THE secret of strength, of all moral purpose, is to assure thyself that thou art not engaged in a battle between two portions of thy own nature. It is Christ in thee Who is inviting thee, urging thee, commanding thee, to every brave and true and earnest effort; and in His commandment is Life. What He bids thee do, He will enable thee to do. The might of His own sacrifice is with thee. He, Who gave Himself up without spot to God, will enable thee to offer thyself, an acceptable and reasonable sacrifice, to do His Will, to glorify His Name. And with moral purpose will come hope. When we think of Christ as a Being at a distance from us, Who has merely done a mighty work; when we eat the bread and drink the wine in remembrance of an absent Friend, not as pledges of a near and present One; the pressure of evil, that crushes down our faith, and hope, and love, seems to make the past redemption wholly unavailing for our great necessity. But Christ in us, as St. Paul to the Colossians, is the hope of glory. What we want is not that we should attain some separate, selfish bliss; but that He, Who has been striving with us all our lives through, to deliver us from the separation and selfishness, which have been our torment and our curse, should finally effect His own purpose,--that He should be manifested to us, and to the world, as the King who has vanquished by sacrifice,--that we should be His willing servants, and free children of His Father, formed into one family and body by His blessed Spirit for ever.--Sermons on Sacrifice, p. 321.
We know, that every man here upon earth stands between two worlds. Above him is the Light, and Love, and Glory, of God; this is the Heaven of Heavens: beneath him is pride, and ignorance, and despair, and atheism; this is the pit of hell. And, as any man may ascend up, and see that Love and Glory of God, in the Face of Jesus Christ, so any man may sink down into the pit, and God may be shrouded from his eyes, and he may be able to see nothing but himself, and sin, and death. It is no security to a man, that he has done great things or beheld bright visions: these may be the very cause of his downfall. If he learn to think, that he has some great strength within him to do, some bright eye within him that can always see, his great doings, and his glorious success will be the very means of separating him from the Light and the Life of God He will feel that he can go on without God in the world; and God may leave him to try how far he can go. What security, then, has a man who, after all this glory, is yet in such peril? He may trust that the. Lord, in Whom he has believed, Who has shown him such marvellous things, will not suffer his foot to be moved. "He, Who keepeth him, does not slumber or sleep." He knows when the enemy will take advantage of a man, who is too high or too low; and He knows how to cross and defeat the designs of that enemy, how to bring down those that are exalted, lest they should fall, and how to raise up those that are bowed down, lest they should lose all heart and hope.--Christmas Day and Other Sermons, pp. 368, 369.