Wilberforce: a false economy
Commemoration of William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, 1833
[Jesus:] “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
—Matthew 7:24-27 (KJV)
It is indeed a most lamentable consequence of the practice of regarding religion as a compilation of statutes, and not as an internal principle, that it soon comes to be considered as being conversant about external actions rather than about habits of mind. This sentiment sometimes has even the hardiness to insinuate and maintain itself under the guise of extraordinary concern for practical religion; but it soon discovers the falsehood of this pretension, and betrays its real nature. The expedient indeed of attaining to superiority in practice, by not wasting any of the attention on the internal principles from which alone practice can flow, is about as reasonable, and will answer about as well, as the economy of the architect, who should account it mere prodigality to expend any of his materials in laying foundations, from an idea that they might be more usefully applied to the rising of the superstructure. We know what would be the fate of such ! an edifice.
... William Wilberforce (1759-1833), A Practical View, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1829, p. 167 (see the book)
See also Matt. 7:24-27; Luke 6:48-49; 14:28-30; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; Eph. 2:19-22
Quiet time reflection:
Lord, make a strong foundation in me.
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