Great Texts of the Bible by James Hastings - Matthew 16:24 - 16:24

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Great Texts of the Bible by James Hastings - Matthew 16:24 - 16:24

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The Cost of Discipleship

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.—Mat_16:24.

These words were spoken by our Lord when He first began definitely to prepare the minds of His disciples for the humiliation, and suffering, and death which lay before Him. The conception of a suffering Messiah was so alien to the thought of His time that it became needful to prepare the minds of His immediate followers for receiving the Divine idea of self-sacrifice, which He was to reveal in His sufferings and death. “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” One of them, with characteristic impulsiveness, repudiated the idea; and Jesus, reading at once the earthly thoughts which prompted the remonstrance of Peter, laid down the indispensable condition of spiritual life, the Divine law of self-sacrifice: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life, shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.”

1. There was a special truth in these words for the disciples to whom they were spoken; and to them they were primarily addressed. No one could become a faithful follower of Jesus without being prepared to renounce everything, without carrying his life itself in his hand. And the first desire of Jesus in speaking these words was undoubtedly to make Peter and the rest of his companions understand clearly the absolute degree of the self-sacrifice which they must make in spirit, if they would be thoroughly associated with the Leader in whom they believed. He was going before them bearing His cross, submitting beforehand to the ignominy and pain which were to be openly realized; He was thus submitting, not in spite of His Divine nature, but because He was the perfect Son of the righteous and loving Father. If His disciples would cherish the high ambition of being His friends and followers; if they would look forward to the joy and the crown with which true sacrifice was to be rewarded—they also must tread in the steps of the Master, they must be content to serve and submit, they must gird themselves to the unreserved offering of themselves to God.

2. The Christian life also is one of service, of submission. Men do not sit and sing themselves away to everlasting bliss; the way thither is the way of the yoke. Christ is very frank about this; He allures no man to follow Him by false pretences. When men would follow Garibaldi to the liberty of Italy, he warned them that there would be hunger and thirst and fatigue, battle and wounds and death to be endured. Those who would follow must be willing to bear the yoke. When men would follow Christ, He frankly said, “Take my yoke upon you”—the yoke of service, of self-denial, of submission. “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”

When Bernard of Quintavalle, convinced of the rare grace granted by God to Francis, and longing to come under its power, determined to join him, the saint, notwithstanding his joy, gave proof of that sound judgment upon which the commune had learned to draw, by proposing that since the life of renunciation was hard, they must lay the whole matter before the Lord, who would Himself be its judge and their counsellor. So they repaired to St. Nicholas’ Church, and, after the office, knelt long in prayer for guidance. The curate of St. Nicholas was their friend, and he consulted the gospel text when their minds were prepared to accept its mandates. The first time he opened it these words met his eyes: “Go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up thy cross, and follow me.” The second time, the very gospel which had lately impelled Francis to preach was on the open page (Luk_9:1-6), while the third test of Bernard’s faith was found to be the great and strenuous commandment: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Bernard bowed his head in obedience to all three, and leaving the church, he and Francis at once set about selling his houses and possessions, and bestowing the money realized on hospitals, poor monasteries, the neediest townsfolk. Then, having finished this affair, the brothers passed down to the plain, and a new stage in the Franciscan movement was initiated.1 [Note: Anna M. Stoddart, Francis of Assisi, 95.]

There are three things in the text—

I.       Self-denial—“Let him deny himself.”

II.      Cross-bearing—“And take up his cross.”

III.     Following—“And follow me.”



“Let him deny himself.”

1. “If any man would come after me,” said Jesus, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Here Jesus makes the duty of denying self an essential requisite of Christian discipleship. A man cannot be a follower of Jesus unless he denies himself, or, as the Greek term indicates, denies himself utterly. The requirement is not the denial of anything, either little or much, to self, but the utter denial of self—a very important and too often unrecognized difference.

