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To be near unto God - pagina 267

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To be near unto God - pagina 267

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even then conversion is effected by the work of Divine grace in the soul, and suffering in connection with this is merely an accidental means of aid. As Job sat among the ashes his wife did not hesitate to say to him; "Curse God, and die," And it is only the soul, which like that of the Psalmist, is a subject of heavenly grace, that is

able, after deliverance from trouble, to confess before God: "Before I was afflicted I went astray:

but

now,

being

instructed,

I

keep

thy

word"

(Ps. 119:67).

In joyous and prosperous times conditions are w^orse. As a rule they who live at ease are farther estranged from God, than thej* who have to work for daily bread. The sharply drawn antithesis between the rich man and poor Lazarus has been verified in all ages and among all peoples. Radiant beauty, abounding health, unbroken prosperity in one's career or busine^, great happiness at home, abundance of material wealth, so that care and trouble were unknown, have almost never seemed able to foster true godliness. They rather fortified a man in his selfsuflaciency, in the high estimate of his own self, and drew the soul away from God, rather than that by them the soul felt itself drawn toward him. Such has been the case with individual persons, with whole families and nations. When there was peace, and national power grew so that the people revelled in wealth, they went with equal pace almost always spiritually backwards. When the Dutch had to fight hard and long for spiritual liberty, religion and public morals stood high. But when in the 18th century gold streamed in from every side, and wealth became the law of still

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van maandag 1 januari 1900

Abraham Kuyper Collection | 628 Pagina's

To be near unto God - pagina 267

Bekijk de hele uitgave van maandag 1 januari 1900

Abraham Kuyper Collection | 628 Pagina's

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