)The onward movement of the soulPaxton Hood.Man is the creature of the same senses; he beholds the same sun, the same streams, and flying clouds; youth succeeds to infancy, and the festival of nature is followed by decay. What a petty world such a man must live in; under what a low sky he must walk; in what, a muggy atmosphere he must breathe. II. They are therefore in danger of perishing. He finds the pen too slow, hence his types and cylinders scatter libraries. Nor of regenerated men only is the thought true — of all men who retain amid their moral ruins some lines of the mutilated Divine image — is this a characteristic. "(Professor Eadie. D.)This one thing I doConcentrationJ. Maclaren, D. D.)The importance of a high aimF. Our faces look forwards that we may see the path we are about to tread instead of looking only on the path already trodden. The summer leaves that are cherished must drop off as well as the winter leaves that cherished them. In middle life they wrought marvels, but now they rest on their oars. Oh, is it not sad when the onward movement of the soul is forgotten! It is vain to tell the believer to forget the things that are behind, to discard the preparatory means by which he advances in piety by a mere temporary effort of will. We must hear the voice of the Master, saying, Thy brother, thy sister, thy child shall rise again. On the outside they are covered with dry, glossy scales, which are true leaves of the lowest type. But not at this initiatory stage merely is there to be a discarding of the things that are behind. Buxton. Nor would it be well if it could. The past is the sculptor, the ten thousand touches of whose chisel have given to our present lives the shapes they wear; it is the painter too that has coloured these forms with every tint and hue they bear. They emerge from the sea which has swallowed up so much else. And so he reached forth unto those things which were before.II. He must use them. How she throws aside the seaweed and the waves — how straight amidst the currents she holds her bow — how she strains upon her way, and goes resolutely to her point! He cannot do so. We often find the former, e.g., God's mercies are to be remembered as a theme of gratitude; past sins to produce penitence; former history as ground of warning and hope (Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 8:2; Deuteronomy 9:7; Psalm 77:5; Psalm 103:2; Ezekiel 16:63). Follow him out into the new world which that volume has flashed upon his soul. M. Punshon, LL. And evermore afterwards he journeyed towards that city. Why should you carry about parched corn when you dwell among fields white unto harvest? D.)This one thing I doConcentrationJ. Wadsworth. (Principal Tullock. Baxendale.The Confederate General Longstreet, during the battle of Gettysburg, had one of his generals come up to him and report that he was unable to bring up his men again so as to charge the enemy. It is amazing how soon when we cease to forget the things that are behind, and remain stationary we degenerate. "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three."2. Past enjoyments.6. "First the blade," etc. THERE ARE TWO WAYS IN WHICH WE MAY MAKE RELIGION ONE THING.1. Multitudes of Christians are content just to be saved — to get inside the heavenly gate. An extending and improving influence on society.5. Such is only the case when a kind of sickness has come over human speculation. He also said that he know the secret of being short. And as the young green leaves within expand in the genial atmosphere, the services of the bud scales, or covering leaves, are no longer needed, and by and by they roll away, and fall one by one from the tree, strewing the ground beneath till it looks like a threshing floor. He forgot them in the sense of neglecting them. This is the language of a man who has laid aside forever the doubt of his acceptance with God, of Christ's ability to save, of his Master's constant presence and guiding spirit. None of them ever entertained more than one great aim or purpose of being. Some of you did once live for another object — pleasure, self, sin. Deadness to all human ambitions and merely earthly good. The sun was just rising. It is through loss that all gain in this world is made. God has gone that way. It means that there is a future and a God. M. Whiton, Ph. (3) What God works in the great whole, we are to work in our part. Up to whatever point we have run our race we have accumulated experience which has entered into life's texture and given it direction and colour which it will more or less always keep. D.I. (1) They are apt to become food for complacency and every vain confidence. As one must continue to the end.4. Victories achieved; temptations resisted elated Samson to his hurt. A man cannot run with his eyes over his shoulder; he is sure to knock against somebody, and so be delayed and hindered. H. Spurgeon.A neighbour near my study persists in practising upon the flute. The world is good for an inn; but an inn is not a home; and it is unwise to lay any plan of life in which provision is not made for the infinite future of the soul. LET HOPES FOR THE FUTURE AND LESSONS FROM THE PAST LEAD TO STRENUOUS WORK FOR THE PRESENT. D. Hoge, D. D.)The sense in which the past cannot be forgottenM. Some do not see their opportunities because their eyes are shut: some see their opportunities but do not use them, because they are indolent or their talents rusty from long disuse.2. Admire our apostle as —I. We may all be trying to be like Jesus Christ, whatever may be the material at which we toil.