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The Value of Peculiar Possessions

The Value of Peculiar Possessions

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. W. ROBERTSON NICOLL, M.A. LL.D.

NOT far from the heart of a great modern city,
you will sometimes come across old walls
and gateways which have been outgrown. What
was once country is now suburb, and what was
once suburb is now city. The venerable land-
marks remain, but the true boundary continually
stretches itself further out. This should be a
picture of your life if you continue to the end
students of divinity.
BY REV. W. ROBERTSON NICOLL, M.A. LL.D.

NOT far from the heart of a great modern city,
you will sometimes come across old walls
and gateways which have been outgrown. What
was once country is now suburb, and what was
once suburb is now city. The venerable land-
marks remain, but the true boundary continually
stretches itself further out. This should be a
picture of your life if you continue to the end
students of divinity.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 04, 2014
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THE VALUE OF PECULIAR POSSESSIONS BY REV. W. ROBERTSON NICOLL, M.A. LL.D.NOT far from the heart of a great modern city, you will sometimes come across old walls and gateways which have been outgrown. What was once country is now suburb, and what was once suburb is now city. The venerable land-marks remain, but the true boundary continually stretches itself further out. This should be a picture of your life if you continue to the end students of divinity. You will fail if what now marks the limit of your attainment and thought is not transcended. But you will equally fail if what you possess now does not remain to the end central. If it is overthrown and dishonoured, there is a real danger that no soul city will ever take its place. What this college should do for " Address delivered at the close of the Session in Hackney Theological College, June iG, 1S96.
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54 THE RETURN TO THE CROSS you is to enclose you in a small circle permanent at the centre, but ever tending to widen at the circumference. A small circle it must be, for all you know now of God and of the things of God cannot be much. Yet if the centre is fixed, it is that from which future thought and knowledge radiate, and you will constantly go back to it in the end, however free and spacious and fair 3'our life may grow. I wish to speak of the value of things which are your very own, of which you may make your-selves masters, and by possession of which you may gain an enduring influence in the kingdom of God. Much, very much, 3^ou must of necessit}' have in common with others, but your lives will make no mark if in addition there is not some-thing which is 3'our peculiar possession. I
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In the first place you must find 3'Our own field of reading. It is not uncommon, in speaking to divinity students, to disparage reading. They are warned against it as the idlest of human occupations. And no doubt it is quite as impor-THE VALUE OF PECULIAR POSSESSIONS 55 tant to say, Think, think, think, as to sa}'. Read, read, read. It is true that the greatest men of all time have read extremely little. You will remember how it was said of Descartes, for example, that he cared very little for reading, and that he left behind him an exceedingly small collection of books. But when one comes to think of it, is it true that people are so very much addicted to reading ? How many men of your acquaintance are there who would gladly forego almost any engagement for the sake of a few hours' quiet reading ? Is it not so that the vast majority read only if they can find nothing else
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