Compiled by Tim Vance

Ministers in this kingdom are to comfort the consciences, deal gently with them and feed them with the Gospel, carry the weak, heal the sick, and know how to divide the Word rightly, and administer the same to every one according to his needs. This is the office of a true bishop and minister, and not to proceed with violence as our bishops do, who come threatening with stocks and the block, crying: "Ho! Up there, up there, who will not, must!" This should not be, but a bishop or minister ought to resemble one who waits upon the sick, who treats them very gently, gives kind words, speaks very friendly to them and exercises all diligence in their behalf. Thus a bishop or minister should also do, and remember that his bishopric or parish is nothing but a hospital and an infirmary, where he has very many and various kinds of sick people for treatment. When Christ is thus preached faith and life meet together and fulfil the commandment of love.

(5 31)

Yea, what is such faith, but pure prayer. It continually looks for divine grace, and if it looks for it, it also desires it with all the heart. And this desire is really the true prayer, that Christ teaches and God requires, which also obtains and accomplishes all things. And because it does not trust or seek comfort in self, its works or worthiness, but builds upon God's pure grace, therefore whatever he believes, desires, hopes and prayers, also comes to pass… Again love naturally teaches him how to do good works. For they alone are good works which serve your neighbor and are good. Yea, what is such love but only good deeds continually shown toward your neighbor, so that our work is called love, our faith is called prayer?

(5 70)

The Gospel is a doctrine that should become a living power and be put into practice; it should strengthen and comfort the people, and make them courageous and aggressive.

(5 104)

Our live and a Christian character consist of two parts, of faith and of love. The first points us to God, the other to our neighbor. The first, namely faith, is not visible. God alone sees that; the other is visible, and is love, that we are to manifest to our neighbor. Now the anxiety that springs from love is commanded, but that which accompanies faith is forbidden. If I believe that I have a God, then I cannot be anxious about my welfare; for if I know that God cares for me as a father for his child, why should I fear? Why need I to be anxious, I simply say: Art thou my Father, then I know that no evil will befall me. Thus he has all things in his hand; therefore I shall want nothing, he will care for me. If I rush ahead and try to care for myself, that is always contrary to faith; therefore God forbids this kind of anxiety. But it is his pleasure to maintain the anxious care of love, that we may help others, and share our possessions and gifts with them. My anxiety should be how others are to receive something from me.

(5 112)

If we believed that everything comes to us from God's grace and mercy, we would daily run and rejoice, our hearts would continually rise and dwell in heaven. When we once get to heaven we will see that this is true. Now no one believes it. The god of this world, the devil, has such great power on earth that we do not see the work of God nor know it. Therefore we do not appreciate it, we misuse God's mercies, and are entirely unthankful to him.

(5 129)

When we think we are the safest. God comes, tries us a little and teaches us certain things, takes from us a loved one. This all happens that we may learn to acknowledge God when he blesses us with a healthy body, a bright countenance, and bestows upon us other blessings, He does not give them to the end that you should rejoice in them; but that you may know what to think of him. When he takes a member out of your family, permits your wife to die, or destroys one of your eyes, all this is done that you may see what you have enjoyed from him. God permits man to fall so deeply into danger and anxiety, until no help or advice is within reach, and still he desires that we should not doubt, but trust him who out of an impossible thing can make something possible, and make something out of nothing. For our God knows the art that from invincible poverty he can create great riches, from great shame unexpressable honor. So it is also with sin, if you believe. Thus sin compared with righteousness, is as a spark of fire compared with the whole sea of water.

(5 133)

The miracles in Scripture are related in order that we may recognize him as our helper in all times of need, that we love him, thank him for his benefits, and willingly suffer and endure whatever he allows to befall us, especially since we know with certainty that he does not permit anything to happen to us in order to destroy us, but only to try our faith, to see whether our trust and refuge securely rest in him, or in something else.

(5 141)

We should learn to comfort ourselves in the hour of death and in all other distresses, so that, although we may come to such straits that we neither see nor feel anything else than death and destruction, as in the case of this poor widow, because of her son, yea, even though we may be in the clutches of death, as her son on the bier and on the way to the tomb; y et that we may nevertheless firmly conclude that in Christ we have obtained victory over death and life. For faith in Christ must be so disposed, as Hebrews 11:1 teaches, that it can grasp and hold fast those things that can not, yea those things of which only the antithesis can be seen, as in this case. Christ wants this widow to believe in and hope for life, when he says, "Weep not;" although such faith was indeed weak and small in her, as it also is in us, since she and all the world had in their minds feelings and thoughts that despaired of life. For he desires to teach us that also in our experience there is nothing in us or apart from us, except only corruption and death; but from him and in him only life, which shall swallow up both our sin and death. Yea, the more misery and death are in us, the more and the more richly shall we find comfort and life in him, provided we hold fast to him by faith, to which he spurs us on and admonishes us both through his Word and such examples as the one before us. Amen.

(5 157)

In making use of laws that order the outward and temporal matters and affairs, which the church is to observe, we must act wisely and gently, if we wish to do the right thing, especially when weak and timid consciences are concerned. For there is nothing more tender in heaven and on earth, and nothing can bear less trifling, than the conscience. Hence we notice how gently the Apostles dealt with conscience in divers matters, lest it be burdened with human ordinances. But as we cannot live without law and order, and as it is dangerous to deal with law since it is too apt to ensnare the conscience, we must say a little about human laws and ordinances and how far they are to be observed. The proverb says: "Everything depends upon having, a good interpreter." Therefore we conclude that all law, divine and human, treating of outward conduct, should not bind any further than love does. Love is to be the interpreter of law. Where there is no love, these things are meaningless, and law begins to do harm. The reason for enacting all laws and ordinances is only to establish love. Since then all law exists to promote love, law must soon cease where it is in conflict with love. Therefore, everything depends upon a good leader or ruler to direct and interpret law in accordance with love. Love and necessity control all law.

(5 161)

Human nature alone will never be able to accomplish what God requires, namely, that we surrender our will to the will of God, so that we renounce our reason, our will, our might and power, and say from the heart: Thy will be done. Romans 8:7 "Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." God's will is accomplished in us in this manner; Christ has through his death secured for us the Holy Spirit; and he fulfils the law in us, and not we. For that Spirit, whom God sends into your heart for the sake of his Son, makes an entirely new man out of you, who does with joy and love from the heart everything the law requires, which before would have been impossible for you to do. This new man despises the present life, and desires to die, rejoices in all adversity, and submits himself wholly and entirely to the will of God. But you must take heed, that you do not undertake to secure this faith in Jesus Christ by your own works or power, or that you think lightly about this matter; for it is impossible for the natural man, but the Holy Spirit must do it.

