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Something peculiar, distinct, and different



(J. C. Ryle, "Conversion")

The effects of the Spirit's work in conversion will always
be seen. Those effects may be weak and feeble at first.
But there where there is true conversion, some fruit
will always be seen.

Where no effect can be seen--there you may be sure
is no grace. Where no visible fruit can be found--there
you may be sure is no true conversion.

Does anyone ask me what we may expect to see
in a true conversion? I reply, there will always be
something seen in a converted man's . . .
  character,
  and feelings,
  and conduct,
  and opinions,
  and daily life.

You will not see perfection in him--but you will
see in him something peculiar, distinct, and
different
from other people. You will see him . . .
  hating sin,
  loving Christ,
  following after holiness,
  taking pleasure in his Bible,
  persevering in prayer.

You will see him  . . .
  penitent,
  humble,
  believing,
  temperate,
  charitable,
  truthful,
  good-tempered,
  patient,
  upright,
  honorable,
  kind.

These, at any rate, will be his aims--these are the
things which he will follow after, however short he
may come of perfection. In some converted people
you will see these things more distinctly, in others
less. This only I say, wherever there is conversion,
something of this kind will be seen. True conversion
is a thing that can always be seen.

Never, never, will I allow that the blessed Spirit can
be in a man's heart--when no fruit of the Spirit can
be seen in his life! A conversion which allows a man
to live in sin, to lie, and drink, and swear--is not the
conversion of the Bible. It is a counterfeit conversion,
which can only please the devil, and will lead the man
who is satisfied with it--not to heaven, but to hell!


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