A man is led to the appearance (if not the reality) of piety and zeal; he worships regularly in the house of the

Lord, and takes a prominent part in the activities of the Church; then with more or less of suddenness he declines; he abandons his religious convictions and his moral principles, and stands before society as a spiritual renegade, living to injure and destroy all he had appeared to love and had busied himself to promote. … It may be contended that there is in the mind and in the history of man a constant ebb and flow as in the tides of the sea; that when a mental or moral movement has proceeded long and far in one direction, the time has come for a counter-movement in the opposite direction. But there is no reason, in the nature of things, why we should not move steadily on in the direction of wisdom and virtue. Such a tendency as this is not properly a law; it is only a generalization from a comparatively small number of particulars. … Man is more or less fickle … and some men are seriously so, and others slightly so. But other men are constant, faithful, loyal to the last. Man, as man, is under no necessity to change his course, to reverse his direction, to pursue what he has shunned, to pull down what he has built up. … When there is nothing more than mere habit, especially when that habit is of the body rather than of the mind, is fleshly rather than spiritual, it is not to be expected that loyalty will last; it is to be expected that the first strong wind of inclination, or of worldly interest, or social pressure, will carry such a one away and bear him withersoever it wills. The one great lesson for parents, teachers, pastors, reformers, patriots, is this – dig deep if you would have your house stand. If you would not see your sons and daughters, your fellow-members or fellow-citizens swept round with the current, facing the wrong goal, exerting their influence for evil instead for good, then do no be content with scattering seed anyhow and anywhere. Dig the deep furrow, sow the seed well; plant living convictions in the judgment and in the conscience of men. Get the whole nature on the side of truth and righteousness. If the man himself, and not only his external habits, not only his feelings and inclinations – if he himself, through his whole spiritual nature, gives himself to the service of Christ and of man, you need not fear the coming of an adverse tide; you need not fret about the fickleness of our kind; you will witness no painful and pitiable reaction; the path of those you serve will be one of continuous ascent; it will be “the path of the just, shining brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.” The Pulpit Commentary, II Chronicles p. 336, II Chronicles 28:1-4, (W. Clarkson) Gold Nugget 328 Dig Deep http://www.goldnugget.posterous.com