(5 182)

Yea, they say, You must do better and climb much higher. How high then must I climb. Thus I say, my friends, and would beseech you not to esteem that spirit great who proposes to you any kind of work, call it what you may, even if it would raise the dead. But by this you shall truly experience which spirits are of God, and which are not. For if you give me a work to do, it is not the Holy Spirit who does it; but he goes and first brings me the grace of Christ, and then leads me to works. For thus he speaks; Thy sins are forgiven, be of good cheer, and the life. He does not first insist on works, but first leads up to God through his sweet grace, and does not immediately refer you to do some work, but later you will find works enough to do unto your neighbor. But the fanatics soon torment us with works, and profess to have a nobler spirit; they urge and insist upon our doing something first of all, and permit faith and love to be overlooked. This of course is not of the Holy Spirit. Christ first takes possession of the conscience, and when it is right in faith toward God, then he also directs us to do works toward our neighbor. But he first highly extols faith and keeps works in the background. "Thy sins are forgiven." These and similar words are to be taken to heart and meditated upon, since they are nothing but pure (,race, and no work, by which the conscience is oppressed and forced to do something.

(5 200)

I have now been teaching and studying this subject of grace with all diligence for many years (more than any one of those who imagine they know it all), in preaching, writing and reading, yet I cannot boast of having mastered it and am glad that I still remain a pupil with those who are just beginning to learn. For this reason I must admonish and warn all such as want to be Christians, both teachers and pupils, that they guard themselves against such shameful delusion and surfeit, and understand that this subject is most difficult and the greatest art than can be found upon earth. The reason for this is that man's understanding cannot get beyond this external piety of works, and cannot comprehend the righteousness of faith. It is not possible for man in times of temptation and distress, when his conscience smites him, to cease from groping around for works on which to stand and rest. Then we seek and enumerate the many deeds, which we would like to do, or have done, and because we find none, the heart begins to doubt and despair. This weakness adheres so firmly to our nature, that even those who have faith and recognize the grace of God, or the forgiveness of sins, cannot overcome it with all their efforts and exertions, and must daily contend against it. Therefore let grace or forgiveness be pitted not only against sin, but also against good works, and let all human righteousness and holiness be excluded. For wherever our nature succeeds in finding sin, it tries to make an unbearable burden of it. In short let every man examine his own heart, and he will rind a false Christian who imagines that he knows all about this subject of grace before he has learned the first principles of it.

(5 220)

Do not be terrified if you feel too entirely unworthy and impure; for if your thoughts are fixed on that you will forget and lose this confidence and trust in Christ. But you must heed the Word Christ speaks to you: Although you are full of sin, death and perdition, yet you have my righteousness and life, which I apply and give to you.

(5 245)

Such a great treasure as faith should be firmly guarded, so that it may not be easily lost or taken from us. I may have it indeed in its entirety, although I hold it only in a paper sack, but it is not so well preserved as if I had it locked in an iron chest. Therefore we must so live on the earth, not that we think of something different that is better to acquire than what we already possess; but that we strive to lay hold of the treasure more and more firmly and securely from day to day. We have no reason to seek anything more than faith; but here we must see to it how faith may grow and become stronger. Thus we read in the Gospel, that, although the disciples of Christ without doubt believed (for otherwise they had not followed him), yet he often rebuked them on account of their weak faith. They had indeed faith, but when it was put to the test, they let it sink and did not support it. So it is with all Christians, where faith is not continually kept in motion and exercised, it weakens and decreases, so that it must indeed vanish; and yet we do not see nor feel this weakness ourselves, except in times of need and temptation, when unbelief rages too strongly; and yet for that very reason faith must have temptations in which it may battle and grow.

(5 254)

This is the torment of all consciences, when sin comes and smarts deeply until they feel in what a sad state they are before God; then they have no rest, run hither and thither, seek help here and there, to become free from sin, and in the presumption think they can do enough to pay God in full. Now a heart that is thus smitten with the Law, and feels its blows and distress, is truly humiliated. Therefore it falls before the Lord and asks for grace, except that it still makes the mistake that it will help itself, for this we cannot root out of our nature. When the conscience feels such misery, it dare promise more than all the angels in heaven are able to do.

(5 284)

If our hearts picture God as gracious or angry, pleasant or harsh, we have him that way. God is not to be mocked. Those who regard him as angry toward them will find him so, but whoever can say; I know that he will be a gracious father to me and forgive my sins, they will have that experience with him. There must, however, be no hypocrisy, as if the lips should say one thing and the heart thinks the opposite.

(5 313)

A person can easily be pious, but not a Christian. A Christian knows nothing to say about his piety, for he finds in himself nothing good or pious. If he is to be pious, he must look for a different piety, a piety in some one else. To this end Christ is presented to us as an inexhaustible fountain, who at all times overflows with pure goodness and grace. And for such goodness and kindness he accepts nothing, except that the good people, who acknowledge such kindness and grace, thank him for it, praise and love him, although others despise him for it. If one no longer receives anything from Christ, hi is no longer a Christian, so that the name Christian continues to be based on receiving, and not on giving and doing, and he receives nothing from any one except from Christ alone. If you look at what you do, you have already lost the Christian name. It is indeed true, that we are to do good works, help, advise and give to others, but no one is called a Christian by reason of that, nor is he on that account a Christian. From this you understand what kind of people Christians are, and what their kingdom is, namely, that they are a multitude that cling to Christ, and have one Spirit and the same gifts with him. And through this all Christians are equal, and no one has any more of Christ than another, St. Peter is no more than the thief on the cross. Therefore we are all alike through faith in Christ.

(5 332)

And this is the true preparation for the grace and goodness of Christ, that I feel my need of it, and then it harmonizes beautifully, that the two meet together, the rich and the poor. Christ and the sinner. Yet it is a great art, to persuade people that they are poor and in need of grace. It is a difficult matter, nor does the devil permit it to be done, but always diverts the people to their good works, that they may under no circumstances receive the idea that they stand in need of the grace and mercy of Christ. The more the law and works are preached, the worse it becomes among us, and we receive nothing from it but one harm and injury after another. The conscience can never be quieted by our good works. I have also been one of these and have been caught deeper in this drugstore of works than many others. I could not so quickly come to the point, to cast to the winds the law of the Pope. It was a bitter and difficult task for me to eat meat on Friday, and conclude that the law and order of the Pope amounted to nothing. God help us, how difficult it was for me, before I dared to do it!

(5 335)

But how does it happen that the righteous do not recognize and know that they have done their works unto Christ? They say; Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst? The reason is, that to give something to a poor minister, chaplain, teacher, sexton is regarded as a matter altogether of too small significance to be so precious in the sight of God. Yea the world looks upon it as so much money thrown away.

