The Friday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is all about quotes. No commentary from me, no reflection, etc. Just a provocative or informative quote from a saint in church history.
“What have you and I to do with the times, except to serve God in them?
Come fair or work come foul, my comrades, hold ye the fort. Some men attempt to excuse their own negligence by blaming the times. What have you and I to do with the times, except to serve God in them? The times are always evil to those who are of a morbid temperament.
A scholar tells us that he once read a passage from a book to a worthy gentleman of the desponding school; it described “these days of blasphemy and rebuke,” – I think that is the correct expression, – and lamented the failure of the faithful from among men. “Ah, how true!” said the worthy man, “it is the precise picture of the times.” “What times?” exclaimed the scholar. “These times, of course,” was the reply. “Pardon me,” said the scholar, “the sentiment was delivered about 400 years ago; examine for yourself the date of the volume.” The benefit of railing at the times it would be hard to discover, for railing does not mend them (52).
What have you to do with the times? Do your own work
What have you to do with the times? Do your own work. If God has made you a house-cricket, and bidden you chirp, you could not do better than to fulfill his will. As he has made you a preacher, you must abide in your vocation. Even if the earth should be removed, and the mountains should be cast into the midst of the sea, would that alter our duty? I think not. Christ has sent us to preach the gospel; and if our life work is not yet finished, (and it is not,) let us continue delivering our message under all circumstances till death shall silence us (52).
Every year is an exceedingly critical time and has people who gain a following by crying “Woe! Woe!”
So far as I remember, every year has been an exceedingly critical time; and so far as I can see in history, almost every six months some fervid spirit or another has written about “the present solemn crisis.” There are persons who always believe in the imminent peril of the universe in general and of the Church of God in particular, and a sort of popularity is sure to be gained by always crying “Woe! Woe!” (64).
We must not be “Woe! Woe!” Christians. We must be “Grace! Grace!” Christians.
Prophets who will spiritually imitate Solomon Eagle, who went about the streets of London and the time of the plague, naked, with a pan of coals on his head, crying “Woe! Woe!” are thought to be faithful, though they are probably dyspeptic. We are not of that order: we dare not shut our eyes to the evils that surround us, but we are able to see the divine power above us, and to feel it with us, working out its purposes of grace.
We say to each of you what the Lord said to Joshua in the chapter we have just read, “be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Our trust is in the living God, who will bring ultimate victory to his own cause (64).”