Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gracious Christians

A gracious Christian is like gold. Now cast gold into the fire, or into the water; cast it upon the dunghill, or into the kennel; cast it among the poor, or among the rich; among the religious, or among the superstitious, yet still it is gold, still it retains its purity and excellency. So cast a gracious Christian, who is the only golden Christian in the world, into what condition you will, and into what company you will, yet still he will retain his purity, his innocence.
Lapidaries tell us of the Chelydonian stone that it will retain its virtue and luster only as long as it is enclosed in gold: a fit emblem for a hypocrite, who is only good while he is enclosed in golden prosperity, safety, and happiness. An unsound Christian, like green timber, shrinks when the sun of persecution shines hot upon him.
Unsound hearts, they will be righteous among the righteous, and licentious among the licentious. They will be as the company is amongst which they are cast. With the good they will be good, and with the bad they will be bad; with the zealous they will be zealous; and with the superstitious they will be superstitious; and with the lukewarm they will be lukewarm. They are like the chameleon, ready to change their hue with every one they converse with; or they are like actors in plays, that will play any part; they are as fit for one society as another; such as acting princely parts, wear royal apparel, keep state, and demean themselves gravely and soberly, so long as they are in public view upon stage, but they pass presently into another habit, and retain neither their princely behavior nor apparel, but are most beggarly, base, and debauched, either in private among themselves, or among their companions like themselves.”

Thomas Brooks - Photo by Franz Sauer


Mel said...

In one of my favorite books, "Fight Like a Girl", Lisa Bevere says that who we are in the fire, is who we are. When all pretenses are stripped away, when what people think of us ceases to matter to us, when we're confronted with tragedy or emergency--It's during those times of fiery trial that the core of who we are is revealed. I'm going through one of those times right now, and there's an awful lot in me that is ugly. I pray and trust that God will burn away those impurities, in His own way and His own timing.

All of these posts are so excellent, Fred. Thank you for posting them. :)

FCB said...

I like the title of that book. And from what you shared about it, it sounds like not only the title is good. We will pray with you while in, what I hope will be a short, season of fire. I know you will keep your eye on the precious gems of life enriching wealth God has you busy mining.
God is blessing you,