The sleeper sees nothing about him; he is not sensitive to any of earth's realities. In the midst of them he lies as one dead, useless; as without power or purpose, though having life in himself he is practically dead to all outside. Moreover, his mind is occupied, not with realities, but with dreams, wherein he beholds mere images, vain forms, of the real; and he is foolish enough to think them true. But when he wakes, these illusions or dreams vanish, then he begins to occupy himself with realities; phantoms are discarded. The sleeper does not recognize is not sensitive to the real spiritual blessings extended him through the Gospel; he regards them as valueless. When the unbeliever awakes to faith, the transitory things of earth will pass from his contemplation, and their futility will appear. But is it not showing altogether too much contempt for worldly power, wealth, pleasure and honor to compare them to dreams to dream images? Who has courage to declare kings and princes, wealth, pleasure and power but creations of a dream, in the face of the mad rage of earth after such things'!

(6 12)

No one ever gets to the point of knowledge where it is not necessary to admonish him—continually to urge him to new reflections upon what he already knows; for there is danger of his untiring enemies the devil, the world and the flesh wearying him and causing him to become negligent, and ultimately lulling him to sleep. A Christian should so live that he need never be ashamed of the character of his works, though they be revealed to all the world. He whose life and conduct are such as to make him unwilling his deeds should be manifest to everyone, certainly does not live in a Christian manner.

(6 18)

The Christian's whole purpose in life is to be useful to mankind. We are not to take pleasure in ourselves; that is, not to consider ourselves good because of abilities superior to those of our neighbors. For that means but to delight in beholding others in sin and depravity, from unwillingness to see them our equals or our superiors; and to rejoice at the misfortunes which prevent their gaining ascendancy. Let everyone so conduct himself as to gain the approval of his neighbor. Each should bear his neighbor's infirmities with patience and gentleness, and by kindness win his love and confidence. Let him not treat his neighbor with a rashness and severity that shall warrant the latter's fear and shall drive him farther away, leading him to expect no favors ever and to become but more sinful. But you will say. "If I proceed in the way that shall please my neighbor I must let him have his own way and allow him continue as he is." The point is we so what is "for his good." The meaning is that each should so conduct himself as to please his neighbor in the things that make for that neighbor's betterment, and in those only. And, indeed, our conduct toward our fellow may be such as to deny him his will without incurring his displeasure.

(6 38)

Truly, no comfort but that of God's word is possible to the soul. But… here will we find God's word except in the Scriptures? What do we accomplish by reading other books to the exclusion of the Book? Other books may have power to slay us, indeed, but no book except the holy Scriptures has power to comfort us. For thereby the soul apprehends God's word and, learning his gracious will, cleaves to it, continuing steadfast in life and death. Ile who knows not God's will must doubt, for he is unaware what relation he sustains to God. In the midst of suffering the Bible consoles and strengthens, that our patience may not fail but press on unto victory. Under the strong comfort of God's solacing assurance that he is present to direct, the would bears up with courage and joy beneath its sufferings. Mark you, the real mission of the Scriptures is to comfort the suffering, distressed and dying. Then he who has had no experience of suffering or death cannot at all understand the comfort of the Bible. Not words but experience must be the medium of tasting and finding this comfort. Paul mentions "patience" before "Comfort" of the Scriptures to indicate that he who, unwilling to endure suffering, seeks consolation elsewhere cannot taste the comfort of the Word. If God does not direct his Word to the heart to fit the needs of the individual, the heart will never discover this patience and consolation.

(6 44)

"To be like minded towards another." What do these words imply? How can the weak be "minded" like the strong? The phrase means each to tolerate the prejudices of another, and think that may be good which appears proper to another. Prejudice is the cause of all parties, sects, discord and heresy. As the proverb says, "Pleased with his own way is everyone. Hence the land with fools is overrun." Nothing is more intolerable and pernicious to the Christian faith and the Church than prejudice. The victim of it cannot rid himself of the fault. He must follow his own way, differing from the commonly accepted one. He must establish a course pleasing to himself. The weak in conscience should accept as right what they of strong faith and sound conscience observe. The effort should be for a oneness of faith and conscience, and a sameness of opinion; and to avoid the wrangling occasioned by conflicting personal ideas of what is right. He would have them illustrate the psalmist's declarations (Ps 68:6); "God setteth the solitary in families." When one is weak in faith and defective in conduct, the spirit of Christian unity, though deploring his condition, does not forsake him, much less disparage, reject or condemn him. We render divine service when we are harmonious, and when we recognize our common equality and our common blessings in Christ when none exalts himself above another nor assumes special advantages.

(6 44)

All the good we can do to God is to praise and to thank him. This is the only true service we can render him, according to his words in Psalm 50:23: "Whoso offereth the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his way aright will I show the salvation of God." We receive all blessings from him, in return for which we should make the offering of praise. If anything else purporting to be service to God is presented for your consideration rest assured it is erroneous and delusive. Service to God is praise of him. It must be free and voluntary, at table, in the chamber, cellar, garret, in house or field, in all places, with all persons, at all times. For, once the individual glimpses the Father's merciful will, he has a conscience so happy and serene he cannot restrain himself but must honor and praise God for his priceless blessings and provisions.

(6 52)

By the "hidden things of darkness" and the "counsels of the heart" (I Cor. 4:5) Paul refers to the two powers commonly but not very intelligibly termed "will" and "reason." Man possesses in his inmost being two capacities; he loves, delights, desires, wills; and he understands, perceives, judges, decides. I shall term these capacities it motive" and "thought." The motives and desires of man are deep and deceitful beyond recognition; no saint, even, can wholly comprehend them. Many pious individuals perform great works from a selfish motive or desire. They seek their own interests, yet never with assurance. They serve God not purely for love of him, but for the sake of personal honor or profit; of gaining heaven and escaping the tortures of hell. One cannot realize the falseness of his motives until God permits him to endure many severe temptations. So Paul calls such motives "hidden things of darkness," a most appropriate name. Not only are they concealed, but in darkness, in the inmost heart, where they are unperceived by the individual himself and known to God alone. Remembering this deplorable secret motive of the heart, we should be induced to submit ourselves one to another and not to contrast any particular work or station with others. Now, according to our secret motives so are our thoughts good or evil. Our motives and desires control our aims, decisions and reasonings. These latter Paul terms "counsels of the heart" the thought we arrive at in consequence of our secret motives and desires. We call intent or motive of the heart the "hidden things of darkness " desire, while the "counsels" and imaginations are the heart's expression. The secret workings of darkness are not to be overcome in any way but by despair of our own works, and strong faith in the pure grace of God. Nothing is more conducive to this end than sufferings severe and many, and all manner of misfortunes. Under such influences man may learn, to some extent, to know himself; otherwise all is lost.

(6 91)

"Let your forbearance (moderation) be known unto all men." Phil. 4:5. Make yourselves universally agreeable. Not only refrain from offending any, but put the best possible construction upon the conduct of others. Aim to be clearly recognized as men indifferent to circumstances, as content whether you be hit or missed. Be on a level with everyone. It is the virtue of adapting or accommodating oneself to another, of endorsing that other; of making all equal; of presenting a like attitude toward all men; not setting oneself up as a model and pattern. The intent is to indicate that moderation of life which adjusts and adapts self to the abilities and circumstances of others, yielding, commending, following, mitigating, doing allowing, forbearing, according as one recognizes what capacity and condition of a neighbor demands, even to the disparagement of one's own honor and life, and the detriment of his possessions. To whatever does not do violence to our faith, and benefits others, we should fully conform.

