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The Two Great Antagonists.

The Two Great Antagonists.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY HENRY EDWARD MANNING, M.A,



THE SNARE OF THE WORLD AND THE DRAWING OF
CHRIST THE TWO GREAT ANTAGONISTS.



SONG OF SOLOMON i. 4.
" Draw me, we will run after Thee."
BY HENRY EDWARD MANNING, M.A,



THE SNARE OF THE WORLD AND THE DRAWING OF
CHRIST THE TWO GREAT ANTAGONISTS.



SONG OF SOLOMON i. 4.
" Draw me, we will run after Thee."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 20, 2013
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07/07/2013

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THE TWO GREAT ATAGOISTS.BY HERY EDWARD MAIG, M.A,THE SARE OF THE WORLD AD THE DRAWIG OFCHRIST THE TWO GREAT ATAGOISTS.SOG OF SOLOMO i. 4." Draw me, we will run after Thee."THESE are the words of the Church praying tobe drawn to the presence and vision of Christ.They express the love a faithful soul hears to Himfor His holiness and His passion, and a desire tohe drawn more and more into fellowship with Hissanctity and His Cross, a desire, that is, to walk the way of the imitation of Christ. But they express more than this desire : they confess also ourspiritual impotence and our spiritual slowness tofollow Him. " Draw me," for alone I cannotmove a foot ; I cannot begin my course : in methere is no power to originate : all comes fromThee, both to will and to do, to desire and tobegin.It is also to be noted that the Church hereSERM. XXI.] THE TWO GREAT ATAGOISTS. 389says, " Draw me, we will run," as implying withwhat a fervent affection and kindling heart itwould put forth all its strength to do the will of Christ, revealed in His gift of preventing grace." My soul cleaveth unto the dust : quicken Thoume according to Thy word." 1 This is first a cryof distress under the clog and hindrance of anearthly and sluggish nature, and then a pure aspiration, mixed with intense desire to speed into Hispresence. There is in it a tone like the words of St. Peter when he first refused to suffer his Master
 
to wash his feet, and then, lest he should lose hispart and lot in Him, eagerly desired more : " Lord,not my feet only, but also my hands and myhead ;" 2 or as when he said, " Lord, why cannotI follow Thee now ? I will lay down my life forThy sake." 3 It is such a longing as we may believe the beloved disciple had, when Peter turnedand saw him following, and our Lord said, " If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that tothee ?" 4 such an aspiration as they all felt withinwhen He "led them out as far as to Bethany, andlifted up His hands and blessed them, and . . . whileHe blessed them . . . was parted from them, andcarried up into heaven." 5 Each one, as he lookedup stedfastly and worshipped, said, (no doubt, in1 Ps. cxix. 25. 2 St. John xiii. 9. 3 Ib. 37.4 St. John xxi. 23. 5 St. Luke xxiv. 50, 51.390 THE TWO GREAT ATAGOISTS. [SERM.his heart,) " Draw me, we will run after Thee."And this has been the longing desire of theChurch in every age from then till now. Therehas been in the midst of this rough world, andunder the soiled array of the visible Church, adeep and living pulse beating with love for Christ,yearning and panting as the hart for the water-brooks.This is the perfect and blessed life of a Christian upon earth ; a state very high, far above ourheads, though, God be praised, not out of ourreach. If we were left to scale these ascents of love and peace in our own slothful weakness, theywould indeed be unattainable ; but it is He that" maketh our feet like hart s feet," and carries usup to walk with Him " on high places." Thereis no measure of love, joy, peace, light, gladness,fellowship with Him, to which He will not drawand exalt those that seek Him in humility.ow the spiritual life has three states, throughwhich all who attain to the love of Christ seem
 
to pass ; and these states are so marked that wemay take them one by one. Although to everysoul born again by the Spirit of Christ He maysay, as He said of old, " I have loved thee withan everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee ;" J although this loving1 Jerem. xxxi. 2.XXL] THE TWO GREAT ATAGOISTS. 391attraction of His Spirit has been all through lifedrawing each one of us to Himself, yet we, by ourbackward and reluctant hearts, have kept far away,or followed with a slow and struggling will. Weare between two objects of love, two attractiveforces ; as if two loadstones, one seen, arid one unseen, were playing upon us, Let us see how it hasbeen with us.1. First, I suppose that most can remember atime when we were drawn so strongly to the worldthat the drawing of Christ s love and Spirit wasoverbalanced by a more powerful attraction.Happy are they who have no memory of actualsin, and of its clinging hold, by which they wereonce kept in bondage. The most dreadful partof sin is its sweetness, by which it fascinates eventhose who know its hatefulness and shame. Itmocks a sinner while it destroys him. It unbindsall his resolutions, loosens his strictest intentions,relaxes his firmest purposes, and changes him,with his eyes open, from a half-penitent to a fool.To pass by all other examples, take such a sin asanger. Before the temptation it is hateful : during the temptation, to indulge it is positively sweet.It gratifies a strong present impulse, as abundantfood cloys a hungry palate. An angry man goeson word after word, reply after rejoinder, lash afterlash, with a sensible and increasing elevation of 392 THE TWO GREAT ATAGOISTS. [SF.RM.

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