2 Samuel 12:7
Great Texts of the Bible
Thou art the Man

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.—2 Samuel 12:71. The literature of the world probably contains no more pitiably human story than the story of David’s great sin. The man who can gloat over it with heated passion is an animal; the man who can laugh at it with malicious cynicism is a fiend. It is one of those sad and lamentable stories which make us ashamed of our passions, which make us feel a sort of degradation in the possession of powers which can be potent with such infernal mischief, and can lead to such foul and tragic consequences. As we read the story we are ashamed of human nature, and it is not difficult to despair of it. “If,” we say, “the sweet singer of Israel, a man so true, so valiant, so heroically manly, could fall so deeply, who is safe in the presence of temptation?” One can readily understand how such a story as this might fascinate and terrify a sensitive nature, till the only way of escape seemed celibacy, and the only true method of life a monastic isolation from temptation.1 [Note: W. J. Dawson.]

2. It is in the previous chapter that we read, in the stern, pure, outspokenness of the Bible, how David fell. Here was the man who had been so wonderfully blest by God, who had done so much for God, who had come to know so much of God. Only four chapters before we find this same man “sitting before the Lord” in calm, deep, enraptured thanksgiving; he has just heard through Nathan that, though he is not to build the Temple, he is to be the forefather of the Lord’s Christ. The Hope of Israel, when at last He comes, is to be David’s Son. He to whom, according to our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, David could look up, “in the Spirit,” and call Him “my Lord,” was yet to be his actual Descendant and Successor “according to the flesh.” There, in 2 Samuel 7, we find David telling over to his God all his wonder and all his joy, basking in the sunshine of the great Promise, reposing in the mighty Hope. Here, in 2 Samuel 11, we find David, on a sudden, fallen, fallen. Satan has him in the snare. He has lusted with his eyes. He has committed a base adultery. In the sequel, in a course of flagrant treachery to a devoted retainer, the husband so awfully injured, David has compassed a brave man’s death. He is a murderer. And for many months after the first great act of sin—yes, even till the child of his guilt has been born—we gather that he has hardened his heart against conviction. For not till Nathan spoke to his conscience does he appear to have said one word of penitence to God.

3. The Bible is very frank. It conceals, it extenuates nothing. It shows us the defects as well as the virtues in the noblest characters. It depicts none moving on heights of impossible perfection; and by that very fact, by the manifest humanness of its purest, grandest heroes; by the calm, terrible truthfulness of their falls into sin, as here recorded, the divineness of this Book is brought home to our consciousness, and it lays a larger, firmer, and more salutary hold upon universal man. Abraham by his faith, Moses by his meekness, Job by his patience, seem to rise above us in superhuman excellence. But when we read of Abraham’s falsehoods, Moses’ petulance, Job’s impatience, they each come nearer to us, and say, as did Peter to Cornelius in a later day, “Stand up; I myself also am a man.”

If King David had lived in a period of what is called “secular” history, and in a time and country upon which modern religious or political prejudices could have been brought to bear, we may form some idea how his life would have been treated by historians. Books would have been written to extol him to the skies: books would also have been written to prove him a consistent hypocrite. On the one hand, his crimes would have been ignored, or palliated by the alleged necessities of policy; on the other, they would have formed the chief topic of the writer’s eloquence, and we should have been asked to withhold common respect from the man who could deal as David dealt by Uriah the Hittite. Partisans would rise on both sides of the question, and men who had not the means or the power of forming an opinion would ask, “What is truth?” Nay, they might even ask the question—more dangerous still to leave unanswered—“What are right and wrong?” He would have fared as Mary Stuart or Cromwell have fared. If David had had his Lingard, he would also have had his Froude.1 [Note: A. Ainger.]

4. The story of David possesses a fascination which is not equalled even by that of St. Paul. This is due in some degree to the Book of Psalms, which furnishes the simplest and most complete devotional exemplar that we possess. It is due, also, no doubt, to the idyllic beauty of the shepherd’s earliest story—to the romantic adventures of the patriot—to the absorbing interest which attaches to the events of the whole reign. But men prize and love the story of David for other reasons than these. They find in it the picture of their own struggles in their humbler field. They learn from David’s weakness and transgressions that he is one with themselves. When he abhors himself in dust and ashes, they are reminded that they, too, have need of purification; but that it should not prevent their returning to the conflict, for God will receive and bless them again. They do not feel the inconsistency which unbelievers point to in David, with the sneering question, “Is this the man after God’s own heart?” They feel rather that were it not for these inconsistencies David would be unlike them, and his story no pattern of theirs. They know that when they yield to God, they do righteous acts and are righteous: that when they yield to self they are unrighteous, and are the servants of an evil power. They know they are inconsistent, but they know God loves them, and their faith is sure. They have tried to balance their state before God, but have ceased from the task sick at heart and unsatisfied. They know that if their life were recorded truly, it would consist of acts unreconciled, unreconcilable, even as David’s acts. But God is their helper, and to Him, not to man, do they look for pardon and for justification.