As the term stands in the Greek, the injunction of our Lord to His every disciple, to “deny himself,” includes the idea of turning oneself away from oneself, of rejecting self as the desire of self. It suggests the thought of two centres—self and Christ—the one to be denied and the other accepted as an object of attraction and devotedness. Its use in the original seems to say: “If you would turn toward Me, you must turn away from yourself. If you would accept Me as the chief object of desire, you must renounce yourself as such an object. If you would henceforward live in My service, you must at once cease to live for your own pleasure and interest.”

It is a very common mistake concerning the nature of self-denial to suppose that it involves a constant thought of self, in order to the entire subjection of self. As a matter of fact, he who lives the truest life of self-denial has very little trouble with himself. Being absorbed in an object of interest outside of himself, he forgets himself; living for something worthier of his devotion, he does not give any worrying thought to that self from which he has turned away in his enthusiastic pursuit of a nobler aim. A soldier is worth little as a soldier until he forgets himself in his interest in his military duties. If he even thinks of prolonging or protecting his life, he is more likely to lose it than if he is absorbed in the effort to do his work manfully as a soldier. An unselfish interest in our fellows causes us to forget ourselves in our loving thought of others. An unselfish interest in our Friend of friends takes us away from ourselves, and fills our mind with a simple purpose of pleasing and serving Him. A life of self-denial is not a life of conflict with self; it is rather a life turned away from self in utter self-forgetfulness.

Self-denial is not an outward act, but an inward turning of our being. As the steamship is turned about by the rudder, which is swung by the means of a wheel, so there is within our being a rudder, or whatever you may call it, which is turned by a small wheel, and as we turn the entire craft either leeward or windward, we deny either self or God. In its deepest sense we always deny either the one or the other. When we stand well we deny self; in all other cases we deny God. And the internal wheel by which we turn the entire craft of our ego is our intention. The rudder determines the course of the ship; not its rigging and cargo, nor the character of the crew, but its direction, the destination of the voyage, its final haven. Hence, when we see our craft steering away from God, we swing the rudder the other way and compel it to run toward God.1 [Note: A. Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit, 505.]

2. We have often to deny ourselves in matters that may be in themselves allowable. If they tend in our case to withdraw our hearts from Christ, we must be willing to give them up. Being innocent in themselves, we might be at liberty to choose them or not as we liked, but we have to think of the discipline and maturity of our Christian character, and in regard to this such voluntary sacrifices are in the sight of God of great price, moulding us as they do into a loving and wide embracing obedience to Him. Again and again we may have to deny ourselves things that seem fitted for adding to our enjoyment, but when we think how Christ denied Himself the most ordinary comforts, not seeking to be ministered unto, but to minister, and giving His life a ransom for us, shall we for a moment hesitate to drink of His spirit that we may do likewise? Very anxiously have we to remember that there is no Christian self-denial in anything that is done merely as self-denial—that all true self-sacrifice is unconscious of itself, strives not to think of itself, but longs simply to please Christ and to do His will and work, without reckoning the cost or trial.

It is said that prior to the rise of Christianity not one of the Western languages had any word for self-denial. The austere moralists of India, indeed, had long since taught the sacrifice of inclination to lofty ideals of duty. But Greece and Rome, nay, even Israel, had not contemplated self-denial as in itself essential to virtuous or devout character; and so they had coined no word for it. But when one by one the Western nations were subdued by the spiritual weapons sharpened in the armoury of Christ, the idea and the word “self-denial” quickly came to the front in preaching and in practice. Nor will any student of the Gospels deny that this is quite a characteristic and typical utterance of Jesus: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”1 [Note: R. C. Armstrong, Memoir and Sermons, 195.]

