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Success Granted.

Success Granted.

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"Now thanks be to God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,
and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place."
2 Cor. ii. 14

"Now thanks be to God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,
and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place."
2 Cor. ii. 14

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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SUCCESS GRATED. BY JOH HOWARD HITO, M.A, "ow thanks be to God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place." 2 Cor. ii. 14 IF it is not always, dear brethren, that you can associate such language as this with your efforts of usefulness, I trust it is so sometimes. If, indeed, you are of that inconsistent, but I fear at present large number of professors, who never try to turn a sinner to God, then, of course, you have never succeeded. Such a result is scarcely to be fallen upon by accident. Of many of you, however, I hope better things. Indeed, I know that you have been labouring for God, and for the souls of men; nor am I willing to believe that you have made prayerful, earnest, and persevering efforts, without being able to trace, in a greater or less degree, and however short of what you may have expected or desired, the bene- ficial influence of them. Having entered into contact with SUCCESS GRATED. 463 the ignorance, prejudices, and passions of ungodly men, if often defeated, God has caused you on some occasions to triumph by Christ, whose truth and love have been your weapons in the war; and, if not in every place, yet in some of the places where you have been endeavouring to make it felt that, as the salt of the earth, you have not lost your saltness, you have had the pleasure of seeing the savour of his knowledge more or less extensively diffused. ow it is our present business to consider what exercises of mind be- come us when success has been attained. In order that this subject may be more effectively pursued, let it be your con- cern to fix your eye distinctly and steadily on the portion of success which God lias granted you, whatever it may be.
Glance over the whole field and course of your labours, not to dwell on their general results, or to bewail their com- parative fruitlessness, but for the purpose of selecting the instances or the solitary instance if there be but one of successful effort, that you may the more vividly realize them as facts, and the more readily awaken your hearts to just and corresponding emotions. It is not for a moment to be supposed that you can look upon even a single instance of success in the conversion of sinners without emotion; and quite as little is it to be sup- posed that your emotions will be all that they ought to be. In the most devout mind holy exercises never spontaneously rise to a due height, or escape the perverting influence of inward corruption. In this point, as in all others, though our involuntary emotions may be far from feeble, we shall find that our hearts cannot safely be abandoned to them- selves ; on the contrary, they will need a close watchfulness and vigorous discipline, if we wish either to avoid what is wrong, or to fu!61 what is right. We should beware of suffering ourselves to suppose that, because when a case of success arises we feel a thrill of gladness, or shed a few tears of ecstasy, or are led to bow in thankfulness to the Giver of all good, we have felt all which it is proper or important to feel; we may yet detect many an evil sentiment mingling itself with the good, or find that the good should be carried to a much greater extent. What, then, are the emotions which a review of successful labour for the souls of men should awaken ? I. The first of them undoubtedly is joy. Upon this 464 THE ACTIVE CHRISTIA. obvious topic it -would be easy to indulge in general repre- sentations of the delight with which we all know the con- version of a sinner is regarded in heaven, and should be
regarded on earth; but I propose rather to exhibit in detail some of the grounds on which gladness may be strongly cherished. i. You may rejoice, then, when you see that your endea- vours have been blessed to the conversion of a sinner, on account of the nature of the change which is thus produced. There is an excellency in the change itself, and a blessedness in its consequences, altogether striking and incalculable. Trace what has occurred in the mind of a converted sinner. His understanding was once darkness, the seat of deep igno- rance, of rooted prejudices, of long-established errors; but you have seen the light of truth penetrate it, and the beam from heaven disperse the shadows of every form, until you can say, "Ye were once darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord." His conscience, though not altogether inca- pable of feeling, was almost utterly torpid and insensible, having been stupefied and rendered callous by the long- cherished love and practice of sin; but you have seen it awake from its slumbers, throw off its torpidity, and assume a tenderness of sensibility, and a vigour of action, adapted to its supremacy in the moral constitution of man. You have seen the convictions of an enlightened understanding reach it with the speed and force of the lightning, and the internal monarch utter his mandates as in a voice of thunder. You have seen the passions, which were once as imperious and tyrannical as they were wedded to iniquity, and unchecked in their career by the slumbering conscience, quail before its awakened power, and submit themselves, at first perhaps unwillingly, to a sense of obligation, which ultimately they have learned to love. And thus the whole character has been changed; old things are passed away, and all things, inward and outward, are become new. There is something in such a change unspeakably interesting and delightful. It is a change from sin to righteousness ; from pollution to purity ; from what is base and abominable to what is excellent and holy : it is the extermination of principles of iniquity, and the generation in their stead of a character after the pattern of God's own heart. J$To words can do

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