March 20.

March 20.


“Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”—Rom.xii.9.

There is hatred in the Christian life—hatred of sin in every shape and form, abhorrence of the very appearance and approach of evil.  Which thing I also hate, says Jesus Himself.  Religion to-day is apt to be easy-going, indeterminate, exceedingly tolerant, a thing of neutral tints.  But the true Christian will win and wear the commendation which Samuel Johnson gave his friend, Dr. Bathurst—“He is a very good hater.”  Provided only my indignation burns against the proper things, I cannot have too much of it, and it cannot be too intense and unyielding.

But if hatred is the negative pole, love is the positive—love which clings and trusts and worships, love which cleaves to that which is good.  And in this case good is no abstract quality, no dead perfection; Good is my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Let me always be learning of Him.  Jesus waiting in Nazareth, and working in Capernaum, and praying on the cold mountains and in the midnight air, and obeying and suffering in the Garden and on the Cross—it is He in whose footsteps I am to follow, He whose image I am to bear, He into whose glory I am to be changed.

Lord, strengthen me with might by Thy Spirit alike for the hating and for the loving.  For apart from Thee I can do nothing.  A strange mist hangs over my eyes, so that I see neither sin nor Christ in their right proportion and their true character.  A strange dumbness paralyses my speech, so that I lift up my voice neither in condemnation of my adversary nor in eulogy of my King.

Dr. Alexander Smellie.

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