(1) We are constantly tempted to self-indulgence, to do simply what is easy and pleasant to us, agreeable to our tastes, inclinations, and habits, and leave others to do or leave undone altogether the things that are not according to our taste or that require from us any care or effort or sacrifice. All analogy, and all reason, and all Scripture teach us that we must not consult our own ease and pleasure, that we must not make a kind of pastime of religious service, that we must not be earnest and self-denying in our ordinary calling, and then come to Christ’s work as an entertainment for our leisure hours, just playing with the great cause of God. We must not do that; we must work if we would have God to work with us. It is when we do our part that we have any right at all to expect that God will do His part; it is when we do our very best—and we cannot do our very best without much thought, and much prayer, and much effort; without facing difficulties, without strain, without doing some hard things, some painful things. We cannot do our best without all this, and it is when we do our best that we can expect God to do the most.

You have all, I dare say, seen lightning conductors put up on buildings in London; and perhaps you wondered why they were put up. Well the reason is this: the lightning is on the look out for an easy way to come down to the earth; it finds it very hard to go through the air. That is the reason why we hear the thunder: it is the noise the lightning makes because it has to come through the air so quickly. And the air tries to stop it coming at all. If it could get on to anything—on to the spire of this church, for example—and slide down, it would be a very easy way of getting along. But it wouldn’t be a good thing for the spire; and so they put up lightning conductors—rods right up into the air—so that if the lightning is coming anywhere near, it may get on to the rod and so slip right down into the earth, without doing any harm to the church. For it is always looking out for the easiest way down.1 [Note: J. M. Gibbon, In the Days of Youth, 60.]

(2) Self-seeking is another form of temptation that we must guard against. We are tempted to serve ourselves in God’s service, to seek for our own ends when we are professedly and really engaged in His work. Sometimes the selfish end is indirectly sought by us, as when it is the glory, honour, power, and triumph of our party or sect or denomination that we labour for. Sometimes the selfish end is directly before us, as when it is our own influence, or position, or honour, or praise that we seek after. The love of man’s approbation is natural to us, and it is quite legitimate that we should seek it, and that we should appreciate it; but how very apt it is to degenerate into downright selfishness, and how very often we are tempted in connexion with God’s own work to seek chiefly, to seek unduly, our own selfish ends.

You remember that wonderful parable in the Peer Gynt of Ibsen. The worn-out wanderer, grown hoary in selfishness, a past-master in self-seeking, in a rare moment of reflection takes an onion in his hand, and begins to strip it, scale by scale, and the fancy takes him that each scale or flake or lobe or fold represents some experience of his past, some relation in which he has stood to others in the long and chequered experience of life. This one is Peer Gynt tossed “in the jolly-boat after the wreck.” This is Peer Gynt a steerage passenger sailing westward over the Atlantic. This is Peer Gynt the merchant, this Peer Gynt as he played the prophet. What a host of parts he has played! What a host of folds lie around the central core or kernel of the onion! When he comes to the actual centre, that will stand for Peer Gynt himself, his inner self, apart from all the parts he has played, apart from all the relations to others he has held. And he strips and strips, smaller and smaller are the onion-flakes as he nears the centre. What will the centre be? And in his impatience he tears half a dozen away at once.

There seem a terrible lot of flakes,

To get to the core what a time it takes!

Yes, gramercy, it does, one divides and divides;

And there is no kernel: it’s all outsides!

That is the parable as the great Scandinavian dramatist has written it. And it is a parable which may be variously applied. Strip away from your life, your soul, every relation in which you stand to other lives, other souls, than your own. You may think thereby to reach at last your own very life or soul; but you will find that there is no self there. You live only in your relations to others than yourself. Annihilate these and you are yourself annihilated.1 [Note: R. A. Armstrong, Memoir and Sermons, 223.]



“And take up his cross.”

