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The Force of Habit 2

The Force of Habit 2

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Published by glennpease
BY DANIEL WILSON, M.A.



Psalm cxxxix. 23, 24.

Search mCy O God, and know my heart; try
me and know my thoughts, and see if there be
any wicked way in me, and lead me in the
way everlasting.
BY DANIEL WILSON, M.A.



Psalm cxxxix. 23, 24.

Search mCy O God, and know my heart; try
me and know my thoughts, and see if there be
any wicked way in me, and lead me in the
way everlasting.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 10, 2013
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07/04/2014

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THE FORCE OF HABIT 2BY DANIEL WILSON, M.A.Psalm cxxxix. 23, 24.Search mCy O God, and know my heart; tryme and know my thoughts, and see if there beany wicked way in me, and lead me in theway everlasting.Self-suspicion is necessary to our growth ingrace. The influence of habit, acting on thecorruption of our nature, and aided by thetemptations around us, is perpetually tending,either to seduce us back into sinful or doubtfulpractices once abandoned, or to form us, by.imperceptible degrees, to some new course of spirit or conduct unfavourable to our progressin Christian knowledge and virtue. Even inthe best persons, the force of this tendency isso great, and its operation so insidious, as toexpose them, without a continual watchfulnesson their part, to the greatest dangers. It wasevidently under a deep sense of this truth, thatthe Psalmist uttered the prayer in the text.Filled with apprehension lest some improperhabit should insensibly have been formed in hisF F 2Digitized byGoogle
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436 THE FORCE OF HABIT.life and character, and feeling the utter inabilityof his own unassisted efforts either to detect orto expel the latent evil, he fervently imploredthe aid of that divine grace which alone couldsufficiently enlighten his understanding and for-tify his holy resolutions : Search me, O God, andknow my heart; try me and know my thoughts,and see if there be any wicked way in me, and leadme in the way everlasting. The subject is of thegreatest practical importance, and calls for themost serious attention. In contemplating it,let us consider,I. The operation of unfavourable habits ontrue Christians.II. The means of preventing the formationof such habits, or of discovering and overcomingthem when formed.We begin by noticing,I. The operation of unfavourableHABITS ON TRUE CHRISTIANS.If we examine our hearts and lives with adue diligence, even the best of us will be satis-fied that, in too many instances, the force of habit proves prejudicial to our most valuableinterests. In some cases, former habits imper-fectly subdued, regain a partial ascendencyover us. In others, one or two casual devia-tions from the strictness of Christian practice^are imperceptibly matured into a system. InDigitized by
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GoogleTHE FORCE OF HABIT. 437order to form just conceptions on this subject,it may be necessary to consider in detail a fewof the points in which the excellence of theChristian character ought peculiarly to displayitself, and to inquire how far that obligation isactually fulfilled in the practice of the genera-lity of those who profess a supreme attention tothe concerns of religion.If in the first place we select the most exten-sive topic which the subject comprises, I meanthe Christian's advance in grace and inTHE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LoRD AND SaVXOUR Jesus Christ, *it will be easily admitted thatnothing can less befit the character of a trueChristian than a readiness to acquiesce in hispresent measure of attainments, and to be satis-fied with mediocrity. And yet perhaps thereare few of us who are not secretly injured inthis way. At the commencement of our reli-gious course, we are anxious to attain, if^by anymeansy to the resurrection of the dead. We pro-ceed a given length in repentance and faith, inlove and obedience. But after a period wegradually become less solicitous, and are moreeasily satisfied with the evidences of our safety.Indolent habits are in some degree formed asto our religious duties and progress. Insteadof striving after perfection, we are content tomodel ourselves by.the opinions. or practice of such persons about us as have the repute of 
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