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Where there is love there is true devotion. There is true devotion when the object of love is God.
I. False devotion. People are apt to deceive themselves and suppose themselves to be devout when they are nothing of the sort. One is given to much frequenting of church, yet her heart all the while is full of rancour against a neighbour. Another mortifies and denies himself food and sleep, but takes no little pride in his austerities, and flatters himself he is becoming a saint. Another again is liberal in charities, but is chary of forgiveness to one who has wronged him.
II. True devotion consists in an eminent degree of love, which makes us prompt, active, and diligent in the observance of God's commandments. He who loves grieves to offend the person loved. True devotion is not acquired all at once, but as it grows it exhibits the three characteristics of contrition, love of prayer, self-sacrifice.
III. True devotion may be obtained
a. By acquiring a love of God and a hatred of sin.
b. By constant recollection, or abiding in the presence of God.
c. By oblation of all we do and all we suffer to Him.
d. By frequent and exact purification of conscience.
e. By frequent communion.
S. Baring-Gould, Sermon-Sketches, p. 191.
References. II. 19. A. P. Manley, Sermons on Special Occasions, p. 310. S. Baring-Gould, One Hundred Sermon-Sketches, p. 191. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii. No. 59. III. 16. T. Hooke, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxv. p. 325.
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Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Lamentations 2". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27