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Chapter 18—Hope for the Tempted
In order to reach excellency of character, we must realize the value
which Christ has placed upon the human race. In the beginning, man
was invested with dignity; but he fell through indulgence of appetite.
Notwithstanding the great gulf thus opened between God and man,
Christ loved the hopeless sinner, and came to our world to bridge the
gulf, and unite divine power to human weakness, that in his strength
and grace man might wrestle for himself against Satan’s temptations,
overcome for himself, and stand in his God-given manhood, a victor
over perverted appetite and degrading passions. The last words of
David to Solomon, then a young man and soon to be honored with
the throne of Israel, were, “Be thou strong, ... and show thyself a
man.” [
1 Kings 2:2
.] To the weak and tempted one I address the same,
“Show thyself a man.” I point you to the cross of Calvary. I bid you in
the name of Jesus, Look and live. Destroy not yourself. With God’s
blessing it is possible for you to gain the ascendency over appetite and
debasing passion.
God has made man capable of constant progress in everything
that constitutes mental and moral dignity. No other creature of his
hand is capable of such advancement. Man can reach an eminence
in self-control and dignity that will raise him above the slavery of
appetite and passion, where he can stand before God as a man, his
name written in the books of heaven.
Let the light of truth shine into the mind of a man, let the love of
God be shed abroad in his heart, and we can hardly conceive what he
may be or what God can do through him. Though a fallen son of Adam,
he may, through the merits of Christ, be an heir of immortality, his
thoughts elevated and ennobled, his heart purified, and his conversation
in heaven. Think, O, think of the superiority of an intelligent Christian
man over a poor votary of sin! Note the difference between man
blinded by sin, the victim of his own evil passions, and sunk in vice,
and a man reclaimed by the truth of God’s word, ennobled by looking