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THE PATHOS AND POTENCY OF PIETY.pdf

THE PATHOS AND POTENCY OF PIETY.pdf

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Published by glennpease
By Rev. Louis G. Clark,


"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless
come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." — Psalm 126 : 6.
By Rev. Louis G. Clark,


"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless
come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." — Psalm 126 : 6.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 08, 2013
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THE PATHOS AND POTENCY OF PIETYBy Rev. Louis G. Clark,"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shalldoubtlesscome again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." — Psalm126 : 6.I PIETY means something., 1. It means more than a profession of religion to be piousin the true sense of the term.It is possible for ns to make very loud and long professions of righteousness and at the same time be manifestly wanting in truepiety, that unfeigned godliness which purifies the soul and impartsthe strength and beauty to life and character that enables it to be aglory to God and a ministry of blessing to mankind.2. Piety means more than the exact observance of the formsof religion. We may have all the forms of Godliness and yet bedenying (in one way or another) the real poiver thereof. It isdifficult to think of anything more hollow and more hateful thanformal piety. Is it not this kind of so-called Christianity that hasdone much to bring into contempt the very word pious ?How often we hear expressions like this : ^^He is a very piousfellow, look out for him." But those who make such remarks usu-ally understand the irony of what they say, and know very well thatthe ''pious fellow" of whom they speak has no real piety.3. Piety really means all that is comprehended in genuine loveof God, and honest and earnest devotion to his service.It presupposes purity of heart and life, so far as attainable in aworld of temptation and sin.II. There is often much of pathos in a life of piety; in a life fullof love to God, and devotion to his service.
 
1. This fact is evident from the very nature of things as theynow exist in this world.(a) Sin is an awful reality in our world. And the pious heartis opposed to sin, is in conflict with it in every form. Hence thereare sure to be days of sadness, days of weeping in the lives of thosewho cannot look upon the reign of sin with indifference, not tosay with satisfaction.The pious heart must be deeply moved when it appreciates some-thing of the unspeakable worth of the liberty wherewith Christ hasmade it free, and at the same time knows that so many souls arerefusing this blessed liberty, and choosing rather the continued bond-age and burcien of unrepented and unforgiving sin. In this worldthe saved must weep for the lost. The laws of the spiritual king-dom make it certain that he who knows the baleful power of sin, inhis own heart and in the hearts of others as well, will have more orless of pathos in his experience, until he has finished his earthlycourse.(h) The frailties and limitations of an earthly life are abidingrealities.N"otwithstanding the triumphs of Christian love, and the victoriesof faith, there is very much in the manifold mysterious things, with-in and about us, in this strange earthly life of the soul calculated tomove the heart to melting and the e^^es to tears. So frail are we andsuch our limitations in understanding.2. The fact that a life of piety may be a life of pathos is empha-sized by the experience of pious men and women through all agespast, in human history.(a) Among Old Testament characters we find almost number-less illustrations of the union of deep piety and profound pathosin a human heart and life.Take for example, Abraham. No one can doubt this man's piet}^,surely Abraham loved and trusted God. And he was exceeding
 
anxious to please his Lord. Still his life was, in many respects,most pathetic. Truly there were many days of weeping during theone hundred and seventy-five years of this long life journey. N'otto speak of the pathos of Abram's call, when the Lord said unto him,"Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thyfather's house, unto a land that I will show thee." Or of his sad508 THE AMERICAN BAPTIST PULPIT.and pathetic experiences in connection with Lot. ^e need only callattention to that tragic chapter in his history, which records thestory of his sad and weary journey into the land of Moriah, to beconvinced that his, though a life of piety, was also a life of pathos.Who can read the first ten verses of the twenty-second chapter of Genesis and then question the fact that there were most patheticexperiences in the life of him who was called the father of thefaithful?How our very souls are stirred with deep emotion as, in imagina-tion, we accompany him and his son Isaac, his only Isaac whom heloved, on their sad pilgrimage to the distant mountain whither Godhad sent them in the land of Moriah ! Was it not a most patheticmoment in that life, when : "Isaac spake unto Abraham, his father,and said, my father : and he said, here am I, my son. And he said,Behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burntoffering? And Abraham said. My son, God will provide himself alamb for a burnt offering. So they went both of them together."But Abraham is only one of the many Old Testament characterswhose lives illustrate the truth which we are considering. Had wetime we might speak of Moses, the mighty man of God, who servedhis Lord so long and so well, and yet lived a life so full of mostpathetic experiences.From his very childhood to the time of his mysterious death hiswhole life seems to have been filled with pathos. Taken from hismother's loving arms to be the foster son of a proud princess in the

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