The last, best fruit that comes to perfection, even in the kindliest soul, is tenderness toward the hard; forbearance toward the unforbearing; warmth of heart toward the cold; and philanthropy toward the misanthropic.
Like the cellar-growing vine is the Christian who lives in the darkness and bondage of fear. But let him go forth, with the liberty of God, into the light of love, and he will be like the plant in the field, healthy, robust, and joyful.
Ordinary human motives will appeal in vain to the ears which have heard the tones of the heavenly music; and all the pomp of life will show poor and tawdry to the sight that has gazed on the vision of the great white throne and the crystal sea.
It is more to the honor of a Christian soldier, by faith to overcome the world, than by a monastical vow to retreat from it; and more for the honor of Christ, to serve Him in a city than to serve Him in a cell.
The sum of the whole matter is this: He who is one in will and heart with God is a Christian. He who loves God is one in will and heart with Him. He who trusts Christ loves God. That is Christianity in its ultimate purpose and result. That is Christianity in its means and working forces. That is Christianity in its starting point and foundation.
He that will deserve the name of a Christian must be such a man as excelleth through the knowledge of Christ and His doctrine; in modesty and righteousness of mind, in constancy of life, in virtuous fortitude, and in maintaining sincere piety toward the one and the only God, who is all in all.
Many there are who, while they bear the name of Christians, are totally unacquainted with the power of their divine religion. But for their crimes the Gospel is in no wise answerable. Christianity is with them a geographical, not a descriptive, appellation.
Health is a great blessingcompetence obtained by honorable industry is a great blessingand a great blessing it is to have kind, faithful, and loving friends and relatives; but, that the greatest of all blessings, as it is the most ennobling of all privileges, is to be indeed a Christian.
The great comprehensive truths written in letters of living light on every page of our history are these: Human happiness has no perfect security but freedom; freedom none but virtue; virtue none but knowledge; and neither freedom nor virtue has any vigor of immortal hope, except in the principles of Christian faith, and in the sanctions of the Christian religion.
New see what a Christian is, drawn by the hand of Christ. He is a man on whose clear and open brow God has set the stamp of truth; one whose very eye beams bright with honor; in whose very look and bearing you may see freedom, manliness, veracity; a brave mana noble manfrank, generous, true, with. it may be, many faults; whose freedom may take the form of impetuosity or rashness, but the form of meanness never.
A Christian is a believer in Jesus. He believes that if he only throws his own lost and sinful soul on the Redeemer, there is in His sacrifice sufficient merit to cancel all his guilt, and in His heart sufficient love to undertake the keeping of his soul for all eternity. He believes that Jesus is a Saviour. He believes that His heart is set on His peoples holiness, and that it is only by making them new creatures, pure-minded, kind-hearted, unselfish, devout, that He can fit them for a home and a life like His own, that He can fit them for the occupations and enjoyments of heaven. And believing all this he prays and labors after holiness.
He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true way-faring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue unexercised and unbreathed that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.
Theselowliness, meekness, long-suffering, loving forbearancequiet, unpretending, unshowy virtues, are amongst the best means for promoting true unity in the church of God. Who is the most useful Christian? Not as a rule he who has the most transcendent genius, brilliant talents, and commanding eloquence, but he who has the most of this quiet, loving, forbearing spirit. The world may do without its Niagara, whose thundering roar and magestic rush excite the highest amazement of mankind, but it cannot spare the thousand rivulets that glide unseen and unheard every moment through the earth, imparting life, and verdure, and beauty wherever they go. And so the church may do without its men of splendid abilities, but it cannot do without its men of tender, loving, forbearing souls.
Putting the soul into trifles. Let us remember that greatness of action depends on two other kinds of greatness; on our appreciation of the greatness of the occasion when it can be done. It has been well said, by an eminent French writer, that the true calling of a Christian is not to do extraordinary things, but to do ordinary things in an extraordinary way. The most trivial tasks can be accomplished in a noble, gentle, regal spirit, which overrides and puts aside all petty, paltry feelings, and which elevates all little things.