There are those who walk uprightly, very uprightly, in the fear of God, and yet have little comfortable or abiding evidence that they are at present partakers of God's grace, or will be hereafter sharers of Christ's glory. But this one evidence they certainly do possess, though they can take no present comfort from it, that they walk uprightly before God and man. Let no one, however deeply experienced or highly favoured, despise this evidence of grace in others; and you who walk uprightly from a living principle of godly fear have here a marked testimony from the Lord himself that he has a special regard for you.
But what is it to "walk uprightly?" Oh! here is the grand difficulty in religion. We may talk; we may preach; we may hear; we may seem to believe; but it is when we come to act, to walk, and carry out into daily and hourly practice what we profess, that the main difficulty is felt and found. "The soul of religion," says Bunyan, "is the practic part;" and it is when we come to this "practic part" that the daily, hourly cross commences. The walk, the conversation, the daily, hourly conduct is, after all, the main difficulty, as it is the all-important fruit of a Christian profession. To walk day after day, under all circumstances, and amidst all the varied temptations that beset us, uprightly, tenderly, and sincerely in the fear of God; to feel continually that heart, lip, and life are all open before his all-penetrating eye; to do the things which he approves, and to flee from the things which he abhors—oh! this in religion is the steep hill which it is such a struggle to climb! We can talk fast enough; but oh! to walk in the straight and narrow path; to be a Christian outwardly as well as inwardly, before God and man, before the Church and the world; and in all points to speak and act with undeviating consistency with our profession—this is what nature never has done, and what nature never can do. In thus acting, as much as in believing, do we need God's power and grace to work in, and be made manifest in us.