Are there in this age saints in the world, such as the Apostles were? And this at least brings us to a practical reflection. For, if there are such any where, they ought to exist in our own Church, or rather, since the Apostles were men of no higher nature than ourselves, if there are not among us such as they were, no reason can possibly be given for the deficiency, but the perverse love of sin in those who are not such. There are Christians who do not enjoy a knowledge of the pure truth; and others, who wander without the pale of the divinely privileged Church of Christ; but we are enabled justly to glory in our membership with the body which the Apostles founded, and in which the Holy Spirit has especially dwelt ever since, and we are blessed with the full light of Scripture, and possess the most formally correct creed of any of the Churches. Yet, on the other hand, when we look at the actual state of this Christian country, it does not seem as if men were anxiously escaping the woe, which, first pronounced on an apostate Apostle, assuredly hangs over them. They do not appear to recognize any distinction between natural and spiritual excellence; they do not aim at rising above the morality of unregenerate men, which, though commendable in heathen, is not available for Christian salvation. And they are apt to view Christian morality as a mere system, as one of the Evidences for Revealed Religion, and as a mark of their superior knowledge in comparison with Jews and Pagans, far more than as it enjoins on them a certain ethical character, which they are commanded to make their own.

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