He bores my ears as with an augur, and renders it almost an impossibility to think. Mark the confidence of his personal feelings when he finds occasion to impart them — "I know whom I have believed." F. Pentecost, D. D.I. With Pilate's question on his lip and in his heart, he foregoes his brilliant prospects — parts without a sigh with academical distinctions — takes monastic vows in an Augustine convent; until at last Pilate's question answered on Pilate's stairs — then comes the thrice repeated gospel whisper, "The just shall live by faith," and the glad evangel scatters the darkening and shreds off the paralysis, and he rises into moral freedom, a new man in the Lord! Every mineral is not a diamond. On what principle is our personal life and thought conducted? A bold utterance of our trust in Jesus is an excellent remedy for unbelieving fears. is it in the advance of agriculture or manufactures? He in the man, we as the molecules of the man are to be of one mind — "forgetting," etc.II. It is the want of this that makes the life of so many weak, uncertain, capricious. "Very well," said the general, "just let them remain where they are; the enemy's going to advance, and will spare you the trouble."(W. Life is going on onboard that vessel in many forms, but they are all moving on together to the port — there is a master principle which everything obeys, and they all delight to have it so. IV. Were we to forget past knowledge, ours would be the ignorance of infancy; if past experiences were obliterated, our imbecility would be that of idiocy. )Things behindJ. The affections, the adhesive powers of the soul, speak the same language. Let us not brood or despair. And as the young green leaves within expand in the genial atmosphere, the services of the bud scales, or covering leaves, are no longer needed, and by and by they roll away, and fall one by one from the tree, strewing the ground beneath till it looks like a threshing floor. He may change, but there is no life in him, and therefore he cannot advance. So far as relates to our worldly condition, our constant endeavour for betterment as the necessity of an undecaying life. We must remember the failures and sins of the past in order to magnify the mercy that forgave.Conclusion:1. Cold is fatal to the summer leaves; warmth is fatal to the winter leaves. The little child is telling what he intends when he is a man. Maclaren, D. D.)Christian perfectionH. He also said that he know the secret of being short. While we derive inspirations of confidence from contemplating the grand law of the world's increasing progress, must we not see a stern rebuke upon every life not in harmony with this law?2. Thus every tree has a double leaf fall every year. D. Hoge, D. D.Paul could not have meant that he literally forgot the past, for had he done so, both present and future would have been alike useless to him. Live in the future for yourselves, and for the world. And such an exhortation is still greatly needed.1. He might have attempted other things, and did, but all with reference to this one purpose.2. The continuity of life cannot be divided at any point. There are certain things we shall never be able to do, but it says nothing about the limits in our line of things. Job spoke up for his innocence till the Lord revealed Himself. Macmillan, LL. D.I. Some of you did once live for another object — pleasure, self, sin. To this development we should be further stimulated by the consideration that the bud whose growth is arrested becomes transformed into a thorn. Maclaren, D. D.There may have been floating in the apostle's mind, combined with the image of the racer, some remembrance of the old story in the Book of Genesis about Lot's wife. (3) There are two ideas in that notion of perfection. Absolute assurance of forgiveness.3. The very dream of hope to do something better has been their rum.2. The young live mainly in the future; but by and by the vision fades away or becomes limited. As the season advances, the sap gradually ceases to flow to the summer leaves, which therefore ultimately fade and fall from the tree; and the last movements of it, at the end of autumn, are directed towards the buds, in order to prepare them for taking at the proper time the place of the generation of leaves that has just perished. (1) Enthusiasts reach it by sheer intoxication of excitement. D.)Progress more than motionPaxton Hood.Progress is the great law of life, but by those even who say so, its principle is not always seen. His spiritual life from the beginning to the end was a series of fresh beginnings. Baxendale.The Confederate General Longstreet, during the battle of Gettysburg, had one of his generals come up to him and report that he was unable to bring up his men again so as to charge the