CCXIX. Progress.

PHIL. iii. 13, 14. “Brethren, I count
not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, for-
getting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto
those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the
prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

THE forgetting here spoken of is manifestly a wilful, de-
liberate forgetting: but to man a conscious act of forgetful-
ness is in the strict sense impossible. There is a second-
ary sense of the term arising easily out of the primary
signification. We remember best that which most interests
us: what we regard as of small moment we easily allow
to pass into oblivion. To forget the things that are be-
hind, is to estimate them lightly and to fire the soul with
new thoughts and aspirations.
I. Christian progress determined on, and defined by the
indication of its pathway and goal. There are five things
suggested by the text as essential to satisfactory spiritual
advancement.
1. Dissatisfaction with the present attainments of the
Christian life.
2. Desire after progress. “As the hart panteth after the
water-brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.”
3. Aim of the soul towards a distinct end, “towards the
mark.”
4. Effort put forth to attain the end of the race.
5. Hope of gaining the prize. This in everything is
essential to progress. As memory behind, so hope before
ministers to advance. Let hope die, and stagnation must
ensue.
II. Let sinners forget the things that are behind, and
reach forth to those before. Come and cast your dark
past out of sight in the depths of the forgetfulness of God.
III. The text appeals to Christians who are losing
ground.
Let such awake and run henceforth with patience the
race set before them.
John Edmond, D.D.

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