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The Disturbing Effects of the Divine Discipline.

The Disturbing Effects of the Divine Discipline.

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" Ephraim is joined to idols : let him alone." — Hos. iv. 17.

" Ephraim is joined to idols : let him alone." — Hos. iv. 17.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 20, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE DISTURBING EFFECTS OF THE DIVINE DISCIPLINE. REV. CHARLES MOINET, M.A." Ephraim is joined to idols : let him alone." — Hos. iv. 17. Though sin assumes a great variety of forms, and some-times issues in apparently conflicting developments, it is nevertheless in itself a very definite thing. Essentially it consists in a determination to have our own way — a deter-mination planted behind the movements of thought and action, and directing them steadily to its own ends. To live, no matter what special turn our course may take, without having the main current of our life controlled by anything superior to itself, to push it all on before the energy of our own will, — this is the very essence of sin. It betrays a resolution to do without God, which shows either dislike of Him, or very guilty ignorance both of His character and of our own. Accordingly, the action of the Divine Spirit upon the human heart is almost always, in the first instance, one of disturbance. You can detect His presence by the discomfort it creates. He awakens new thoughts, begets the suspicion that all is not within as it ought to be, and that our own way, if followed to the end, will terminate in bitterness. A man who has never been thus disturbed, whose life has received no shock, no break
K— 18 130 DISTURBING EFFECTS OF DIVINE DISCIPLINE. in its even flow, has surely never had anything definite to do with God. God has never come so near as to act upon and touch him. So it was that, in describing the judgments that were to fall upon ancient Moab, the prophet traced them all to the fact that he had enjoyed a long continuance of uninter-rupted ease. *' Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity ; therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed." It had been far otherwise with the people of God. No such smooth and comfortable history had fallen to them. Their whole course had been one of continuous struggle, brief periods of repose alternating with seasons of violent conflict. Slaves in Egypt, they had been drilled into a nationality by years of varied and drastic discipline, and by a long sequestration in the wilderness. Led up into their own land and called to adjust themselves to new conditions, they lived through centuries of anarchy before
they acquired cohesion and strength. And scarcely had they been united under the rule of one sceptre, when an old jealousy, smothered for a time, rent them into rival monarchies. Then, after generations of strife with ever-fluctuating and uncertain results, these one after another were driven into exile, and tossed like a ball into a large country. And so must it be, after a fashion, with every one whom God disciplines. You cannot escape such a course of treatment altogether without escaping from Him, unless the way which you naturally follow is in all respects right, and you are so like God, so much akin to Him, that no touch of His will be felt as strange, no incoming of His DISTURBING EFFECTS OF DIVINE DISCIPLINE. 13I divine nature as the introduction of a new force drawing after it new results and a new experience. Because, then, our own way is wrong, and will, if persisted in, lead to loss, God's first endeavour is to make us uneasy in it, and, if possible, to turn us out of it. With this view all His dealings are planned, and planned so

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