Reminiscences of Present-Day Saints

Reminiscences of Present-Day Saints

Reminiscences of Present-Day Saints

Reminiscences of Present-Day Saints

Excerpt

The word 'Saint' has had a curious history of ecclesiastical limitation. It has been a title given, as a rule, either to the immediate disciples of Jesus, some of whom, according to the record, were not distinguished for saintliness and at the crisis of his fate 'forsook him and fled'; or, on the other hand, to the martyrs or miracle-workers who have in later centuries won the reverence of the Church. Apostoli, martyres, orate pro nobis, became the prayer of invocation addressed to the saints.

The New Testament usage was more generous. The 'saints' were simply those who had committed themselves to the cause of Christ, not as exceptionally pious persons or as endowed to work miracles, but as testifying by the conduct of their lives to the influence of their Master. They were 'called to be saints,' 'sanctified in Christ Jesus,' 'called unto holiness,' 'faithful in Christ Jesus.' One of them might be tempted to doubt, another to deny; and the most influential of them confessed such wrestlings of the flesh with the spirit that it might seem strange to give him the title of 'Saint Paul.' Yet the confessedly incomplete, but finally dominating, direction of conduct towards the ideals of Christian living was precisely what gave them the right to be called . . .

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