they belong, and the more intense that attachment the better for a thousand reasons, yet they should not regard the church as being a peaceful dormitory where they are all to sleep, but a common barracks where they are all to be trained, and out of which they are to issue and carry on the sacred crusade for Christ. We are not to be frozen together with the compactness of a mass of ice, through mere agreement of creed, but welded together like bars of iron by the fire of a common purpose and a common zeal. If we are what we should be, we shall be continually breaking forth on the right hand and on the left; each man, each woman, according to the calling that God has given to us, we shall be seeking to extend the Redeemer’s kingdom in all directions.
My dear brethren, ye are arrows in the quiver, how gladly would I see you shot forth upon the enemy from the bow of the Lord. Many of you are as battleaxes and weapons of war hanging on the wall. O that you may be taken down and used of the Lord in his glorious fight. Lo, on the walls of Zion hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men; but the great need of the age is that these weapons be removed from their resting and rusting, and carried into the thick of the fray. May the Lord send you forth, O ye who have been saved under my ministry! May he hurl you forth with power divine, like a mighty hail against his adversaries. May each man among you be eager to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints and to save souls from going down into the pit. Here, then, is your permanent vocation, try to realize it.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “Sheep Among Wolves,” delivered August 19, 1877. Image by Luis Argerich on Flickr under Creative Commons License.