But I remark again, We must not stickle at little things. For example, "If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off." It is not promised that we shall be saved with it on. We cannot say, "God must save us with our right hand." The idea is this, that the most useful thing, --things which are important to you--if, after all, they become to you such a stumblingblock that you cannot stand, put them away. The right hand is certainly most useful; but even if it were "the right eye," we are told "to pluck it out." What, then, is the principle involved here? We are never to expect God to grant us blessings promised on condition of any sacrifice or self-denial, if we neglect the conditions imposed upon us. "If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off and cast them from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life halt and maimed, rather than, having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire." Now, what does this teach? Why, "if even your right hand offend you, cut it off, or I shall let you go to hell; for you need not think that if you refuse to make the self-denial I shall save you notwithstanding." While you hesitate, and will not walk up to the mark, and undertake this self denial, which God makes the sole condition of blessing you--while you will not do this, you labour in vain; he will not bless you, he will not prosper you. Now, this may be applied to a thousand things; the fact is, that if a Christian, or any person, would have God's blessing, he must absolutely stickle at no act of self-denial required as a condition--he must strenuously avoid anything prohibited, or aught that would stand in the way of his obtaining the thing promised; and if we do not regard these conditions, the fault is our own if we do not obtain the blessing. But I remark again, Another condition indispensable to proving God, is, that we really enter into God's motives, and do what we do for the motives from which God acts. We must be benevolent, not selfish. If, for example, we pray for sinners, we must regard sinners as he does; and desire their conversions for the same reason that he desires it. If we seek blessings for ourselves, we must ask them for the same reason for which he would be able to grant them. "Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss," that is, your motive is not right--you do not sympathise with God's motives--you do not ask the blessing, for a reason for which it would be honourable for God to grant it.