Friday, November 19, 2010

vehement passions...

Ephraim Peabody has made frequent appearances in these pages.  This the first part of an Advent sermon:


"The theory of virtue which seems to belong to our northern climate, is, that there is but one kind, that of struggle, conflict and conquest of sin through force of will. On the contrary, the forms of virtue, and the methods of reaching a Christian character, are as various as are the trees of the forest, or the features of men. One has vehement passions, an energetic nature, born for struggle, and miserable if it hath not difficulties to overcome. This man stands front to front with a temptation, and resists and conquers it as a foe. He rules his appetites and passions. He says, thus and so God requires, and I will do it. He will be just, he will be true, he will not yield to the temptations that beset him. Life is a conflict, and with a resolute will, as in a battle, he takes his stand on the Lord's side. The virtues which this man attains are the virtues of the will, and they are admirable. But, after all, they constitute only one style of virtue, and it is the style which belongs to such a constituted character. Let no one fancy that it is the only kind. "

(illustration a caricature of Billy Sunday preaching)

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