Man?s volition is practically the shadow of his affections. It is as useless to think of a man?s volition separating itself from his affections, and drawing him towards God, as it is to think of a man?s shadow separating itself from him and leading him in the opposite direction to that in which he is going. Man?s affections, to use Calvin?s words, are like horses that have thrown off the charioteer and are running wildly, they need a new hand to direct them. Disease requires administration by a physician. We do not stop a locomotive engine by applying force to the wheels, but by reversing the lever. So the change in man must be, not in the transient volition, but in the deeper springs of action ? the fundamental bent of the affections and will. See Henslow, Evolution, 134. Shakespeare, All?s Well that Ends Well, 2:1:149 ? ?It is not so with Him that all things knows, As ?t is with us that square our guess with shows; But most it is presumption in us when The help of heaven we count the act of men.?
Henry Clay said that he did not know for himself personally what the change of heart spoken of by Christians meant but he had seen Kentucky family feuds of long standing healed by religious revivals and that whatever could heal a Kentucky family feud was more than human. Mr. Peter Harvey was a lifelong friend of Daniel Webster. He wrote a most interesting volume of reminiscenses of the great man. He tells how one John Colby married the oldest sister of Mr. Webster. Said Mr. Webster of John Colby: ?Finally he went up to Andover, New Hampshire, and bought a farm and the only recollection I have about him is that he was called the wickedest man in the neighborhood, so far as swearing and impiety went. I used to wonder how my sister could marry so profane a man as John Colby.? Years afterwards news comes to Mr. Webster that a wonderful change has passed upon John Colby. Mr. Harvey and Mr. Webster journeyed together to visit John Colby. As Mr. Webster enters John Colby?s house, he sees open before him a large-print Bible, which he has just been reading. When greetings have been interchanged, the first question John Colby asks of Mr. Webster is, ?Are you a Christian?? And then, at John Colby?s suggestion, the two men kneel and pray together. When the visit is done, this is what Mr. Webster says to Mr. Harvey as they ride away: ?I should like to know what the enemies of religion would say to John Colby?s conversion. There was a man as unlikely, humanly speaking, to become a Christian as any man I ever saw. He was reckless, heedless, wicked, never attended church, never experienced the good influence of associating with religious people. And here he has been living on in that reckless way until he has got to be an old man, until a period of life when you naturally would not expect his habits to change. And yet he has been brought into the condition in which we have seen him today, a
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