grown men.? Christian character rests upon Christian truth as its foundation: see <460310>1 Corinthians 3:10-15 ? ?I laid a foundation, and another buildeth thereon.? See Dorus Clarke, Saying the Catechism; Simon, on Christ Doct. and Life, in Bibliotheca Sacra, July, 1884:433-439
Ignorance is the mother of superstition, not of devotion. Talbot W Chambers: ? ?Doctrine without duty is a tree without fruits; duty without doctrine is a tree without roots.? Christian morality is a fruit, which grows only from the tree of Christian doctrine. We cannot long keep the fruits of faith after have cut down the tree upon which they have grown. Balfour, Foundations of Belief, 82 ?Naturalistic virtue is parasitic, mined when the host perishes, the parasite perishes also. Virtue without religion will die.? Kidd, Social Evolution, 214 ? ? Because the fruit survives for a time when removed from the tree, and even mellows and ripens, shall we say that it is Independent of the tree?? The twelve manner of fruits on the Christmas tree are only tacked on, ? they never grew there, and they can never reproduce their kind. The withered apple swells out under the exhausted receiver, but it will go back again to its former shrunken form; so the self righteousness of those who get out of the atmosphere of Christ and have no divine ideal with which to compare themselves. W/. M. Lisle: ?It is the mistake and disaster of the Christian world the effects are sought instead of causes.? George A. Gordon, Christ of Today, 28 ? ?Without the historical Christ and personal love for that Christ, the broad theology of our day will reduce itself to a dream, powerless to rouse a sleeping church.?
(c) In the importance to the preacher of definite and just views of Christian doctrine. His chief intellectual qualification must be the power clearly and comprehensively to conceive, and accurately and powerfully to express, the truth. He can be the agent of the Holy Spirit in converting and sanctifying men, only as he can wield ?the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God? ( <490617>Ephesians 6:17), or, in other language, only as he can impress truth upon the minds and consciences of his hearers. Nothing more certainly nullifies his efforts than confusion and inconsistency in his statements of doctrine. His object is to replace obscure and erroneous conceptions among his hearers by those, which are correct and vivid. He cannot do this without knowing the facts with regard to God in their relations ? knowing them, in short, as parts of a system. With this truth he is put in trust. To mutilate it or misrepresent it, is not only sin against the Revealer of it ? it may prove the ruin of men?s souls. The best safeguard against such mutilation or misrepresentation, is the diligent study of the
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