enemy. Rich young ruler.1. He has passed through, and these are His footprints. And so he reached forth unto those things which were before.II. The body is not one member but many. )Concentration the secret of dispatchS. Earth has its prizes, its crowns, its plaudits, its splendid fortunes. Of what avail, to such a mariner, is even distinct view of some distant point long since swept by, when his vessel is approaching some perilous pass, or passing through some vast and foaming estuary into the deep sea. The preaching of the gospel to every creature.III. Noah was a man of one idea. Napoleon was the most efficient man of his own time, not because gifted above his fellows, either physically or intellectually, but because universal empire was his single aim — he lived only to conquer! The fellowship of the Spirit in all its perfection.5. 1. )The nobility of a single aimA. All unimproveable life must sooner or later run out. (1) Since the day when man first lighted a fire to boil his pot, and hollowed out his first canoe, up to the day when the latest development of these contrivances appears in the steamship which can sail three thousand miles a week, the world has never rested in its advance. In commenting on Colossians 2:3, the French pastor John Calvin wrote that this verse means “we are perfect in wisdom if we truly know Christ, so that it is madness to wish to know anything besides Him.”, The writer Oswald Chambers wrote that “The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ.”. WE MUST LOOK FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD. D.I. "They do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible." It is not necessary that we should have any great work to do, although we have all such work in the improvement of our own characters, and in making life sweet around us. Continued demerit calls for continued mercy.2. The affections, the adhesive powers of the soul, speak the same language. "Very well," said the general, "just let them remain where they are; the enemy's going to advance, and will spare you the trouble."(W. And it was with a sore wrench that St. Paul tore himself away from all his former cherished associations.5. Why should you carry about parched corn when you dwell among fields white unto harvest? His one idea was a city. Each is to help the others.3. What wilt Thou have me do?" Melvil, B. D.is like those problems in mathematics where we can never find the true answer. Absolute assurance of forgiveness.3. This is the mark of a small and never of a great life. )The onward movement of the soulPaxton Hood.Man is the creature of the same senses; he beholds the same sun, the same streams, and flying clouds; youth succeeds to infancy, and the festival of nature is followed by decay. "Be ye perfect." No bounds can be set to it. The artist who is satisfied with his transcript of his ideal will never grow any more. And so the beautiful blossoms of grace must be left behind. To that supreme beauty our nature is capable of unlimited approach. S. Henson, D. D.Such was the language of the most masterful man that ever trod the earth, and this utterance is the keynote of his marvellously successful life.I. What the apostle means is that we are to forget the things which are behind as no longer practically concerning us. He forgot them in the sense of neglecting them. What the apostle means is that we are to forget the things which are behind as no longer practically concerning us. So far as relates to our worldly condition, our constant endeavour for betterment as the necessity of an undecaying life. Introduction. Start afresh.(J. Everything in earth's geology, and everything on earth's surface, point towards a future. To insure success, all dead weights must be thrown off, all unnecessary hindrances avoided, all entangling alliances sacrificed, and "the sins which do so easily beset" or hinder us, put away.(G. Maclaren, D. D.What a noble thing any life becomes that has driven through it the strength of a uniting single purpose, like a strong shaft of iron bolting together the two tottering walls, of some old building!(A. Time given to such occupation is withdrawn from the actual work of life. Habits are like fences, very good to guard the soul from sudden incursions of trespassers, but very bad when the trunk has grown up and presses against their stubborn rings. Nor herein was Paul's experience anomalous. Falls and failures: no use trying any more.2. (4) Past guilt. But in spring, the buds, stimulated by the unwonted sunshine, begin to open at their sharp extremities. His fellow disciples are not left to infer that his path is accessible to no traveller but himself, He preaches to sinners as the chief of sinners, to Christians as a fellow citizen; the race and fight were his no less than theirs.I. Divided affection, and allegiance, half-hearted strivings, will end in disappointment and disaster. We may all be trying to be like Jesus Christ, whatever may be the material at which we toil.