourself to the energy of evil as the snow melts in the fierce heat of the sun? But now since you have been converted, you are not kept from sin by fear but by love, and you are not impelled to holiness because you are afraid of hell, but because, being saved from the wrath to come and loved with an everlasting love, you cannot be so recreant [unfaithful] to your heart’s love and to every hallowed impulse of gratitude as to turn back to the beggarly elements from which you have been delivered. What the law could not do with its iron fetters, the gospel has done with its silken bonds.

From a sermon entitled "A Savior Such As You Need," delivered October 7, 1866. Image by Kenneth Baruch under Creative Commons License.

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