(John MacDuff, “The Christian’s Pathway” 1858)
“Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16
There are many things connected with the Christian’s pathway which worldlings cannot comprehend. …
But still, there is much which they are able to understand, such as . . .
whatever is consistent in character,
whatever is honest and straightforward between men,
whatever is kind and compassionate in behavior,
whatever is forbearing and forgiving under insults and injuries.
Such features, when unostentatiously exhibited–excite their attention, and, generally, call forth their praise. The manner in which the ordinary duties of life are discharged, is something so tangible–that it lies within the province of their own observation. These things they can understand; and it is of the highest importance that all who profess to be Christians, should be distinguished by an exhibition of these practical fruits of righteousness.
What if a small band of Christians were placed in some locality, by whom the principles of the gospel were fully lived out. What a powerful effect, we may suppose, would their simple presence produce! Let them be connected with those around them–by the ordinary engagements of life; but without employing any direct means to promulgate their Christian views. There they are, “blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation.” Their hearts are filled, not merely with love to God–but with sincere and ardent affection for all by whom they are surrounded. Selfishness, pride, resentment, censoriousness–have no place among them. Their entire spirit and deportment are influenced and controlled by those noble, and generous, and god-like sentiments and feelings, which Christianity inculcates and inspires. The holy religion they profess, would appear in its true character and beneficent tendency; and men would be constrained by the good works which they beheld–to glorify God.
May the Lord strengthen you with all might, according to His glorious power, “that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way–bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God!”
~ ~ ~ ~