1. Cross-bearing is usually regarded as the bearing of burdens, or the enduring of trials in Christ’s service, or for Christ’s sake. It is impossible to give ourselves up to Christ without suffering some loss or trouble. In early days the consequence might be martyrdom; in our own day it always involves some sacrifice. Now, the cross which the Christian has to bear is not inevitable trouble, such as poverty, sickness, or the loss of friends by death. These things would have been in our lot if we had not been Christians. They are our burdens, our thorns in the flesh. They are sent to us, not taken by us. But the cross is something additional. This is taken up voluntarily; it is in our power to refuse to touch it. We bear it, not because we cannot escape, but because it is a consequence of our following Christ; and the good of bearing it is that we cannot otherwise closely follow Him. He, then, is the true Christian who will bear any cross and endure any hardship that is involved in loyally following his Lord and Master.

When Jesus found His disciples expectant of honours in His service as the Messiah, and longing for places nearest Him when He should be uplifted in His Kingdom, He told them that they little knew what they were asking. His first uplifting was to be on a cross. Would they be willing to share that experience with Him? “Ye know not what ye ask,” He said. “Are ye able to drink the cup that I drink?” It costs something, He suggested, to be My follower. A man who enlists in My service must do so with a halter round his neck. If he cares more for his life than for Me, he is unfitted to be one of My disciples. “If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not [in comparison with me] his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Whosoever doth not bear his own cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

Tertullian, speaking to us out of the second century, tells us how the Christians of his day were wont to carry about with them everywhere the sign of the cross, at every step, at every movement, sealing themselves with it. It is now honoured and consecrated; our very churches are built in its shape and ornamented with its figure. But then, to those poor Galileans, who had left all to follow Christ, who dimly dreamed of kingliness and victor pomp, of thrones on the right and thrones on the left, and the fulfilment of patriotic dreams—taking up the cross, it was a thing strange and abhorrent, and contrary to their religious convictions, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on the tree.”1 [Note: Canon Newbolt.]

The idea of these words, says Ruskin, “has been exactly reversed by modern Protestantism, which sees in the Cross, not a furca to which it is to be nailed; but a raft on which it, and all its valuable properties, are to be floated into Paradise.” We need but superficial knowledge of current ways of speaking and writing among some religious people to know that there is much that goes a good way to excuse or to justify this very severe criticism.2 [Note: E. F. Sampson, Christ Church Sermons, 265.]

2. Each has his particular cross to bear. This we have each to discover for ourselves, and bear as we follow Him. Never are we to invent crosses for ourselves, and most anxiously are we to take heed that we do not make them for others, for this would indeed be to sin against God, and to bring continued misery on those beside us. Our own cross is close at hand, and we are to see rising high above it that awful yet most blessed and now vacant cross on which the Son of God suffered that He might win us back to the Father. We think how much easier it would be for us, and how much more devout and vigorous a Christian life we should lead, if we could but “change” our own cross for some other one that we imagine we could readily name, thus wishing even our trials to be bent to our own self-will, and suited to what we think for our comfort. We think that we can judge of the crosses which others have to bear, and that ours is often so much heavier than theirs. We may even magnify our own cross until it almost shuts out of view that awe-inspiring cross on which our Saviour offered Himself unto death. We may have sore trial from some beside us, owing to our “choosing that good part” which He sets before us, and we may have daily to bear this cross, which in His wise permission. He allows to be laid upon us, although we feel that by only a little change in their disposition they themselves would be blessed, and all life made different to us.

There is a poem called The Changed Cross. It represents a weary one who thought that her cross was surely heavier than those of others whom she saw about her, and wished that she might choose another instead of her own. She slept, and in her dream she was led to a place where many crosses lay, crosses of divers shapes and sizes. There was a little one most beauteous to behold, set in jewels and gold. “Ah, this I can wear with comfort,” she said. So she took it up, but her weak form shook beneath it. The jewels and the gold were beautiful, but they were far too heavy for her. Next she saw a lovely cross with fair flowers entwined around its sculptured form. Surely that was the one for her. She lifted it, but beneath the flowers were piercing thorns which tore her flesh. At last, as she went on, she came to a plain cross, without jewels, without carving, with only a few words of love inscribed upon it. This she took up, and it proved the best of all, the easiest to be borne. And as she looked upon it, bathed in the radiance that fell from heaven, she recognized her own old cross. She had found it again, and it was the best of all and lightest for her.

