February the Seventeenth Blessings and Cursings
"He read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings." -- JOSHUA viii.30-35.

We are inclined to read only what pleases us, to hug the blessings and to ignore the warnings. We bask in the light, we close our eyes to the lightning. We recount the promises, we shut our ears to the rebukes. We love the passages which speak of our Master's gentleness, we turn away from those which reveal His severity. And all this is unwise, and therefore unhealthy. We become spiritually soft and anaemic. We lack moral stamina. We are incapable of noble hatred and of holy scorn. We are invertebrate, and on the evil day we are not able to stand.

We must read "all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings." We must let the Lord brace us with His severities. We must gaze steadily upon the appalling fearfulness of sin, and upon its terrific issues. At all costs we must get rid of the spurious gentleness that holds compromise with uncleanness, that effeminate affection which is destitute of holy fire. We must seek the love which burns everlastingly against all sin; we must seek the gentleness which can fiercely grip a poisonous growth and tear it out to its last hidden root. We must seek that holy love which is as a "consuming fire."

february the sixteenth crowding out
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