Knowing the worth and joy of life yourself, pray very earnestly that God would give it to others. Look on the dead in sin, but not with stony eyes. Look on them with tears. Even if I knew that my hearers must be lost, I would pray God to help me to weep over them, because our Savior’s tears over Jerusalem, you remember, were accompanied with a distinct indication that Jerusalem would be destroyed. “Oh, that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which make for thy peace! But now are they hid from thine eyes.” Still he wept. We have no such terrible knowledge about the destiny of any man. We look hopefully upon you unconverted people, and we exhort you because we expect you to believe in Jesus. We sincerely trust that yet you will be saved, and therefore we pray for you in hope. May the Lord in infinite mercy lead you to feel for yourselves, and pray for yourselves. “Quicken thou me” (Psalm 119:25).
—Charles H. Spurgeon
The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Sermon “Enlivening And Invigorating,” Sermon no. 1350, Psalm 119:25 (Banner of Truth Trust, 1876).
We are so reluctant to displease men, and so desirous to keep in credit and favour with them, that it makes us most unconscionably neglect our known duty. A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, than we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them.
If they would faint, we would rub them and pinch them, but never so as to hurt them. If they were deranged, we would bind them with chains, and we would please them in nothing that tended to their hurt; and yet, when they are beside themselves in the point of salvation, and in their madness pressing on to damnation, we will not stop them, for fear of displeasing them.
How can these men be Christians, that love the praise and favour of men more than the favour of God? (John 12:43). For if they yet seek to please men, they are no longer the servants of Christ (Gal 1:10). To win them indeed, they must become all things to all men; but to please them to their destruction, and let them perish, that we may keep our credit with them, is a course so base and barbarously cruel, that he that hath the face of a Christian should abhor it (1 Cor 9:21–24; Prov 11:3–6).
Adapted from The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, 23:98.