It takes more grace to be an earnest and useful Christian in summer than in any other season. The very destitute, through lack of fuel and thick clothing, may find the winter the trying season, but those comfortably circumstanced find summer the Thermopylae that tests their Christian courage and endurance.
The spring is suggestive of God and heaven and a resurrection day. That eye must be blind that does not see God’s footstep in the new grass, and hear His voice in the call of the swallow at the eaves. In the white blossoms of the orchards we find suggestion of those whose robes have been made white in the blood of the Lamb. A May morning is a door opening into heaven.
So autumn mothers a great many moral and religious suggestions. The season of corn husking, the gorgeous woods that are becoming the catafalque of the dead year, remind the dullest of his own fading and departure.
But summer fatigues and weakens, and no man keeps his soul in as desirable a frame unless by positive resolution and especial implorations. Pulpit and pew often get stupid together, and ardent devotion is adjourned until September.
But who can afford to lose two months out of each year, when the years are so short and so few? He who stops religious growth in July and August will require the next six months to get over it. Nay, he never recovers. At the season when the fields are most full of leafage and life let us not be lethargic and stupid.
Let us remember that iniquity does not cease in summer-time. She never takes a vacation. The devil never leaves town. The child of want, living up that dark alley, has not so much fresh air nor sees as many flowers as in winter-time. In cold weather the frost blossoms on her window pane, and the snow falls in wreaths in the alley. God pity the wretchedness that pants and sweats and festers and dies on the hot pavements and in the suffocating cellars of the town!
Let us remember that our exit from this world will more probably be in the summer than in any other season, and we cannot afford to die at a time when we are least alert and worshipful. At mid-summer the average of departures is larger than in cool weather. The sun-strokes, the dysenteries, the fevers, the choleras, have affinity for July and August. On the edge of summer Death stands whetting his scythe for a great harvest. We are most careful to have our doors locked, and our windows fastened, and our “burglar alarm” set at times when thieves are most busy, and at a season of the year when diseases are most active in their burglaries of life we need to be ready.