(Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1845).
(Preached on the Saturday Evening, Feast of All Saints.)
ST. LUKE xv. 7.
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
THIS morning, I spoke of the course marked out for the Christian in the order of God's love for him, how having been "made a member of Christ," he should through "faith working by love1' abide in Him; how by love his faith should be heightened, and by the increase of faith his love be deepened, and his deepened love issue in fuller obedience, and by acts of obedience should faith and love again be strengthened, until faith and obedience and love should together be perfected to that fulness which God in His eternal purpose designed for him, and faith should end in sight, and love be purified in the blissful Presence of Him Whom it should for ever love. But were this the only course, how were it with most of us, my brethren? With how many of us has this order of God been broken! This speaks of going from "strength to strength," "giving all diligence to add to faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity" and in all these "abounding more and more," and we have mostly at some time been going back, not advancing, wasting, too many of us, His gifts of nature as well as of grace, our best natural feelings, our early affections, on worse than vanity; and now in all this waste and with some poor fragments only left, what, might we say, have we to do with the victories of saints, the crown of continued, faithful, service? If this be all, where are we? and what our hope?
Blessed be God, my brethren, this is not all. I said, "all of us, even penitents, have our likeness there." Close by the Virgin-Mother at the Cross, was the woman who had been a sinner. He Who was born of a Virgin, names no other in the sacred line which leads up to Him, but a heathen woman, an incestuous, and an adulteress. He whose Son He specially deigned to call Himself, the Son of David, was the royal penitent; and yet the man after God's own heart. The chief of the Apostles was the only one who denied his Master. And that other glorious Apostle," not a whit behind the very chiefest Apostles, though he be nothing," "the chosen vessel to bear" His Lord's "Name," what title does he take, but, "the chief of sinners?" Love is of God, and the depth of love shall be the measure of our bliss, since it will be also of our nearness to God Who is Love. No depth then of our fall may hinder from any height of glory, as of love. We must be much loved, who have been so much forgiven; and much forgiven, we may hope to love the more Him Who has so much loved us.
Not then the need of deep penitence, but the absence of it, forfeits Heaven or any degree of bliss. Dreary indeed and lonely, in itself, were the outset of penitence; dreary as to the past, full of perplexity the present, full of fears the future. For what is the past? One blank. Yea would it were one blank, would that there were nothing written there! Would, the penitent must feel, that waste were all, that he could now begin, with but the loss of past years, of missed opportunities, of past grace forfeited; himself, it may be, advanced in the course of years, in his course to heaven but at the entrance; the work of a life to be compressed perhaps into a fragment of its term. A dreary review were this alone. For what is waste of grace, but waste of the Presence of God, narrowing the soul so that it cannot receive, as it might, His love; paralyzing it, that it cannot stretch forth to attain to Him? What is it but to be a stranger to the ways of God with the soul, and that secret intercourse which He has promised to them that fear Him? What is it, but to be a stranger in its Father's House, not to know its Saviour's Voice, which it has not obeyed; to be in darkness, since God by His Grace is the light of the soul; cold, since He is its warmth; sick, since He is its health; yea well nigh dead, since He is its Life; knowing not God, to Whom it would go, nor the way by which it should go, nor itself which is to be moved; happy in this only, if it have light enough to see its own darkness!
Yet such might be the fruits of sloth only. But man, as he cannot serve two masters, so he must serve one. If 'he obey not God Who is above him, he must obey his own inferior nature. Set between heaven and earth, and drawn to both, if he refuse the drawing Heavenwards, he must sink earthwards. Partaker with the Angels, in his spiritual nature, "man, being in honour, and understanding not, becometh like the beasts which perish." What is the awakened sinner's past? A dreary, confused, heap of sins, recollection thronging upon recollection, sin calling up the memory of sin, some standing out perhaps more marked, and casting a deeper shade of blackness upon the rest; some wounds of the soul giving a deeper pang; and y*t perhaps more dreary still, that countless mass of sin, which has passed unheeded from his memory; so that those darker spots seem to him but tokens, as it were, of that foul leprosy which has infected and denied his whole frame, and forces from him the leper's cry, "Unclean, unclean!" I know not which to the sinner is the most overwhelming, those outstanding sins, the memory of which ever haunts him, or that entangled impenetrable mass of sins, negligences, and ignorances, which he cannot recall, which seems the thicker, because he cannot distinguish them, the daily, hourly, unceasing sins of a life passed in forgetfulness of God.
