09 July, 2006
Lord's Day a'Brakel
It is therefore, first of all, necessary that you have and maintain a soul which is pure and undefiled, fully devoted to God, and finds her existence in communion with God. You will then--as was true for Nehemiah--be able to speak with men while simultaneously praying unto God (Neh. 2:4-5). It is with such intent that you must leave the home, and in order to preserve such a condition within, you must pray each time when going out. He who in the solitude of his home is not exercised in continually turning to God, walking with a perfect heart, or acknowledging the Lord in all his ways; who in believing union with the Lord Jesus does not strive to cleanse the heart from worldconformity, vanity, cleaving to sinful lust, and a continual thinking upon vain imaginations; and who does not continually exercise himself to be of a spiritual disposition--such a person, when in the company of and engaged in conversation with others, will not be fit to maintain this good disposition which as yet he has, although he be beset with the corruptions mentioned before. The good frame of heart will readily vanish and you will not have within yourself a fountain bringing forth all manner of spiritual matters to your personal benefit and that of your neighbor. Instead, you will frequently speak of spiritual matters for conversations's sake, doing so, however, without inner warmth and without causing the hearts of others to burn within them. Yes, you will even become engaged in worldly conversation, and upon arriving home your spiritual frame will have vanished and you will have a restless conscience. Therefore, you must especially endeavor to have a pure heart (II: 636-637).