The church wants mature Christians very greatly, and especially when there are many fresh converts added to it. New converts furnish impetus to the church, but her backbone and substance must, under God, lie with the mature members.
We want mature Christians in the army of Christ, to play the part of veterans, to inspire the rest with coolness, courage, and steadfastness; for if the whole army is made up of raw recruits the tendency will be for them to waver when the onslaught is fiercer than usual. The old guard, the men who have breathed smoke and eaten fire before, do not waver when the battle rages like a tempest, they can die but they cannot surrender. When they hear the cry of “Forward,” they may not rush to the front so nimbly as the younger soldiers, but they drag up the heavy artillery, and their advance once made is secure. They do not reel when the shots fly thick, but still hold their own, for they remember former fights when Jehovah covered their heads.
The church wants in these days of flimsiness and timeserving, more decided, thoroughgoing, well-instructed, and confirmed believers.
We are assailed by all sorts of new doctrines. The old faith is attacked by so-called reformers, who would reform it all away. I expect to hear tidings of some new doctrine once a week. So often as the, moon changes, some prophet or other is moved to propound a now theory, and believe me, he will contend more valiantly for his novelty than ever he did for the gospel.
The discoverer thinks himself a modern Luther, and of his doctrine he thinks as much as David of Goliath’s sword, “There is none like it.” As Martin Luther said of certain in his day, these inventors of new doctrines stare at their discoveries like a cow at a new gate, as if there were nothing else in all the world but the one thing for them to stare at.
We are all expected to go mad for their fashions, and march to their piping. To whom we give place; no, not for an hour.
They may muster a troop of raw recruits, and lead them whither they would, but for confirmed believers they sound their bugles in vain. Children run after every new toy; any little performance in the street, and the boys are all agog, gaping at it; but their fathers have work to do abroad, and their mothers have other matters at home; your drum and whistle will not, draw them out. For the solidity of the church, for her steadfastness in the faith, for her defense against the constantly recurring attacks of heretics and infidels, and for her permanent advance and the seizing of fresh provinces for Christ, we want not only your young, hot blood, which may God always send to us, for it is of immense service, and we cannot do without it, but we need also the cool, steady, well-disciplined, deeply-experienced. hearts of men who know by experience the truth of God, and hold fast what they have learned in the school of Christ.
May the Lord our God therefore send us many such; they are wanted.