We have to trace the history of a sin. There are three stages—

  I.  Self-Indulgence.

  II.  Self-Deception.

  III.  Self-Discovery.



The period which went before the fall was for David one of unbounded outward prosperity. He was rapidly becoming lord paramount of a vast region outside the Promised Land; Moab, Zobah, Damascus, Hamath—all had fallen before his forces. Here already was, of course, temptation. Success indeed was not sin; nay, we read that “the Lord preserved him.” But success was test, and it was allurement too. And surely we see allurement beginning to do its evil work, in that short sentence of 2 Samuel 11:1, “But David tarried still at Jerusalem.” A subtle slothfulness was creeping into the life of the hero-king. He was beginning to affect the Sultan rather than the devoted leader of other days. Just then it was that, “in an eveningtide David arose from off his bed,” from off the couch of a siesta prolonged far beyond its time, and “walked (not with God) upon the roof.” Then did Satan “find mischief for idle eyes,” and David fell, steep after steep, into that awful “quag upon the left hand of the road” of life.1 [Note: H. C. G. Moule.]

When Christian passed through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, he found that “on the left hand, there was a very dangerous Quag, into which, if even a good man falls, he finds no bottom for his foot to stand on. Into that Quag King David once did fall, and had no doubt therein been smothered, had not He that is able pluckt him out.”

In one form or another an ineradicable instinct has prompted Christians in all times to free themselves from luxurious and self-indulgent ways of living; to walk as disciples of Him who had “not where to lay his head”; to lay aside, not only every sin, but every weight, that so they may run the race set before them, not as beating the air, but as those that strive for the victory.

It is, indeed, not easy to define the precise kind or amount of luxury which is compatible with Christian simplicity; or rather, it must of necessity vary. But the principle is, I think, clear. In life, as in art, whatever does not help, hinders. All that is superfluous to the main object of life must be cleared away, if that object is to be fully attained. In all kinds of effort, whether moral, intellectual, or physical, the essential condition of vigour is a severe pruning away of redundance. Is it likely that the highest life, the life of the Christian body, can be carried on upon easier terms?1 [Note: Caroline Emelia Stephen.]

1. David’s self-indulgence was simply selfishness in one of its forms. Now, just as unselfishness is the true triumph of life, so selfishness is the degradation of life, and is the secret of its failure. Reduce sin to its primal elements, and the last result is always selfishness. Begin where you will among those common and well-known sins and defects of habit, whose nature is perfectly ascertainable by sad experience and bitter knowledge, and see if this is not true.

Lo! from that idol of self another idol is born.

The idol of self is the mother of all idols;

Those are the snakes, but this is the dragon;

Self is the flint and steel, and the idol is the spark;

The spark indeed may be quenched by water,

But how shall water quench the flint and steel?2 [Note: Jalaluddin Rumi.]

Take, for instance, temper. That is a common sin enough. There are thousands of households wrecked by the ungovernable irritability of an individual. He cannot restrain his tongue. The slightest provocation produces an explosion. Then follows a torrent of bitter, biting, sarcastic words, which fill the air like a cloud of poisoned arrows, and rankle in the wounded heart long after the careless archer has gone upon his way and forgotten them. We may explain the phenomenon by euphemistic talk about a hasty nature, or the irritability of genius, or what we will; but the real root of it lies in the unregenerate selfishness of the man’s nature. Because passionate sarcasm is a momentary relief to his nervous irritation, he indulges in it. The essence of unselfishness is to realize what another feels, to interpret his needs, to share his thoughts by the revealing power of sympathy, to be able instinctively to understand what will wound or grieve, and to exercise a severe self-repression in order to avoid it. But the angry man has no such realization of the nature of others, and cannot understand the havoc which his hasty words produce.

One of Bishop Moberly’s daughters is said to have had the rare gift of a charm which was indefinable, and this “in spite of great fits of wrath, considered by herself to be merely ‘righteous indignation,’ which upset the house from time to time.”1 [Note: C. A. E. Moberly, Dulce Domum, 160.]