(A. D.1. D.He has a purpose that miner's son. There must be a double leaf fall from the soul as well as from the tree. "(Sir T. F. Yes, and you ate your dinner twenty years ago; will that serve to strengthen you for today? We can only be cheerful while we forget. The young live mainly in the future; but by and by the vision fades away or becomes limited. Maclaren, D. D.What a noble thing any life becomes that has driven through it the strength of a uniting single purpose, like a strong shaft of iron bolting together the two tottering walls, of some old building!(A. Vaughan, M. A.The secret of all moral force, of all spiritual success, of all reality, is concentration. FORMING A JUST ESTIMATE UPON HIS PRESENT CONDITION. And if you stand there looking backwards instead of making the best of your way out of evil, the evil will catch you up. The great reproach of Christianity is its passive content with an average morality, and a life devoid of aspiration to higher levels — in a word, its spiritual barbarism, stagnant, supine, and poor in power. The material system of nature will some day be dissolved. This is the language of a man who has laid aside forever the doubt of his acceptance with God, of Christ's ability to save, of his Master's constant presence and guiding spirit. UNDER THIS END OF ENDS AND SUBSERVIENT TO IT IT IS THE DUTY OF EVERY ONE TO HAVE SOME DISTINCT CHRISTIAN PURPOSE ALWAYS BEFORE HIM. A.)ProgressJ. Paul is like one of those eager charioteers of whom his guardsmen so often spoke to him when they had returned from the contests in the Circus Maximus, and joined their shouts to those of the myriads who cheered their favourite colours — leaning forward in his flying car, bending over the shaken rein and the goaded steed, forgetting everything — every peril, every competitor, every circling of the meta in the rear, as he pressed on for the goal by which sat the judges with the palm garlands that formed the prize. Maclaren, D. D.What a noble thing any life becomes that has driven through it the strength of a uniting single purpose, like a strong shaft of iron bolting together the two tottering walls, of some old building!(A. But we must not permit them to obliterate the appreciation of present mercies. His only hope is to forget all behind. (2) But the one sort do not all live where civilization prevails, nor do the others in lands where barbarism is dominant. The past is the sculptor, the ten thousand touches of whose chisel have given to our present lives the shapes they wear; it is the painter too that has coloured these forms with every tint and hue they bear. Now, why all this? W. Alexander, D. D.)Forget past sorrowsPaxton Hood.A writer tells how years, long years before, he cut the initials of his name in the bark of a tree, and after many years he came and trod through the tasselled grass to the grey old beech tree where he had whittled his boyish name. By a course of prosperity our souls are made to unfold in gratitude to God and beneficence to men. Taking a comprehensive view of the universe, we find that everything has a special object to perform, and when that object is accomplished, the agency perishes. )Want of applicationS. We cannot forget our early griefs and bereavements. (1) Such recognition is the condition of all progress. Do you not see how every good thing takes hold of and leans upon a higher thing? The artist who is satisfied with his transcript of his ideal will never grow any more. D.)Spiritual barbarismJ M. Whiton, Ph. Both are past; why remember them? III. (Paxton Hood. is it in the growth of a nation in the numbers of its population, or in its territory? D.I. )Religion is a progressive principle, and that not merely by Divine appointment, but from its very nature. )One point bestSir T. F. Buxton.I asked Sir James Scarlett what was the secret of his preeminent success as an advocate. We have an inheritance incorruptible, etc. D.I. Man can rule matter because he is superior to it. no unusual thing to see branches in Christ whose spiritual life is so weak that their growth is at a standstill. F. Pentecost, D. D.I. It is this from which man has to be saved.2. Unless we saw an ideal far above us, the actual would never approximate toward it. Do you not see how every good thing takes hold of and leans upon a higher thing? "They do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible." Now, why all this? )Forgetting the things that are behindW. Absolute pardon. The blackbirds were singing among the alders, the green foliage of the branches spread above, the green carpet spread a sward