Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Christians indeed

Under God the Holy Spirit our only hope for the increase of the Church and for the conversion of the world lies in the development of energy within us, in the bringing out of earnestness in Christian souls. Oh! it was not scholarship that converted the heathen world at first, for on the slabs in the catacombs we have decisive evidence that the first Christians could scarcely spell their own names. It was not the pomp of learning, the pride of philosophy, or the power of eloquence, which made the early confessors so mighty; it was their singular earnestness. The Church was all on fire. She was like a volcano; she might not be high and lofty as some of the surrounding hills, but they had summits clothed with frost, while she sent forth earnest truths like streams of lava, which burned their way, and covered all the lands. Christians in those days were Christians indeed. They believed what they professed; they knew what they spoke; they testified what they had seen; and they spoke with an unconquerable, untameable energy, which smote even the iron power of Rome and dashed it into shivers. So must it be today, and indeed so is it. Look around you; who are the most useful men in the Christian Church today? The men who do what they undertake for God with all their hearts.

From a sermon entitled "Life In Earnest," delivered February 2, 1862. Flickr photo by John Haslam; some rights reserved.

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