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The Christian Way of Reconciling Man With Himself.

The Christian Way of Reconciling Man With Himself.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY EDWARD CAIRD.

" I see another law in my members, warring against the law of
my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is
in my members. wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me
from the body of this death ? I thank God through Jesus Christ
our Lord." Romans vii. 23-25.
BY EDWARD CAIRD.

" I see another law in my members, warring against the law of
my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is
in my members. wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me
from the body of this death ? I thank God through Jesus Christ
our Lord." Romans vii. 23-25.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Dec 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/01/2013

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THE CHRISTIAN WAY OF RECONCILING MAN WITH HIMSELF.BY EDWARD CAIRD." I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans vii. 23-25. The words of St. Paul bring before us that too common stage in the spiritual experience in which duty and inclination are at war with each other, in which the soul has been awakened to the sense of guilt, the con-viction of the bondage and degradation of sin, and yet is powerless to break away from it ; or in which it has  become alive to the call of duty, the demand for a  better life, yet, under the overmastering power of temptation and evil habit, has no power to fulfil and respond to it. So long as we are living a life of mere natural impulse, or of thoughtless contented worldliness, unbroken by any consciousness of higher demands and aspirations, the feeling of unrest, of spiritual bondage and incapacity which these words
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92 MAN'S RECONCILIATION WITH HIMSELF. 93 express, is altogether foreign to our experience. For in our inward as in our outward life it is the baffled struggle that brings home to us the sense of our impotence. Swim with the current, drive before the wind, and the force and impetuosity of either will be comparatively unfelt ; but breast the stream or beat against the storm that is bearing you to destruction, and you discern your incapacity to cope with them. When a nation's spirit has been so quelled by despotism that it has long ceased to resist, it is in no condition to discover the hopelessness of its bondage ;  but when the spirit of freedom rises and the attempt is made, and made in vain, to throw off the hateful yoke, it is then that, in the mortifying sense of abortive effort, it finds in its bitter experience a measure of the  power that enthrals it. So, let your life drift with the stream of impulsive desires and inclinations, or be
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swept away by the fiercer force of passion ; or let all higher aspirations be repressed by the tyranny of worldly interest or ambition, and you are in no con-dition to measure the imperious silent strength of the lower nature. On the other hand, it is when the imperative of duty, the voice of conscience, begins to make itself heard, when the degradation and misery, the shame and guilt of a life of sensuality or self-indulgence  begin to be felt, and the moral will is roused to assert itself — it is then, in the effort to be free, to escape 94 UNIVERSITY SERMONS. from spiritual bondage, that we become aware of the fatal strength of the power that masters us. For it is to be remarked that at the stage indicated in the text the conflict is always an unequal one. Whether it take the form of a struggle with sensuality and the grosser desires of the flesh, or with the love of ease and  pleasure, or with worldly interest, the love of money,
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