For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
I suppose that all you boys and girls think that you know how to walk. You would laugh at the idea of being taught how you are to use your legs now, as you were when you were babies. Well, we will see. You all know how to walk along the country lanes and turnpike roads, but if you were to go to London for the first time, you would find that you did not know how to walk. I have sometimes seen a countryman in one of the crowded streets of the City of London, trying to make his way along, and every minute he would run against some passenger, and get in the way of another, till the busy city folks were quite angry with him. There is a particular way of walking in crowded streets, and, like everything else, it has to be learned. But there is another kind of walking which has to be learned. We hear a great deal about that in the Bible. St. Paul has much to say about how we ought to walk, and he was not writing to little tiny children, but to grown up men and women. Now there are only two roads on which we can walk. One is the broad road which leads to destruction, the devil's road. It seems easy to travel on it at first, but it grows harder and rougher as we go on, for "the way of transgressors is hard." You know what the other road is? The King's highway, the narrow path which leads to life eternal, God's way, of which He says, "Walk ye in it." Here are some plain rules for you, my children, which will show you how you ought to walk through life as God's children, as children of light.
1. Then, keep to the right. You will often see these words printed up in the crowded streets of great cities. Your own conscience will tell you what is right, and whenever there are two ways for you to go in, the right or the wrong, be sure to keep to the right.
2. The next rule I give you is, keep your eyes open. If you were to walk along a road with your eyes shut, you would soon stumble or fall, or wander out of the right path; but if you keep your eyes open, you see the rough places over which you might stumble, and the muddy places where you might splash your clothes with dirt, and you can see the finger post showing you the right way. Well, in walking along the path of life you will need to keep your eyes open. There are dangerous places, over which you will stumble and fall, unless you watch for them carefully; there are temptations, like muddy pools, which will stain your white robe, and make it foul, unless you avoid them. If you keep your eyes open, you will see God's hand directing you, and you will find that He has placed many finger posts to show you the right way. The Church is one finger post, the Bible is another, your teachers are all pointing out to you the right road.
3. My next piece of advice to you is, push your way. There are sure to be difficulties in your path. You can do one of two things, you can wait for the difficulty to be removed, or you can push your way through it. In large towns, where there are great public buildings, such as banks and offices, you often see a heavy door leading into the building, and on it is written the one word, "push." Now, suppose you wished to enter that building; you might pull at that door for hours and not open it; you might ring the bell, or call to someone to open, but everybody would be too busy to listen. There would be only one thing for you to do, you must push, then the door would open. So it is with all difficulties: "where there's a will there's a way"; if you push against the door which is blocking your way, it will open.
4. Take another word of advice, when you meet with your enemy, fight. I don't mean an earthly enemy, and I don't mean fighting with your fists. As you walk along the roads of life, your enemy, the devil, will often stand in the path to injure you, to turn you out of the way, "Whom resist, steadfast in the faith." The ancient Greeks, who were the most famous soldiers of old times, carried a shield in battle. To lose this shield and leave it behind, was the greatest disgrace which could happen to them. When a soldier was killed, or badly wounded, his companions laid him on his shield, and carried him out of the fight. I have read of a Greek mother, who said to her son as he was going to the battle, "Either return with your shield or upon it." That meant, "Either conquer or die." My children, it would be very sad for us to have to say, after we have met with temptations to sin — "I have returned again, but I have left my shield behind."
5. Last of all, take this rule if you would walk rightly, mind the crossings. In London streets it is very difficult and dangerous to cross the road sometimes. If you are not very careful, and quite accustomed to it, you may be knocked down, and run over: or you may take the wrong turning, and lose yourself. So it is with life, we have to cross over a difficult crossing very often, and there is a great crowd of temptations and sins all around us, and if we are not very watchful, we shall be knocked down and run over by some of those temptations.
(H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: