Three Things Best Forgotten -- Richard Steele

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Puritanboard Librarian
Richard Steele, Puritan Sermons, Vol. 3, pp. 347-349, as quoted by I.D.E. Thomas, Puritan Daily Devotional Chronicles, p. 59 (February 24):

Three Things Best Forgotten

"By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain" (1 Cor. 15:2).

There is no complaint more common among religious people, than the weakness of their memories; thinking, perhaps, that that defect does imply least guilt; or, it may be, mistaking their carelessness for forgetfulness...

"Ye are saved, if ye keep in memory..." Our salvation in some sort depends upon it: for without the Gospel, no salvation; without faith, no benefit of the Gospel; and without hearing and retaining what we hear, no saving faith...

The soul of man is a subject of wonder; and nothing more wonderful than the memory. That such innumerable images of things should be lodged in a finite faculty and that what seems to be utterly lost in it, should be fully recovered; it is justly deemed by the learned to be a miraculous memory. It has power to bring things that are absent and past, back to be present...

Three things which we should forget:

1. Things unprofitable. There are a thousand needless and useless matters that clutter the memory, and keep out better things...

2. Things hurtful. In other words, injuries. These usually stick in the memory, when better things slip out... As one says, "We can remember old songs and old wrongs long enough." ...It is not wrong for a man to have a natural remembrance of an injury, so long as he does not have an angry remembrance of it.

3. Things sinful. Thus we can remember a filthy story seven years, when we forget a saving sermon in seven hours.
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