The above text was especially brought home to me the other day, and thinking they may prove helpful, I venture to give a few thoughts as they have occurred to me.
In well-doing, we are fulfilling all that is required of us as Christian. No matter what our denomination may be, how different our mode of worship, when we come to well-doing, we are at the bedrock foundation of Christianity. Jesus Christ went everywhere doing good, and it should be the joy of His followers to do the same. Yet—how hard it is sometimes, how discouraged we get.
In the performance of a Christian act, we have perhaps been snubbed and ridiculed, checked someone in the act of swearing, and been laughed at for our pains, or in the practice of prayer in the barrack room been made a target; yet this persecution is as nothing to that of our Savior, who was rejected by his own people, and went even to the death for us, and whilst hanging on the cross forgave his enemies.
I well remember a holiday l spent in Yorkshire, and seeing an old water-mill, and as I saw the water rushing to the mill, I noticed how useless it was after it had gone past. This is just like our opportunities, if we do not seize them as they come, they go beyond recall.
O the good that might have been, lost without a sigh,
Love that we might have saved by a single word,
Thoughts conceived but never penned, perishing unheard,
Power, intellect and wealth may not, cannot last,
The Mill will not grind with the wafer that is past.
In the text we have comfort however, for we are offered a reward if we remain faithful and keep on doing good. Those very persons who at the moment may seem indifferent may have been awakened to a sense of their wrong-doing. What we have said at some time or other, may have set them thinking, and even though we may not be permitted to see the result, they will eventually remember us by the words we have said, or how we have conducted our life, and in doing so, be induced to make a fresh start—and, when we are at last with Him, we shall get our reward. "In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto Me."
In the Army there is abundant opportunity of testing the value of our Christianity. The worldly man is watching the Christian man, his conversation and acts, and is judging him accordingly.
You may be in the minority, you may not have so many friends, but in the end they will trust you more. Do not follow the crowd, or anything contrary to the dictates of your conscience—and as have enlisted in the service of your King and Country, strive also to prove yourself a worthy soldier in the ranks of the King of Kings.
—Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act V.
Which, being suffered, rivers cannot quench.
—Henry VI. Act IV, Sc. VIII