(A. He may not have known much trouble, but he has to undergo the discipline of suffering. )Memory, hope, and workA. It is essential to do everything in order, and only grasp that which is within the reach of your arm; for otherwise you give yourself useless trouble. A definite prospect of duty opens up within which the man must work, and find his happiness in working. A man may determine to have nothing to do with anything not essentially religious.2. There is a circular movement in which all motions turn on themselves, and return to the point from whence they first set out, and then there is an onward movement, as when the whole system is borne upward into infinite space. How wonderfully the preacher in Ecclesiastes describes this circular movement (chap. It is through loss that all gain in this world is made. E. Jenkins, LL. The increase of itself.4. A. Alexander, D. D.If the spark which grace has kindled had been left to itself, or to the feeble breath of mortals to preserve it, we might well suppose that nothing more than its continued existence was intended; but when we find an unbroken current of life-giving air from the breath of the Almighty brought to play upon that spark, we may conclude with safety that it was meant to glow and kindle to a flame, and that the flame was meant to rise and spread, and to become a conflagration; so that what at first was but a seed of fire, smothered in ashes, drenched in rain, or blown at random by the viewless winds, shall yet light up the whole horizon, and dye the very heavens with its crimson.(J. The bud then dies, and the branch withers and becomes fit for the burning. He also said that he know the secret of being short. A.)ProgressJ. Maclaren, D. D.You find some certain type of Christian character, or exercise of Christian grace, that is easy and natural to you, and you come to know how to do it. (Principal Tullock. Be the past and future what they may, I cannot reach the one nor forget the other except by setting myself with all my might to present duties and by reducing all duties to various forms of one life purpose.2. — So far as acceptance with God is concerned a Christian is complete in Christ as soon as he believes. THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS BEFORE EVERY CHURCH. "(Professor Eadie. 3. (1) So must it be with past sins overcome. "Be ye perfect." When a man thinks of his moral condition, he says, "I am as good as the average of my neighbours." — So far as acceptance with God is concerned a Christian is complete in Christ as soon as he believes. But in Christian life, every moment and every act is an opportunity for doing the one thing of becoming Christ-like. )Pressing forwardA. The whole soul, purpose, and trend of life must be in the direct line of daily striving.3. (J M. Whiton, Ph. So of all things physical and intellectual. And so every experience through which we pass, every act we perform, goes into the very substance of our being, and we can never be after it what we were before it. Among those who travel constantly on foot, have you ever observed any who run? Why should you carry about parched corn when you dwell among fields white unto harvest? (2) But the one sort do not all live where civilization prevails, nor do the others in lands where barbarism is dominant. Yonder friend is very humble, but if he were to boast of it there would be an end of it. PAUL'S MEANING AS TO THE PRIZE WAS A PERSONAL RESEMBLANCE TO CHRIST, AND A DESIRE TO BE NEAR HIM. Yes, and you ate your dinner twenty years ago; will that serve to strengthen you for today? is it in the increase of the superior quality of material appliances? To that supreme beauty our nature is capable of unlimited approach. D.He has a purpose that miner's son. Both are past; why remember them? Those who, like yourself, desire to do everything in one day, do nothing to the end of their lives, while others who steadily adhere to one pursuit find that they have accomplished their purpose. The easiest way to give resurrection to old corruptions is to erect a trophy over their graves. Then there is to be a distinct recognition of moral perfection as our conscious aim, and our efforts are allowably stimulated by the hope of the fair reward it ensures. The world is good for an inn; but an inn is not a home; and it is unwise to lay any plan of life in which provision is not made for the infinite future of the soul. The student is riot doing the one thing of student life when he has ceased to think or read. All sorts of backward looking are a positive weakness and impediment to a man in running a race. The errors and doubts that marked his first approach to Christ. M. Whiton, Ph. Martin., D. King, LL. In middle life they wrought marvels, but now they rest on their oars. "Forget the things which are behind." (3) Having obtained faith in Jesus and adoption into God's family, they ought to give all diligence to add to their faith courage to confess it. There is no growth before a hypocrite any more than there is in an artificial flower. A. Alexander, D. D.If the spark which grace has kindled had been left to itself, or to the feeble breath of mortals to preserve it, we might well suppose that nothing more than its continued existence was intended; but when we find an unbroken current of life-giving air from the breath of the Almighty brought to play upon that spark, we may conclude with safety that it was meant to glow and kindle to a flame, and that the flame was meant to rise and spread, and to become a conflagration; so that what at first was but a seed of fire, smothered in ashes, drenched in rain, or blown at random by the viewless winds, shall yet light up the whole horizon, and dye the very heavens with its crimson.