(6 96)

Peace with God must be felt in the heart and conscience. How else could our "hearts and minds" be preserved "through Christ Jesus"? To illustrate the difference between the peace of God and the peace comprehensible by reason: They who know nothing of fleeing to God in prayer, when overtaken by tribulation and adversity and when filled with care and anxiety proceed to seek that peace alone which reason apprehends and which reason can secure. But reason apprehends no peace apart from a removal of the evil. Such a peace does not transcend the comprehension of reason; it is compatible with reason. But they who rejoice in God, finding their pence in him, are contented. They calmly endure tribulation, not desiring what reason dictates as peace removal of the evil. Standing firm, they await the inner strength wrought by faith. It is not theirs to inquire whether the evil will be short or long in duration, whether temporal or eternal; they give themselves no concern on this point, but ever leave it to God's regulation. They are not anxious to know when, how, where or by whom termination of the evil is to come. In return, God affords them grace and removes their evils, bestowing blessings beyond their expectations, or even desires. Reason cannot understand how there can be pleasure in crosses, and peace in disquietude; it cannot find these.

(6 110)

In fact, all men who do not live a life committed to the pure goodness and grace of God are "impious," ungodly, even though they be holy enough to raise the dead, or perfect in continence and all other virtues. "Graceless" or "faithless" would seem to be the proper adjective to describe them. Unwilling to regard their own works ineffectual, sinful and faulty, they discover in themselves much good. Measuring themselves by their good intentions, they imagine they deserve great merit independently of grace. God, however, regards no work good nor it it unless he by his grace effects it in us. Now, the foremost evil of men is their Godlessness, their unsaved state, their lack of grace. It includes first a faithless heart, and then all resultant thoughts, words, works, and conduct in general. Left to himself, the individual's inner life and outward conduct are guided only by his natural abilities and human reason. In these his beauty and brilliance sometimes outshine the real saints. But he seeks merely his own interests. He is unable to honor God in life and conduct, even though he does command greater praise and glory in the exercise of reason than do the true saints of frequent Scripture mention. So worldwide and so deeply subtle an evil is this godless, graceless conduct, it withholds from the individual the power to perceive the evil oh his way, to believe he errs, even when his error is held up to him. This spiritual deception leads astray not only the reason but the spirit of man. In fact, that ungodliness is sinful must be believed rather than felt. We must also confess that were it not for the ungodliness and faulty character of our deeds. God would not have ordained the proclamation of his grace for our betterment. Were one to administer remedies to an individual not ill, he would be looked upon as lacking sense.

(6 113)

"Pharisee" means "excluded" or "separated." In Psalm 80:13, the prophet calls them "monios," signifying "a solitary one." The name primarily is applied to a wild hog of solitary habits. These Pharisees, or solitary ones, make great show with their traditions, their peculiar garb, their meats, days and physical attitudes. But let us learn from Paul that no meats, drinks, apparel, colors, times, attitudes, are forbidden and none are prescribed. In all these things, everyone is given freedom, if only they be use in soberness, or moderation. Only the abuse of them, only excess and disorder therein, is prohibited. Where there is distinction and emphasis on such matters, there you will surely find human laws; not evangelical doctrine, not Christian liberty. Without soberness, or moderation, the ultimate result must be dissimulation, and hypocrisy. Therefore, make use of all earthly things when and where you please, giving thanks to God. Diligently guard against narrowness. We must fast, we must watch and labor, we must wear inferior clothing, and so on; but only on occasions when the body seems to need restraint and mortification. Do not set apart a specified time and place, but exercise your self denial as necessity requires. Then you will be fasting rightly. In the ways of God is universal freedom. It is left to the individual to exercise his liberty; to do right when, where, and to whom occasion offers. We ape after set forms.

(6 124)

To fear God is to look upon our own devices as pure ungodliness in the light of his manifest grace. These being ungodly, we are to fear God and forsake them, and thereafter guard against them. To trust in God is to have perfect confidence that he will be gracious to us, filling us with grace and godliness. The individual yields to God when he gives himself wholly to God, attempting nothing of himself but permitting the Lord to work in and to rule him; when his whole concern and fear, his continual prayer and desire, are for God to withhold him from following his own works and ways, which he now recognizes as ungodly and deserving of wrath, and to rule over and work in him through grace. Observe, they are pious and filled with grace, who do not walk by reason, do not trust in human nature, but rely only on the grace of God, ever fearful lest they fall from grace into dependence upon their own reason, their self conceit, good intentions and self devised works. God says; Let me work; perform not thine own works. Let me help thee in they need. For everything, look to me. Let me alone direct thy life. Then wilt thou be able to know me and my grace; to love and praise me, this is the true road to salvation.

(6 126)

'To live right in this present world, mark you, is like living soberly in a saloon, chastely in a brother, godly in a gaiety hall, uprightly in a den of murderers. The character of the world is such as to render our earthly life difficult and distressing, until we longingly cry out for death and the day of judgment, and await them with ardent desire. Let all who presume to think they live godly, step forward and answer as to whether or not they delight in this "blessed hope" of Christ coming for his own; whether they are so prepared for the day of judgment that they await it with pleasure; whether they regard it as more than endurable, as even a blessed event to be contemplated with longing and with cheerful confidence. Is it not true that human nature ever shrinks from the judgment?

(6 129)

Take heed to believe true what the apostle, through the Gospel, declares that Christ gave himself for you for the sake of redeeming you from all unrighteousness and of purifying you for a peculiar inheritance. It follows, that, in the first place, you must believe and confess all your efforts, impure, unrighteous; and that you human nature, reason, art and free will are ineffectual apart from Christ. Unless you so believe, you make void the Gospel; for, according to the Gospel, Christ did not give himself for the righteous and the pure. Evidently, we are naturally captives. Then how can we be presumptuous and ungrateful enough to attribute so much merit to our free will and our natural reason? If we claim there is aught in us not bound in sin, we disparage the grace whereby, according to the Gospel, we are redeemed. Who can do any good thing while captive in sin, while wholly unrighteous. Our own efforts may seem to us good, but in truth they are not; otherwise, the Gospel of Christ must be false.

