By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil (Proverbs 16:6).
Those who live their entire lives under an anxious fear of the Lord surely do not know him as they ought.
Nevertheless, those who insist that the fear of the Lord play no part in their lives, who insist that love and love alone, to the exclusion of all fear, must motivate their acts, and who, nevertheless, are in fact dominated by the fear of men, by the loss of the goods of this life, who allow the approval and opinions of others to motivate them, such are, as I often am, guilty of what Augustine refers to as a kind of spiritual fornication, of adultery against God (Conf. XIII.21). Here he draws upon the Vulgate translation of James 4:4.
Let us not be misled by half truths or by false teaching. Let us not be over-proud. Instead, those of us who might betray the love of God by seeking the approval and goods of the world must keep the fact of this terrible adultery before us. Let us admit that this pleaseth him not! And let us tremble and be somewhat shaken somewhat, so that in the end we might stand!
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