Friday, July 19, 2019

Law: natural delight in religion

Friday, July 19, 2019
    Feast of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, & his sister Macrina, Teachers, c.394 & c.379
    In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.
    —1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (NIV)
    When religion is in the hands of the mere natural man, he is always the worse for it; it adds a bad heat to his own dark fire, and helps to inflame his four elements of selfishness, envy, pride, and wrath. And hence it is that worse passions, or a worse degree of them, are to be found in persons of great religious zeal, than in others that made no pretences to it. History also furnishes us with instances of persons of great piety and devotion, who have fallen into great delusions, and deceived both themselves and others. The occasion of their fall was this: ... They considered their whole nature, as the subject of religion, and divine graces; and therefore their religion was according to the workings of their whole nature, and the old man was as busy, and as much delighted in it, as the new.
    ... William Law (1686-1761), Christian Regeneration [1739], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. V, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 168 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 11:18-19; Matt. 23:25-26; Eph. 4:17-27
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You must help me to crucify the old man.
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