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The Religion of a Christian

The Religion of a Christian

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Published by glennpease
BY GEORGE HODGES



Unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
Eph. 4 : 13.
BY GEORGE HODGES



Unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
Eph. 4 : 13.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 04, 2014
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THE RELIGIO OF A CHRISTIA BY GEORGE HODGES Unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Eph. 4 : 13. THIS is the formula of the religion of a Christian. All our best belief and all our best behavior is included in it. Everything is here which is needed both for the instruction and for the inspiration of a good life. The heart of the Christian religion is the Lord Jesus Christ ; and more and more to grow unto the measure of the stature of His goodness is the height of the aspiration of the saints. That is what we all want : that we may be like Him. I have especially in mind the act of con- firmation. A company of young people, most of them your sons and daughters, will present themselves before the bishop in your presence and in the sight of God, and will thus openly declare their purpose to live according to the religion of a Christian. They have outgrown the years of their childhood. They have come to the time of serious thought, when God and the world and they themselves are subjects of reflection. They are perceiving with a new clearness the everlasting difference between 125 126 THE HUMA ATURE OF THE SAITS. right and wrong. They are meeting new temptations in a new way. They are making
 
new resolutions. Having lived thus far in a natural state of dependence and subordination, where the sum of all duty was to do what they were told to do, they are entering now into a more individual life, where they will be ex- pected to look after themselves, to make their own rules, and to live their own lives. Our hearts go out to these young men and women, in deep sympathy and hope and longing. We trust that they are coming to confirmation, not in any dull, conventional way, because they are of the usual age, or because of our desire, or because of the ex- ample of their companions, but with a high resolve, saying daily to God in their prayers, " O God, I give myself to Thee ; to Thee, body, mind and soul, I consecrate myself ; O God, forgive my sins, help me to be better; help me to be a Christian." Confirmation is only a beginning. It has, indeed, a certain value of its own. It is a prayer and a blessing. They who are con- firmed will kneel in the chancel, while the bishop, putting his hands upon their heads prays that God will help them to be good men and women ; and that is much. But to be good men and women is the chief thing. That THE RELIGIO OF A CHRISTIA. 127 is what it is all for. As the words are spoken, the words of those who come to be confirmed, promising that they will do the thing that is right as well as they can all their lives long, and the words of the bishop beseeching grace from God that they may keep the promise,
 
our thoughts are busy with the future. We are wondering what it will come to in actual fulfilment, how the great promise will be kept, what it will mean in a year, in five years, to those who are now, with full hearts, making it. Will they be devout and faithful and earnest members of the church? Will they be found in their places Sunday after Sunday, coming because they are glad to come ? Will they be regular and reverent partakers of the Supper of the Lord ? and as the fruit of it all will the}^ be good, between Sundays, in our sight who watch them with affection and anxiety, and in God's sight, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known and from whom no secrets are hid ? Will they grow up good ? That is what we will be ask- ing of God and of our own hearts during the confirmation service. Will they approach more and more unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ ? For to be good is the beginning and the middle and the end of the religion of a Chris- 128 THE HUMA ATURE OF THE SAITS. tian. The organization of religion into a church is of importance ; the formulation of religion into a creed is of importance ; and it is well to be interested, if one's mind inclines that way, in the questions of philosophy and of administration which arise from the en- deavor after the best possible organization of Christian people and the best possible formu- lation of Christian doctrine. But there is only one thing which is absolutely needful, and that is character. The supreme thing is character.

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