Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.—MATT. v. 20.
The freedom from all wilful sin,
The Christian’s daily task,—
Oh these are graces far below
What longing love would ask!
Dole not thy duties out to God.
F. W. FABER.
You perhaps will say that all people fall short of the perfection of the Gospel, and therefore you are content with your failings. But this is saying nothing to the purpose: for the question is not whether Gospel perfection can be fully attained, but whether you come as near it as a sincere intention and careful diligence can carry you. Whether you are not in a much lower state than you might be if you sincerely intended and carefully labored to advance yourself in all Christian virtues.
We know not exactly how low the least degree of obedience is, which will bring a man to heaven; but this we are quite sure of, that he who aims no higher will be sure to fall short even of that, and that he who goes farthest beyond it will be most blessed.