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of God. To refuse to follow that may be to disown God. To take the judgment and conscience of other men to live by, where is the humility of that? From whence did their conscience and judgment come? Was the fountain from which they drew exhausted for you? If they refused like you to rely on their own conscience, and you rely upon it, how are you sure that it is more the mind of God than your own which you have refused to hear ?
Look at it in another way. The charm of the words of great men-those grand sayings which are recognized as true as soon as heard -is this, that you recognize them as wisdom which passed across your own mind. You feel that they are your own thoughts come back to you, else you would not at once admit them:
* All that floated across me before, only I could not say it, and did not feel confident enough to assert it, or had not conviction enough to put into words." Yes, God spoke to you what He did to them: only they believed it, said it, trusted the Word within them, and you did not. Be sure that often when you say, “It is only my own poor thought, and I am alone,” the real correcting thought is this, “Alone, but the Father is with me,”-therefore I can live by that lonely conviction.
There is no danger in this, whatever timid minds may think-no danger of mistake, if the character be a true one. For we are not
in uncertainty in this matter. It has been given us to know our base from our noble hours: to distinguish between the voice which is from above, and that which speaks from below, out of the abyss of our animal and selfish nature. Samuel could distinguish between the impulse-quite a human onewhich would have made him select Eliab out of Jesse's sons, and the deeper judgment by which “the Lord said, Look not on his coun. tenance, nor on the height of his stature, for I have refused him.” Doubtless deep truth of character is required for this : for the whispering voices get mixed together, and we dare not abide by our own thoughts, because we think them our own, and not God's: and this because we only now and then endeavor to know in earnest. It is only given to the habitually true to know the difference. He knew it, because all His blessed life long He could say, “My judgment is just, because I seek not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.
The practical result and inference of all this is a very simple, but a very deep one: the deepest of existence. Let life be a life of faith. Do not go timorously about, inquiring what others think, and what others believe, and what others say. It seems the easiest, it is the most difficult thing in life to do this. Believe in God. God is near you. Throw yourself fearlessly upon Him. Trembling mortal, there
is an unknown light within your soul, which will wake when you command it. The day may come when all that is human, man and woman, will fall off from you; as they did from Him. Let His strength be yours. Be independent of them all now. The Father is with you. Look to Him, and He will save you.
ROSWELL DWIGHT HITCHCOCK was born at East Machias, Maine, in 1817. To his pulpit delivery, which was direct, fluent and impressive, he brought the results of profound Bible research.
He was evangelical transcendentalist, and for many years addressed large and cultured congregations in New York City. As a teacher he was clear and inspiring, particularly in historical theology. In 1880 he was made president of the Union Theological Seminary. His best-known work is the “Complete Analysis of the Bible." He died in 1887.