Sunday, October 10, 2010

something wrong in our souls...

William B.O. Peabody  (1799-1847) was ordained in 1820 in Springfield, MA where he served until his death. As a preacher, it was his single aim "to enkindle the spiritual life in the hearts of those who heard him,  "His manner" reported another,"...was simply the presence of a revered preacher and a beloved friend, telling what he knew about the gospel of Christ." More about Rev. Peabody during the coming week.


" The Father is with me." —John xvi. 32.

Have you never seen the time when you felt so desolate that the presence of any being would have been a relief to you ? Have you never seen the time when you have done some unworthy deed which you could not have done if you had felt that any being was near you ? Have you never gained some victory over your own passions, and wished for some witness of your triumph, some sharer of your joy ? Christianity supplies these wants of the soul. It teaches us that the greatest and best of all beings is always near us, — all we need is to learn to feel His presence in our souls.

There is no safeguard of human virtue half so powerful as the thought that a being is present, nor does that thought lose its power when we are told that a being is present, and that being is God. Do we not fear him because we cannot see him with our eyes ? If the simple presence of a human being has power over us, and the presence of God has no power, there must be something wrong in our souls.

There is something wrong in our souls, — this want of spirituality is wrong, — it is wrong to let our minds be enslaved to visible things as to think more of every created thing than of the God who made it. There is no such thing as being religious while we are strangers to God.

The spirit of religion consists in making the thought of God near, familiar, and welcome; and you can tell the amount of your own or any other man's religious improvement by ascertaining whether or not he loves to think of God. He who does not take pleasure in thinking of God has no claim to the name of Christian. It is true there are many in the Christian world who never think of God when they can avoid it, who pronounce his name often in profaneness, and never in prayer. They consider themselves Christians, they expect the Divine blessing, they hope to be saved; if so, they cannot be undeceived too soon. But let us learn from Jesus Christ how far he felt the presence of his Father,—from him we can learn our Christian duty."


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