What then were an awakened sinner's present? Could it be described, it were less miserable. Its very misery is, that having lost its Centre, God, the soul tosses to and fro, (Holy Scripture says,) "like a troubled sea;" restless, amazed, stupified, ever shifting from one misery to another; itself loathsome to itself, how much more, it must think, to God! covered, within and without, with the innumerable ulcers of its past sins, and these exhaling an intolerable stench, sickening to himself, offensive even to the inhabitants of heaven. Nothing has it in that wide waste of past life, whereon to rest; its best deeds flash upon it as self-deceit; pleasing itself in itself or in man's praise for its natural graces, and so marring even these, and making itself or those around it, its idol instead of God. How has it laboured for the wind! what ashes hath it eaten for bread! how hath it changed its glory for that which doth not profit! Behind, is a desolate wilderness; before, it is as death. Within, a decayed spirit, a dried heart, its spiritual senses dulled, its strength weakened, its limbs bound as by grave-clothes, its evil customs an iron chain; the soul become the servant, the appetites lords, the will enslaved; the light of faith darkened; it sees what is right, only to think it hopeless, if not to begin, at least to persevere. The Holy Spirit it has grieved, and defiled His temple, will He indeed return to that so unhallowed? Its Saviour it has sold for thirty pieces of silver; yea, for what more miserable price, for what defilements hath it bartered His precious Blood! Hath then His Blood indeed been shed even for those who waste It and trample It under foot, and count it an unholy thing? To the Father it has preferred His creatures, defaced His Image, wasted His Gifts, fled far from His House, dishonoured His Name, disobeyed Himself, obeyed His enemy. To whom, will it often ask, do I now belong? to Him Who made me and whose work I have marred, to Him Who redeemed me at so costly a Price, and Whose Price I have wasted, to Him Who sanctified me, and Whose motions I have rejected;--or to him whom in all this I have served? Am I yet indeed the dwelling-place of the Trinity? Do They yet inhabit a mansion so broken, so decayed, so defiled? or are these thoughts of pride, or vanity, or grosser sin, tokens of another inhabitant, whom by my sins I have invited to enter in and dwell there? "By one consent to sin did Adam" (a holy man has said") "lose the brightness of innocence, the robe of immortality, the incorruption of the flesh, purity of soul, sweetness of contemplation, liberty of spirit, the kingdom of Heaven, the fellowship of Angels, the friendship of God;" and his own are on him in multitudes. For fewer sins, must he well think, have many been cast into hell! how shall he escape? Or would he think now, thus late, of the joys of heaven, are they indeed still in store for him? Is the society of angels, the ineffable sweetness, the infinite love, the brightness of glory, the torrent of pleasure, the Face of God, are these for one who has but the bitterness of soul for the remembrance of past evil to offer? will God bestow Himself on one who misused His creatures and despised Himself? will He gather up such fragments as these, refine these dregs?
"An evil thing it is and bitter to have forsaken the Lord thy God;" and through weariness and aching of heart must the sinner often be brought to feel what he has lost. Truly he has lost all, who hast lost Thee, O Lord God!
Yet heavy as the cloud must often be, which man's sins have spread between him and his God, suspending, as it seems, all influx of grace from God, stopping his prayer that it should not pass through, Holy Scripture pierces it for us. While all seems dark below, above that veil of cloud is He, the Unchangeable, in light and serenity and love, forsaking none who forsake not Him finally; meeting us, when fleeing from Him, in displeasure, that we may turn to Him in love; drawing us, although unseen, that we, though bound by the chains of our sins, may have power to come to Him. On the penitent's first tear, there is joy in Heaven. O wondrous power of penitence, which can increase the joy of Heaven! The blessed Angels who ever behold the Face of our Father, ever joy ineffably in the Divine Presence, ever fulfil His Will, and are filled with His Glory, and ceaseless praise, Holy, Holy, Holy! they, possessed already of their everlasting bliss, partakers of the Eternity, the Truth, the Will of God, and in Him possessing the fulness of light and of immortal wisdom, who, even while ministering to us, never part from the blissful contemplation of God, the food of whose life is God Himself,-- can their bliss be increased? can it be increased by the sight of one, still so loathsome to himself, and so burdensome? "There is joy in the presence of the Angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." In him, who seeth not as yet himself, doubtful of himself and his own sted-fastness, doubtful almost whether God can love him, the Angels, in Divine light, see their future fellow-citizen in bliss; joy that one more is recovered from our lost world, that the lost is found. Loving with the love of God, they joy to see one more to fill up their ranks broken by the evil angels' fall, to swell the praise of heaven, to join with them in the endless song, to love with them and reflect the glory of our one Head, Who kept them from falling, restores us, when fallen.
