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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

The gospel is neither believed nor preached in the churches.

In fact, it is hid from their eyes; and the time is come to break off the wild olive branch for its saplessness; to cut off these churches for their unbelief.

The principle, or spirit, that works in these children of disobedience, is neither the law of sin as exhibited in the savage; nor the law of God as it appears in the genuine disciples of Christ.

It is a blending of the two; so as to make of none effect the little truth believed, as far as inheriting the Kingdom of God is concerned.

This proportion of truth in the public mind is the measure of its morality, and exegetical of its conscience; and constitutes that scintillation, or "light within," which is struck out by the collision of ideas in the world around.

Educational bias makes men what they are -- sinners, whose habitude of thought and action is "pious," or impious, civilized or savage, according to the school in which their young ideas have been taught to shoot.

The divine law and testimony alone can turn these into reflectors of the moral image and similitude of God.

The "intellect" and "sentiments" of the apostle's brain, constituting "the fleshly tablet of his heart," had been inscribed by the Spirit of the living God, in a way that all believers are not the subject of.

He was inspired; and consequently received much of "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God" by divine suggestion, or revelation; others receive the same knowledge, in words spoken, or written, by "earthen vessels" like himself, in whom "this treasure" was deposited.

The means by which the knowledge is communicated matters not, so that it is written on the heart.

When it gets possession of this, it forms that "mind" or mode of thinking or feeling (nou`") with which the apostle said he "served the Law of God".

Being renewed by the divine testimony, his intellect and sentiments were sure to think and feel in harmony with the thoughts of God.

Nevertheless, his "propensities" were only checked in their emotions.

He kept his body under.

This was all that he could do; for no spiritual perfection of thought and feeling could eradicate from the particles of his flesh the all-pervading principle of its corruption.

While, therefore, with his mind he served the Law of God, his flesh obeyed the law of sin, which finally mingled it with its parent dust.

This new mode of thinking and feeling created in a true believer by the divine law and testimony, is variously designated in scripture.

It is styled "a clean heart and a right spirit"; "a new spirit" and "a heart of flesh"; the "inward man"; "new creature" "the new man created in righteousness and true holiness"; and "renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him"; the "hidden man of the heart"; and so forth.

This new and hidden man is manifested in the life, which is virtuous as becomes the gospel.

He delights in the law of the Lord, and speaks often of His testimonies.

He denies himself of all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and walks soberly, righteously and godly in the world.

His hope is the glorious manifestation of Jesus Christ, with the crown of righteousness, even glory, honour, and immortality, promised to all who look for him, and "love his appearing," and desire his kingdom.

Nevertheless, the law of sin, through the weakness of the flesh, fails not to remind him of imperfection.