The thankful Christian will turn with true delight to the expression of Joseph Addison in his Thanksgiving hymn, "When All Thy Mercies, 0 My God," found in many of the better hymnals. Addison gives a mental image that requires music for its expression: Ten thousand thousand precious gifts My daily thanks employ; Nor is the least a cheerful heart That tastes these gifts with joy! Here is the spirit of thanksgiving. Here is the understanding of what pleases God in our acceptance and use of His gifts. "A cheefful heart that tastes these gifts with joy" is the only kind of heart that can taste them safely. While Addison had in mind chiefly the gifts God showers upon us here below, he was too much of a Christian to think that God's gifts would cease at death. So he sang: Through every period of my life Thy goodness I'll pursue; And after death in distant worlds, The glorious theme renew!
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Truth is like a bird; it cannot fly on one wing. Yet we are forever trying to take off with one wing flapping furiously and the other tucked neatly out of sight. Many of the doctrinal divisions among the churches are the result of a blind and stubborn insistence that truth has but one wing. Each side holds tenaciously to one text, refusing grimly to acknowledge the validity of the other. This error is an evil among churches, but it is a real tragedy when it gets into the hearts of individual Christians and begins to affect their devotional lives. One thing hidden in such teachings as have been mentioned above is unconscious spiritual pride. The Christian who refuses to confess sin on the ground that it is already forgiven is setting himself above prophet and psalmist and all the saints who have left anything on record about themselves from Paul to the present time. These did not hide their sins behind a syllogism, but eagerly and fully confessed them. Perhaps that is why they were such great souls and those who claim to have found a better way are so small. And one has but to note the smug smile of superiority on the face of the one-prayer Christian to sense that there is a lot of pride behind the smile. While other Christians wrestle with God in an agony of intercession they sit back in humble pride waiting it out. They do not pray because they have already prayed. The devil has no fear of such Christians. He has already won over them, and his technique has been false logic. Let's use both wings. We'll get further that way.
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