Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Christians who are enemies of the cross of Christ

The world will not care about my testimony with the lip, unless there be also a testimony in my daily life for God, for truth, for holiness, for everything that is honest, lovely, pure, and of good report. There is that in a Christian's character which the world, though it may persecute the man himself, learns to value. It is called consistency,—that is, the making of the life stand together, not being one thing in one place and another thing in another, or one thing at one time and quite different on another occasion.

It is not consistency to be devout on Sunday and to be dishonest on Monday. It is not consistency to sing the songs of Zion to-day, and to shout the songs of lustful mirth tomorrow. It is not consistency occasionally to wear the yoke of Christ, and yet frequently to make yourself the serf of Satan. But to make your life all of a piece is to make it powerful, and when God the Holy Ghost enables you to do this, then your testimony will tell upon those amongst whom you live. It would be ludicrous, if it were not so sorrowful a thing, to be spoken of even with weeping, that there should be professed Christians who are through inconsistency among the worst enemies of the cross of Christ. I heard, the other day, a story which made me laugh. A poor creature, in a lunatic asylum, had got it into his head that he was some great one, and he addressed a person who was visiting the asylum in the following words:—"I am Sir William Wallace; give me some tobacco!" What a ridiculous contrast between his proud assertion and his poor request! Who but a lunatic would have said such a thing? Yet alas! we know people who say, by their actions, if not in words, "I am a Christian, but I will take advantage of you when I can; I am one of the blood-royal of heaven, my life is hid with Christ in God, and my conversation is in heaven, but—but—I like worldliness, and sensual pleasure, and carnal mirth quite as well as other men!"

I say again, that this kind of thing would be superlatively ludicrous if it were not ineffably sorrowful, and it is, anyhow, utterly contemptible. If your life be not all of a piece, the world will soon learn how to estimate your testimony, and will count you to be either a fool or a knave, and perhaps both.

From a sermon entitled, "The Incomparable Bridegroom and His Bride," delivered June 10, 1886.

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