January 18th. You will be surprised, knowing my old bad ways, to hear that I have not once, to the best of my memory, since February, been out of temper with the servants in my old fashion. Perhaps one reason of this is, that I am more indifferent about things now than I used to be when your comfort depended upon them, but still, I think that through God’s grace I have, in measure, overcome that sin and habit of impatience which has always been such a cross to me.2 [Note: Sir John Field, Jottings from an Indian Journal, 104.]

2. That is one lesson to learn from David’s sin. Another is what may be called the accumulative way with sin. David looked, and the look was sin. And that one sin opened the way for many. To lust he added craft, to craft treason, to treason murder.

3. And a third lesson is the need of watchfulness. “Be sober, be vigilant.” “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” If the Lord gives us to drink the cup of earthly success, earthly ease, wealth, position, power—if He gives it—let us not be afraid to take it. But let us drink it always upon our knees, and always in His presence. Then it may mean for us the gift of a noble opportunity for Him. Otherwise we may find, in some easy, dreadful hour, that all our fancied moral strength is as dust in the wind before the blast of temptation, and that position, culture, intellect—nay, past spiritual experience itself—may only precipitate the unwatchful spirit’s fall into “the quag on the left hand.”

O soul! however sweet

The goal to which I hasten with swift feet—

If just within my grasp,

I reach, and joy to clasp,

And find there one whose body I must make

A footstool for that sake,

Though ever and for evermore denied,

Grant me to turn aside!

O howsoever dear

The love I long for, seek, and find a near—

So near, so dear, the bliss

Sweetest of all that is,

If I must win by treachery or art,

Or wrong one other heart,

Though it should bring me death, my soul, that day

Grant me to turn away!

That in the life so far

And yet so near, I be without a sear

Of wounds dealt others; greet with lifted eyes

The pure of Paradise!

So I may never know

The agony of tears I caused to flow!1 [Note: Ina Donna Coolbrith.]



1. The thing that strikes us most forcibly as we read Nathan’s parable is the blindness and infatuation of the king to have missed the application of it. It seems an almost impossible state of self-deception which could let him flare out in indignant virtue against the supposed culprit, and never once dream that the case could apply to himself. Strange as the contradiction seems, it is common enough. When our passions and prejudices are not concerned, we can judge dispassionately; but in a case in which we are personally involved, we make the worse appear the better reason. We find means to justify it to ourselves in some fashion, and soothe our conscience to sleep. Till we come to the bar naked, without veils and excuses and palliations, as David was tricked into doing, we never do justice against ourselves.

It is really prodigious to see a man, before so remarkable for virtue and piety, going on deliberately from adultery to murder, with the same cool contrivance, and, from what appears, with as little disturbance, as a man would endeavour to prevent the ill consequences of a mistake he had made in any common matter. That total insensibility of mind with respect to those horrid crimes, after the commission of them, manifestly shows that he did some way or other delude himself: and this could not be with respect to the crimes themselves, they were so manifestly of the grossest kind. What the particular circumstances were, with which he extenuated them, and quieted and deceived himself, is not related.1 [Note: Joseph Butler, Sermons, 131 (Bernard’s edition).]

2. How is it that, like David, we succeed so well in deceiving ourselves and in keeping up the deception so long?

(1) We usually begin by recognizing our sin, but proceed to make excuse for it. We blame circumstances, our outward environment, bad example, the temptations of our lot, opportunity (“O opportunity, thy guilt is great!” Shakespeare makes Tarquin say in self-excuse, after he had made the opportunity). If we are scientifically inclined we speak of heredity; if theologically inclined we speak of original sin and the guilt of Adam’s first transgression.

May we say that, while all characters are liable to the snare of self-deception, those are more particularly exposed to it who, like St. Peter and David, are persons of keen sensibilities, warm temperaments, quick affections? Probably we may; for affectionateness of disposition readily commends itself to the conscience as a thing which cannot be wrong, and secretly whispers to one who is conscious of possessing it, “This generous trait in you will cover and excuse many sins.” An acrid, soured character cannot flatter itself that it is right with half the facility of a warm and genial character. A man who sins by passions the reverse of malignant is apt to thank God secretly that he is not malignant, totally forgetting that, although not malignant, he follows his impulses as entirely, and so is as purely selfish, as the malignant Man 1:2 [Note: E. M. Goulburn.]