(J. how civilization leans on morality? ST. PAUL EXHORTED THE HEBREW CHRISTIANS TO LEAVE THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, AND TO GO ON TO PERFECTION. All right-minded men should have their gaze so far on the future that they may hope to become better and have more enthusiasm and patient continuance in well doing. That the best of men do not talk of their attainments. The summer leaves that are cherished must drop off as well as the winter leaves that cherished them. The material system of nature will some day be dissolved. Inactivity renders useless the summer leaves; and growth supersedes the winter leaves.I. W. Robertson, M. A.Perfection is being, not doing — it is not to effect an act but to achieve a character. (3) Having obtained faith in Jesus and adoption into God's family, they ought to give all diligence to add to their faith courage to confess it. The bird must forget its nest, the seed its husk, the flower its bud. He had a higher and truer ambition.III. The labourer leaves his work undone when the spade is not in his hand, and he sits beneath the hedge to rest. Oh, is it not sad when the onward movement of the soul is forgotten! And it was with a sore wrench that St. Paul tore himself away from all his former cherished associations.5. A man cannot run with his eyes over his shoulder; he is sure to knock against somebody, and so be delayed and hindered. )Singleness of aimConfucius' son once said to him, "I apply myself with diligence to every kind of study, and neglect nothing that could render me clever and ingenious; but still I do not advance." It is through loss that all gain in this world is made. (Archdeacon Farrar. Start afresh.(J. And though he did other things, yet the one great thought, moving as a glorious dream through all his chambers of imagery, was something that would float upon stormy and shoreless seas! His idea was an ark! Maclaren, D. D.No bounds can be set to that progress of growth. Were we to forget past knowledge, ours would be the ignorance of infancy; if past experiences were obliterated, our imbecility would be that of idiocy. When, under a tropical sun, he ruled 50,000,000 of Asiatics, his hopes, amidst all the cares of war, finance, and legislation, still pointed to Daylesford, the possession of it being the summit of his ambition. And then, lest knowledge should puff up, there should follow self-discipline, meek endurance, fervent piety towards God, and charity to men.II. "The power of a single aimC. Paul had too much common sense and manliness, and moreover had a real work to do.2. The one are not without remedy, the other not perfect. They emerge from the sea which has swallowed up so much else. But these means are not to be cherished as if they were the end. What you have to do now is to throw as much heart into the new purpose as you did once into the old.III. The continuity of life cannot be divided at any point. Of attainments. And what is unity? H. These winter leaves that cherished and nourished our growth in grace must drop off from time to time, with each new attainment that we "may rise on stepping stones of our dead selves to nobler things."3. Maclaren, D. D.There may have been floating in the apostle's mind, combined with the image of the racer, some remembrance of the old story in the Book of Genesis about Lot's wife. HOW THE GREAT PRIZE IS TO BE WON. Wadsworth. He, too, did other things; he trained his servants, commanded his household after him, etc. (1) They are apt to become food for complacency and every vain confidence. Remembering always tends to become a substitute for doing. The exclusive way. Mark the confidence of his personal feelings when he finds occasion to impart them — "I know whom I have believed." All right-minded men should have their gaze so far on the future that they may hope to become better and have more enthusiasm and patient continuance in well doing. That purpose is the Reformation. The white faces of the crowd around the course are seen as in a flash as he rushes past them to the winning post, and the parsley garland that hangs there is all that he is conscious of. D. Hoge, D. D.)Christian progress impelled by a single purposeJ. "We know that...we shall be like Him. )Things behindJ. Before the Church, therefore, is — 1 The real, conscious, manifested unity of all its members. There is no growth before a hypocrite any more than there is in an artificial flower. The fellowship of the Spirit in all its perfection.5. AS REGARDED HIS OWN IMPROVEMENT. Paul's entire life was an illustration of the text. The conclusion was dissatisfaction; nor was this to be regretted: it was a sign of true grace. They are not, indeed, to be dropped as mere bud scales, as mere means to an end — for they are the basis upon which all the subsequent efforts of the spiritual life are to be made. 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