God knows best what cross we need to bear. We do not know how heavy other people’s crosses are. We envy some one who is rich; his is a golden cross set with jewels. But we do not know how heavy it is. Here is another whose life seems very lovely. She bears a cross twined with flowers. But we do not know what sharp thorns are hidden beneath the flowers. If we could try all the other crosses that we think lighter than ours, we should at last find that not one of them suited us so well as our own.1 [Note: J. R. Miller, Glimpses Through Life’s Windows, 31.]


Following the Master

“And follow me.”

1. Christ pictures Himself here, not as the Redeemer, but as the Leader and Pattern. It was a great event for the world when there was born into it the Perfect Man. Formerly the children of men were aware that they fell short of the perfection that was in God; but they did not suspect that one born of woman could actually attain such holiness. Jesus disclosed what man could be and do.

Mechanics are well aware that the engines on which they spend their powers are far from perfect. But, if some day a machine immensely superior to any that had been produced were devised and constructed by one of themselves, the whole trade would at once undergo a revolution. Employers, designers, draughtsmen, moulders, finishers, fitters, the whole population of the place, would vie with one another in their efforts to equal or surpass the achievement. If, perhaps, like ignorant Russian peasants, they broke the splendid instrument, or if they put it into a glass case as a mere curiosity, yet, after a while, a wiser counsel would prevail. Our great Fellow-workman produced a matchless work; and although for a time His jealous comrades endeavoured to crush it and to suppress the very mention of it, yet, in the end, they began to copy it. The life of Jesus, if it had been an example and nothing more, must certainly have left its mark on the customs of the world.2 [Note: C. N. Moody, Love’s Long Campaign, 255.]

2. It has been suggested that this phrase, though authentic, may perhaps be misplaced as we have it here in Matthew, and may refer to an incident of that dolorous procession in which the Master—Himself for a little while mastered by His foes—was struggling towards the appointed place of tragedy with the huge, rough cross upon His shoulder, ere some flickering of pity on the part of His guards impressed the more muscular Simon of Cyrene to bear the instrument of death along the road. We are invited to behold Jesus with gentle fortitude struggling to bear up under the cruel load, and even then, while the weight of the cross is pressing on His worn and sensitive frame, uttering the precept which had in that moment illustration so terrible: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

The disciple was to be as his Master, the servant was to be as his Lord; but the Master was to be a crucified Master; the Lord was to be not merely nailed to the tree, He was to bear His cross to the place of execution. And which of them all could have foreseen that awful end? Which of them could have guessed that the degrading punishment, reserved for the basest criminals, would have been assigned to the pure and sinless Jesus? Which of them could have thought that against this humble working-man Prophet the power of Rome would accomplish that which His own nation could not do? Which of them who had believed it possible that He would die upon the cross could have realized that, faint and weary with suffering, He Himself would bear His cross on the road to Calvary, till He could bear it no longer?

Last night I had another mother’s meeting for the mothers of the Free Kindergarten. This time I gave a magic-lantern show. I was the showman. The poor, ignorant women sat there bewildered; they had never seen a piano, and many of them had never been close to a foreigner before. I showed them about a hundred slides, explained through an interpreter until I was hoarse, gesticulated and orated to no purpose. They remained silent, stolid. By and by there was a stir, heads were raised and necks craned. A sudden interest swept over the room. I followed their gaze, and saw on the sheet the picture of Christ toiling up the mountain under the burden of the cross. The story was new and strange to them, but the fact was as old as life itself. At last they had found something that touched their own lives and brought the quick tears of sympathy to their eyes.1 [Note: The Lady of the Decoration, 107.]