A prisoner, in a recent trial, pleaded as an excuse, “an uncontrollable impulse,” but the judge smartly replied that an uncontrollable impulse was simply an impulse uncontrolled.

(2) Habit gradually familiarizes us with evil, and diminishes our sense of it as evil. A man who has been for half a day in some ill-ventilated room does not notice the poisonous atmosphere; if you go into it you are half suffocated at first, and breathe more easily as you get used to it. A man can live amidst the foulest poison of evil; and, as the Styrian peasants get fat upon arsenic, his whole nature may seem to thrive by the poison that it absorbs. They tell us that the breed of fish that live in the lightless caverns in the bowels of some mountains, by long disuse have had their eyes atrophied, and are blind because they have lived out of the light. And so men that live in the love of evil lose the capacity of discerning the evil, and “he that walketh in darkness” becomes blind, blind to his sin, and blind to all the realities of life.

There is in unresisted evil a dreadful power to stupefy the moral sense. If we thrust our hand rapidly first into hot water and then into cold, and do so many times, we are presently unable to detect which is hot and which is cold. The sensitive nerve grows callous, and its discernment is destroyed. So a man may experiment with sin till he feels no instinctive recoil from its abiding horror. The moral sense is like some delicate and sensitive instrument, which indicates with perfect accuracy the tendencies of conduct so long as it is untampered with; but once wronged, its power is gone. It is like putting the clock back because we do not wish to know the hour; the clock goes on working, but henceforth all its results are wrong. So the moral sense still works, but it strikes the wrong hour. It tells us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear, and what we know is true.1 [Note: W. J. Dawson.]

(3) We are careful now not to examine ourselves too scrupulously. We avoid questions as to the moral nature of our conduct. We may have suspicions about it, but our method is usually, like David’s, to try to forget, by leaving it out of account, by covering it over as if we were done with it. We have laid it like an uneasy ghost, and turned the key on it. But the murder will out some day. If not now, the disclosure will be made, and we will at last see ourselves as we are. “There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed, or covered that shall not be made known.”

(4) Or we nod assent to a general statement of right and wrong, accept principles, even give our unbiased judgment on concrete cases that are mentioned; and yet never make the personal application. It was not rhetoric but a deep knowledge of the heart of man that inspired St. Paul’s great passage in which he drove home to the Jews that they were guilty of the same moral failure as they charged the Gentiles with: “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.… Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that makest thy boast of law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?”

None of us would, I suppose, venture in plain words to stand up and say: “I am an exception to your general confessions of sin,” and most of us would be ready to unite in the acknowledgment: we have all “come short of the glory of God,” though in our consciences there has never stirred the faintest movements of self-condemnation even whilst our lips have been uttering the confession. Do not shrink away in the crowd, my brother! Come out to the front, and stand by yourself as God sees you, isolated. Look at your own actions; never mind about other men’s. Do not content yourselves with saying, “We have sinned”; say, “I have sinned against Thee.” God and you are as if alone in the universe. “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.” There are no crowds in God’s eyes; He deals with single souls. Every one of us—thou, and thou, and thou—must give account of himself to God.1 [Note: A. Maclaren.]

(5) But the most successful method of self-deception is to condemn heartily the sins of other men. If a man’s own sin is held up before him a little disguised, he says, “How ugly it is!” And if only for a moment he can be persuaded that it is not his own conduct but some other sinner’s that he is judging, the instinctive condemnation comes. We have two sets of names for vices: one set which rather mitigates and excuses them, and another set which puts them in their real hideousness. We keep the palliative set for home consumption, and liberally distribute the plain-spoken ugly set amongst the vices and faults of our friends. The thing which I call in myself prudence I call in you meanness. The thing which you call in yourself generous living, you call in your friend filthy sensualism. That which, to the doer of it, is only righteous indignation, to the onlooker is passionate anger. That which, in the practiser of it, is no more than a due regard for the interests of his own family and himself in the future, is to the envious lookers-on shabbiness and meanness in money matters. That which, to the liar, is only prudent, diplomatic reticence, to the listener is falsehood. That which, in the man that judges his own conduct, is but “a choleric word,” is, in his friend, when he judges him, “flat blasphemy.”

It is always a sign of lack of knowledge of our own hearts when we judge self leniently and judge others censoriously. A painter, who was noted as a savage critic of other artists, when asked how he could ever pass any of his own work when he had such a keen critical standard, frankly declared: “I have only two eyes when I look at my own work, but am argus-eyed, have a hundred eyes, when I look at the work of others.” This candid admission states the case in more things than artistic criticism.1 [Note: H. Black.]