But deeper, more marvellous, mystery yet! what marvel that Angels enlarge their joy, when He, the Lord of Angels and their God, is said to rejoice? Ye know, brethren, Who is that Good Shepherd, Who when out of the perfect number of His creatures, His hundred sheep, that one sheep, man, fell, and the number of those who should love and worship Him, was broken, left His Father's glory and those ninety-nine sheep, the Angelic hosts, safe Indeed and fenced still and encompassed by His Almighty Hand, in what seemed, as it were, a desert, because man, its heir, had forfeited it. Ye know Who sought His own lost sheep, lay down His life for him, and returned bringing with Him the firstling of His flock, a penitent; translating him first of all from his cross to Paradise, and then taking with Him the souls of those who had awaited His Coming. And how brought He him? "Rejoicing." We dare not speak of these mysteries in other words than Holy. Scripture giveth us; we dare hardly clothe them with our own thoughts; we know that with Him, the unchangeable Light, is no shadow of turning; that to Him, to Whom all His works are known from the beginning of the world, Joy cannot be like our human joy, who are gladdened by some source of joy we knew not of before. But He, Who vouchsafed to take our nature upon Him, speaketh in our language of Himself; and, as the Father Who doeth nothing but what from all eternity He foreknew that He should do, is said to "repent," when He doeth other that He had before done, yet according to His own secret and unchangeable counsel; so the Son joyeth over the repentant sinner, or our lost race, when His unchangeable love can pour itself out upon His creature which He had changed, and what before was alien from Him can receive His love. The Father, Holy Scripture saith, "shall rejoice in His worksb," when, in their new and final birth, they shall once again be all "very good," and His "Glory shall be for ever," streaming forth from Him and to Him returning, unhindered by our evil; and that ineffable complacency and love wherewith He beholdeth the image of His own Divine perfections, may rest upon His restored creation. So also the Son, Who is One with the Father, is said to have joy in the perfecting of His new creation, the work of His Redemption. As the deepest mysterious meaning of those sacred words, "I thirst," is understood to be, His longing for the completion of the counsel of His love towards us, and that He "thirsted" for our salvation; as, by the well of Samaria, He hungered and thirsted, not for material water, Who had that "living water" to give, whereof "whoso should drink should never thirst," nor for our earthly food, which when His disciples brought Him, He refused, saying, "I have meat to eat ye know not of;" but He thirsted for the faith of the Samaritan city, and His food was His Father's Will and man's salvation, so it is said, "He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied," in that "by His knowledge" should "He justify many." And again, "from the ivory palaces,"" i. e. from the royal, large, pure, beauteous, hearts of the saints, "hymns shall gladden Thee." He, it is said, "the King," "Lord God," Husband of the Church, should "desire" that "beauty" wherewith He had Himself endowed her, and made her "all-glorious within." He rejoiced not alone, but "exulted for joy," that the Father had "revealed to babes" the mysteries "hidden from the wise and prudent." Yea, over His fallen but restored Church, it is said, "He will save, He will rejoice over them with joy, He will rest in His love; He will rejoice over them with jubilation." O unutterable condescension of our God, Who thus deigns to shadow out His love to us sinners under the words of the deepest love which He hath given us! All holy love shadoweth forth some portion of His; Father, Mother, Husband, would He be to the soul in His Protecting, Fostering, In-Oneing love; and as our intensest love and joy cannot be uttered in words, but joy vents itself in unformed sounds, and love rests in silence over the object of its love, so He saith, "He will rejoice with the cry of jubilee, He will be still over us in love." O wondrous stillness, image of that everlasting rest wherein in all eternity He rested in the love of His Coequal Coeternal Son, that without spoken words, or image of sense, or motion of the He is felt in silence by the soul. And this for sinners!
