upward movement by a power not man?s own or the continuance and increase of a downward movement that can end only in ruin.
Kidd, Social Evolution, shows that in humanity itself there resides no power of progress. The ocean steamship that has burned its last pound of coal may proceed on its course by virtue of its momentum but it is only a question of the clock how soon it will cease to move, except as tossed about by the wind and the waves. Not only is there a power lacking for the good but, apart from God?s grace, the evil tendencies constantly became more aggravated. The settled states of the affections and of the will practically dominate the life. Charles H. Spurgeon: ?If a thief should get into heaven unchanged, he would begin by picking the angels? pockets.? The land is full of examples of the descent of man, not from the brute, but to the brute. The tare is not degenerate wheat that, by cultivation, will become good wheat. It is not only useless but also noxious and it must be rooted out and burned. ?Society never will be better than the individuals who compose it. A sound ship can never be made of rotten timber. Individual reformation must precede social reconstruction.? Socialism will always be a failure until it becomes Christian. We must be born from above as truly as we have been begotten by our fathers upon earth or we cannot see the kingdom of God.
(c) A radical internal change is therefore requisite in every human soul ? a change in that which constitutes its character. Holiness cannot be attained, as the pantheist claims, by a merely natural growth or development, since man?s natural tendencies are wholly in the direction of selfishness. There must be a reversal of his inmost dispositions and principles of action, if he is to see the kingdom of God.
Men?s good deeds and reformation may be illustrated by eddies in a stream whose general current is downward, by walking westward in a railway car while the train is going east or by Capt. Parry?s traveling north, while the ice-flow on which he walked was moving southward at a rate much more rapid than his walking. It is possible to be ?ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth? ( <550307>2 Timothy 3:7). Better never have been born, than not be born again. But the necessity of regeneration implies its possibility: <430307>John 3:7 ? ?Ye must be born new? = ye may be born anew, the text is not merely a warning and a command, it is also a promise. Every sinner has the chance of making a new start and of beginning a new life.
J. D. Robertson, The Holy Spirit and Christian Service, 57 ? ?Emerson says that the gate of gifts closes at birth. After a man emerges from his
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