"Listening to the Past – Lessons from Andrew Fuller" 4

This quote comes from a submission that Fuller sent to the “Biblical Magazine.” In it he is discussing the progressiveness of sin and holiness. In typical Fuller fashion, he gives a number of supporting arguments for his case. In this instance it revolves around the tendency of true holiness to aspire after perfection.

This is the fourth argument, taken then from “Progressiveness of Sin and Holiness” (The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller, II:665).

“Fourthly, Holy acts tend to form and strengthen holy habits, which constitute the highest degree of holiness.– In one sense every person who is the subject of true religion possess a holy habit: religion with him is not occasional, but an habitual pursuit. But the term is more properly applied to those fixed dispositions of the soul which are the effect of repeated exercises. God has so formed the mind, that a number of acts of the same kind, whether good or evil, shall give a tone or direction to it: by this righteousness is encouraged and sin is punished. Every exercise of repentance goes to form an habitual tenderness of consceince, and abhorrency of that which is evil; and every exercise of faith tends to a life of faith on Him who loved us, and gave himself for us. The more we read the Holy Scriptures, the more we shall imbibe their spirit, and be formed by them as a by a model. It is thus that the word of Christ dwells richly in us in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. It is worthy of notice, that the general strain of apostolic exhortation is directed to habitual religion. ‘Simplicity in giving, diligence in ruling, cheerfulness in showing mercy, love without dissimulation, abhorrence of evil, cleaving to that which is good, being kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of the saints, given to hospitality;’ are all expressive, not of one or two particular acts, but of a life of devotedness to God, and kindness to men. And whatever acts the apostles exhorted to, they were considered only as so many steps in a race, each of which contributed to its success, or to the winning of the prize (Emphasis in original).”

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