Yea, so much does He make our joy His own, that as He maketh known to the Heavenly Hosts,--"His friends," because they ever do His Will, "His neighbours," as being nearest to His unapproachable glory, and ever enjoying His blissful Vision,--He saith (holy men have observed) not "rejoice over this My sheep which was lost and is found;" not, rejoice with it, created with yourselves to see My Face, and now restored to be with you in bliss;" but "rejoice with Me, for I have found My sheep that was lost." So would He speak His tender love towards us, as though our salvation were His gain, Who needeth nothing, to Whom nothing can be added, since of Him and by Him and through Him are all things.
And this His joy is not only over our whole redeemed race; it is, Holy Scripture says, in all its fulness over each single penitent sinner. Holy Scripture speaks of all as one, since all, though many, are one body in Christ; and yet, again, all which is true of the whole, is true of each single living member, so that each member may in the Psalms or Canticles or the Song of Songs, as being in the body, take the words of the body. For His love, being infinite, is bounded not in itself, but by our power to receive It; whom He loveth," He loveth infinitely, for His is an Infinite Love. As we are taught to say to God in the words of the Psalmist, "O God, Thou art my God," though He is the God of all, visible and invisible; so of God our Redeemer St. Paul saith, "I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." "The measure of His love to each," saith a holy father, "is as great as to the whole world," so that we might boldly say, "So boundless was His love, that He would not have grudged His Sufferings though but for one;' the joy which He hath in the redemption of the world, He hath in the conversion1 of a single soul; and "we owe Him as deep a debt of love, as though He had come for us alone;" yea, deeper far, since the salvation of others is our gain, not His; for the bliss of all shall increase the bliss of each, while each in each beholds, the glory of God reflected, and in the glory of each shall we have our own special joy.
Needs any more comfort yet? There is a yet more mysterious aweful comfort to the penitent; for it is on occasion of his many sins. "There is joy in the presence of the Angels of God over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety-nine just persons which need no repentance." It is so aweful a doctrine that I dare not name it without prayer to Almighty God, that none of you abuse it (as men do all the doctrines of grace) to your hurt. Full of soothing were these words in that meaning, that while self-righteousness1 mars the value of works, else of real good, neither past sins nor present infirmities hinder the joy in heaven over one once so evil. More condescending yet were the words, if we may think that God vouchsafes to speak after the manner of men, and so speaks of His joy over those all but lost as greater than that in those who never fell, (as the Angels,) or those who fell less deeply. As we for the time joy more in the frail health of one dear, recovering from deep sickness, than in the strong health of others also as dear; as the victory is gladlier after peril, the haven to those all but wrecked; so would He clothe the exceeding tenderness of His love for us sinners in words of our sympathy. More wondrous miracle of mercy yet, in that their plainest fullest meaning, that there are restored sinners over whom God indeed joyeth more than over others in whom lie still joyeth; that God Who createth all good, directeth to His good ends all evil, does overrule to good even the past falls of the penitent. "We must weigh this," says St. Gregory the Great, "why He alloweth that there is more joy in heaven over converted sinners than over the righteous who stand. Why but what we know and see in daily experience, that mostly they who know themselves to be oppressed by no burden of sin, stand indeed in the way of righteousness, do not things unlawful, yet pant not anxiously for their heavenly home, and allow themselves the more in things lawful, as they remember they have not committed things unlawful. And mostly they remain sluggish as to the performance of any more excellent good, because they feel themselves very safe that they never committed the more grievous evils. Whereas sometimes they who remember that they have done some things unlawful, stung by their very grief, burn for the love of God, practise themselves in great virtues, seek all which is difficult in the holy strife, forsake all things of the world, flee honours, rejoice in reproaches, are on fire with holy longings, pant for their heavenly home, and considering that they have gone astray from God, compensate their former losses by their later gains. There is then more joy in heaven over a converted sinner than over many a righteous who standeth. For so too in battle, the captain loveth more that soldier, who returning after flight, presses bravely on the enemy, than him who never turned his back yet never did aught bravely. So the husbandman loveth more that field, which, after thorns, bringeth forth large fruit, than that which never had thorns and never produceth an abundant harvest." And so, when our Lord, rebuking the temper of such, as having borne the burden and heat of the day, would grudge the equal reward of those who had stood idle until the eleventh hour, subjoins, "so the last shall be first and the first last"," He means among other things, surely" this, that some converted late in life, should, through the depth of their penitence and the vehemence of their love, be higher in heaven than others who had not gone so far astray, nor yet had afterwards loved so fervently.