below, and through the interlacing boughs were glimpses of the ancient blue of the firmament; but when he found the tree he could not discover the letters of his name, only a curious scar in the bark. Thoughts fly on wings toward the tomorrow. In our conversion we must separate ourselves from the associations of our unregenerate state, and count those things that were gain to us, loss, so that we may be found in Christ. D.)This one thing I doConcentrationJ. He not only never repented these sacrifices, he forgot them. Its terminal bud loses the power of throwing off its winter leaves, because no summer leaves form in its interior. But whatever they are, they are as nothing compared with what is before; and inasmuch as they are all of grace, we have nothing to glory of.5. The memory of things behind —I. E. Jenkins, LL. The unrest born of the contrast between these two marks man off from the happy contentment of the brutes beneath him, and the happy peacefulness of the angels of God. )Progress inevitable to the ChristianJ. Were we to forget past knowledge, ours would be the ignorance of infancy; if past experiences were obliterated, our imbecility would be that of idiocy. Heaven's real prize is Christ Himself, and so Paul's aspiration was, "That I may win Christ and be found in Him."(P. To these enthusiasms the Church of God replies in no unfriendly spirit. (Paxton Hood. Absolute conformity to the Divine character and will as immediately and specifically exhibited in Christ.4. Hindrances. We have observed —1. Hubbard.We are as children taught as in a play; instructed by toys and pictures. "They do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible." These things get behind, they pertain to the past, and are of it. He takes the world as he finds it, and leaves it as he found it. The world's building was prospective. The conclusion was dissatisfaction; nor was this to be regretted: it was a sign of true grace. Again and again it would seem as if the men of Babylon, of Memphis, of Athens, and Rome must have said to themselves, "No more beyond." )Paul reached forth to the things before.I. Stop long enough to say, "Thank God for that"; but do not pause to congratulate yourselves, or it may be soon undone. (Lord Macaulay. None of them ever entertained more than one great aim or purpose of being. Vaughan, M. A.You have stood upon our shores, and seen a ship under full press of sail making for her destination. (2) What a melancholy religion is theirs who are ever contending with old doubts. Past enjoyments.6. Baxendale. The means and the end will be one and the same. Forget past circumstances, whether sorrows or joys. There is no time for self-elation or self-sufficiency. Shame then on us poor dwarfs if we are so vain as to account ourselves as having apprehended. But in spring, the buds, stimulated by the unwonted sunshine, begin to open at their sharp extremities. F. Pentecost, D. D.)Life's contests and prizesP. But not the means of growth and formative processes of the Christian character only, must be left behind and forgotten; the very ends, the growths themselves, must also be superseded. With Pilate's question on his lip and in his heart, he foregoes his brilliant prospects — parts without a sigh with academical distinctions — takes monastic vows in an Augustine convent; until at last Pilate's question answered on Pilate's stairs — then comes the thrice repeated gospel whisper, "The just shall live by faith," and the glad evangel scatters the darkening and shreds off the paralysis, and he rises into moral freedom, a new man in the Lord! is it in the increase of knowledge, of science, of art? If our winter leaves — the experiences that contribute to form our character, and which are appropriate to the various stages of our growth — be allowed to remain unchanged and unforgotten, and to choke up our spiritual life so as to arrest its advancement, they will be changed into thorns. The whole man gathering himself up to a point — oneness of being, body, soul, spirit — the will, judgment, energy in unity. )Devotion to a single purpose essential to successC. W. Robertson, M. Live in the future for yourselves, and for the world. )Look not at the pastJ. If you are troubled with wandering thoughts in prayer or in Church, it is because your outer life is not concentrated. Another feature in Paul's character. "If any man love father or mother more than Me," etc.III. "We know that...we shall be like Him. Maclaren, D. D.The idea is that of a man stretching himself out towards something as a runner does, with his body straining forward, the hand and the eye drawn onward towards the goal. He must use them. These figures are the very opposite of idleness. Absolute assurance of forgiveness.3. These winter leaves that cherished and