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A world contrary to God must be kept within bounds by the world's sword. But true Christians love God and their neighbors as themselves; they commit no evil by the grace of God. It is not necessary to compel them to goodness since they know better what is good than the law imposing authority.
You think you're a very clever fellow, don't you? Saldur challenged. No, Your Grace, Merrick replied. Clever is the man who makes a fortune selling dried-up cows, explaining how it saves the farmers the trouble of getting up every morning to milk them. I'm not clever—I'm a genius.
Thunderously, inarguably, the Sermon on the Mount proves that before God we all stand on level ground: murderers and temper-throwers, adulterers and lusters, thieves and coveters. We are all desperate, and that is in fact the only state appropriate to a human being who wants to know God. Having fallen from the absolute Ideal, we have nowhere to land but in the safety net of absolute grace.
For here we are so blind and foolish that we never seek God until he, of his goodness, shows himself to us. It is when we do see something of him by his grace that we are stirred by that same grace to seek him, and with earnest longing to see still more of his blessedness. So I saw him and sought him; I had him and wanted him. It seems to me that this is and should be an experience common to us all.
For, since the fall of Adam had brought disgrace upon all his posterity, God restores those, whom He separates as His own, so that their condition may be better than that of all other nations. At the same time it must be remarked, that this grace of renewal is effaced in many who have afterwards profaned it
Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to someone new, that person's name suddenly pops up everywhere you go? My friend Sophie calls it coincidence, and Mr. Simpless, my parson friend, calls it Grace. He thinks that if one cares deeply about someone or something new one throws a kind of energy out into the world, and "fruitfulness" is drawn in.