Posted By LAF Editor on December 29, 2015
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The Character of An Upright Man – Thomas Watson
“It is not the gift, but the heart God respects. ‘This people honour me with their lips, but their heart is removed far from me,’ Isa. 29:13, they did move, not live; like the finger that moves upon the dial, but there is no life within; or like the tombs in the church which have their eyes and hands lifted up to heaven, but no heart to animate that devotion; in religion that heart is all, Eph. 5:9. ‘Making melody in your hearts to the Lord.’ It is the heart [which] makes the music. The upright man gives God his heart. It is reported of Cranmer, that after his flesh and bones were consumed in the frame, his heart was found whole: so an upright man in the midst of infirmities, his heart is kept whole for God, he had not a heart and a heart; a heart for God, and a heart for sin. God loves a broken heart, not a divided heart.
Many unconverted men have a belief which is similar to faith, and yet it is not true faith. Certain persons exhibit pious affections which have the warmth of spiritual love, but are quite destitute of gracious life. Every grace can be counterfeited, even as jewels can be imitated. As paste gems are wonderfully like the real stones, so shame graces are marvelously like the work of the Spirit of God. In soul matters a man will need to have all his wits about him, or he will soon deceive his own heart. It is to be feared that many are already mistaken, and will never discover their delusion till they lift up their eyes in the world of woe, where their disappointment will be terrible indeed.
The dead child of nature may be carefully washed by its mother, but this will not make it the living child of grace. The life of God within the soul creates an infinite difference between the man who has it and the man who has it not; and the point is, to make sure that we have this life.
As God moulded the rest of the world into a beautiful frame, by the first stamp of His finger, so he did engrave upon the hearts of men suck a principle, as might be a perpetual bond and tie to unite the sons of men together. This was nothing else but the law of love, that principle fundamental law of our creation, love to God, founded on that essential dependence and subordination to God, and love to man, grounded upon that communion and interest in one image of God. All the commandments of the first and second table are but so many branches of these trees, or streams of these fountains. Therefore our Saviour gives a complete abridgment of the law of nature and the moral law, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind, this is the first and great commandment. The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,’ Matt. 22:37, 38, 39.