illustrate by the engineer who climbs over the cab into a runaway locomotive and who changes its course, not by adding any new rod or cog to the machine, but simply by reversing the lever. The engine slows up and soon moves in an opposite direction to that in which it has been going. Man needs no new faculty of love; he needs only to have his love set in a new and holy direction. This is virtually to give him a new birth, to make him a new creature, to impart to him a new life. But being born again, created anew, made alive from the dead, are physical metaphors, to be interpreted not literally but spiritually.
(c) It is objected, indeed, that we know only of mental substance and of mental acts and that the new disposition or state just mentioned, since it is not an act, must be regarded as a new substance and so they lack all moral quality. But we reply that, besides substance and acts, there are habits, tendencies and proclivities (some of them native and some of them acquired). They are voluntary and have moral character. If we can by repeated acts originate sinful tendencies, God can surely originate in us holy tendencies. Such holy tendencies formed a part of the nature of Adam, as he came from the hand of God. As the result of the Fall, we are born with tendencies toward evil for which we are responsible. Regeneration is a restoration of the original tendencies toward God, which were lost by the Fall. Such holy tendencies (tastes, dispositions and affections) are not only not immoral ? they are the only possible springs of right moral action. Only in the restoration of them does man become truly free.
<401233> Matthew 12:33 ? ?Make the tree good, and its fruit good?;
<490210> Ephesians 2:10 ? ?created in Christ Jesus for good works.? The tree is first made good ? the character renewed in its fundamental principle, love to God ? in the certainty that when this is done the fruit will be good also. Good works are the necessary result of regeneration by union with Christ. Regeneration introduces a new force into humanity, the force of a new love. The work of the preacher is that of cooperation with God in the impartation of a new life. This is a work far more radical and is more noble than that of moral reform, by as much as the origination of a new force is more radical and more noble than the guidance of that force after it has been originated. Does regeneration cure disease and remove physical ills? Primarily, no it does not. <400121>Matthew 1:21 ? ?thou shalt call his name Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins.? Salvation from sin is Christ?s first and main work. He performed physical healing only to illustrate and further the healing of the soul. Hence in the case of the paralytic, when he was expected to cure the body, he said first: ?thy sins are forgiven? ( <400902>Matthew 9:2); but, that they who stood by
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Character-Building Thought Power by Ralph Waldo Trine. Ralph draws a distinct line between bad and good habits. In this book, every effort is made by the writer to explain what comprises good habits and why every one needs it early in life. It draws the conclusion that habits nurtured in early life concretize into impulses in future for the good or bad of the subject.