(6 134)

Entertain no doubt of God's love and kindness toward you, and you shall realize his blessings. How can the heart remain sorrowful and dejected where it entertains no doubt of God's kindness to it, and of his attitude as a good friend with whom it may unreservedly and freely enjoy all things? Such joy and pleasure must follow faith; if they are not ours, certainly something is wrong with our faith. Now, if you steadfastly believe, if you rejoice in god your Lord, if you are alive and his grace satisfies, if your wants are all supplied, how will you employ yourself in this earthly life? Inactive you cannot be. Such a disposition of love toward God cannot rest. Your zeal will be warm to do everything you know will be to the praise and glory of a kind and gracious God. At this point there is no longer distinction of works. Here all commands terminate. There is neither restraint nor compulsion, but a joyful willingness and delight in doing good, whether the intended achievement be insignificant or difficult, small or great, requiring short or long service.

(6 147)

None of the self righteous are really humble, mild, moderate and good in their hearts. This fact is revealed when one crosses them and rejects their works, then they bring forth their natural and identifying fruits; temerity, impatience, arbitrariness, obstinacy, slander and many other evil propensities.

(6 160)

When we accept him, when we believe he has purified us, he dwells within us because of, and by, our faith, daily continuing to cleanse us by his own operation; and nothing apart from Christ in any way contributes to the purification of our sins.

(6 180)

Note how great an enemy and at the same time how great a friend true love can be; how severe its censures and how sweet its aid. It is like a nut with a hard shell and a sweet kernel. Bitter to our old Adam nature, it is exceedingly sweet to the new man in us.

(6 208)

He who would incite one to action, would arouse, encourage, admonish him, must present good reason for action. This may be accomplished by reference to the need and the advantages, the pleasures and honors, consequent upon a certain course, or to the disaster and disgrace following neglect of it.

(6 213)

In proportion as one distrust himself, his own abilities, and feels he is in all things a sinner before a just God, will he find consolation outside himself, in the grace of God, and thus become righteous in all his works. The two must be kept together; where judgment is, fear must be where grace exists, confidence is found. Judgment produces fear; grace begets trust and confidence. Through judgment, fear divests us of self and with all its powers. But confidence invests us with god and his every attribute. Therefore, he who would do right and live in righteousness must believe; he must persevere in faith, and then perform without distinction, such works as present themselves. Endowed with the prerogative faith, it is unnecessary for him to inquire how works shall be good. They are good to begin with. Faith enables the conscience to feel in Righteousness all the security, desire, and love that a child finds in its mother or a husband in his new bride.

(6 218)

God respects the individual, Cain the works. God rewards the works for the sake of the doer; Cain would have the doer crowned because of his works. God will not yield his just and righteous position, and the young nobleman Cain will never while the world stand allow himself to be convinced of his error. We must not reject his works, slight his reason or look unto his free will as powerless; for so he will become angry with God and slay his brother Abel, a fact to which all history gives abundant testimony. Do you ask: "What then am I to do? How shall I make myself good and acceptable in person to begin with? How secure that justification?" The Gospel replies: "Hear Christ and believe in him, utterly despairing of yourself and resting assured you will be changed from a Cain to an Abel and then present your offerings. "Just as faith is proclaimed without merit or work on your part, it is also bestowed regardless of your works, without any of your merits. It is given of pure grace. Note, faith justifies the individual; faith is justification. Because of faith God remits all sins, and forgives the old Adam and the Cain in our nature, for the sake of Christ his beloved Don, whose name faith represents. More, he bestows the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit changes the individual into a new creature, one with different reason and different will, and inclined to the good. Such a one, wherever he is , performs wholly good works, and all his works are good.

(6 226)

The Christian should entertain no fear he should not doubt that he is righteous and a child of God through grace. Rather he needs to entertain anxiety as to how he shall endure steadfast to the end. There is where all fear and anxiety are due. For while he assuredly is given to possess full salvation, it may be somewhat doubtful whether or not he will steadfastly retain it. Here we must walk in fear. True faith does not hang upon works nor rely upon itself; it relies only upon God and his grace.

(6 229)

The Law was given merely to reveal to man his graceless and servile condition and his lack of filial affection; to show him how he serves God without faith and confidence, and a free, spontaneous spirit. The self righteous saints confess to their utter want of confidence; and, if they would but make further confession, they must admit that they prefer to have no Law, and do not submit to it from choice. Destitute of faith as they are, their whole conduct is regulated by restraints. They must acknowledge the Law powerless to yield them any higher perfection. Let them learn from the Law their condition as servants and not as children, and be led to come out of their servitude into the prerogative of the child, regarding their own efforts ineffectual. The Law is designed to try men, to teach them by defeat in the conflict with it how unwilling, how faithless, they are, and thus lead them to seek help elsewhere and not to presume by their own strength to meet its demands. Study a Cain like individual and you will see. In the first place, only with great pains and labor does he perform all his works in obedience to the Law. Yet, as he readily confesses, he does not believe himself a child of God and holy. Conversely, What Paul calls knowing sin by the Law, is coming into conflict with it, feeling and experiencing the perversity of our hearts and in consequence shuddering, despairing of ourselves, and eagerly striving after grace. Grace removes disinclination and generates a willing, cheerful spirit, a spirit giving us sincere good will for the Law and enabling us to perform our duties voluntarily, without constraint, our only motive being pure delight in righteousness and the Law, while we are uninfluenced by expectation of reward or fear of punishment.

(6 236)

But let everyone be certain that he feels the Holy Spirit's presence in himself and hears his voice. Paul says: When the Holy Spirit is in the heart he cries, "Abba, Father." We recognize that voice when the conscience, without doubt or wavering, is firmly persuaded, fully satisfied, that our sins are forgiven and that we are children of God; and when, having such assurance of salvation, we may with joyous and confident heart approach God and call him our beloved Father. The individual may have a fearful feeling that he is not a child of God. He may imagine God to he a judge over him, angry and austere. Such was the case with Job, and many others. In such conflict, filial confidence must gain the victory, however it may tremble and quake; otherwise all will be lost. Consider what Christ is and what he has accomplished and still accomplishes for us. The point is not our nature, but the grace of God. How preciously effective temptations and afflictions are. They drive us to cry; they rouse the Spirit. But we fear and flee at the sight of the cross. Consequently we never feel the Spirit, and we continue Cain's subjects, if we do not recognize the Spirit's cry, we must reflect, and must not cease to pray until God hears us; for we are like Cain and our condition is perilous. We are not to expect, however, that no voice but the Spirit's will cry within us. Our sins will also cry; they will produce in our conscience strong tendencies to despair. Note how far above mere human nature is the life of the Christian. Human nature is not capable of such a cry, of such confidence in God. It only fears and cries murder upon itself.

(6 261)

Constraint has a twofold effect upon the youth: First, fear of his tutor preserves him from many evils into which he would otherwise fall. Second, his heart is fill with hatred toward the tutor who curbs his will. The greater his external restraint from evil, the greater his inward hatred of him who restrains. His character is in the scales; when one side goes up, the other goes down. While outward sin decreases, inward sin increases. So the Law, when producing external piety, increases inward sin. It imposes as much sin inwardly, by arousing hatred and rebellion, as it corrects externally by works; and much more. According to Paul (Rom. 7:13), through the Law sin becomes exceeding sinful, sinful beyond measure. We know from experience that those youths most strictly reared are, when given liberty, more wicked than young men less rigidly brought up. So impossible is it to improve human nature with commandments and punishments; something else is necessary.