Not then in this life need any utter Esau's exceeding bitter cry, "Hast Thou not reserved a blessing for me?" "Hast Thou but one blessing, O my Father?" Thou needest not, thou weary soul, sit down in heaviness and gloom, as though all were hopelessly lost, because thou hast squandered in a far country, far from God in thine affections, His first bright inheritance. Our Father is not so poor as to have one blessing only, nor are His "many mansions" open to redeemed of one sort only. Were it so, who could hope? Hast thou lost that first bright crown of virgin-souls, who have loved God Alone, have ever loved Him, loved Him with their first, pure, spotless, ardent, undivided love, yet who can tell the brightness of her crown, who once despised of man, despising herself yet more, with unashamed shame which maketh not ashamed, burst through to the Feet of Jesus, and washed Them with a sinner's burning tears? Crippled, seared, dried, distracted, weak, unstable, nay, polluted, as thou mayest feel thyself, all, the least, is too hard for thee, but what too hard for God's Omnipotence, what too sick for the Heavenly Physician, what too sinful for 'Him to heal, Who "was made sin for us, that we might be the Righteousness of God in Him?" In thine own strength thou wentest astray, not in thine own strength must thou return; well is it, if at last we feel our weakness, that so His strength may be made perfect in us. Fear not then, lest the way be long, He thy Lord is thy Way. Fear not lest thou faint by the way; He to Whom thou comest for heavenly Food, will not send thee away fasting, who art come to Him from far; He, the Gospel says, "receiveth sinners and eateth with them," He is Himself their Food. Fear not, because thou hast, it may be, but the fragments of a wasted life to offer Him, for Whom too little were its earliest and best. He bid "gather up the fragments which remain," that nothing be lost; He needeth not time, His own creature, to perfect those whom He maketh His, so that thou give thyself up now at the last, as the clay to the potter, to be unmade of what thou hast made thyself, remade by Him to that for which He made us. Hide thyself not, nor thy sins, like Adam, from Him. Hide thyself no longer wilfully under the defilements, the mire, the manifold vanities of this world, and He, the Eternal Wisdom, will, through them all, behold on the lost piece of silver His own kingly Image and Likeness; He will draw it forth and cleanse it, will retrace His own Eternal Form upon it, His own Holiness, His Purity, His Righteousness, and will lay it up, rejoicing, amid His jewels in the everlasting treasury. Flee not still further, and He, the Good Shepherd, will not chide the sheep which He has found. He will not leave us, wearied and wasted by manifold wanderings, our steps unsteady through our many falls, ourselves to follow Him. He saith not only, "I will lead thee by still waters," "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me," but "He layeth it on His shoulders, rejoicing." He bowed Himself from heaven to earth; He stooped to our lowliness; He folded us in love in His Bosom; in His lowliness on His shoulders which bare the Cross, He bare us; there would He have us lay down our sins; there would He have us rest our wearied limbs and our aching hearts; with His own pierced Hands would He hold us; there would He admit us nigh, not from afar, wishfully to behold His own Blissful Countenance of love; there would that thorn-crowned Head incline towards us, melt our stony heart with His look of tenderness, and cleanse us anew with that Precious Blood, gushing from the Wounds which the thorns of our sins had opened. Not on our own frail feet, not by the weak longings of our spirits, are we upborne from earth to Heaven; but, "beneath thee;" He saith, "are the everlasting Arms." Not to Angels only hath He given thee in charge, to bear thee up, but He Himself hath folded thee around Himself, hath bound thee like an ornament around His Neck, hath clothed Himself with thy mortality, that with thee, as part of Himself, "His Body and His Bones," He might ascend again to the Bosom of His Father, and Himself rejoicing, amid the rejoicing choirs of Angels, bring thee into the joy of thy Lord.