nourished our growth in grace must drop off from time to time, with each new attainment that we "may rise on stepping stones of our dead selves to nobler things.". The tree may be full of bloom, and an orchard is a beauteous sight, but the blossom must wither away and be forgotten in the fruit. )The great prizeG. Newton was the king of astronomers, not because his eye was keener as it scanned the heavens, nor because God gave him mighty wings to sweep through the empyrean, but because, with the power of an omnipresent dream, the constellations of heaven were flashing on his soul! There are branches to spring from the ever-growing trees that have not yet even budded. how civilization leans on morality? It may fail, and be seduced and degraded, yet its very errors bear witness to its strength and the greatness of its origin. But self-complacency is the mother of spiritual declension. It means that there is a future and a God. — every muscle strained and every vein starting — the quick and short heaving of his chest — the big drops gathered on his brow — his body bending forward, as if with frantic gesture he already clutched the goal — his eye, now glancing aside with a momentary sparkle at objects so rapidly disappearing behind him, and then fixing itself on the garland in eager anticipation. Some of you did once live for another object — pleasure, self, sin. D.1. Sacrifices may become a cause of pride — "Lord, we have left all and followed Thee." The student is riot doing the one thing of student life when he has ceased to think or read. Before the Church, therefore, is — 1 The real, conscious, manifested unity of all its members. )Practice necessary to perfectionC. Deadness to all human ambitions and merely earthly good. But Paul rebukes this spirit. Forget past circumstances, whether sorrows or joys. These summer leaves, having added a cubit to the stature of the branch, pass away; and the added growth in its turn puts forth a new bud covered with its scales or winter leaves, which drop off the following spring, and allow the imprisoned summer leaves once more to unfold themselves in the sunny air. The stars were in his heart. The one are not without remedy, the other not perfect. W. Alexander, D. D.)Forget past sorrowsPaxton Hood.A writer tells how years, long years before, he cut the initials of his name in the bark of a tree, and after many years he came and trod through the tasselled grass to the grey old beech tree where he had whittled his boyish name. Israel remembered the fleshpots of Egypt and turned back and tempted God. Everybody could see their beauty of character but themselves. When the law of development will not work, the law of decay and dissolution is the only one that will. With Pilate's question on his lip and in his heart, he foregoes his brilliant prospects — parts without a sigh with academical distinctions — takes monastic vows in an Augustine convent; until at last Pilate's question answered on Pilate's stairs — then comes the thrice repeated gospel whisper, "The just shall live by faith," and the glad evangel scatters the darkening and shreds off the paralysis, and he rises into moral freedom, a new man in the Lord! To insure success, all dead weights must be thrown off, all unnecessary hindrances avoided, all entangling alliances sacrificed, and "the sins which do so easily beset" or hinder us, put away.(G. These summer leaves, having added a cubit to the stature of the branch, pass away; and the added growth in its turn puts forth a new bud covered with its scales or winter leaves, which drop off the following spring, and allow the imprisoned summer leaves once more to unfold themselves in the sunny air. At length the wish was accomplished; and the domain, alienated more than seventy years before, returned to the descendants of its old lords, and when his public life was closed forever, it was to Daylesford that he retired to die. All unimproveable life must sooner or later run out. We often find the former, e.g., God's mercies are to be remembered as a theme of gratitude; past sins to produce penitence; former history as ground of warning and hope (Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 8:2; Deuteronomy 9:7; Psalm 77:5; Psalm 103:2; Ezekiel 16:63). D.)Spiritual barbarismJ M. Whiton, Ph. That purpose is the acquisition of knowledge. The student is riot doing the one thing of student life when he has ceased to think or read. But not the means of growth and formative processes of the Christian character only, must be left behind and forgotten; the very ends, the growths themselves, must also be superseded. Smith, M. A.The things behind and the memory of them may be helpful or hurtful. "(Sir T. F. Paul's mark was the highest that ever loomed up before a human soul.IV. He forgot