Christian Character

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The courage, patience, firmness, and zeal of a Christian are a perfectly distinct order of character from the courage, firmness, patience, and zeal of a natural man—self-confidence, self-glory, self-preservation, self-exaltation, are the essential principles of one; confidence in God, self-renunciation, subjection to God, glory to God, abasement of self, being essential principles of the other. So the essential principles that formed the character of Paul as a natural man were destroyed through the cross, in order that his soul should imbibe the life of Christ, which was the principle that formed his character as a Christian—"I am crucified with. Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Though Christ was a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered. In any instance in which we give up our own wills without sacrificing conscience, we are gainers. If but my dog exercises my patience and makes me yield my will, he is a blessing to me. Christ never willed anything but what was good and holy; yet how often His will was thwarted, how often hindered in designs of good! "How often would I have gathered thy children together.... and ye would not!" (Matt. 23:3737O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37)).