3. Christ appeals to the will. “If a man wills to come after me.” The cross must be taken up consciously, deliberately, sympathetically. The sacrifice we see in nature is unconscious. When the outer row of petals is sacrificed to the welfare of the guelder rose, the petals are unaware of their immolation; when the bracts wither which have cradled the young leaves of the tree, they perish without any sense of martyrdom. In all their sacrificial work the ant and wasp obey blind impulse. It is often little better in society. We suffer and die for others without realizing the fact. The thought of the genius, the statesman, the physician, and the nurse is often almost entirely self-regarding; they really suffer for the commonwealth without either consciousness or intention. The superior civilization also suffers for the inferior unsympathetically. The bee is a self-centred creature; when it visits a flower it does not think of adorning the plant, of filling the air with sweetness, of delighting human eyes; it thinks only of getting a living, of enjoying itself; yet all the while, unknown to itself, it conveys the pollen which secures the perfection and perpetuity of a thousand flowers. So the European visiting India, Africa, or China does not always realize the larger mission he is fulfilling—advancing civilization by sacrifice. The scientist explores strange lands for knowledge, the soldier for glory, the trader for gold, the emigrant for bread; and yet, all unwittingly, above and beyond their immediate purpose, they impart to the strange regions they penetrate the ideas and qualities of a higher civilization.

In Christ the principle of self-denial became conscious, voluntary, and delightful. He entered into the work of redemption with clearest knowledge, entire sympathy, absolute willingness, and overflowing love. From all His doing and suffering for our salvation come freedom, readiness, and joyfulness. His true disciples share His spirit of intelligent self-sacrifice: consciously, willingly, lovingly, they serve the world and one another. Self-immolation, which is unconscious in the brute, which dimly awakes to the knowledge of itself in reflective humanity, realizes itself lucidly and joyously in the light, love, and liberty of Christ. “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.” “I delight to do thy will, O my God.” Such was the spirit and language of the Master in the hour of Gethsemane, in the presence of Calvary. The disciple must not rest until he attains something of the same conscious surrender and joy.

Phillips Brooks reminds us that the sacrifice of old was offered to the sound of the trumpets with joy, and there ought to be a sort of joy—a real joy—about self-sacrifice in bearing the cross. The pictures of our Lord on the cross, the earliest representations, were not like later ones; they were of a victorious figure in the prime of life, with no nails through His hands and feet, with an upright head, and a look of joyful self-sacrifice. And that is what we must aim at: we must bear the cross joyfully; “take up” the cross—it makes all the difference—lying down under it is one thing, taking it up is another. Take it up bravely, joyfully, cheerfully, and you will find the cross comparatively easy to bear.1 [Note: A. F. W. Ingram, Joy in God, 178.]

But if Himself He come to thee, and stand

Beside thee, gazing down on thee with eyes

That smile and suffer, that will smite thy heart,

With their own pity, to a passionate peace;

And reach to thee Himself the Holy Cup

(With all its wreathen stems of passion-flowers

And quivering sparkles of the ruby stars),

Pallid and royal, saying, “Drink with Me,”

Wilt thou refuse? Nay, not for Paradise!2 [Note: H. E. Hamilton King.]

4. Discipleship demands perseverance. “Let him follow me.” There is no discharge in this service. It is a lifelong compact. The disciple must follow the Master to the last limit of self-denial and cross-bearing. But the Master lives to help us to be and to do what He shows in His own life is the highest of all goodness and nobleness. So near does He keep to us in His indwelling Presence that He wishes to strengthen us to “walk even as he walked” (1Jn_2:6). We are to feel that though we cannot see Him with our bodily eyes, yet there is no such living Power in the universe as He is; and as we continue to ponder His life and sufferings we shall seem to see Him standing out before our hearts “full of grace and truth,” and shall become gradually transformed into His likeness so as to be fitted for living with Him through eternity in His unveiled vision, and for engaging in His sinless service.

