Christian Leader Quotes
What is the spiritual battle? Well, the soul is a garden divided into two parts. On one half are planted thorny bushes, and on the other half flowers. We also have a water pump with two taps and two channels. The one guides the water to the thorns and the other to the flowers. I always have the choice to open one or the other tap. I leave the thorns without water and they dry up, I water the flowers and they blossom.
When Adam delved, and Eve span, who was then the gentleman? From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty.
The truth is, that what men demand in life, and miss if they do not find it, is not antagonism and warfare, but struggle, effort, cost, strenuousness. It is not hate and enmity that have ennobled warfare. It is not killing that has made the life of the soldier fruitful in moral lessons. It is the nerve, endurance, hardihood, and courage that we love to see. Of these superb qualities there is likely to be a demand to the end of the human course; for it is out of these things that life is forever being wrought. The grown man conceives the universe, not as two impossible opposites in conflict, but as one harmonious structure; out of his soul, brought into unison with God, all hate has vanished.
A man may make his way across the Atlantic in a skiff, for all I know; but if you are intending to cross the sea, take my advice, and secure passage in a first-class steamer, and you will be more likely to get there. So it is with these heathen millions. I do not know but some of them may drift, and we shall find them in the city of God. But I do know that by giving them the gospel, by building up and supporting among them a Christian church, we shall greatly multiply their chances for heaven.
The most painful sight I saw in New Orleans was the selling of slaves. Every day in the streets at appointed places, negroes and negresses in holiday attire are exposed for this shameful traffic, like the meanest animals at our fairs. This spectacle oppressed my heart. Lo! I said to myself, these Americans, so proud of their liberty, thus make game of the liberty of others. Poor negroes! I would have wished to buy them all that I might say to them, "Go! Bless Providence. You are free!"
The minister, who would be most like the Master, must go and, like Him, lay the warm, kindly hand on the leper, the diseased, the wretched. He must touch the blind eyes with something from himself. The tears must be in his own eyes over the dead who are to be raised to spiritual life. Jesus is our great exemplar.
There it is — in such patient silence — that we accumulate the inward power which we distribute and spend in action; that the soul acquires a greater and more vigorous being, and gathers up its collective forces to bear down upon the piecemeal difficulties of life and scatter them to dust; there alone can we enter into that spirit of self-abandonment by which we take up the cross of duty, however heavy, with feet however worn and bleeding.