Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God—2 Cor. 7: 1.
How many of the prospective heirs of the Kingdom find that they have defilements along this line—malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, evil speaking! It is safe to say that everyone has some, if not all, of these weaknesses in the flesh to contend with, especially at the beginning of his entrance upon the Christian vocation. How carefully all should seek to put all these away! How each should scrutinize not only every act of life and every word and every thought, but, additionally, every motive underlying his words, thoughts and actions, so that they may be more and more purified from the earth's defilements and be more and more acceptable to the Lord!.
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By the filthiness of the flesh, the faults that root in, and are expressed by the body are meant, like the tobacco, narcotic and alcohol habits, unchastity, gluttony, bodily filthiness, etc. By the filthiness of the spirit, faults that root in, and are expressed by the mind are meant, like anger, hatred, malice, evil surmising, hypocrisy, covetousness, unbelief, despair, pride, etc. The promises that constitute the Oath-bound Covenant are the Divinely ordained means for cleansing us of the filthiness of the flesh and spirit; and the best method for the attainment of the cleansing is reverence for God, whereby we complete our consecration.
Parallel passages: 2Cor. 6: 17, 18; Gen. 22: 16-18; Psa. 51: 10; John 15: 3; 1John 1: 7-9; Gal. 5: 19-21; Eph. 4: 17-32; 5: 26; Col. 3: 5-9; Rom. 8: 1-14; 12: 2, 9-21; Gal. 5: 22-25; 6: 7-10; Col. 3: 10-17; 1Thes. 5: 11-22.
Questions: Did I this week seek to realize the exhortations of this text? How? With what effects?
SWEET HARMONY AT LAST
I SAT alone at the organ,
At the close of a troubled day,
When the sunset's crimson embers
On the western altar lay.
I was weary with vain endeavor,
My heart was ill at ease,
And I sought to soothe my sadness
With the voice of the sweet-toned keys.
My hands were weak and trembling,
My fingers all unskilled,
To render the grand old anthem
With which my soul was filled.
Through the long day's cares and worries,
I had dreamed of that glorious strain,
And I longed to hear the organ
Repeat it to me again.
It fell from mine untaught fingers
Discordant and incomplete,
I knew not how to express it,
Or to make the discord sweet;
So I toiled with patient labor
Till the last bright gleams were gone,
And the evening's purple shadows
Were gathering one by one.
Then a Master stood beside me,
And touched the noisy keys,
And lo! the discord vanished
And melted in perfect peace.
I heard the great organ pealing
My tune that I could not play,
The strains of the glorious anthem
That had filled my soul all day.
Down through the dim cathedral
The tide of music swept,
And through the shadowy arches
The lingering echoes crept;
And I stood in the purple twilight
And heard my tune again—
Not my feeble, untaught rendering,
But the master's perfect strain.
So I think, perchance, the Master,
At the close of life's weary day,
Will take from our trembling fingers
The tune that we cannot play;
He will hear through the jarring discord
The strain, although half expressed;
He will blend it in perfect music,
And add to it all the rest.
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