It may have been during the time of his undetected sin that David was summoned by Joab to Rabbah that the honour might accrue to him of capturing the city and closing the campaign against the Ammonites. It was most likely during that dark period of David’s life. He went, glad to escape himself, if he might, amid the excitements of battle. He took the city. The splendid jewelled crown of the Ammonitish king was put upon his head. And with sharpest vengeance he punished the vanquished people with death. Doubtless they had been marked by notorious cruelty. But that he should torture them—“put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and make them pass through the brick-kiln”—shows a mind lost to magnanimity, full of unrest, and eager any way to escape from itself. Futile attempt! “The mind is its own place.” So the poor self-deceived king played his part. He seemed the very embodiment of rigorous justice against the enemy, and yet had been enacting a mean, pitiless, vile tragedy against one of the most valiant of his soldiers in that war.2 [Note: G. T. Coster.]

Jack Barrett went to Quetta,

Because they told him to.

He left his wife at Simla

On three-fourths his monthly screw:

Jack Barrett died at Quetta

Ere the next month’s pay he drew.

Jack Barrett went to Quetta,

He didn’t understand

The reason of his transfer

From the pleasant mountain-land:

The season was September,

And it killed him out of hand.

Jack Barrett went to Quetta

And there gave up the ghost,

Attempting two men’s duty

In that very healthy post;

And Mrs. Barrett mourned for him

Five lively months at most.

Jack Barrett’s bones at Quetta

Enjoy profound repose;

But I shouldn‘t be astonished

If now his spirit knows

The reason of his transfer

From the Himalayan snows.

And, when the Last Great Bugle Call

Adown the Hurnai throbs,

When the last grim joke is entered

In the big black Books of Jobs,

And Quetta’s graveyards give again

Their victims to the air,

I shouldn’t like to be the man

Who sent Jack Barrett there.1 [Note: Rudyard Kipling, Departmental Dittics.]



1. The story of Nathan’s interview with David moves us with the pain and the pity of it. There is incomparable drama in the sudden turning of the tables, not the artificial drama of the stage, but the terrible drama of life, unmasking the feelings and motives of the heart, and touching the simple principles of justice that lie dormant in human nature. A year had passed since David’s sin, and he had been able by some of the subtleties of self-excuse to dismiss it from his mind, till in this graphic way the prophet wakens his sleeping conscience, touching the sore place till it throbs with pain.

2. How true and striking this aspect of our subject is our own experience testifies. Watch how angry David grows as Nathan’s story is told. He is the very incarnation of indignant justice. He is absolutely eager to punish the selfish scoundrel who has injured the poor man. The spoiler eager to punish the spoliator? The villain burning with a fine sense of angry justice against the lesser villain? It is even so. We can pluck out the mote from our brother’s eye, and be utterly regardless of the beam in our own. We can pass sentence and applaud judgment on the cruelty of another, but our own cruelty we do not even perceive. It is not until some prophet focuses the light of judgment on our act, and puts before us what such sins as ours work in other spheres and other lives; it is not until we see our ungovernable temper reflected in the awful spectacle of the man upon the gallows, whose passion has carried him just a point beyond our own; till we see our self-indulgence vividly illustrated in some broken drunkard shambling down to his obscure and shameful grave; till our solitary carnality takes a living, leprous shape and form in the corroding vice which poisons all the world with its reek of horror; till our individual impurity stands typified in the wasted face of some wronged and shameful woman, lifted towards us in dumb reproach beneath the city gas-light;—it is not until this happens that the real truth about ourselves flashes on us, and the cry of Nathan, “Thou art the man!” terrifies us with its heart-searching accusation.

3. This self-discovery is made to a man’s conscience. For in our own conscience there is still a Divine supremacy. What was it that made Nathan so fearless? Why was it that the king quailed before his subject, whose life was altogether in his hand? We know well why it was. It is the ancient spectacle, repeated in precise form when Elijah stops the chariot of Ahab, and John denounces Herod to his face, and John Knox thunders in the court of Mary Stuart. We know that “conscience doth make cowards of us all.” We know that a man standing on the right is mightier than kings, and that kinghood is impotent before such a man when kinghood is defiled. It was a pure conscience that animated Nathan with dignity, and clothed him with a Divine royalty; it was an evil conscience that made David cower and tremble before his servant like a beaten hound.

