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The Character OF Simeon.

The Character OF Simeon.

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Published by glennpease
BY DAVID M'CONAUGHY, D. D.

LuKx n. 25. — ^And, behold, there was a man in Jerutalem, whose name
was Simeon^ and the same man was jast, and devout, waiting for the conso*
latiou of Israel.
BY DAVID M'CONAUGHY, D. D.

LuKx n. 25. — ^And, behold, there was a man in Jerutalem, whose name
was Simeon^ and the same man was jast, and devout, waiting for the conso*
latiou of Israel.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 18, 2014
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THE CHARACTER OP SIMEON.
BY DAVID M'CONAUGHY, D. D.
LuKx n. 25. — ^And, behold, there was a man in Jerutalem, whose name was Simeon^ and the same man was jast, and devout, waiting for the conso* latiou of Israel. Men often judge very erroneously of what is necessary to con-stitute a religious character. Some include only the duties which they owe to their fellow men. Honesty, as the world reckons it, and honor, and kindness, measured by the same standard, complete the amount of moral goodness which they claim, and to which they aspire. These I do not depreciate, nor regard as unnecessary. They are of indispensable import-ance. Without them, a good character is essentially deficient. The olgection is, that these are considei*ed as sufficient to the exclusion of the lore of God, from which, alone, they can have strength and real worth, and by which they ought to be conse-crated and controlled. They have moral excellence, constancy, and efficiency, only when they "are the results, of unfeigned piety. Our duty to God is of primary obligation. It does, not, how-ever, supersede, but necessarily requires the virtues of social and relative life4 Others comprise all religion in a profession of faith, and an observance of external institutions and ordinances; but experience not, nor care for that living power of faith, and holiness, which those outward forms are designecl to express and
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cherish. They have "a name to live, but are spiritually dead.*' They have " a form of godliness,*' without its heart-felt influence. Means of grace are of great utility and value, if well improved, but what can they avail if they secure not the gracious benefits to which they are designed to lead 1 They are not religion, but the means of obtaining, manifesting, and promoting it. Some suppose that all religion consists in excitement. Feeling is every Digitized by VjOOQ iC THB CHAEACTBE OF SIMBON. 365 thing. Candor, Christian liberality, and even strict integrity are practically undervalued: and often spiritual pride, censoribus-nesB and bigotry, are prominent features in their character. A religion which wants feeling, and vital power, as we have already said, is a nullity. The character of God, the love of Christ, and the importance of eternal things, demand, and. cannot be reason-ably regarded without intense interest and deep feeling; but these ought to be chastened by knowledge, and sobriety of mind, by reverence for God, and the proper exercise of reason. There may be transports of passion in which intelligent piety has no
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part, and strong excitement in, which animal feeling has more influence than divine truth, or the Spirit of God. Knowledge and religious feeling derive their^cbief value from their scriptural character, and practical effect. The safe tests of religious char-acter are not occasional emotions, but the habitual choice, and purpose of the heart, and the consistent and constant tenor of a holy life. Not a few gloi7 in the soundness of their faith. Truth is every thing with them. But to live under its influence, to ex-tend its blessings to others, and to live and labor fpr Christ holds a low place in their scheme of religion. All these partial notions of religion are erroneous, and such characters are essentially defective. True religion consists, essentially, in supreme love to . God, and undissembled love to man : and these principles must have their practical manifesta-tion in all the appropriate acts of a pious, pure, upright and be-nevolent life. Such was the character of Simeon. Let us cob-template his character as here described. It was the character of a good man then ; and so it is still. The prominent features have always been, and ever must be the same. It embraces three important characteristics—* He was just; he was devout; and he was a believer in Christ, 1st. Simeon was a just man. Justice respects oar dispositions uid conduct to our fellow men. It consists in rendering to all their due. Human laws are not the measure, but the law of
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