A Discourse, Delivered at Philadelphia, on the Twenty-Second Anniversary
Excerpt from A Discourse, Delivered at Philadelphia, on the Twenty-Second Anniversary: Of the American Sunday-School Union; May 17, 1846
"Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing" - Phil. iii. 15, 16.
This exhortation of the apostle is addressed to Christians, since he not only writes to such, but, in the very passage before us, addresses himself to "us, therefore," - that is, "as many as be perfect." By "perfect" the apostle does not mean perfection in holiness, since he had but just before declared, that he laboured "not as though he had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
By being "perfect," therefore, the apostle means being truly Christians, true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and true partakers of his blood, and of all the benefits of his righteousness, his Spirit and his interceding love.
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A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind
A Discourse, Delivered Before the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States