Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A few men with grit in them

Whenever the world reproaches you, say, “Well, I thank you for that word, I will strive to deserve it better: if I have incurred your displeasure by my consistency, I will be more consistent, and you shall be more displeased, if you will. If it be a vile thing to serve Christ, I will serve him more than I have ever done, and be viler still; if it be disgraceful to be numbered with the poor, tried, and afflicted people, I will be disgraced. Nay, the more disgraced I am, the more happy shall I be, I shall feel that disgrace is honor, that ignominy is glory, that shame and spitting from the lips of enemies, is but the same thing as praise and glory from the mouth of Christ.” Instead of yielding, go forward, show your enemies that you do not know how to go back, that you are not made of the soft metal of these modern times.

It is said by an old writer, that in the olden times men used to take care of their houses, but now the houses take care of the men; that they used to eat off oaken porringers, and then they were oaken men; but now they are willow men, can bend anyhow, they are earthenware men, which can be dashed to pieces. Scarcely in politics, in business, or in religion, have you got a man. You see a lot of things which are called men, who turn the way the wind blows; a number of preachers that turn north, south, east and west, just according as the times shall dictate and their circumstances and the hope of gain shall drift them. I pray God to send a few men with what the Americans call “grit” in them; men who when they know a thing to be right, will not turn away, or turn aside, or stop, men who will persevere all the more because there are difficulties to meet or foes to encounter; who stand all the more true to their Master because they are opposed; who, the more they are thrust into the fire, the hotter they become, who, just like the bow, the further the string is drawn, the more powerfully will it send forth its arrows, and so, the more they are trodden upon, the more mighty will they become in the cause of truth against error.

From a sermon entitled "The Jeer Of Sarcasm, And The Retort Of Piety," delivered April 8, 1860. Flickr photo by b k ; some rights reserved.

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