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Christian Contentment.

Christian Contentment.

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"I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to he content." —
Phil. iv. 11.

"I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to he content." —
Phil. iv. 11.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 18, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CHRISTIAN CONTENTMENT. BY Rev. WILLIAM ANDERSON, LL.D, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to he content." — Phil. iv. 11. Contentment is a virtue of high price, both in respect of the present happiness which it confers on its possessors, and the manner in which it renders a man acceptable in the sight of God, when exercised on the principles of the gospel of his Son. Besides, it is exceedingly valuable as a social virtue, in so far as it prevents a man from being an annoyance to his neighbours or injurious to their interests. It is exercised in three diflferent circumstances : firsts in the midst of comfort and competence, in which cases it suppresses the strivings of ambition, and envious mur-murings on account of the success of others; secondly, under hope deferred, in which case it teaches a patient waiting for the Lord's time as the best; and, thirdly, under the pressure of adversity, from which there is no hope of escape in this world, in which case it represses fretfulness and a charging of God foolishly, as afflicting without cause or a merciful design.
Before I proceed to explain how this blessed temper is to be secured and cherished, I shall clear it of a few misconceptions which some are ready to entertain regarding it. First. — It was his portion of worldly goods in respect Digitized by Google CHRISTIAN CONTENTMENT. 219 of which the apostle was content. So long as he re-mained in the flesh, there must have been indwelling sin and a deficiency of holiness in his heart and life which rendered him spiritually discontented and dissatisfied with himself. Contentment here would have been sin ; and if sin in Paul, how much more culpable is it in thousands of professors among ourselves, who, self-complacent and
self-satisfied, dwell at ease when yet so much pollution stni adheres to them, and so little of the graces of a Christian spirit adorns them ! Discontentment with their spiritual condition is their most becoming exercise of mind — fretfulness, restlessness, and crying for deliverance. This is in no respect inconsistent with that gratitude which the converted man is under obligations to exercise towards the grace of Ood which has made him differ from others; on the contrary, he who is most alive to regenerating mercy is the most sensitively afflicted by remaining sin. At all events, the contentment of an unrenewed man is a great aggravation of his sinfulness, when, without a murmuring feeling, he is satisfied and pleased with being the slave of an ungodly heart. Beware, then, brethren, of this impure and unholy contentment. Learn to be fretful about sin, you who have heretofore been pleased with your condition; let the Christian cherish this holy fretfulness so long as one evil passion remains unsubdued. Nevertheless, there are some, especially young Christians, who need a special admonition on this subject. Vexed with sin, and en-treating the grace of the Lord for its removal, they will begin to fret and almost to lose confidence in prayer, because it is not removed immediately. Let these two things, therefore, be carefully distinguished — ^fretfulness

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