But are we then alone, my brethren, the sheep of Christ? Are we alone the lost and found? If found ourselves, and we indeed hope, that when lost and astray He sought us, can we help yearning, with His own love, over His other sheep yet scattered in this evil world, that they too may be gathered, and be one fold under One Shepherd? Can we, in the wide wilderness of this land, where so many souls are, with the prodigal which we once were, "perishing for hunger," while, not for any deserts of ours but according to His mercy He has drawn us back to His own House, has spread a Table before us, given to us Angels' Food, and the good Shepherd feeds us with His own Blood,--can we not long for those who might be gathered and are not? He Who hath so loved us, loveth them; He Who died for us, died for them; He Who, in part through the ministry of others, has sought us, would, through us, seek them. If as, one by one, He regained us who had erred and strayed, like lost sheep, in negligence or still deeper sin, uplifted us when fallen, bound us when broken, and laid us on His shoulders rejoicing, there was joy in heaven, how much more, when many, at once, are gathered! And shall we hope that Angels have joyed and do joy over us, and not long that, through us, they should joy over others also, like us lost, but not, like us, (as we hope,) as yet restored? shall we, who are admitted to the citizenship with the Angels, not ourselves joy with Angels' joy? Could we not almost think that we could hear the echoes of the Angels' joy, when these houses of God arise, as folds for repentant sinners, to gather in His returning sheep? Or if we share not this their joy, think we that we shall be owned by Him with Whom they rejoice, because He hath found the sheep which was lost?
My brethren, lukewarmness about the salvation of our brethren is no good token for ourselves. Knew we from what pit we had ourselves, as we hope, been saved; knew we by what undeserved Mercy we had been sought, and, as we hope, found; knew we Him, by Whose Love we had been gathered, and, if we are saved, on His Shoulders rest; could we be careless, while those around are not found, because we seek them not? Our very blessings condemn us, if we impart them not. To be careless about others' salvation is to risk our own. For they only are saved who love. And can we indeed love God, if we long not that all around us should love Him Who has so loved us, in Whose love we have found our rest?
Love is the mark of His sheep. The Good Shepherd Who laid down His life for His sheep, has said to us by His Apostle, "And we should lay down our lives for the brethren." He Who stooped so low to our misery and sin, that He might raise us so high, to be "with the princes of His people," before His Father's Throne, yea, to "sit down with Him in His Throne," saith to us. "Bear ye one another's burthens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." Bear we then indeed the tokens of Him, Who was wounded and bruised in His search for us, Who "was Himself led as a lamb to the slaughter, and was as a sheep dumb before His shearers," if we part with none of our luxuries or comforts or ease to bind up that which was bruised or bring back that which is astray? If we care not for those who are, with us, the flock of Christ, shall we be placed at the last Day among that flock we cared not for? are we indeed His sheep, or are we not rather--of "the goats?"
Oh think ye then what it was, once 'to have been lost; what had it been to have been left as lost; what it is to have been found by Him; what at the last Great Day to be found in Him; what to share the Angels', yea your Master's joy, (nay, is it not a foretaste of everlasting joy, to joy with Him over them, who with you shall joy in Him for ever?) and as He hath loved you, love Him in them! In whatever lawful way God opens to you, by all acts of love and tenderness, by tender warnings where ye may, by loving care for the lambs of Christ, by gentle ministering to the bodies and souls of the sick and afflicted when the soul is most open to holy influences, by making peace, by helping, if it may be, to restore the fallen, by self-denying toil or alms, by the charity of daily prayers for the conversion of your fellow-sinners, shew forth your love; and He, the Fountain of your Love, shall Himself be its everlasting Reward; He Who giveth you to joy with Him here, shall in His everlasting kingdom joy over you and in you; His "joy shall remain in you, that your joy may be full."
Now unto Him Who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins with His own Blood.
Almighty God, Who shewest to them that be in error the light of Thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all them that are admitted into the fellowship of Christ's Religion, that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things that are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.