(6 268)

Flow many righteous individuals, men of honorable character, think you, would there be today if neither heaven nor shame, punishment and hell were before them?

(6 269)

When Christ effects much suffering, indications are favorable for good. Wherever his garment is in evidence, he unceasingly purifies with various forms of suffering.

(6 290)

God know of no better way to deal with the pernicious light of reason than utterly to condemn and obscure it " I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." (I Cor. 1: 19 20) We just flee the light of reason as from darkness and from an enemy of the true light. Human reason always claims to be in the right and to be light, when really it is darkness and condemned by the true light. Being condemned, in its rage it instigates all forms of evil. In earthly, human affairs man's judgment suffices. For these things, he needs no light but that of reason. Hence God does not in the Scriptures teach us how to build houses, to make clothing, to marry, and so on. For these, our natural light is sufficient. But in divine things, the things concerning God, and in which we must conduct ourselves acceptable with him and must secure happiness for ourselves, human nature is absolutely blind, staring stone blind, unable to recognize in the slightest degree what these things are.

(6 319)

The sheep that are weak are to be strengthened; that is, consciences weak in faith and troubled in spirit and of tender disposition are not to be driven and told: You must do this. You must be strong. If you are weak, you are lost.' They should not be driven with rigor, but should be comforted, even though they are weak, lest they be driven to despair; and in time they will grow stronger. These bruised reeds are poor, tender consciences, which are easily distracted so that they tremble and despair of God. But the Gospel graciously invites and makes men willing, so that they desire to go, and do go, to him with all confidence. And it begets a love for Christ in their hearts, so that they willingly do what they should, whereas formerly they had to be driven and forced. When we are driven, we do a thing with displeasure and against our will. That is not what God desires; therefore it is done in vain. But when I see that God deals with me graciously, he wins my heart.

(3 25)

Why does God permit his own to be persecuted and hounded? In order to suppress and subdue the free will, so that it may not seek an expedient in their works; but rather become a fool in God's works and learn thereby to trust and depend upon God alone. Like a woman in travail, her free will is at its end and is unable to accomplish anything, or to give any advice. It is not in the power of the woman to be delivered of the child, but she feels that it is wholly in the hand and power of God. Even if all women came to the help of this woman in travail, they would accomplish nothing. The woman is here in such a state of mind that she is fearful of great danger, and yet she knows that the whole work lies in the hands of God; in him she trusts; upon him it is she depends; he also helps her and accomplishes the work, which the whole world could not do, and she thinks of nothing but the time that shall follow, when she shall again rejoice; and her heart feels and says. A dangerous hour is at hand, but afterwards it will be well. Courage and the heart press through all obstacles. Thus it will also be with you, when you are in sorrow and adversity, and when you become new creatures. Only quietly wait and permit God to work. He will accomplish everything without your assistance. Here you see in this example, that if a man is to be born the mother must become first as though she were dead; that is, she must be in a condition as though she were already dead, she thinks it is now all over with her. Thus it shall be also with us. If we want to become godly, we must be as dead, and despair of all our works, yea, never think that we shall be able to accomplish anything.

(3 80)

When man is troubled by an evil conscience because of his sins, the man is troubled by an evil conscience because of his sins, the heart thinks it is eternal pain: and so it is, also, as man calculates, for he sees no end of it. He thinks God is against him and will not help him, and he himself will not allow God to help him. He looks about and finds no succor from any creature. Yea, he thinks all creatures are his enemies. Therefore, the heart soon concludes and says: Here is eternal anguish, here there will be no change, here there is no help, no comfort. God and everything are against me. In truth it is not so, but it is only a transition. It will not last long. If we can only keep quiet for a little time, he will surely not remain away long with his comfort.

(3 90)

Many know Christ only as foam on the water; it does not enter the heart. But to truly know Christ is to know that he died for me and transferred the load of my sin upon himself, to so know this that I realize that all my doings amount to nothing. To let go all that is mine, and value only this, that Christ is given to me as a present; his sufferings, his righteousness and all his virtues are at once mine. When I become conscious of this. I must in return love him; my affections must go out to such a being. After this I climb upon the Son higher, to the Father, and see that Christ is God, and that he placed himself in my death, in my sin, in my misery, and bestows upon me his grace. Then I know also his gracious will and the highest love of the Father, which no heart of itself can discover or experience. Thus I lay hold of God at the point where he is the tenderest, and think; Aye, that is God; that is God's will and pleasure, that Christ did this for me. And with this experience I perceive the high, inexpressible mercy and the love in him because of which he offered his beloved child for me in ignominy, shame and death. That friendly look and lovely sight then sustain me. Thus must God become known, only in Christ.

(3 253)

Comfort and truth, when the product of the Holy Spirit, are concealed and deeply hidden in faith. Christians themselves do not at all times experience them, but in their weakness sometimes miss the presence of these. For the devil, through both the timidity within themselves and the wickedness of the world without, hinders and opposes believers to such an extent that it is often almost impossible for them to appropriate an atom of God's comfort; they find themselves in the same condition in which the great apostle Paul laments about himself (2 Cor. 7:5), where without are fightings, within are fears.

(3 303)

However great, both in word and deed, God's promise of grace is toward those that fear him, yet they cannot lift up their hearts and joyfully look upon God. They are still constantly harassed with anxiety and fear lest God may be angry with them on account of their unworthiness and the weakness which is theirs. If they hear an angry word from God, or recall or learn of some fearful example of God's wrath and punishment, then they tremble and fear lest it strike them. The other class, on the contrary, who indeed should tremble before God, stiffly and proudly despise these things in their security, and comfort themselves with the carnal notion that God cannot be angry with them. Very difficult is it for the human heart to so balance itself that it will not become secure in success and prosperity, but remain humble, and again, in times of fear and misfortune, enjoy comfort and confidence toward God.

(3 314)

In addition to the grace by which a man begins to believe and to hold fast to the Word, God also rules in man through his divine power and agency, so that he constantly grows more and more enlightened, becomes richer and stronger in spiritual understanding and wisdom, and better fitted to understand all matters of doctrine and practice. He furthermore makes daily progress in life and good works, becomes eventually a kind, gentle, patient man, ready to serve everyone with doctrine, advice, comfort and gifts; is useful to God and man; through him and because of him men and countries receive benefit; in short he is a man through whom god speaks, in whom he lives and works, and such a man's words, life and doings are God's. His tongue is God's tongue, his hand is God's hand, and his word is no more the word of man, but God's Word.