them in the sense of neglecting them. Paul having put the past and present in their proper places goes on to the FUTURE, ASPIRING EAGERLY TO MAKE IT GLORIOUS. There are dark days and bright faces that will never die away.2. Life on earth is not an end, but a means — a state of discipline and preparation for something higher and nobler beyond, and is therefore transitory in its duration. After the Lord has shown Himself to the eye of faith, they seem unable to let this matter rest. At length the wish was accomplished; and the domain, alienated more than seventy years before, returned to the descendants of its old lords, and when his public life was closed forever, it was to Daylesford that he retired to die. But Paul rebukes this spirit. A. The little child is telling what he intends when he is a man. A conversation with an unbeliever, the perusal of a book, the pressure of a besetting sin, disturbs their assurance, and they go over the old ground. If a racer were to pass most of his fellows, and then look round and rejoice over the distance covered he must lose the race. Such practice, moreover, will be as charming as my neighbour's flute is intolerable.(C. Everything in earth's geology, and everything on earth's surface, point towards a future. Thus every tree has a double leaf fall every year. )Practice necessary to perfectionC. How she throws aside the seaweed and the waves — how straight amidst the currents she holds her bow — how she strains upon her way, and goes resolutely to her point! He does not mean —(1)That He forgot the mercy of God he had enjoyed. Time given to such occupation is withdrawn from the actual work of life. Yet there are witnesses to it beyond the precincts of theology. Maclaren, D. D.The idea is that of a man stretching himself out towards something as a runner does, with his body straining forward, the hand and the eye drawn onward towards the goal. Lot's wife looked back and perished. Conversion is indeed all essential, for while the heart is unchanged there can be neither life nor growth; but it is merely the commencement of a course. D. Hoge, D. D.)Christian progress impelled by a single purposeJ. In whatever respect we feel that we are offenders against the law of Divine perfection revealed in Christ let us be more active. "(Paxton Hood. Smiles, LL. Baxendale.The Confederate General Longstreet, during the battle of Gettysburg, had one of his generals come up to him and report that he was unable to bring up his men again so as to charge the enemy. Budgett.The famous De Witt, one of the greatest statesmen of his age, being asked how he was able to dispatch the multitude of affairs in which he was engaged, replied that his" whole art consisted in doing one thing at a time.(S. The exhibition of new phases of character is before him. Israel remembered the fleshpots of Egypt and turned back and tempted God. II. It is too often the case as life goes on to get contented with our characters such as they are.III. So of all things physical and intellectual. Let us not brood or despair. (4)You must run cheerfully and speedily.2. )Pressing forwardA. PAUL'S MEANING AS TO THE PRIZE WAS A PERSONAL RESEMBLANCE TO CHRIST, AND A DESIRE TO BE NEAR HIM. Modern men have said this, and prophesied dire results from setting up of power instead of hand looms, sewing machines instead of needles, locomotives instead of coach horses. It must mean something. It is so with man; he is the subject of a succession of events, that which hath been is now and shall be. MUST EMBRACE THE WHOLE OF HUMAN NATURE. His only hope is to forget all behind. And if you stand there looking backwards instead of making the best of your way out of evil, the evil will catch you up. Past enjoyments.6. )Paul reached forth to the things before.I. And so was it with St. Paul. But its exaggeration at the expense of what it should subserve is fatal to the progress of man. Spurgeon. He has turnpikes and stage coaches, but he must level or tunnel the mountain, and lay a pavement of iron, and chain his ear to a horse of fire. A perfect accordance in present action with the prospect of the great day.II. He speedily exhausts the resources of Mansfeld, reads hard, devours lectures at Magdeburg, and at the age of eighteen has outstripped his fellows, has a university for his admirer, and professors predicting for him the most successful career of the age. He who would be a great artist must not follow low models. Everybody could see their beauty of character but themselves. Shallow streams brawl and bubble, but deep waters flow on in silence.2. Former sins.3. If the aim of life were to do something, then, as in an earthly business, except in doing this one thing the business would he at a standstill. 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