There is a Northern legend, told in the proem of one of Hall Caine’s books, of a man who thought he was pursued by a monster. His ricks were fired, his barns unroofed, his cattle destroyed, his lands blasted, his first-born slain. So he lay in wait for the monster where it lived in the chasms near his house, and in the darkness of night he saw it. With a cry he rushed upon it, and gripped it about the waist, and it turned upon him, and held him by the shoulder. Long he wrestled with it, reeling, staggering, falling and rising again; but at length a flood of strength came to him, and he overthrew it, and stood over it, covering it, conquering it, with its back against his thigh, and his hand set hard at its throat. Then he drew his knife to kill it; and the moon shot through a wrack of cloud, opening an alley of light about it, and he saw its face, and lo, the face of the monster was his own.

4. The self-discovery is made by the hand of God. We need another than our own voice to lay down the law of conduct, and to accuse and condemn the breaches of it. Conscience is not a wholly reliable guide, and is neither an impartial nor an all-knowing judge. Unconsciousness of evil is not innocence. It is not the purest of women who “wipes her mouth and says, I have done no harm.” My conscience says to me, “It is wrong to do wrong”; but when I say to my conscience, “Yes, and pray what is wrong?” a large variety of answers is possible. A man may sophisticate his conscience, or bribe his conscience, or throttle his conscience, or sear his conscience. And so the man who is worst, who, therefore, ought to be most chastised by his conscience, has most immunity from it; and where, if it is to be of use, it ought to be most powerful, there it is weakest.

Until we make Christ our conscience, bringing everything to be judged by the Light, we shall keep confusing the issues, and disguising our sins, and finding all manner of self-escape, excuses, and counter-charges. But if we will have the same mind in us that was in Christ, looking at the world and life and self with His eyes, we shall see ourselves as we are; and when conscience says to us, in unmistakable tones, “Thou art the man,” our one prayer will not be self-justification, but: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

5. And this self-discovery is essential. We have no standing in the spiritual world till we see ourselves as we are. We cannot go on for ever refusing to face up to the facts, refusing to lay bare to ourselves what we fear to be there; like a spendthrift who will not look into his affairs till the crash comes, and excuses himself that he did not know that he had gone so far into debt, and is surprised to find his affairs in such a bad way. The excuse is not valid; for the reason why he did not look into his affairs was because he knew that they were not right, and was afraid to find out. So, in religion, men fear to uncover their hearts to themselves, because they are afraid of what they will find there. Their judgment would be David’s judgment on the rich neighbour of the parable; but they, like David, will not make the application. We are all right on the general principles of religion, but personal religion begins exactly where we leave off.

Rigorous self-judgment is the first requisite of the moral life—to turn the light in on self. Socrates made self-knowledge the basis of all knowledge. A deeper self-knowledge still is the very beginning of all personal religion. Sanctification is only a name till we translate the general into the particular, and apply to ourselves the demands of the law. We need to cease to talk about sin in the mass and come to details, and deal with the specific sins, and unmask them. Many religious people are worms of the earth, with their whole nature corrupt in their general confession, and very fine gentlemen in detail—never dealing with self in any direct fashion, never hearing once the searching word, “Thou art the man.”


Ainger (A.), Sermons in the Temple Church, 26.

Barnett (S. A.), in Lombard Street in Lent, 84.

Black (H.), Christ’s Service of Love, 147.

Butler (J.), Sermons (ed. Bernard), 125.

Campbell (R. J.), Sermons addressed to Individuals, 227.

Dawson (W. J.), The Threshold of Manhood, 198.

Ford (H.), Sermons with Analyses, 77.

Goulburn (E. M.), Personal Religion, 83.

Macgregor (G. H. C.), Messages of the Old Testament, 129.

Maclaren (A.), Expositions: 2 Samuel and Kings, 55.

Moule (H. C. G.), Temptation and Escape, 34.

Symonds (A. R.), Sermons, 360.

Wilson (J. M.), Sermons preached in Clifton College Chapel, 2nd Ser., 66.

Christian World Pulpit, ix. 155 (Bull); xxii. 332 (Coster); lxxi. 107 (Scott-Holland).

Church Pulpit Year Book, 1904, 181 (Currie).

Churchman’s Pulpit: Sixth Sunday after Trinity, x. 353 (Jones), 354 (Symonds), 356 (Sterne).

Treasury (New York), xx. 799 (Hallock).

The Great Texts of the Bible - James Hastings

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