The evidence of our acceptance in the Beloved arises in proportion to our love, to our repentance, to our humility, to our faith, to our self-denial, to our delight in duty. Other evidence than this the Bible knows notGod has not given.
In what way, or by what manner of working, God changes a soul from evil to good, how He impregnates the barren rock the priceless gems and goldis to the human mind an impenetrable mystery, in all cases alike.
Conversion is not, as some suppose, a violent opening of the heart by grace, in which will, reason and judgment are all ignored or crushed. The reason is not blinded, but enlightened; and the whole man is made to act with a glorious liberty which it never knew till it fell under the restraints of grace.
This is always the way in which the reality of Christian conversion evidences itself. It makes the selfish man charitable; the churlish, liberal; and implants in the soul, which hitherto has cared only for the things belonging to himself, a disposition to seek also the things of others.
Conversion goes on more prosperously in Tanjore and other provinces, where there are no Europeans, than in Tranquebar, where they are numerous; for we find that European example in the large towns is the bane of Christian instruction.
As to the value of conversions, God alone can judge. God alone can know how wide are the steps which the soul has to take before it can approach to a community with Him, to the dwelling of the perfect, or to the intercourse and friendship of higher natures.
Follow me! The publican rose up. This implies immediate action. It was now or never with him. So you must act with prompt obedience. He did the first thing Jesus bade him do. Are you willing to do as much? If not, you are deciding against Christ, and that means death.
In every sound convert the judgment is brought to approve of the laws and ways of Christ, and subscribe to them as most righteous and reasonable; the desire of the heart is to know the whole mind of Christ; the free and resolved choice of the heart is determined for the ways of Christ, before all the pleasures of sin, and prosperities of the world; it is the daily care of his life to walk with God.
I have known men who thought the object of conversion was to cleanse them as a garment is cleansed, and that when they are converted they were to be hung up in the Lords wardrobe, the door of which was to be shut, so that no dust could get at them. A coat that is not used the moths eat; and a Christian who is hung up so that he shall not be tempted, the moths eat him; and they have poor food at that.
Should you suffer your weary soul this day to sink into the arms of that Saviour who rejoices to pardon and is mighty to save, the first entrance of such a word, and the first response of such a faith, would be the date of your better life and the commencement of your union to Christ. The graft has taken. At first the juncture may be very slighta single thread or fiberand it is not till you try to part them that you find that they are knit together; that their life is one, and that the force which plucks away the graft must also wound the vine. And your faith may yet be no more than a single filament. It may be only one point of attachment by which you are joined to the Lord Jesus. It may be only one solitary sentence, one isolated invitation or promise, of which you have undoubting hold. But hold it fast. If it be the word of Jesus, cling to it.