It is easy to take up one’s cross and stand; easier still to fold it in the arms and lie down; but to carry it about—that is the hard thing. All pain shuns locomotion. It is adverse to collision, adverse to contact, adverse to movement. It craves to nurse its own bitterness; it longs to be alone. Its burden is never so heavy as when the bell rings for daily toil. The waters of Marah seek repose. If I could only rest under my cloud I might endure; but the command is too much for me—“Go, work to-day in my vineyard.” If I could go without my cross, it would be something; but I cannot. I can no more escape from it than I can escape my own shadow. It clings to me with that attraction which repulsion sometimes gives. It says, “Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge.”1 [Note: G. Matheson, Searchings in the Silence, 56.]

The followers of Christ are not as Frederick the Great, who in the midst of the Seven Years’ War wrote thus: “Happy the moment when I took to training myself in philosophy! There is nothing else that can sustain the soul in a situation like mine.” This same Frederick, three years later, wrote that it was hard for man to bear what he endured: “My philosophy is worn out by suffering,” he confessed; “I am no saint, like those of whom we read in the legends; and I will own that I should die content if only I could first inflict a portion of the misery which I endure.” But Charity never faileth. When Christians grow weary of their efforts, when they are tempted to give up their Christian service because of discouragements in the work, or because of rebuffs and unkindness from their fellow-workers, they remember what sort of Captain they follow, and what sort of strength has been vouchsafed to them.2 [Note: C. N. Moody, Love’s Long Campaign, 266.]

Drawing his sword, Pizarro traced a line with it on the sand from east to west. Then, turning towards the south, “Friends and comrades!” he said, “on that side are toil, hunger, nakedness, the drenching storm, desertion, and death; on this side, ease and pleasure. There lies Peru with its riches; here, Panama and its poverty. Choose, each man, what best becomes a brave Castilian. For my part, I go to the south.” So saying he stepped across the line. He was followed by the brave pilot Ruiz; next by Pedro de Candia, a cavalier, born, as his name imports, in one of the isles of Greece. Eleven others successively crossed the line, thus intimating their willingness to abide the fortunes of their leader, for good or for evil. Fame, to quote the enthusiastic language of an ancient chronicler, has commemorated the names of this little band, “who thus, in the face of difficulties unexampled in history, with death rather than riches for their reward, preferred it all to abandoning their honour, and stood firm by their leader as an example of loyalty to future ages.”1 [Note: W. H. Prescott, The Conquest of Peru, bk. ii. chap. iv.]

The Cost of Discipleship


Armstrong (R. A.), Memoir and Sermons, 195.

Bishop (J. W.), The Christian Year and the Christian Life, 117.

Black (J.), The Pilgrim Ship, 189.

Butler (W. A.), Sermons, i. 24.

Gibbon (J. M.), In the Days of Youth, 59.

Lawlor (H. J.), Thoughts on Belief and Life, 62.

Mackenzie (R.), The Loom of Providence, 69.

Macpherson (W. M.), The Path of Life, 198.

Matheson (G.), Searchings in the Silence, 56.

Moody (C. N.), Love’s Long Campaign, 114.

Parker (J.), The City Temple, ii. 258.

Sampson (E. F.), Christ Church Sermons, 265.

Trumbull (H. C.), Our Misunderstood Bible, 130.

Vaughan (J.), Sermons (Brighton Pulpit), ii. (1862), No. 323.

Vickery (J.), Ideals of Life, 295.

Watkinson (W. L.), The Supreme Conquest, 158.

Watson (J.), Respectable Sins, 83.

Christian World Pulpit, vii. 305 (D. Thomas); xii. 394 (H. W. Beecher); lvii. 219 (C. Gore).

Church of England Pulpit, liii. 163 (J. P. Sandlands).

Church Family Newspaper, April 7, 1911 (W. C. E. Newbolt).