We cannot keep from forming habits of one kind or another, each of our acts influences the rest, gives character to the mind, narrows its freewill in the direction of good or evil, till it soon converges in all its powers and principles to some fixed point in the unbounded horizon before it. This at least is the general law of our moral nature; and such fearful expression does it give to every event which befalls us, and to every corresponding action of our will, and especially with such appalling interest does it invest the probation of our early years, that nothing but the knowledge of the Gospel announcements, and above all of the gracious words and deeds of our Redeemer, is equal to the burden of it. And these are intended to sustain the threatenings of the visible system of things, which would overwhelm us except for the promise, as the hearing of the promise on the other hand might puff us up with an unseeming presumption, had we no experience of the terrors of Natural Religion.
The day, we know, will come, when every Christian will be judged, not by what God has done for him, but by what he has done for himself: when, of all the varied blessings of Redemption, in which he was clad here, nothing will remain to him, but what he has incorporated in his own moral nature, and made part of himself. And, since we cannot know what measure of holiness will be then accepted in our own case, it is but left to us to cast ourselves individually on God's mercy in faith, and to look steadily, yet humbly, at the Atonement for sin which He has appointed; so that when He comes to judge the world, He may remember us in His kingdom.