The same choice continues still. All, throughout the whole world, is one choice between God and Satan, Christ and Barabbas. We know not, indeed, what we do; and so, again and again, our blessed Lord intercedes for those who deliver Him to His foes. Rut whenever a choice is given, if we have but any fear that we are choosing amiss, if we do what we suspect to be wrong or worse, if we say wilfully what we think better unsaid, what do we, in fact, but choose Barabbas?... We must in all things make this choice. There is, in everything, a better and a worse, a good and an evil to us. If we choose good, we choose God, Who alone is good, and is in all things good; if we choose evil, we do, in fact, choose the evil one. There are degrees of choice; as there were degrees and steps in the rejection of our Lord. Yet each led on to the next. Each hardens for the next. "No one ever became at once wholly vile," is even a heathen proverb. But there is no safety against making the very worst choice, except in the fixed, conscious purpose, in all things to make the best. The last acts are mostly not in a person's own power. They who compass themselves about with sparks, cannot themselves quench the burning. They who make the first bad choice are often hurried on, whether they will or no. The one choice is manifoldly repeated. The roads part asunder slightly; yet, unmarked, the distance between them is ever widening, until they end in heaven or in hell. Each act of choice is a step toward either. Either we are striking more into the narrow way, or we are parting from it; we are, by God's grace, unbinding the cords by which we are held, or we are binding them tighter.

E.B. Pusey

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