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History Column


Dr. Ch.Finney

5) Selfishness in all its forms. Here is the great roof of all the difficulty. The is the foundation, the fountain, the substance and sum total of all the iniquity under heaven. Watch here, look out constantly, see where self comes out in your conduct, and there set a guard. If you are making a bargain, see to it that you do not act from selfish motives. Deal just as you would do if you were dying. do as you would be done by.

If you find you are disposed to act selfishly, show down the gate, stop there. If you are about to deal in any other way than you would if God stood visibly before you–STOP. The devil is in that bargain. You will never grow in grace unless you are exceedingly on your guard against self in your bargains. If you find this mighty self coming in to interfere, bid him to stand away. “Stand away, self, you are not to speak here, I am doing business for God.” You cannot grow in grace, until you stop the mouth of this “self.”

6) Sloth. This is an evil, great enough to ruin the world. How many converts stop and decline by sloth. In plain terms they get lazy. Like idle servants, they saunter about as if they had nothing to do, but will not take hold of the work, they are mere eye-servants, unprofitable enough, a moth to the church.

7) Envy. If you see others going ahead of you in prosperity, in influence or in talents, examine your feelings, and see whether you are pleased at it. If the sight gives you pain, or makes you uneasy, beware.

8) Ambition. By this sin angels fell, and it is impossible to grow in grace without suppressing it.

9) Impure thoughts. We are so much under the influence of sensible objects that unless we watch diligently, before we are aware, we are perverted with impure thoughts.

 It is necessary to make a covenant with our eyes, and with our ears too, and all our senses, or they will prove the inlet of temptation and sin. If you find yourself in danger, turn your thoughts away instantly. If you let your mind run on, it is impossible you should avoid impure thoughts. Here is the responsibility, the will can control the thoughts, you can think of one thing or you can think of another, as you please, and thus control your emotions, and therefore you are responsible for them.

Let an individual suffer his thoughts to dwell on a subject, and cannot but be affected by it, and he is responsible for the effect because he can govern his thoughts. In all such cases, I tell you, GO AWAY, turn off your mind, or impure thoughts will fester in your soul, till they prove a gangrene.

(To be continued)