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To be near unto God - pagina 409

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years, as a rule, stand so much higher? Is the oldest child in the family always farthest advanced in grace? Observe particularly certain defects in character, certain well-known weaknesses and little sins, that showed themselves unpleasantly in a child of God, ten or twenty years ago. Meeting such a brother or sister again after this interval of years, is the change marked as a rule, and is it observed with joy, that all these unpleasant sins and defects are gone without leaving any trace? Or is it not rather true that after twenty and more years you find all too often in your acquaintances and friends, yea, in your own children and parents the same limited grace, which you mourned in them before, and this gift of grace as intricately bound up with the same thorns and thistles as before? Moreover, when you consider yourself, and examine your own life before the face of God, are you not bound to confess with

shame, that sometimes ten long years have advanced you no single step in spiritual growth, and that the old weeds still flourish with old-time luxuriance in the field of the heart within? What is the ordinary course of things? Is it not that one becomes converted; that after conversion he concentrates his mind and soul on holy things, and in all sorts of ways acts differently than before, and that in doing this he becomes conscious of a rupture with his past and the beginnings of a new life. At first it is even too ideally strung, so that after a few brief years a calmer state ensues. And this stage of the life of grace in most cases becomes permanent. It re-

mains what it is, but growth there is none. One feeds on what was gained as spiritual capital in 405

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van dinsdag 1 januari 1918

Abraham Kuyper Collection | 620 Pagina's

To be near unto God - pagina 409

Bekijk de hele uitgave van dinsdag 1 januari 1918

Abraham Kuyper Collection | 620 Pagina's

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