(3 317)

"The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." The flesh cannot judge nor think otherwise than it feels, and it prefers not to feel, but to get rid of all that oppresses and torments it. If you would learn the art of dominating your feelings and living above them, you must listen, and hear and grasp the word, which Christ utters: Dear Christians, do believe me, it will not be to your injury, but for your good. My departure does not mean that ye will be forsaken by me, but that I, through this going away, shall conquer, and that ye may experience my power and might as I, seated at the right hand of the Father, rule over your sin and over your enemies, the devil, death and hell; then none of these shall touch you by a hair's breadth, except at my will, and shall not hurt you, but rather serve and benefit you. Therefore, do heed my Word above your feelings.

(3 327)

It is easy to say: We must blind our reason, disregard our feelings, close our eyes and only cling to the Word finally die and yet live. But to persevere in this, when it becomes a matter of experience and when we are really tested, requires pains and labor. It is a very bitter experience. Man does not desire the destruction of the flesh, or, in other words, to die; but this is the will of the Spirit, wherefore he desires that the flesh may soon be destroyed. Thus the nature of the soul must change and it must become an enemy of the body, desiring that the body may die, so that it (the soul) may enter into a new life. That this will be, we are to believe, but not to know how. It is the work of God, and he has not commanded us to fathom it.

(3 414)

The Spirit's process in the heart is similar to the phenomenon of the wind, which blows and blusters when and where it will, and passes through all that grows and moves and lives in creation. In the case of the wind there is no more than a breath of air, which lies still for a while but suddenly begins to move, to blow and rush, and you do not know whence it comes. Now it blows here, now there, producing all kinds of sudden changes of weather, and yet you cannot see it nor conceive what it is; you only hear it rushing. You notice its presence, its stir and motion upon the water or in the fields of corn, but you cannot tell, when it strikes you, when or where or at what distance from you it took its start and how far beyond you it will stop blowing, nor can you appoint time, space and measure for its coming and going.

(3 437)

Our neighbor is to be sought as a lost sheep, that his shame is to be covered with our honor, that our piety is to be a cover for his sins. But nowadays, when men come together they backbite one another; and thus they would show how zealous they are against sin, therefore, ye men, whenever ye come together, do not backbite your neighbors. Make not one face at one person and another at someone else. Do not cut off one man's foot and another man's hand; make no such traffic of living flesh. Likewise, ye women, when you come together, conceal the shame of others, and do not cause wounds which you cannot heal. Should you meet with anything like this in some one's house, then throw your mantle over shame and wounds, and close the door. A very good reason for doing this is, that you would have others do the same to you. Then, if you have kept the matter secret, bring the parties before you afterwards, and read them a good lecture; and let it remain with you as a secret.

(4 64)

Therefore a Christian must so learn to rule his conscience before God as not to permit himself to be ensnared by any law, but whenever his faith is attacked by the law, let him defend himself against it, and act as Christ does, where he shows himself so firm, exceptional and odd, that neither Moses nor any legal exacter can do anything with him, although he is otherwise the most humble, the most gentle and friendly of men. The longer human nature struggles and afflicts itself with the law, the worse it becomes until entirely overcome. Thus you must learn to do, and flatly say to it: My dear law, let your contention cease, and go your own way, for I have nothing to do with thee; yes, just because you come to dispute with me and inquire how good I am, I will not hear thee; for nothing avails before this judge, with whom we now dispute, nothing what I am and shall do or not do; but only what Christ is, gives and does. For we are now in the bridal chamber, where the bride and the bridegroom should be alone, you have no right to enter there, or speak on this subject.

(4 73)

Luke 6:36 37 Here the Lord divides mercy into three parts, that we may know what mercy is which we are to exercise toward our neighbor, First, we are not to judge or condemn; second, we are to forgive our neighbor, if he has offended us, third, you are to come to the help of the needy. All this must flow out of an upright faith so that it be done without hypocrisy and without guile, and that we may have no respect of persons.

(4 106)

Despair makes monks.

(4 134)

Just because you are a sinful person, you must trust. Here you must open wide your conscience and greatly expand your heart, in order that grace may flow freely into them. If you have learned to know God, then refuse him nothing whatever; that is, if we behold the great treasures, then we should not despair. It is proper that we know ourselves, and the more thoroughly we do this the better; but you must not reject grace because of your sins. For if you find that your conscience struggles and would drive you to despair, then you are most comfortable and fortunate; then you will find the consolation in your conscience, and say like Micah, 7:18 19: "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and casts their sins into the sea and drowns them?" All gods that do not take away sin are idols.

(4 138)

The two things are thus well maintained over against each other, namely, that we must work, and that our work accomplishes nothing.

(4 144)

God wants us to keep the work and to leave the care with him. By doing this we shall do our part, and, with moderate labor and no care, we shall soon come into possession of all we need. Christ teaches us that he will not give us anything unless we work for it, and that the things we obtain do not come from our work, but only from God's help and blessing. In short, our work produces and bestows nothing. Yet it is necessary as a means through which we may receive what God gives. The disciples must use their hands to let down the nets and to draw them in, if they wish to secure anything, and must be willing to do so. Yet they are obliged to acknowledge that their labor did not bring about the result, otherwise they would have succeeded, in the first place, without Christ. He therefore permits them to make a sufficient trial, and to discover by experience that the toil of this entire night has been in vain and to no purpose.

(4 151)

Pray thus: Oh my god, thou hast placed Christ, thine only beloved Son, before me as an example, so that I might lead a like life; but I am not able to do this. O my God, change me, grant me thy grace! God then comes and says: Behold, since you know yourself and seek grace from me, I will change you and do as you desire. And though you are not so perfect as Christ, as indeed you should be, I shall nevertheless have my Son's life and perfection cover your imperfections. So you see we must always have something to keep us in the right humility and fear.

(4 184)

The text says nothing more than "Thou shalt not kill;" hence it follows that whoever does not kill, is righteous, But when my feelings are hurt and I am wronged, I have good grounds and reason for being wrought up and for resenting the injustice; at the same time my wrath appears doubly justified because it suffers violence and injustice without actually killing. This wrath of mine advances a step by embellishing its cause in proclaiming its innocence and parading its piety before God and the world thus: Have I not good reasons for being angry? This and that my neighbor has done to me in return for my many favors, and I would have gladly given him my life's blood; this is the thanks, the returns, with which he pays me. Am I to suffer all this and pass such malice by? And at this point a Pharisee boldly proceeds to malign and persecute his neighbor in the highest degree, wherever he can, inflicting harm and injury; and all this is claimed to be done justly, he himself being pious and holy, yea, extoled as a martyr in the sight of God and men. We pride ourselves on being evangelical and still want the liberty of becoming angry and to rage when we please; and not permit ourselves to be punished nor reproved, but rather than that everything may go to pieces, if only we be considered to be in the right, and pious, despite the fact that such a despicable farce of right causes a hundredfold more wrong. Do not personally grow angry, but so completely control your anger that, be it in official duty or not, it does not proceed from the heart.

