CHRISTIAN CHARACTER A GROWTH.
It matters not if you cannot tell just when you became a Christian. If we sow a handful of wheat in our garden, we could not tell, though we watched ever so narrowly, the exact moment when it germinated. But when we see waving grain in the autumn we know it did germinate, and that is all we care for. The young disciple should not expect too much light at once. It will grow brighter with every Christian duty he performs. The Christian life is a sort of mountain path; and the higher one climbs, the clearer the atmosphere and the sooner he will see the morning sun. To the adventurous traveler who has ascended to the summit of Mount Blanc, the sun rises earlier and sets later, and the night is therefore shorter than to the peasant who lives down in the valley at the base. So it is in the Christian life. Clearness of vision, and firmness of foot, and beauty of prospect, come only to those who have struggled up the heights--to the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Conversion may be the work of a moment, but a saint is not made in an hour. Character, Christian character, is not an act, but a process-- not a sudden creation, but a development. It grows and bears fruit like a tree, and like a tree it requires patient care and unwearied cultivation.--Sel.
[R682 : page 8]
"WE cannot keep darling sins and work out salvation. We cannot harbor impure thoughts and then repose on the bosom of the All-pure. We cannot gratify our lust and attain to holy living. We cannot roll in the mire and then enter into the company of those who walk with him in white because they are worthy."