[R965 : page 7]


Desponding Christians do not make successful workers or valiant soldiers. "Feeble-Hearts," and "Ready-to-Halts," and "Little-Faiths" win no battles, and wear no crowns. They are so occupied with themselves, with their own experiences their own evidences, their changing moods and feelings, that they have no time for manly, noble service. They are so busy in trying to perform "acts of faith"; and having performed them, they are so intent upon analyzing them, in order to ascertain whether they be all of the exact quality or quantity which will recommend them to God, that they leave no space for "joy in blessing," and no room for the free, large-hearted labor which such joy cannot fail to lead to. Tossed up and down on the waves of unbelief and fear, they have no heart to work. Shutting their eyes against the light, they grope their way uncertainly, and cannot run the race. Afraid to believe, but not afraid to doubt; afraid to trust, but not afraid to distrust; doubting themselves, and making that a reason for doubting God; putting away peace, and giving full scope to gloom; refusing light, but letting darkness reign within them; they are not in a condition to do hard work—nay, to do any work at all. Strength comes from joy, and of that joy they have none. They refuse both food and medicine, and they become lean and sickly. They are fitter for the hospital than for the battle-field. They seem, too, to get more and more emaciated, though the food provided is abundant. Laboring under what physicians call atrophy, the more they eat the less they seem to be fed.—Bonar.