(4 191)

God requires nothing, more from us, than that we surrender ourselves to the service of our neighbor, and accordingly sustain him in the name of God and in the place of God, do him good and show him a service.

(4 209)

Thus we err on both sides in saving, a person must only believe, then he will neglect to do good works and bring forth good fruits. Again, if you preach works, the people immediately comfort themselves and trust in works. Therefore we must walk upon the common path. Faith alone must make us good and save us. But to know whether faith is right and true, you must show it by your works.

(4 342)

Hence it is indeed an art above all human art, ye, the most wonderful thing on earth, that a man may have the grace truly to know himself as a sinner, and 'et again turn round and cast away all thoughts of God's wrath and hold to mere grace.

(4 365)

He who will not cheerfully respond to friendly admonition is no Christian. And he who attempts by the restraints of law to compel the unwilling to renunciation, is no Christian preacher or ruler; he is but a worldly jailer. A teacher of Law enforces his restraints through threats and punishments. A preacher of grace persuades and incites by calling attention to the goodness and mercy of God. The latter does not desire works prompted by an unwilling spirit, or service that is not the expression of a cheerful heart. He who cannot, by the gracious and lovely message of God's mercy so lavishly bestowed upon us in Christ, be persuaded in a spirit of love and delight to contribute to the honor of God and the benefit of his neighbor, is worthless to Christianity, and all effort is lost on him, how can one whom the fire of heavenly love and grace cannot melt, be rendered cheerfully obedient by laws and threats?

(7 12)

But the spiritual sacrifice is, in man's estimation, the most repugnant and unacceptable of all things. It condemns, mortifies and opposes whatever, in man's judgment, is good and well pleasing. For, as before stated, nature cannot do otherwise than to live according to the flesh, particularly to follow its own works and inventions. It cannot admit that all its efforts and designs are vain and worthy of mortification and of death. The spiritual sacrifice is acceptable to God, Paul teaches, however unacceptable it may be to the world. Consequently, Paul's use of the word "body" (Romans 12:1) includes more than outward, sensual vices and crimes, as gluttony, fornication, murder; it includes everything not of the new spiritual birth but belonging to the old Adam nature, even its best and noblest faculties, outer and inner; the deep depravity of self will, for instance, and arrogance, human wisdom and reason, reliance on our own good works, on our own spiritual life and on the gifts wherewith God has endowed our nature. Take the most spiritual and wisest individuals on earth, and while it is true that a fraction of them are outwardly and physically chaste, their hearts, it will be found, are rifled with haughtiness, presumption and self will, while they delight in their own wisdom and peculiar conduct. No saint is wholly free from the deep depravity of the inner nature. Hence he must constantly offer himself up, mortifying his old deceitful self. Paul calls it sacrificing the body, because the individual, on becoming a Christian, lives more than half spiritually, and the evil propensities remaining to be mortified. Paul attributes to the body as to the inferior, the less important, part of man; the part not as yet wholly under the Spirit's influence.

(7 14)

We come each day to place greater value on the things condemned by human reason by the world. So shall we be daily changed renewed in our minds. Daily we prefer to be poor, sick and despised, to be fools and sinners, until ultimately we regard death as better than life, foolishness as more precious than wisdom, shame nobler than honor, labor more blessed than wealth, and sin more glorious than human righteousness. God's will is ever good and perfect, ever gracious; but it is not at all times so regarded of men. Indeed, human reason imagines it to be the evil, unfriendly, abominable will of the devil, because what reason esteems highest, best and holiest, God's will regards as nothing and worthy of death. Therefore, Christian experience must come to the rescue and decide. It must feel and prove, must test and ascertain, whether one is prompted by a sincere and gracious will. He who perseveres and learns in this way will go forward in him experience, finding God's will so gracious and pleasing he would not exchange it for all the world's wealth, He will discover that acceptance of God's will afford him more happiness, even in poverty, disgrace and adversity, than is the lot of any worldling in the midst of earthly honors and pleasures,

(7 16)

The scriptural sense of the word "mind" is sufficiently defined as "belief." which is the source of either vice or virtue, for what I value. I believe to be right. I observe what I value, as do others. But when belief is wrong, conscience and faith have not control, Where unity of mind among men is lacking, love and peace cannot be present; and where love and faith are not present, only the world and the devil reign.

(7 18)

"Fervent in spirit," A weak and somewhat curious disposition may undertake with fervor, being ready to accomplish everything at once; but in the very start it becomes faint and weak, and voluntarily yields. It becomes silent when opposition, disaffection and persecution must be encountered. The fervor that does not persevere in spiritual matters is carnal. Spiritual fervor increases with undertaking and effort. It is the nature of spirit not to know weariness. Spirit grows faint and weary only with idleness. Laboring, it increases in strength.

(7 38)

It is love's way to give all, the best way, then, to be under obligation to none is, through love to obligate one's self in every respect to all men. In this sense it may be said: If you would live, die; if you would not be imprisoned, incarcerate yourself; if you do not desire to go to hell, descent there; if you object to being a sinner, be a sinner; if you would escape the cross, take it upon yourself; if you would conquer the devil, let him vanquish you; would you overcome a wicked individual, permit him to overcome you.

(7 59)

It is not right that my charity be liberal enough to tolerate unsound doctrine. A defective life does not destroy Christianity; it exercises it. But defective doctrine false belief destroys all good. So, then, toleration and mercy are not permissible in the case of unsound doctrine; only anger, opposition and death are in order, yet always in accordance with the Word of God. On the other hand, they who are mercifully tolerated must not imagine that because they escape censure and force, their beliefs and practices are right. They must not construe such mercy as encouragement to become indolent and negligent, and to continue in their error. Mercy is not extended them with any such design. The object is to give them opportunity to recover zeal and strength. But if they be disposed to remain as they are, very well; let them alone. They will not long continue thus: the devil will lead them farther astray, until finally they will completely apostatize, even becoming enemies to the Gospel.

(7 80)

Whose recognizes Christianity as a progressive order yet in its beginning, will not be offended at the occasional manifestation of ungentleness, unkindness and impatience on the part of a Christian, True, the text (Colos. 3:12) says we should be kind, but it does not say we are kind. We are tending toward it, we are in a state of progression; but during the progress much of the old and as yet untransformed nature is intermingled.

(7 84)

Love must be exercised by opposition.

(7 86)

It is a strange sort of strength which is weak and by its weakness (12 Cor. 12:9) grows stronger. Who ever heard of weak strength? Or more absurd still, that strength is increased by weakness? Paul would here make a distinction between human strength and divine. Human strength increases with enhancement and decreases with enfeeblement. But God's power his Word in us rises in proportion to the pressure it receives. It is characteristic of God the Creator that he creates all things from naught, and again reduces to naught all created things. Human power cannot do this. The power of God is the true palm wood which buoys itself in proportion as it is burdened and weighted.