Rules for Christian Effort
Revelation 10:8-11
And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said…

I. CHRISTIAN EFFORT MUST BE PERSONAL. "Thou." The faculties of the individual man must be excited to activity in the cause of God. The most magnificent achievements of the human mind have been wrought out in lonely musings and lonely labours. If we would hew the rugged forms of our fellow-men into the symmetry and grace of Christian discipleship we must not be content to give subscriptions for evangelistic purposes; but we must feel a responsibility that is all our own, and while acting in brotherly union we must also act as if we had been specially called to a task in which no one has so much to do as ourselves.

II. CHRISTIAN EFFORT MUST BE PROPORTIONED TO PERSONAL ABILITY. "Thou must prophesy." John had the prophetic gift, and he was to use it. God has called thousands to His work, and though all cannot do the same thing, all are to do their best in that which they can do. A man with a divided mind, with his mind in part intent on his own ease, and in part only on the work of the Lord, will accomplish nothing worth naming. But let him unite his faculties, let him bring all the strength and all the determination of his soul to bear on the task to which he is called, let him throw the glow and enthusiasm of his nature into his duty with the bold avowal, "This one thing I do," and though a thousand difficulties withstand him, he will sweep on to the consummation of his plains.

III. CHRISTIAN EFFORT MUST BE REPEATED. "Thou must prophesy again." Nothing great can be done all at once. It was only after many struggles that Wilberforce succeeded in the abolition of the slave trade. Nor are we to think that any strange thing has befallen us, or to deem it a reason for suspending our labours, if months or even years elapse before we see the moral and religious reformation at which we are aiming. We cannot reasonably expect that rude, ignorant, vicious men will all at once be transformed into melodious Davids, magnificent Isaiahs, or saintly Johns. We cannot reasonably expect that Babylon will come crashing to the ground at our first shout, and its ruins start at a touch into the majesty of a holy city. We shall have to "prophesy again"; we shall have to repeat our efforts before we see "the pleasure of the Lord prosper in our hand."

IV. CHRISTIAN EFFORT MUST ENLARGE THE SCOPE OF ITS MOVEMENTS. "Thou must prophesy again before many peoples," etc. The more we do, the more we see there is to do. Patriotism owns that this is a land which, from white cliff in the south to sternest precipice in the north, is worthy of any labour and any self-sacrifice. If the statesman will contend from early evening until the morning crimsons the windows of the Senate House for measures by which he intends to enlarge the liberties and increase the happiness of the people — if the soldier will stride over the field of deadly fight and rush through the fiery breach that the foeman's drum may not be beaten in our street, nor the foeman's flag be lifted among our old ancestral oaks, it surely becomes us to raise ourselves to the level of Christian patriotism, and to stretch out our prayers and our labours so that they shall include the whole nation.

(G. Marrat.).16

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

WEB: The voice which I heard from heaven, again speaking with me, said, "Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land."

On Eating Books
Top of Page
Top of Page