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Charles Simeon on his First Rule

July 17, 2017

Yesterday I posted on Simeon’s “Four Rules”, and the first of these Rules as they were quoted to me is this: However advanced a man may be in piety or age, he is still in danger of falling.  This is what Charles Simeon himself had to say about this, from his Horae Homileticae, on 1 Kings 11:9 – which is on the fall of Solomon.

It is said of Solomon, that, “when he was old, his wives turned away his heart.” Had it been in the days of his youth, we should have the less wondered at his folly; because versatility of mind is incident to that time of life: but after years of wisdom and piety, to turn in old age to such extreme folly and wickedness, what shall we say? Well may we exclaim, “Lord, what is man?” Can any thing speak more loudly to us than this? Can any thing more strongly enforce that warning of the Apostle, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall?” O “let us not be highminded, but fear.” “Let us fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into God’s rest, any of us should seem to come short of it.” This is certain, that, as our wickedness shall not be remembered if we truly turn from it, so “neither shall our righteousness be remembered if we turn from that.” It is not he who “runs well for a season,” but “he who endures unto the end, that shall be saved.” If we turn back, at whatever period of our life it be, “we turn back unto perdition.” Let all of us then cry to God, “to hold up our goings in his paths, that our footsteps slip not.” Our motto to the last must be, “Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.” To all then, whatever eminence they may have attained, I would say, as our Lord did to his disciples, not only “Remember Lot’s wife,” but, Remember the fall of Solomon.

Indeed, the older I get, the more “he who endures unto the end, that shall be saved” echoes in my ears.  We truly do each of us have our own race to run.

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