"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness."2 Pet. 3:11.
IF this was a serious consideration in the Apostle's day, how much more weighty does it seem to-day, when we stand at the threshold of the new dispensation, and in the very midst of all the disintegrating influences of the old. A few more years will wind up the present order of things, and then the chastened world will stand face to face with the actual conditions of the established Kingdom of God. And yet the course of the Church is to be finished within the brief space of time that intervenes.
Seeing, then, that all these thingspresent political, social, religious and financial arrangementsare to be dissolved, and that so soon, and also how apart from these things are the real interests of the saints, how comparatively unimportant should the things of this present order seem to us: they are not worthy our time or words, which should go to the things which alone will survive. And, having such hopes as are set before us, and so clear a knowledge of the grand outcome, as well as of the minutiae of the divine plan, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness? And yet with what carefulness we need to guard against being overcharged with the petty cares of this present time, and against imbibing the spirit of the world, which is all about us, and mixed with every question of the hour.
Only by constant watchfulness and prayer can we keep ourselves unspotted from the [R1622 : page 57] world. We need to keep a vigilant watch over our general character to see that it bears the divine likeness: that meekness, sincerity, moderation, temperance and truth are always manifest in us. And then we should see that all our conversation is such as becometh saints.
O BLESSED Lord, how much I long
To do some noble work for thee!
To lift thee up before the world
Till every eye thy grace shall see;
But not to me didst thou intrust
The talents five or talents two,
Yet, in my round of daily tasks,
Lord, make me faithful over few.
I may not stand and break the bread
To those who hunger for thy Word,
And midst the throngs that sing thy praise
My feeble voice may ne'er be heard;
And, still, for me thou hast a place,
Some little corner I may fill,
Where I can pray, "Thy Kingdom Come!"
And seek to do thy blessed will.
A cup of water, in thy name,
May prove a comfort to the faint:
For thou wilt own each effort made
To soothe a child or aid a saint;
And thou wilt not despise, dear Lord,
My day of small things, if I try
To do the little I can do,
Nor pass the least endeavor by.
To teach the wise and mighty ones
The weak and foolish thou dost choose,
And even things despised and base
For thy great glory thou canst use:
So, Lord, tho' humble be my sphere,
In faith I bring to thee my all;
For thine own glory bless and break
My barley loaves and fishes small.