Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Loving Him unto the death

If tomorrow the stake could be set in Smithfield, Christian people are prepared to be fuel for the flame. If once more the block were fixed on Tower hill, and the axe were brought forth from its hiding place, the heads of Christ’s people would be cheerfully given, if they might but crown the head of Jesus and vindicate his cause.

Those who declare that the ancient valor of the church is departed, know not what they say. The professing church may have lost its masculine vigor; the professors of this day may be but effeminate dwarfs, the offspring of glorious fathers, but the true church, the elect out of the professing church, the remnant whom God hath chosen, are as much in love with Jesus as his saints of yore, and are as ready to suffer and to die. We challenge hell and its incarnate representative, old Rome herself; let her build her dungeons, let her revive her inquisitions, let her once more get power in the state to cut, and mangle, and burn; we are still able to possess our souls in patience.

We sometimes feel it were a good thing if persecuting days should come again, to try the church once more, and drive away her chaff, and make her like a goodly heap of wheat, all pure and clean. The rotten branches of the forest may tremble at the hurricane, for they shall be swept away, but those that have sap within them tremble not. Our roots are intertwisted with the Rock of Ages, and the sap of Christ flows within us and we are branches of the living vine, and nothing shall sever us from him. We know that not persecution, nor famine, nor nakedness, nor peril, nor sword, shall divide us from the love of Christ for in all these things we shall be as the church has been, more than conquerors through him that loved us.

From a sermon entitled "Christ Precious To Believers," delivered March 13, 1859 ; Flickr photo by "dro!d;" some rights reserved.

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